Abroad101 Featured Blog 2011 – The Study Abroad Blog!!

Nate Nault & The Study Abroad Blog

Abroad101’s Featured Blogs promotes leading blogs in the international education and travel space that showcase stories, news, or advice that help others to gain a global perspective. Here are some featured questions taken from an interview conducted with a blog that does just that!

1. Who are you, and what makes your blog unique?

My name is Nate Nault, and I’m a recent graduate of The College of The Holy Cross in
Worcester, MA. I studied abroad in St. Andrews, Scotland during my junior year of college and had the time of my life. In fact, I had such a great time that I decided to study abroad again during the Fall of 2011, this time through an intensive language program in Beijing, China. Continue reading

Guest Blog: Adventures in Brazil, Part Two

By Rachel Hartman

Adventure Number 2: Morro de Sao Paulo

Since we survived the taxi ride to the ship terminal, I  assumed that our trip to this gem of an island would be successful. I could not have been more accurate. The two hour catamaran ride was amazing. I have never seen water so calm. Mary, Lindsay and I sat outside for most of the voyage. I met this nice guy from Argentina. Little did we know that he understood English perfectly. We were ignorant to think that nobody on the boat spoke English, so we were saying things as we pleased. Oops. Anyways, I was able to take some beautiful photographs of the still water and even some flying fish!

When we got to the island, we could not have been more excited. It was beautiful. There were no cars, and tons of tourists. We finally felt as if we could walk around without the threat of getting mugged. Cute boutiques and small pousadas (hotels) lined the sandy roads. Taxis, known to others as wheel-barrows, assisted visitors with their baggage and even their children. The soft and white sandy beaches were stunning. People were so happy. All in all, a satisfying contrast from Salvador. We had been there for five minutes when we decided we never wanted to leave. Continue reading

Guest Blog: Adventures in Brazil, Part One

By Rachel Hartman

Adventure Number 1: Lavagem do Bonfim

I carefully tied the white bracelet to my wrist. Three knots, as instructed, wishes laced in between each. I briefly glanced over my right shoulder to find a group of men dressed up in spooky costumes. A bit frightened, I briefly glanced over my left shoulder to find a group of women dressed up in large, white dresses. I was thoroughly confused about my surroundings as well as the fact that everyone, including myself, was wearing white. But, I was there. I had my camera out, ready to shoot. My sneakers on, ready to walk.

Not knowing what was going on, we waited around for the locals to lead the way. And so it began. The four mile walk to the Bonfim Church for a ceremony we knew nothing about. All I was informed of was that the people of Salvador come together to celebrate the washing of Bonfim Church (Lavagem do Bonfim). Continue reading

Guest Blog: “Ticking Away, the Moments that Make Up a Dull Day…”

By Rachel Hartman

Risk. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a risk is “someone or something that creates or suggest a hazard.” But as I have come to learn over this past year, everything in life has a different meaning to each person. To me, a risk is not suggesting something hazardous, but an adventure that challenges me to remove myself from my comfort zone. That is why I decided to take a risk, leave everything behind me, and embark on the biggest adventure of my life. A gap year. 
A gap year is a term not often thought about by high school seniors that are about to enter college. For me, a gap year was the only term in my vocabulary. Although I could have easily gone to Franklin and Marshall College last year after being accepted Early Decision, I needed a change in my life. What could have been a bigger change than traveling the world and learning about different careers and cultures? So that is exactly what I did. Continue reading

Guest Blog: The Aftershock of Returning to America from a Semester Abroad


By Brianna Gunter, Part 3

I can’t say that I never thought my trip would come to an end (because I adhere to the laws of time and common sense), but I can say that it appeared to come to an end much faster than expected. Looking back on my semester abroad however, I do find it pleasantly astonishing that I’ve learned and done so much.

I’ve been back in New Jersey for some time now. While I honestly didn’t feel too “culture shocked” upon arrival in Costa Rica, I did feel that way almost as soon as my plane landed back at Newark Liberty International.

It is summer now (thank goodness), but when I first came back Jersey was still in spring, a very cold spring! At least, I felt very cold after having spent all winter in a tropical country where the sun is out on most days. I’m much happier now that the weather has warmed up, but there have been a lot of other things that have made it not so easy to re-adapt to my former life. Continue reading

Guest Blog: Costa Rica + Jungle Gyms, Food and Laid-Back Attitudes = Happiness

By Brianna Gunter, part 2.

Costa Rica is widely known as one of the world’s happiest nations. Actually, it is the happiest in the world. Just last year, the World Database of Happiness (yes, it exists) ranked this tiny Central American country first out of happiest nations with a score of 8.5 on a scale of one to 10. The U.S. ranked 20th with a score of 7.4.

While I lived in the capital of happy — a place more than 10 points happier than my homeland — I decided to examine just what it is that makes Costa Rica so darn full of smiles. After all, studying abroad has the tendency to turn a person into a great cultural examiner. There are of course the obvious reasons for happiness there: nice beaches, access to both the Caribbean and Pacific oceans, awesome forests and waterfalls, good weather, democracy, ice cream places on every corner, etc. Nevertheless my semester abroad led me to believe the true reasons for Tican happiness are a little more complex than palm trees and blue skies. Continue reading

What’s Going On Here?!

One of our friend’s took this picture while she was studying abroad in Australia. What do you think, should we all pitch in and get this little guy a stroller? Perhaps we should give them the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure all morning he was begging his mother to let him be a dog for the day! We want to hear your comments 🙂

It’s the Little Things, Part Two

Studying abroad is all about new experiences, big and small. Although the smaller day to day details may be forgotten over the course of time, there are a few memories that I will never forget. These moments were branded on my memory, and every time I think about them I can’t help but smile, or even laugh to myself. It was the little moments during my time abroad in Florence, Italy that made my experience what it was; unique and extraordinary. I wanted to share a few of my small, yet favorite memories during my time abroad! They may seem silly to an outsider, but they will give you some insight into the kind of significant experiences that changed my life, broadened my perspectives, and taught me lessons that I won’t soon be forgetting. Continue reading

It’s the Little Things, Part One

Studying abroad is all about new experiences, big and small. Although the smaller day to day details may be forgotten over the course of time, there are a few memories that I will never forget. These moments were branded on my memory, and every time I think about them I can’t help but smile, or even laugh to myself. It was the little moments during my time abroad in Florence, Italy that made my experience what it was; unique and extraordinary. I wanted to share a few of my small, yet favorite memories during my time abroad! They may seem silly to an outsider, but they will give you some insight into the kind of significant experiences that changed my life, broadened my perspectives, and taught me lessons that I won’t soon be forgetting. Continue reading

James Leck 1962-2011

A memorial service for James Leck was held today at the Marsh Chapel at Boston University. James passed away on July 4th while vacationing in Maine.  As the associate director for student services at Boston University, working with the International Students and Scholars Office’s international students, and an active member in the NAFSA community, he was highly respected within the international education field.

James also taught an International Student Advising course at Lesley University for their Intercultural Relations master’s degree program. As a student in this program, I wanted to recognize Leck’s passing and include testimonials from two of his recent students.

Continue reading