Archive | June, 2011

Krakow #2

25 Jun

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Krakow #2

25 Jun

Time seems to be flying by.  I am two weeks into the Krakow program and totally exhausted.  Krakow is an amazing city.  Although there is 900,000 people in Krakow, it still feels very small.  I’m living in a hotel called Zaczek, but it’s known by a lot of people as the student dormitory.  Tons of students live in these dorms throughout the school year.  We actually have 1/2 Americans and 1/2 Polish students in the program.  The Polish kids are great though.  They show us around and are really helpful.  Some of them are actually from Krakow, so they know all the cool places to go. 

The first day here we toured around the city and got a feel for where our classes would be located.  The classes are taught by Polish teachers, although one is from Catholic.  Most of the time it’s very difficult to follow.  They just phrase things differently and their accents are really hard for me to follow.  We have class from about 11:00 to 3:45ish everyday of the week.  We have about an hour in there to go grab lunch and frantically try to catch up on our reading.  
People in Krakow are almost living in the 1980’s still.  Lots of guys have mullets and everyone rollerblades here.  Like everyone.  You can actually rent them, which I will be doing.  There is a huge park out front of the Zaczek which I’ve been running around.  I shockingly have been running almost everyday.  Sometimes pretty far because I’m exploring the city.  There is a river that goes through the city and there is a path next to it.  I’m always surprised at the amount of people who exercise here.  Nothing like Rome.
It’s dirt cheap here, which is a great change from Rome.  I can go out to eat and order almost three courses and beer for $20 bucks.   It’s amazing.  Beers are $2-$3 dollars.  And they are strong.  And man do the Polish like to drink.  They go out and the bars literally never close it’s crazy.  Vodka is their drink of choice.  They just do shots of vodka.  One bar had a minimum for shots, you had to buy in quantities of 4.  Polish girls also dress very provocative.  I mean skin tight clothes, see thru shirts, and poor excuses for skirts.  Needless to say, the boys are loving it.  
This week one of our Polish friends had us over to her house for the National holiday.  This holiday was on Thursday, so we actually had no class.  She lives in an awesome apartment.  Then she took us to a local watering hole (an old quarry filled with water) that was amazing.  We did cliff jumping from 30 foot cliffs.  It was amazing.  It was the most fun I’ve had in a very long time.  Just swimming and enjoying the weather.  
So far things are great here.  Never thought I would study abroad in Poland, but I am so happy to have this opportunity.  It’s been great so far.  Now only one week until Kelli comes to visit and 4 until I see my boyfriend.  Missing everyone!

Krakow #1

14 Jun

ROMA #4 pictures

14 Jun

Roma #4

14 Jun

Well, I’m approaching the last couple days of my time in Roma.  I have finals on both Friday and Saturday, so sadly I’m forced to spend my free time in the last couple of days studying.  I leave for Krakow immediately after my Saturday final!


The past week has been a busy one, much of which was spent eating pasta, pizza, and walking around Rome.  We also have been studying hard, which is has been no fun.  It’s funny, everyone tells me there study abroad was so easy….of course, at CUA we have had a much different experience.  I have over a 100 pages of textbook reading a night!  And my teacher actually expects us to have time to memorize for our test…when we have our last class the night before.


We went to Florence this weekend for just Saturday.  We left on Saturday morning at 6:45 on the express train and got there very early in the morning.  Like 7:50am.  We randomly started walking around the city and saw a line near Santa Maria del Fiore, so we decided to get in.  Turns out the people in front of us had gotten up at 6am to get in line to go up The Duomo, which is the dome.  We really lucked out because we didn’t even have to wait, we went to the top, and saw the most amazing views of Tuscany and the city of Florence.   We came across a farmers market that only happens once a month, which has tons of truffle cheese samples, and truffle pates and spread, with wine and olive oil.  It was amazing and I was in heaven.  Then we had the most amazing sandwiches of my life.  I will forever crave them and may be going back to Florence just to have one.  I had turkey, truffle pate, and mozzarella cheese, which they melt on a panini press.  To die for.  We continued to luck out because then we randomly saw on a poster that there was a Tuscan wine festival that day.  We went and tried so many different red and white wines from Tuscany.  Each wine maker would tell you all about the wine and why there’s was special.  You paid EUR 10 for 10 tasting, but not one of the would stamp you ticket.  They insisted wine tasting should be free.  So we probably had a little more than 10…opps.


For you reality tv junkies, we did get pizza from the Jersey Shore pizzeria.  We saw all of them except Snookie.  I was not quite as into them as everyone else since I haven’t once watched the show, so I did not fill out the 30 page contract to allow you to go into the pizza shop, but my friends did.  And brought the pizza to go.  We all had a piece and can now say we ate pizza from the Jersey shore cast.  We actually did that on the way to dinner, yes…I’m the ultimate fat kid in Italy.  We ended up going to Aqua al 2, which we have in DC.  And,  the blueberry steak is to die for.  


The last week was filled with a lot of studying and eating.  Rome went by so fast.  I am sad to leave, but the rate of EUR to the dollar is telling me it’s time to go.  Funny how I spent so much money in Rome and I have nothing to show for it.  It was all about consuming in Rome.


Off to Krakow!  More later….



Roma 3

5 Jun