Thursday, February 18, 2010

Update from France!!!

Just like Oberlin, after a few weeks of classes, the assignments start coming. The past week I've been in the library researching for papers and presentations. No matter how hard I try, I can't find a twist to make studying sound more exotic. I've been working mostly for one of my classes on the European Union, which is a topic full of controversy. At the beginning of the year, huge changes were made in the organization and more big decisions loom concerning the possible bailout of Greece. The controversy makes the EU an exciting topic to study and because my school has a lot of international students I get to hear all sorts of opinions and perspectives. However, the construction of the EU is so complicated it makes United States government seem like a piece of cake!

For those of you who suddenly have the image of studying abroad consisting of living in the library, don't worry, I get plenty of time to explore the city. One thing I love about Paris is the rich history and culture that can be found in both the museums and casual strolls down the winding streets. Example: Last week while out running, I passed the house where René Descartes lived, the house where Marie and Pierre Curie lived, and stumbled upon a 2,000 year old Roman Gladiatorial arena which was being used as a make shift soccer field for a game of neighborhood pick-up.

Now back to paper writing...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Semester Abroad

One of the most popular questions we get is, "Will I be able to study abroad?" In response we have always said that we support any athlete who chooses to study abroad as it is a great opportunity. Junior middle blocker Maggie Jacobson is actually spending the entire spring semester in France and has volunteered to write excerpts about her experiences. Maggie wrote us this when she got to Paris.

For winter term this year I do not have a project because I have the wonderful opportunity to study in Paris for the semester and my exchange program started in the middle of winter term. One of the great opportunities with Oberlin is that they really encourage you to study abroad and have lots of exchange programs available. As a double major in Economics and French, I wanted a program in France where I could take economics and business-type classes in French. Fortunately, Oberlin does direct exchanges with Sciences Po, one of France's top Social Science universities, which has just what I was looking for! On top of that, because several students come to Oberlin each year from Sciences Po, I have plenty of friends who have been helping me adjust to the french life!

Hope all is well,

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Next up is Lizzie Orfaly.

Hola a todos!
I´m spending my Winter Term this year in Guadalajara, Mexico on a Oberlin-sponsored trip. I´m here with 20 other Obies for the month, taking classes at an institute (5 hours everyday!) and exploring the city. I´ve tried a bunch of popular local foods and drinks, and they´ve all been delicious. I´m living with a family near the school and I take the bus by myself everyday. My family is absolutely wonderful: I have a 3 year old brother Mario, who I play with all the time and a 13 and 20 year old sisters Diana and Pati. The parents are so friendly and helpful to the point that I really feel like I´m a part of the family. Although we haven´t had many language barriers, they are really patient with me if I don´t understand something.Also, I´m turning 20 while I´m here, and I´m excited to go out with friends and celebrate. We´ve traveled to Tlaquepaque (my new favorite word), Zopopan and soon we´re going to Ajijic, Tonala, and Chapala. Next weekend we have a weekend off to get hotel rooms at either Puerto Vallarta or Manzanilla. I´ve visited a bunch of museums and met a lot of interesting people. The culture here is so different, but everyone is so welcoming to our differences. I´m having a wonderful time, and honestly don´t want to leave anytime soon! I´d recommend this trip to anyone who wants to learn or better their Spanish and meet new, amazing people!
--Lizzie # 11