We are now at the end of March, and I can’t believe half of my study abroad experience has already past. I have gone on many wonderful trips, but I am still planning more. This month, I went to Ireland and Paris for a week. I started the week in Dublin and then went to Galway, then spent a weekend in Paris. I was actually in Dublin for St. Patrick’s day, and that was a great experience. Dublin isn’t necessarily a pretty city, but the people who live they are extremely friendly! We were approached by people with smiling faces the entire trip. Galway was the exact same way, but Galway is a very beautiful city. Our bed and breakfast was overlooking a bay, and we were only two kilometers from the beach. There, we also went on a tour of the Cliffs of Mohr. These cliffs were amazing to see. I would definitely go back to the Cliffs of Mohr, in addition to Ireland. The green grass everywhere in the country side is so beautiful and peaceful.
Once again in Paris, I met up with Clementine, our friend who came to Louisville on an exchange from Bordeaux. It was great to see her one night and spend more time with her, but I also met lots of her friends who had gone on study abroad exchanges all over the world. It was amazing to me that they had all experienced different things and had ended up to work in Paris together. Needless to say, I had many great conversations with them that night and hope to see them again the next time I go to Paris.
This past weekend, I went on a trip with three of my roommates to the Great Dune of Pyla which is the highest dune in Europe. It was actually only an hour away from our house, so it was our Sunday afternoon activity. It took me awhile to get to the top of the dune (and it was a work out!) but once we got to the top, it was beautiful! We spent some time walking around on the sand, and then went to the beach below at Arcachon to eat some crepes. One of the things I have found I love about France and most of Europe is that you can get anywhere pretty quickly. From Bordeaux, it takes us three hours to get to the mountains to ski, and it only takes us one hour to get to a beach! That is very different than the thirteen hours it takes us to get to Floridaâ€™s beaches from Louisville!
I have included a picture of the Dune of Pyla in this post. We went on the day of a UofL basketball game, so I wrote “Cards” out on the sand to root for UofL! GO CARDS!
After this internship is completed I will have only one semester left at UofL. It’s hard to believe that I will finally be graduating. It seems like just yesterday I was moving into Kurz Hall my freshman year. Graduating is such an honor and landmark event in my life because I will be the first in my family to graduate from college. Coming into the University of Louisville I never imagined that I would be interning at BET by my senior year. Life is all about what you make of it. Neither of my parents graduated from high school but it was important to me to have a bigger vision for myself. BET did not come to UofL and to recruit students. I found BET and sent in my application. UofL gives you the opportunity to complete an internship for college credit and it is up to you to take advantage of that opportunity.
I was up until all hours of the morning last night stressed because the realization finally sunk in that I only have one semester left and then it’s off into the real world of work or possibly grad school. What do I want to do? A recurring theme in all my thoughts was fashion. Do I want to attend a design school? Work for a fashion magazine? Retail? Open a boutique? Become a celebrity stylist? I don’t know but I don’t have all the time in the world to figure it out. While here at BET I had the opportunity to attend an excluisve BET afterparty after Rip the Runway. At the after party I met Korto Momolu, runner up fashion designer on the show Project Runway. She has since been featured at NY Fashion Week and Rip the Runway of course. Korto would have been a great contact to have in the future but did I think to give her a business card? NO! Please, please, pleaseeee- I can’t stress this enough. Take advantage of the resources on campus, especially the Ulmer Career Center. Eileen Davis is a great person to know and the staff there has workshops on networking, building your resume, mock interviews ect.Â
So at this little exclusive party I was sitting right next to the cast of Harlem Heights, a new reality showÂ on BET. All the while I’m thinking, “They just give anybody a show now.” AfterÂ watching the first show I find out that one of the girls in the cast is a designer for Victoria’s Secret Pink.Â Another great contact that I lost along the way. But! I’m learning from my mistakes which is theÂ important part and at Spring Bling, which I will be attendingÂ March 28&29,Â I will not make these same mistakes.Â So hopefully I will come home with a plethora of new contacts and have many great job opportunites open up for me! God willing.
It was really half a year ago that I began my relationship with Bordeaux and its inhabitants.Â I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to meet Clementine and Gaelle last semester. They were exchange students from Bordeaux Ecole de Management in Bordeaux, France. During their time at the University of Louisville, I did my best to share my hometown with them and its culture. I also learned a lot about their country and lifestyle. It was such a rewarding experience because building relationships with people from different cultures was the main reason I got involved in studying abroad. At the time, I did not realize how greatly meeting our Bordeaux guests would impact me.
Now that I am the exchange student in Bordeaux, I really appreciate the guidance that Clementine and Gaelle give me. Every time I have a question, I can call Clementine and ask her for advice. As an international student here, itâ€™s so comforting to know I have someone who understands the local manners and can answer my questions.
This spring Clementine and Gaelle are both interning in Paris. Aurelia and I went to visit last week and had a wonderful time. Clementine was a great host and so nice to show us all around Paris. We were only there for a short time but we saw so many things. My favorite thing to do in Paris is to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night. It may sound clichÃ© but Paris is a gorgeous city and the view is breathtaking. Before leaving, Aurelia and I were able to have dinner with Clementine and Gaelle. It was an excellent Bordeaux-Louisville reunion and I felt so blessed to be able to maintain international friendships. I have so far found my exchange experience greatly rewarding- itâ€™s more than I could ever ask for!
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Traveling in Germany is an experience in itselfâ€¦Â As one of the students who had the most trouble following the train schedules I discovered the easiest way find the trains and departure times.Â Realizing who important this is for future students I will share my secrets with you.Â The easiest way to find trains and departing times is to use the internet.Â If you go to the website www.bahn.de you will be able to access the schedules.Â There is a drop down link at the top of the webpage where you can select the language of the page.Â Once you have changed to English, or any other language you like, all you have to do is enter the departing station or town and the destination.Â Be sure to remember that they will use military time when telling you the departure and arrival times for the trains.Â Also be sure to check what gate the train is departing from so you wonâ€™t miss it.Â Â Now I realize that things happen and train schedules change, most of the time they will announce those changes over the intercom at the station (in German).Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â If you donâ€™t have access to the internet there are red ticket machines at the main train stations with a touch screen that you can use to access schedules.Â All you have to do is touch the British flag on the screen to change the language to English.Â Then I think you select Ticket Reservations, after that you just follow the directions on the screen until it gives you a list of trains that will stop at your desired destination.Â Once you have this list you can print out the selected schedule for your journey.Â However; be careful when selecting your trip to check and see if there are any stops that you have to switch trains.Â If you do not pay attention to this you could miss your connecting train and have a lot more trouble getting to your destination.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Last but not least the most basic way of finding trains, but in my opinion the most confusing, is to look at the paper schedule that is posted on the wall at the train station.Â Be sure to know the difference between arrivals and departures, because there are two different schedules posted.Â I hope that all of this information will be helpful when you are planning your trips.