8 Tips For My Friends Abroad

8 Tips For My Friends Abroad

Survival guide for study abroad population and us at home
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As winter break comes to an end, the reality that a majority of juniors in University will be embarking on a four-month journey that is abroad. Whether you are trekking your way to Australia, exploring the magnificent city of Florence or staying in the domestic but equally as distant Los Angeles, one thing is for certain: you will be missed. Here are some tips on the months of travel upon you and some things we will miss about our girls taking off.

1. Be aware of your surroundings

In any foreign place, self-awareness is key to solemn travels wherever the destination may be. Pickpocketers and creeps are in abundance in any major city of any land. Stay focused on your surroundings, but don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself and let your guard down to new cultures and possibilities.

2. Planning is essential

Always have a rough itinerary of what you want to do and where you want to go. Organization is certainly not overrated and in many instances can save you when you least expect it. Have fun with your planning, it will ensure that whatever you want to see and do will be seen and done.


3. Take advantage of your independence

Most people aren’t granted the opportunity and adventure that is study abroad. Seize this moment and allow yourself to stray from what is common. Normalcy should be suppressed and exploration should be embraced. Elevate your language, culture, and soul by opening your heart to a new place. I promise you won’t regret it.

4. We envy you

Everyone you left home will wish they could trade their soul with you. Seeing all the adventures you take will make us want to burn our eyes out as it is. Don’t worry though, don’t stop the party on account of us.

5. Call your parents

Your parents are excited you have this opportunity but probably also won’t sleep until the moment you return. Give them a courtesy call once in a while, just to assure you are indeed still alive.

6. Take advantage of the legal age

Capitalize on the fact that majority of foreign countries have a drinking age of 18. Instead of sneaking into bars and accepting the risk of incarceration every time you sip a beer here in the states, please sip your beer slowly, then take a sip again for all of us here. (Sorry for my LA girls).

7. Accept the fact that WIFI is limited

Consider this a four-month detox from obsessive social media and iPhone use. Your parents will be thrilled by the lack of data used and will fully take advantage of the excess. The fact is, 4G and LTE are not available at every nook and cranny of London, Madrid or any other country. Suck it up, and use the energy you would have spent staring at your phone to strain your head to take a look around. Who knows, you might even run into something fun.

8. Don’t forget about us

Some of the people who love you most will be back at school waiting for your arrival. Don’t forget we are here and that we miss you. It’s going to be strange to not have our older girls by our side, but we will manage and you will thrive and soon enough we will all be reunited just as the universe intends.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Ten Reasons Why Old Orchard Will Always Be My Favorite Beach

My home away from home.
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Everyone has a favorite vacation spot that will always hold a special place in your heart. Here is why Old Orchard Beach, is, and always will be, my favorite beach.

1. The Pier

A trip is never complete to Old Orchard without visiting “The Pier.” With endless possibilities for the day and night time, The Pier is home to numerous shops, five restaurants, live music, and a night club for those 21 and older. Oh, and did I mention it also has the best view of the ocean?


2. Pier Fries

I'll admit I'm not a huge fan of French fries, call me un-American, but I absolutely love pier fries. In business for over 80 years, Pier Fries is known for their fresh, never frozen, fries cut from premium potatoes daily. You can also choose to eat them with ketchup, vinegar, or nacho cheese, don't knock it until you try it, and trust me you need to try it.


3. Palace Playland

Holding the title of New England's ONLY Beachfront Amusement Park, Palace Playland is the reason why as a kid, I thought every beach was supposed to come with an Amusement Park. Palace Playland offers kiddie rides, family rides, and for those feeling more adventurous, coaster and thrill rides. If you’re feeling daring enough and seeking adrenaline, ride the Power Surge, but don’t say I didn’t warn you… Feeling like relaxing but still want a beautiful view? The Electra Wheel, aka, Ferris Wheel, will be more up your alley, with a beautiful view of the entire park and beach.


4. The Beach Itself

I would be remiss to write an article about why I love my favorite beach without mentioning the beach itself. With the sand and ocean stretching out for seven miles, unlike many beaches, no matter how crowded it gets, you can always walk and find a more secluded spot to relax at. Towards the middle of the seven mile stretch, you will find The Pier, a great place to see the waves better and take pictures, a tradition my family does every year.


5. Dickinson’s Candy

If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, Dickinson’s candy is the place for you! With two stores located at Old Orchard beach, (one right outside the pier and one past the train tracks up the street) Dickinson’s offers a tremendous variety of sweets including; salt water toffee, fudge, chocolate truffles, candy, and even specialty ice-cream. Dickinson’s Candy truly has it all and it all tastes delicious! Not only will you find some of the best, most unique sweets in Old Orchard, but you will also be greeted by various friendly members of their staff.


And if you’re feeling adventurous, take the Bean Boozled challenge for free! Spin the wheel to determine your fate and what color jelly bean you choose. Mine was either licorice or skunk spray…unfortunately I got the latter.


6. Fireworks

I’ll admit, I’m a huge fan of fireworks, but there is something about watching them on the beach that truly enhances the experience. Every Thursday at 9:45 pm, a beautiful fireworks display takes place right by The Pier and Palace Playland, automatically giving anyone sitting on the beach a great view. Fireworks started on June 30th and continue until August 25th, so there is plenty of time to drive up and enjoy this amazing spectacle.


7. The Arcade

This huge arcade stretches across Palace Playland and holds the title of being one of the largest in New England. With over two hundred games and attractions, the arcade’s games range from classic such as skeeball and pinball, to more up to date, like crane games with plushies from the new movie The Secret Life of Pets, and a giant Connect Four. With so many attractions, this place makes it easy to spend a few hours, and dollars trying to win the perfect prize, like my rainbow giraffe that I totally won on my own! With some help from my boyfriend….okay, actually he just won it for me, but it’s still adorable.


8. Everything Is A Walk Away

As large as Old Orchard may seem with everything it has to offer, it is all conveniently located in the same area, providing easy access. The Pier, Pier Fries, Palace Playland, The Arcade, Dickinson’s Candy, and parts of the beach itself are all extremely close by and you will be sure to find something that catches your eye while on your way to your next destination.


9. Unique Wall Art

A hidden gem at Old Orchard Beach is the impressive wall art right across the train tracks. This wall art changes a bit every year and always brings something new and unique to Old Orchard. This year, a bright and vibrant Dory was added next to Marlin from Finding Nemo and now Finding Dory. You can also find 8- bit art of Mario in a frog suit from Super Mario 3, and various sea creatures. Whales, crabs, squids, even Spongebob and Patrick! You can find them all on this amazing wall of artwork!


10. It's My Home Away From Home

My address I live at may not be in Maine, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t feel like I’m home when I’m there. Since I was born it has been a tradition among my family to go up to Old Orchard Beach and enjoy all that this amazing beach has to offer. I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter if I stay for as long as a week or as short as a single day, whenever I leave, I feel like I’m leaving home and start counting down the days until I can return the following summer.



Cover Image Credit: Angela Renzi

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6 historic locations to visit in boston

Unless you slept your way through American History your entire life, I'm sure you have heard about Paul Revere's Midnight Ride.

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Back in 2014, I had the chance to visit the beautiful city of Boston. Prior to my trip, I had not really given much thought to all of the historical events that took place in the city, but all it took was a little walking around and exploring to pique my interest. I was only there for a week, and I know there are many interesting places in Boston that have a rich history. Here are six of the places I found to be the most interesting.

1. The Boston Harbor

Boston HarborDockwa

We all know of the Boston Harbor because of the Boston Tea Party, a major event in the American Revolution. Not only is it a place rich with history, but it is beautiful. There are many things you to do in the area, and it is definitely worth a visit. If you find yourself in Boston you should definitely make some time to take a walk down by the harbor.


2. The Freedom Trail

Freedom Trail marker

Unless you slept your way through American History your entire life, I'm sure you have heard about Paul Revere's Midnight Ride. This famous route throughout Boston is known as the Freedom Trail and you can actually follow it around the city. This was one of my favorite things because I think it's pretty awesome to see the route Revere took to notify the residents that the British were on the way. It's marked by red brick and passes by many other historic locations.


3. The Old State House

Old State House

The Old State House is a great place to see on your visit to Boston. If you follow the Freedom Trail, you will find yourself at this building along the way. This is one of the oldest public buildings in America and it was the site of the infamous Boston Massacre.


4. Old North Church

Old North Church

This is another Boston location tied to Paul Revere and the Freedom Trail. The Old North Church is the place where the lanterns were hung to notify soldiers in Charlestown how the British military was approaching. This is where we get the quote, "One if by land, and two if by sea." The church is open throughout the day so you can take little tours of it and see the booths where church members would sit during services.


5. Granary Burying Ground

Granary Burying Ground

Some of you might be confused as to why I added a cemetery to the list, but it isn't without reason. As you can tell from the picture above, this cemetery is old. Like - very old. It was founded in the 1600s and it is the final resting place of many prominent figures in American history such as John Hancock, Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. As I'm sure you can guess, this location is also one of the sites found along the Freedom Trail.


6. Boston Common

Boston Common upload.wikimedia.org

Last but certainly not least on the list of places to visit in Boston is none other than Boston Common. It is a public park in downtown Boston and it's also the oldest city park in the America. It's a gorgeous place to walk around and even have lunch on the lawn.

Cover Image Credit:

upload.wikimedia.org

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