The GoGlobal Blog

Month: January 2014

Primer Post!

Primer Post!

Hola! My name is Tom and this is my first blog post from Santiago, Chile. If you want to know a little bit about myself, go ahead and read my short bio. I’ll try and recap my last two weeks here, be prepared though because there’s a lot of stuff.

First flew in to Santiago on Friday, January 10. My first full out exposure to Spanish included my luggage not arriving at the airport and having to describe my bags to an employee hahaha. Fortunately, my host mom is super nice and she called the airline company every day until my luggage arrived on that Sunday. I live in a house in Las Condes with her and my host sister Carolina, who is studying to pass her law test to become a lawyer. They are both very engaging and supportive, I feel very comfortable at home. I also have a brother here, but he lives in a different house with his girlfriend and daughter Rosilo, who is three years old and so cute!

Basically I commute from my house during the week to downtown (or El Centro) Santiago where I’m taking a Spanish class at Universidad Alberto Hurtado. It takes me about 50 minutes to get there after taking a bus and the metro, which is extremely fast compared to the L in Chicago. My Spanish is pretty good – I had a lot of exposure and practice before coming here – so the class is easy to me. That leaves me plenty of time to explore Santiago after class in the afternoon. So far I have seen La Moneda (Chile’s White House), La Catedral (the Cathedral), Cerro Santa Lucia and Cerro San Cristobal (two mountains you can climb and see the whole city), the biggest mall in Latin America, and many other places!

Of all of those places, I think Cerro San Cristobal was my favorite. It is this mini mountain that you can either walk up or take an elevator-like machine. My friend and I took the machine up and then walked down the mountain on this awesome, dirt bike path through the woods. At the top of the mountain, you can see all of Santiago! The city is very flat, except for Tobalaba, where the skyscrapers are. Besides that neighborhood the city does not have many large buildings like cities in the U.S. Due to this, the city just keeps going and going and going. It takes up a lot more space because there are not many skyscrapers, thus most people live in houses or small apartment buildings.

To summarize, it has been a great first two weeks and God blessed me incredibly. I’m starting to meet some Chileans, understand the culture, and communicate effectively. More to tell later, let me know if you have any questions! Hasta luego!

P.S. I’m having some trouble uploading pictures but as soon as I figure it out I’ll post them.

Naples, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii

Naples, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii

One thing I learned over this weekend was that Loyola will NOT let you starve. All of that walking too and from the Zone was pretty much all for naught. Literally, I don’t think there was one point during our entire stay this weekend that I was hungry.

So yes, Loyola does Wine and Dine you before raising your tuition.

We were taken to see temples and shrines and mountains. The place I want to talk about most though was the Amalfi Coast. Here’s a picture just so you can see why I am dying to talk about it.

View from my wonderful hotel room

So we were taken to this gorgeous hotel on the seaside and I fell in love.

That night we ventured down the mountain to a little town where the nightlife wasn’t too shabby. We wandered, just as college students do, and we found this amazing little hole in the wall. We all piled in there. It was like a Moroccan themed getaway. Instead of chairs, pillows were piled along the walls and mirrors surrounded us.

It was perfect since Loyola took over the place and it was fun to simply hang out with our friends in a close way. We literally sat crossed legged around tables. Talk about taking in the culture…

The next day we visited a buffalo farm which was probably the best thing ever. The buffalo were allowed to do whatever they wanted and they had little massage machines for them. They also got to listen to Mozart all day and they decided when they wanted to be milked. They were some pretty bourgie buffalo.

Our last day there we got to visit a winery next to Mount Vesuvius, where Leo and Bradley Cooper visited. I tasted some of the best red wine I’ve ever had and then we headed down to Pompeii. We ate at a restaurant near Pompeii and then headed home.

Before heading home though, I ran off with a few friends and we explored Pompeii a little more. I mean, we ate in Pompeii so why could we not see it?? We got to see some amazing sights and really see the damage caused by Mount Vesuvius. It was truly an experience.

Pompeii ruins

Loyola, kudos. You did well


First Impressions…

First Impressions…

First impressions are the most important, or so they say, and Rabat definitely makes a great one. After taking a hard nap on the plane from Paris to Rabat, accompanied by over 15 other students from my program, we landed in the Rabat-Sale airport. From there, we were greeted by our program directors and we took a bus through the city to the hotel where we will stay for 5 nights until Friday (when we meet our host family). The sun was shining and the sky was cloudless as we drove through the three different parts of the city: the post-colonial area or ville nouvelle; the colonial, French created area, and the ancient medina which dates back to the 15-16th centuries and is where we will be staying for the duration of the program. After a quick nap and some introductions, we dined at a restaurant just outside the medina. The food is comprised mostly of fresh fruits, steamed vegetables, round bread, and hearty soups and stews. We had a sort of Moroccan chicken gumbo as well as steamed green beans, carrots, and potatoes followed by oranges and bananas for dessert. Our program will be hosted at the Center for Cross Cultural Learning (CCCL) which is housed in a GORGEOUS building nestled deep in the alleyways of the medina. It has many large rooms around an open courtyard, a huge skylight, and a rooftop patio which gives a panoramic view of the city as well as Rabat’s sister city Sale–just across the Bourgreg river. There’s also a great view of the Atlantic Ocean and some of the city’s surfing beaches.


My absolute favorite part of my first day in Rabat was the drive from the airport to the hotel. Morocco definitely differs from my initial expectations. It is green and there are lots of trees, there are so many parks and families were everywhere, picnicking on the beautiful Sunday morning. Palm trees and orange groves give the area a feeling of Palm Springs, streets signs read French and Arabic, and new construction surrounds the entire city. There is a lot of new infrastructure, such as roads and parks and schools, as well as residences being built. It’s interesting to see the city is growing and changing as I’m discovering it for the first time. It smells like Europe, looks like the Arab world, feels like Palm Springs, and sounds in some places like France. I think it’s going to be easy to call this place home for four months.


Arabic lesson: the center of the city
markaz al-madinat

I eat a lot of bread and fruits and vegetables
Ana akl al-khubz wa al-fawakih wa al-khaDrawaat al-kathiir

The Beginning of a Grand Adventure

The Beginning of a Grand Adventure

I arrived Santiago just over two weeks ago, and let me tell you, I love it! I’ve spent the last two weeks getting used to the different culture and getting to know this beautiful city. I live with a wonderful family that has eight children, but only two live at home. Of the other six, one works in the south as a doctor, three of them are married, one is a nun, and one is a Jesuit. It’s quite the family! Every Sunday for lunch, family members come over. It’s really interesting because in the United States I have a small family. Here, although they don’t all live at home, I have a huge family. If a family member isn’t at Sunday lunch, I am always updated on how they are doing. I already feel like I am in their family!

Every day Monday through Friday, I have had a Spanish immersion course at Alberto Hurtado. It is the middle of summer right now so there aren’t too many people around campus. It usually takes me 30-40 minutes to get to the University. I live about three blocks around from the Metro, from there I take two different trains to get there.

I have really enjoyed seeing and exploring the many neighborhoods of Santiago so far. I am really excited to explore and travel more!

36 hours to go…

36 hours to go…

Marhaba! My name is Elizabeth, and I will be studying abroad in Rabat, Morocco for the spring. I’m so excited to be sharing my experiences on this blog, and I hope you’ll continue to check in with me while I learn about Human Rights and Multiculturalism.

First, a little about me. I’m a junior from Eureka, MO studying international studies and Arabic here at Loyola. I absolutely love learning, traveling, laughing, eating, and meeting new people–and I plan to do all of these things while in Africa!

I also want this blog to be a learning experience for you as well! So I’ll try to include some Arabic phrases that may be useful to you in the future. I started off this post with marhaba which is a standard greeting in Arabic. Salaam means peace, and is used in many different ways in everyday conversations.

Well, I have to go pack now–only 36 hours to go!


The Eternal City

The Eternal City

Ciao tutti!
Well, it has been one hectic first week here in the Eternal City. But a good hectic. After landing last week Wednesday and getting through initial registration on campus, we were free to jump right into making Rome our home away from home.

Despite the fact that most people go out and make their very first night in Rome memorable, I hope to always remember the second night. That was the night my full-year friend (who has a whole semester on me in terms of knowing how to get around the city) showed me as much as he could in one night. Mind you, I didn’t go inside or spend too much time in one place, so I WILL be revisiting them, but here’s some of what I saw: a panoramic view of the city from the top of a tall hill, the Vatican wall and St. Peter’s Square, the Castel Sant’Angelo, the Parthenon, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. We saw many more things passing by and walking around and we also stopped and I had my very first gelato!

Over the weekend we had an orientation trip that took us to the wonderful village of Nemi, located in the Alban Hills. It’s situated over a volcanic crater lake called Lake Nemi. This town was beautiful with narrow roads leading up, up, and around as they twisted to different doorsteps and shops. It was the most adorable cliff-side town I’ve ever seen. We also visited the Colosseum and the Imperial grounds/Roman Forum. The ruins were like nothing I have ever seen before. Now, I’ve never been one for history class…but this was history like I’ve never experienced before. Imagine standing in or on a monument that has been standing for thousands (THOUSANDS) of years. Impossible right? The feeling is absolutely unreal and completely awe-inspiring. And that feeling happens all over Rome. They don’t call it the Eternal City for nothing!!

Classes started yesterday, which brought about some much needed routine after the beautiful chaos that was the first few days. This weekend we head down to the south of Italy to explore the Campania region.

Ciao for now!

P.s. check out some of my photos from the first week and a half!






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A Little Bump in the Road

A Little Bump in the Road


I have officially been in Madrid, Spain for over a week now, yet I feel like this has been my home for months. Unfortunately, I left my purse in a taxi on day 2. Of course, my passport, phone, and wallet were in the purse. It has been quite the process getting everything replaced. Study abroad lesson of the day: always double check that you have everything! Other than that unfortunate incident, Madrid has been awesome! The people, language and way of life are refreshing!

A little about me…  I am sophomore at Loyola and absolutely love it there. It was hard for me to imaging leaving for a semester, but I could not pass up the opportunity to study abroad. I am majoring in Advertising and Public Relations and hope to complete my Spanish minor while in Spain. Deciding where to study abroad was a fairly easy process for me. I knew that I wanted to study in a Spanish speaking country. I decided on Spain due to the accessibility to other countries. I finally decided upon Madrid because it is the largest city in Spain. I chose to go to school at Loyola because I love urban environments, so Madrid was a natural transition.

I have been very happy with USAC, the program I am studying abroad through. The staff picked me up at the airport and brought me to the orientation hotel. The first few days were set aside for group orientations. Everything was very organized and continues to be. USAC organized a group walking tour for the second day to help familiarize us with Madrid. It helped me become confident traveling around Madrid on my own.

I hope my posts will be of some use!

¡Hasta luego!

A Time of Arrival

A Time of Arrival

17/1/2014 7:20am (Chicago Time 12:20am): 

I’m here. The promised land is upon me. All these months of paperwork, emails, packing, and research have finally culminated in my arrival to Amsterdam. The airport is just like any other airport when you look at it. You really don’t realize the difference until you sit down for some coffee and hear the difference. Language is invading my senses. It’s different, it’s all around, and I have absolutely no idea what it all means. I’m like a kid in a candy store who can’t read any of the labels. I make my way past customs, which seemed a lot more intimidating a process when my parents warned me of it, and collect my baggage. Amsterdam isn’t my final stop though. I head to the train station and spend my first euros on a one-way ticket to Den Haag Centraal station. There lies my new home, The Hague University of Applied Sciences. I feel like some sort of attraction as I board my train with all my bags. For a moment I see everyone look up at me as I drop my bag in the aisle, staring in intrigue, like some circus animal just got on and they don’t quite know how to handle it. A kind local suggests a place to stow my cargo in a hushed voice. I thank him and quietly take my seat across from him on the train. All is quiet. You’d think it was empty on that train, you could hear a pin drop.

9:45am (Chicago Time 2:4oam):

That’s the first thing I notice about the Netherlands. It’s quiet. The train is quiet, the countryside flying past us is quiet, it has an aura of peace to it. The kind stranger bids me a good stay and departs the train ahead of me. That’s another thing you’ll notice. People here either are friendly or stoic. I can’t even count the number of people who greeted me in Dutch my first day here. At least I think it was welcoming. It’s a tough language to pick up on, I usually just nod and smile.

I spend the next three hours wandering. This includes the wandering to my hostel. I think I may have illegally boarded one of the trams here, but luckily no one said anything. I get to the area where my hostel is supposed to be, but I can’t for the life of me find it. I walk in circles a few times while traveling bicyclists stare at me before I finally see the hostel’s name “StayOkay” across a tributary. I can’t check into my room until that afternoon I’m told. Sleep, I need sleep. I stow my luggage in a little room they have and do the only thing I can. I wander. I walk a few miles down one street, take a left and walk a few more. It’s not easy to get lost I feel, the street layouts are like smaller Chicago streets, but somehow more traffic. Yet somehow the city remains quiet. No sirens, no talking, no honking. A silent stroll through a foreign country. This is what all the romantics dream about right? My feet would beg to differ though, all this walking is hell.

Good morning Mr. Hague, how are you? Oh I’m just fine, my feet might beg to differ though.



4:30pm (Chicago Time 9:30am):

One of my roommates just arrived at the hostel. Her name is Emily. We sit down in the lobby and get to know each other, trading stories from home, and sharing our marvel of this strange land. She proposes we nap for a few hours and then meet back up to go explore. I’m unable to protest, and my legs drift me off to my bed.

When we rise, we meet up with a girl named Laurence that Emily met. Laurence is from Quebec. She speaks with a rough French accent, but is one of the nicest people I’ve met. We head to The Hague and meet up with the International Student Office. We enter the office and realize that The Hague has the best International welcome program ever. I’m handed a beer and told congratulations on making it to the promised land as I gaze around in awe at the gathering of students from all over the world. I students from France, S. Korea, Germany, and even some from Wisconsin. We soon leave the welcome party and are led to a magical place called Club 7, where one of the student ambassadors works. It really is a magical place, I mean honestly it is so much better than any American bar you might visit. People are smoking cigarettes inside, the DJ’s on each separate floor are playing fantastic House music, and everyone is very friendly. Not to mention the house beer is Heineken. I mean, come on, Heineken? You only see young businessmen and wannabe young businessmen drinking that back in the States. Everyone looks at me like a loony when I say we mainly drink Busch at the bars in the States. It’s just that kind of place I guess. You have to pay for the bathrooms here. It’s 0.50 euros per trip to the royal throne, which is strange, but it makes sense in a way I suppose.

It’s an interesting place, this Netherlands. Only my first day here and already I can feel a looming sense of discovery ahead of me. Which reminds me, I need to learn the Dutch word for “hello”, I really feel like a rude American just smiling and nodding all the time.

Trip photos

Trip photos

What a trip!  I’ve been back for a week now, and it already feels like a dream.  But the people that we met and things we learned about human rights issues and the refugee situation will not be forgotten.  Here is a link to my photos:

These are mainly from the sightseeing aspect of the trip, as it would have been rude and intrusive to take pictures inside the many centers we visited, and I was too busy taking notes during the meetings, presentations and lectures to take photos!  Plus, they would have been rather boring anyway.

Thank you for reading!



I could do a clichè post about how beautiful Italy is so far, or how excited I am to start my semester abroad here. But I’m sure you already know this. I’m going to give you an honest opinion on my first few hours here at the JFRC (later in the night finding out people here have coined it “J-FORCE.”)

I walked into my new campus lugging two suitcases after spending a whopping 80€ on a cab (WELCOME TO EUROPE WHERE THE DOLLAR IS WORTHLESS). Then after registering I, and 5 other friends, dragged our bags approximately 1 kilometer to The Zone Hotel, which is where I decided to live this semester. After turning a 20 minute walk into a 40-45 minute long struggle of avoiding pot holes and dog droppings (which we quickly learned Italians do not use doggy bags…) and helping my fellow “Zoners” with their luggage, we arrived.

Now this, you could say, isn’t the most inviting way to experience my new life. But I beg to differ.

When told in depth, it’s actually quite pathetic how hard we made the moving in process, but it also makes a memorable story.

That same night when the rest of my friends arrived we took to the streets of Rome and had an interesting experience. Making our way to Campo de Fiori, which is the “American hangout,” we got to see the Pantheon and other buildings that looked really historically important and awesome.

We make it to The Abbey, which you could easily say is the italian version of P’Cos. YAY!

When we walked in, everyone from Loyola was there. As a recommendation to other students who may or may not read this, and are considering studying abroad here in Rome, The Abbey is comforting because of your fellow J-Force students around you, but you cannot experience “real” Italians here. Most of the guys who hang around the American pubs are total creeps.

So we bar hopped a little, stopped to get a pizzette from our new favorite version of Star Grill, then grabbed a taxi and headed back to our little home on the hill.

So welcome to Italy Britanny!

So far, the Italian men are creepy; if you ever get lost, just keep walking uphill and you’ll eventually find your home; and get ready to get some gladiator legs from walking 20 minutes UPHILL everyday!

But hey, its just the first day!


First Night: Pantheon
Best friends taking over Rome (clichè, I’m aware)