Archives for May 2013

Italy And Greece Anyone?

Gondola In Venice, Italy This weekend the whole group is going to Venice, Italy, Milan, Italy, and Santorini, Greece for 8 days! Since we arrived in Antwerp almost 2 weeks ago it has been rainy and really cold everyday, so to say I am excited about warm weather, sunny skies, and sandy beaches is an understatement!

I cannot wait to ride a gondola in Venice, visit a vineyard in Milan, and lay on the beach in Santorini! I am also extremely excited about finally getting a little bit of a tan. A few friends and I are going to Croatia for our next free weekend, so it will be nice to get a little color on my pale skin before that!

I am also so excited about this trip because of my Italian roots.  My mom’s side of the family Santorini, Greece has a lot of Italian in it, so I think it will be really cool to go to the place where so much of my family is from.  Italy has always been my ideal vacation, and a place I only dreamed that I would actually go, but I am so excited that it is actually becoming a reality so soon!

Stay tuned for more details about what will probably be the best week of my life!

XOXO, Kristen

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Bienvenue à Paris: Free Weekend #1

Eiffel Tower - Paris, France On our first free weekend, three of my good friends and I went to Paris! At the top of my list of places that I wanted to go, Paris did not fall short of any expectations I had – we had an amazing time!  While the people were not really the nicest (they did not like us at all!), my friends and I did not let that stand in the way of our fun, and we still had the time of our lives! Here are some of the highlights of our weekend…

Day 1:

The first full day that we were in Paris, we went went to the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.  Both of these were things that I really really wanted to do while I was there, and both of them were amazing! We did not have the greatest weather while we were there (or really we have’t had the greatest weather at all while in Europe…), but when we were at the Eiffel Tower the weather was gorgeous, and the clouds started to move in while we were at the Arc, but it was still great weather for pictures!

Notre Dame in Paris, France- Hunchback of Notre Dame  Day 2:

The second day we were in Paris we went to the Louvre (where the Mona Lisa is…) and Notre Dame.  While we were going to these places we got a little side-tracked and did some shopping and also got a crepe! It was so good!We also saw the famous lock bridge on Sunday – so romantic! That day we definitely got hit with the bad weather.. it wasn’t raining when we woke up and got our day started, but then while we were out and about, it
started to pour!

The Famous Lock Bridge - Paris, France Day 3:

On the third, and last, day of our amazing weekend in Paris, we went to a huge indoor mall and just did some shopping because #1 it is the fashion capital of the world and #2 it was pouring
down rain all day long!  The mall that we went to was absolutely amazing!  They had everything you can possibly imagine… from Zara, H&M, MAC, and Michael Kors to little French boutiques that you would not find anywhere else, it was like my own little paradise.

Unfortunately, on top of all of our fantastic shopping, we also had to leave on Monday – but, as seems to be the theme of this trip so far, Louvre - Paris, France we couldn’t do that without having obstacles to overcome!  After a bunch of drama and stress over our train ticket to Brussels and the transfer from Brussels to Antwerp, we finally got a new ticket and were able to make it back to Antwerp in time to go out with everyone else in the program!

 

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Welkom Bij Antwerpen!

My Experiences Over The Frist Few Days In Antwerp, Belgium!

A Typical Street in Antwerp, Belgium We arrived in Antwerp about a week or so ago (after a few delays and problems with the engine!).  The day that we got here, we got to the Monty (the apartment/dorm building we’re staying in) and then we got our room keys and all of our sheets/bedding/towels and stuff, along with our cell phones (from like 1900..) and then we went up to our rooms to unpack and get settled in! That night, we went to dinner as a group and then we all went out together!

The first few days was basically just focused around getting used to the city (and country), and adjusting to the time difference!But after we were all adjusted, we got down to business and started having real classes and doing things as a group! A Famous Fry Place In Antwer

 

One day we went on a tour of Brussels and I learned so much about the city and Belgium as a
whole! I didn’t know that french fries were called “french fries” because American soldiers were in Brussels during WWI and had fries, but they thought they were in France so they called them “french fries”! (I did know that they were from Belgium though, because my grandpa told me when I was a lot younger – I can thank him for a lot of the trivia knowledge that I have!)

Belgian Chocolate Belgium is also known for its world famous chocolate! Being a chocoholic myself, naturally I was super excited when I found this out! My roommate and I tried chocolate and one place that we thought would be one of the best places.. we paid 5 euros for a tiny box of chocolates to share! It was good.. but it was not anything that I hadn’t ever had before or that I felt like I couldn’t get in the US, but I know that I will be trying more over my 6 week stay and I am almost positive (and really hopeful!) that some of it will be absolutely amazing!

Our Tiny Box Of Belgian Chocolate!

Then over our first weekend, three friends and I went to Paris for the weekend! Stay posted for more about my amazing weekend in Paris, France!

XOXO, Kristen

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Who Is Ready For Summer!?

Summertime Is Upon Us… Do You Have Anything Fun Planned?

University of Antwerp - Antwerp, Belgium Round 1:  Study Abroad – Trip To Belgium

For the first six weeks of the summer, I am studying abroad in Antwerp, Belgium at the University of Antwerp!  I am leaving this Saturday, May 11, and I will be back in the United States on Saturday, June 22!

While I am there, I am taking two classes – Global Marketing and Special Topics in International Logistics.  Both classes will be taught by professors from JMU who are traveling to Belgium with us, and both classes will be integrated and really tied together a lot!  In class, we will be assigned a group and we will be responsible for creating a business plan to bring an American product that is not currently available over seas, to Europe and then market it appropriately.

University of Antwerp - Antwerp, Belgium In addition to class and our school work, we will also be taking trips to Italy and Greece as a group, and then we will have two free weekends where we are free to travel wherever we choose!I am not positive yet where I am going to go for my two weekends, but my roommate and I are talking about Paris and Barcelona for one of them!

To say I am excited about my trip would be the understatement of the century!  I am absolutely ecstatic and extremely nervous all at the same time!  I cannot wait to experience life in Europe (I have never been to Europe before!) and get to travel throughout!  However, while I am super excited about the adventures that lie ahead, in the next two days I may not be feeling too happy… I have a TON of packing and shopping to do in order to get ready for my venture across the Atlantic!

Round 2:  Internship – New York City

After my six weeks abroad that I am spending in Belgium, I will be home for a little more than a week (June 22-July 1), and then I am headed to the most amazing city in the world, New York City!  I am going to the city for an internship in the fashion industry (yup, I did it!!).  After writing about a billion cover letters and almost ten interviews, I ended up getting four job offers (I know, I was shocked too!) and I ended up accepting two of them.

Company Agenda - Fashion PR Firm Internship #1:  Company Agenda

One of my internships is what you think of when you imagine an internship.. show up 2-3 days a week and do anything and everything you are asked to do.  I will be working for a PR firm in the fashion industry called Company Agenda, and is located in SoHo in New York City!  I have never done anything in PR and don’t have a ton of knowledge on the subject, but that is why I am so excited about this opportunity.  It is going to be an amazing opportunity to learn what I do/do not like and then go from there when I look for a real job after graduation!  My whole life I have dreamed of living in the city and working in fashion, and now it is finally happening!

I am extremely excited and anxious about starting my work with Company Agenda on July 2nd. But, I’m a little nervous since I have no where to live yet and I’m leaving the country in two days!! But I know everything will work out and I am so excited to see how it happens. (My parents are going to the city while I’m gone to find me a home away from home for the summer!)

Just SVARA - Online Retailer, Social Media Intern Internship #2:  Just SVARA

My second internship is with a start-up online retailer called Just SVARA, and is a virtual internship.  I will be working as a social media intern, and all my work will be done remotely. We will have weekly meetings either on the phone or on skype, and that is where the other interns and I will receive our assignments, present the work we have done, and pitch ideas that we think will be successful.  I am super excited about this, I already know that I love social media marketing and I am so eager to get started and see where it takes me!

While I am abroad, I am actually going to be acting as the European Correspondent, where I will simply email them once a week with pictures of things that I have done/places that I have been along with a few sentences about what the picture is!

As you can see, I have a super exciting, busy, and crazy summer ahead of me!  While I am going to be exhausted by the time September comes and it is time to go back to school, I could not be more excited to watch my dreams unfold!

XOXO Kristen

P.S. Stay posted for more about Belgium and my Internships!  I am leaving Saturday, so while I am away posts may be more spread out.  But stay tuned – they will definitely be here eventually! :)

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