Thursday, February 16, 2017


I have quite a few goals that I want to share with everyone and maybe some of them are the same.

First off, I am a Spanish major and I am going to study abroad in Puerto Rico for my semester abroad. One of the biggest goals that I have is to become fully fluent in the Spanish language. I have always said that I wanted to become fluent in Spanish before I graduated college. Therefore, I will be fulfilling a life goal and a study abroad goal with that.

Another goal that I would like to achieve is to do well in all of my classes. Since I will be studying in a different language, I know that my classes will be tough for a little while until I get fully comfortable with speaking in another language all the time. This is definitely my biggest goal.

I want to be a great student while I am there, but I also want to be a tourist. I want to see all that I am able while I am there. Whether that be the capital city, mountains, beaches, etc. One thing that I think would be really cool while I am there is to go to another country in the Caribbean.

I think that another big goal of mine would to become fully immersed into the Puerto Rican culture. This might be a tough goal at first because it will be different than what I am used to being in. I want to try a lot of new things while I am there such as foods, friends, families, and pretty much just do whatever they do on a daily basis. I think this will be a very cool experience and I am very excited to go to Puerto Rico for the fall semester.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Italy Aspirations!!!
             Woah nelly, do I have a million plans. To outline the big picture, my study abroad experience will finalize my degree. Since my return home means "Hello giant, scary world that expects me to be an independent adult with insurance and an understanding of taxes!", I am going to milk this international experience for all it's worth. Oh...the food, the people (Italian boys *wink*) , and don't get me started on the incredible art history!
If we're talking feelings, I'm torn between being embarrassed for needing an extra semester to finish while all of my friends are preparing for grad school and feeling pretentious at the fact that I'm essentially complaining when I've been given the opportunity to see the world!
- I plan to make some connections in the art field by presenting my portfolio to galleries, freelance artists, and to potential employers. The ultimate achievement would be to get one of my own pieces into an Italian Modern Art gallery or get commissioned for work! (My resume just weeps thinking about it.)
- Hearing peers gush about their traveling experiences beyond their host institution has convinced me that I have to take advantage of the cheap travel fare within Europe and experience other countries during weekends/breaks.
- I will say yes to more and be involved and learn to adapt in situations outside my comfort zone (cliché, but true) for the pursuit of adventure!! (Ex: Italian clubbing, putting my art out there to big-name galleries, etc. = sounds terrifying and has potential to be dang embarrassing, but I won't nock it 'til I try it!)
- Who doesn't want to make meaningful relationships while abroad? I want to learn and bond with people from all walks of life!
- I'd love to gain a better grasp on independent living and not crack under pressure.
- Before I leave: make bad-to-the-bone art for my portfolio.
  While I'm there: make, visit, and exchange bad-to-the-bone art.
  When I leave: know some bad-to-the-bone artists, and understand the career field better.
I feel like even the most bold, devil-may-care people have to suppress intimidation in foreign territory. (Figuratively and literally speaking.) I was recently made aware by a student, who recently studied at the same University I applied to, that Milan life is similar to New York City. I don't know why it came as such a shock to me, because I've always known it as a metropolis and one of the chief fashion capitals of the world. However, the Italy that I've studied for years in the arts has been classic villas, rolling hills with vineyards, and intricate cathedrals with even more intricate murals. Either way, I am beyond giddy to experience both, but I realized how much we glorify places and people. I just don't want to over-romanticize the experience and be disappointed with unrealistic expectations. I don't know what to expect and need to realize that it's up to me to make it fun. Sheesh, I overthink everything. I hope this is going well. I wasn't sure how formal we had to be in these, but I'm going full blown diary.
Worries: woah nelly again, do I have a million. I worry about finances (abroad or not), making meaningful friendships, navigating, and balancing school with fun. I think the trick to avoid these becoming a reality is to not worry and speak positivity into existence with hard work and enthusiasm. Cheesey.... I know, but I'm banking on that working. 

Argentina: A New Global Opportunity
 Overall, there are many reasons why I would be excited to accept the opportunity to study abroad in Argentina over this Summer. The first main reason for this excitement has to do with the fact of my hopes to receive a Spanish double major. Over my past high school career and my present career in college, I have always pushed towards the hope of being able to receive a major in Spanish in addition to my intended major in history. Despite this excitement, there has always been one main issue that has come up in the hopes of pursuing this goal. This obstacle has always been that it has seemed arduous or even impossible to fit in the necessary classes in the hopes of pursuing this major. For this reason, the opportunity for a Summer Study abroad in regards to Spanish has always interested me, as this would give me the opportunity to be able to pursue my double major by being able to specifically focus in on courses that would further the reaching of this goal.
     I would be lying if I exclusively said that the only reason I am pursuing this study abroad opportunity is to receive my major double major in Spanish. In fact, there is a much larger overarching goal that I have in pursuing this study abroad opportunity. This larger goal is to fully immerse myself in the Spanish language and culture that I have learned about throughout high school and college. Through my advanced level in Spanish, my classes that I hope to take over the Summer, and because of the fact that I will be studying in Buenos Aires, one of the main Spanish cultural centers in the South American world, I believe that this experience will help me gain invaluable knowledge on the subjects of Spanish that I will continue to study in college. Through this experience, I also believe that this will give me extremely practical experience in dealing with the U.S. society in the future, as through the expanding Latino/Latina community in the United States, I believe that this study abroad will help me build a stronger cultural understanding of the United States as a whole.      
     Despite this excitement, though, I still hold significant concerns about this trip. The main reason that I am slightly fearful about this study abroad is because of the fact that I have never flown outside of the country on my own before. Although I have travelled out of the country multiple times with family or friends, the idea of travelling alone outside of the U.S.A has always made me fearful, as the idea of being stuck in a foreign country with little understanding of how to deal with that culture or the people who make that culture has always brought on deep concern. Over the past year, this concern has further deepened, as through the continued deviation of U.S. policies from the opinions of other countries around the world, I fear that this will make it all the more difficult in being able to fit into this foreign culture.
     Through this stark contrast, though, I believe that this will allow me to complete many interactions and activities that will allow me to further my goals. Some of these main goals include:
1. Being able to carry on a conservation about complicated issues between myself and citizens of the country I intend to travel to.   
 Image result for study abroad in Argentina                                                                                                    
I'm going to admit, I'm not the most caught up person in U.S. or world politics. Despite this fact, though, I believe that because of my moderate knowledge of world events in addition to my advanced level of Spanish, I believe that I will be able to carry on slight conversation with locals about general political events in the United States and what their views on these subjects are. Through this, I believe that this will allow me to get a greater understanding about what the view of the U.S. as a whole is for many foreign individuals, and I believe that through, these conversations, I will be able to create a better image of the United States if a positive image was not already evident.

2.Being able to see the effects of global culture in the South American world and being able to see how these countries have developed individual cultures despite the present situation.
Image result for Argentina
Through the past hundreds of years, countries in regions such as South America have constantly been exposed to outside cultures, whether it be from Spanish Colonists in the 15th and 16th centuries or with the striking expansion of globalization brought on by technological advancement in the past decade. Through this study abroad, I believe that I will be able to gain a greater global awareness of how imperialism and technological change has vastly affected the world outside the United States, and I believe that this will allow me to have a more balanced global perspective.                        

3. Being able to experience the local Argentinean cuisine.
Image result for Argentinian cuisine Over the past couple of years, one of my favorite hobbies has always been cooking and experiencing new cuisines. Although I realize that on this study abroad trip I will most likely be unable to fully get involved in the cooking process in Argentina, I believe that this trip will allow me to fully experience the complex culinary culture of a country which I have heard much about but have never fully experienced for myself.

Blog #1: Goals

               There are really two reasons that I’m studying abroad. The first is that I’ve lived in the Knoxville area my entire life, and I haven’t really gotten many chances to travel before. I was dying to go somewhere, and I realized that studying abroad would be the easiest and most rewarding way for me to travel while I’m still in school. From there, I built up my academic plans to fit the resources I would have available at my study abroad site. Originally, those were resources on refugees and climate change in Jordan, but now that a travel warning has been issued for there, and I don’t know where I’ll be going, I can’t say exactly what I’ll be studying. Ideally, it will be a combination of sustainability issues and social issues, culminating in research that will be environmental justice-oriented. If I get into one of the schools I applied to in the Netherlands, I might have the opportunity to incorporate gender into my research, which would go well with my new Gender and Women’s Studies minor, which would be even more exciting.

                I’m nervous to be traveling alone for the first time, but I’m a compulsive planner, so I’m pretty sure I won’t end up, you know, going to the wrong continent or anything. For the most part I’m just really excited, and right now I’m excited-nervous to see where I’ll be placed. But no matter where I end up (all schools are in Northern Europe), I plan to travel while I’m there. There’s no way that I’m going to be in Europe without going to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England (Hogwarts), and I’d love to spend at least a little while in France. I also hope to make friends with people who live in my host country, as well as my fellow exchange students, because I feel like it would be the best way to familiarize myself with the culture, and it’s always nice to have a travel buddy. Lastly, I am going to try to find a faculty member or two that I feel could really help me with my senior thesis topic because having that academic input would be invaluable.


There are so many goals that I think studying abroad is going to help me accomplish. Learning a new language, experiencing a new culture, living away from my family, and seeing my field from a new perspective are just a few of them. But one of the most important and potentially the most difficult goal that I hope to achieve is to learn to relinquish control and step out of my comfort zone enthusiastically and confidently. I do not like the feeling of not having a plan, whether it is school work or vacation that I am facing. And I know that living abroad by myself will be an experience full of uncomfortable situations in which I have no plan. However, this is just as exciting as it is terrifying, and I know that with some practice I will be able to improve my ability to be spontaneous and deal with problems as they come. Apart from being a great skill to have in every day life, I think the ability to creatively solve problems as they arise is essential to my (hopefully) future career as a physician. You cannot possibly prepare for every patient or every situation.

So this fall, while I am learning incredible things and seeing incredible sights, I hope that I also push myself to improvise, jump outside my comfort zone, and figure out how to deal with life when things don't go as planned.

Blog 1: Study Abroad Goals

Studying Abroad could be one of my greatest accomplishments, and will be some much better than just traveling to Japan (or at least that’s what I keep telling myself). I think the chance to study abroad will give me a lot more time and opportunities. My one real goal for studying abroad is to survive my time there and learn as much as I can. While most of my goals seem to be purely academic (and boring), there are many small things I also want to accomplish while I am there.

Major Goals

  • Language: I want to greatly improve my Japanese language skills which are currently not up to par. Because, if I’m being honest, I should readily admit that getting through my classes was a small struggle. While I really enjoy the learning the language, I know that I still have a long way to go.

o   I want to be able to understand the natural speed of native Japanese-speakers
o   Know a majority of the Kanji so I won’t be completely lost
o   Possibly work towards the level required of a language translator

  • Culture: I want to learn more about the society as a whole.

  • Economics: While in Japan, I want to learn more about the Japanese viewpoint and economic practices in order to obtain more information that would benefit my work towards a master’s degree in economics.
  • Professional: I want to learn skills that would help with a future job.

Minor Goals

  • Exploring: There are many things I want to do while in Japan.

o   Visit all of the major cities and temples
o   Go to any national parks or museums that I think would be interesting

  • Random:

o   Buy souvenirs for all of my friends, family, coworkers, etc.
o   Try lots of different foods
o   Join a club/ play an intramural sport
o   Drink tons of coffee
o   Make a few good friends

Blog 1-Goals Aryne Feldman

My main goals of studying abroad are to get a new cultural experience.  I have been to several countries before but I have never personally been to Italy.  I hope to learn the different social norms, try new foods, and meet many people.  I will be hopefully studying business over there, and I also want to see the differences between our economy here verses there.  Even though I have studied before, I am very nervous about going.  I have bought my ticket and have gone alone; however that was for a week and I knew people there.  I am going to a place where I do not know anyone and that makes me nervous.  I also have a fear of the language barrier.  I only know a tiny bit of French, and a little bit of Spanish, which I know probably will not help me out that much.  Three things that I want to do are make a traveling video/blog if you say, meet a lifelong friend, and go to as many landmarks as possible.  The video I want to do, which I enjoy making through Splice (an app for GoPro) every time I travel, would be of all the landmarks I go to, the people I meet, and a variety of things.  I want to make one friend that I will stay in touch with and hopefully see again, and as for the landmarks, there is so much to see in Rome, and I want to make sure I get to see as much as possible.

 Sources: result for rome