“There and back again” Made it back safe and well traveled!

Hey Everyone,

After an amazing Winter break and seeing parts of the UK that I have never seen before, and also finally stepping into Europe for the first time, it’s now time to get back to the books! I’ve been back in Edinburgh since January 12th and I realized why usually people go home for break ha ha. I had an extremely amazing time traveling this Winter, but a forewarning to those of you studying abroad for a year: Make sure you get enough down time to just relax and chill out, because constant traveling (even though fun) can definitely wear you out. And then having to jump right into work and the social arena again can be a rough ride ha ha.

This semester I’m taking three courses: The first is the continuation of my European Theater course. Last semester in that course we had studied many French, German, and Samuel Beckett plays. This semester we’ve done German, Swedish, and Spanish plays with still some Italian, Czech, and German plays to go! My second course this semester is an Ancient Roman class starting with Augustus Caesar and ending with the fall of Rome. I have never gone in so in depth into such a specific topic before so I am thrilled to take this course. My third class is one called, Visualizing Scotland. In this class we study landscape and cultural paintings and photographs and see how they portray the Scottish nation, life, society, and traditions. This is a very Scottish class and something I could only take here so I’m very happy to soak up all the culture and Scottishness I can! But getting back into the groove of things has also given me a chance to see all my friends from Edinburgh Uni again and hang with them all. I’ve gotten a new flat mate from Washington DC named Benjamin who replaced our Singaporean roommate. We all really miss that guy, he was older than the rest of us, being about 23, and was a bit of the father figure in the flat, and he also cooked really well. We really miss his cooking and his friendship, but we all plan to go visit him in Singapore one day.

And now for one big tip for studying abroad: It is a very important to stay healthy as best you can at the beginning of semesters. In my first semester I got the “Freshers Flu” that practically ravaged the student body, everyone was sick and it was hard to escape, especially with everyone trying to meet new people. This is because you have 30,000 students coming together from different parts of the world and spreading germs that your body is not accustomed to. So try and stay clean and remember to get a lot of sleep. I didn’t follow these rules when I returned, so for the second time, at the beginning of this second semester, I came down with the flu. It seemed to start in the new students coming that semester and then spread to the returnees. So for a week I remained bed-ridden, just lifting out of bed long enough to attempt to get to classes; then another week followed that with just feeling terribly weak from combating that cold. So top priority while studying abroad is staying healthy, because it can really demobilize you and restrict you from traveling and seeing new things. And that is the last thing you want while studying abroad.  But even though I’m still feeling pretty drained from a long none-stop touristy break and a week to two week long flu, I’m still ready to hit up this semester and see new places and gain new experiences, because I know this is my one chance to get it all in! Here’s to a healthy semester hopefully!

Cheers, Alexio

This is my flat sitting down to a nice dinner. But 3 people, including myself, are dying from the flu and fevers. The 2 wearing masks are attempting to stay healthy from all our germs. So as I spoke about above in the blog, make sure to stay healthy or else you’ll end up like the three of us haha!

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