Ronda is one of the “white hill towns” in southern Spain, situated about two hours from Granada. I have to say that before this Saturday excursion, I wasn’t expecting much from Ronda. I just thought that it was going to be a quaint town. I thought the sites in Ronda could never be as magnificent as Cordoba’s mesquita or as beautiful as Sevilla’s cathedral. Well, Ronda definitely surpassed my expectations.   Arab Baths To say Ronda is magnificent would be an understatement. It truly looks like something out…

The view from the Castle in Chianti. Aside from going on our own trips throughout Italy and Europe, CEA has taken us on some great excursions in Italy. So far, I have participated in the (optional and covered) excursions to Chianti, Rome, Siena, and coming up soon we will be visiting Assisi. The first trip was to Chianti for the program’s welcome luncheon. We visited Castello di Verranzzano in Chianti. Our tour was with the wonderful Gino Rosi who could not tell us enough about the beauty of…

We just spent our last weekend together as a group in Puerto Viejo in the Caribbean province of Limon. Wow, does time fly or what? This excursion was originally scheduled for our first weekend, but as I wrote in my first blog post there was a mudslide that inhibited us from making the trip. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and we all can agree that this trip was meant to be saved for our last weekend. We had our farewell dinner planned…

For me, fall break was about taking a risk. My roommate was going to stay in Florence because she had a friend visiting from home. But I knew that if I stayed here with her, I would feel like I barely traveled during this semester outside of Italy and I didn’t want to lose that opportunity.  Of course I can’t go traveling all over by myself, so I wanted to do a trip like the ones I had been on through student travel companies like Bus2Alps or Florence…

I have always loved to travel, or maybe the idea of it, since I have only left the United States on family vacations twice. After this semester of exploring the best of Europe, I can now classify myself as a travel junkie. It’s possible I may be addicted to traveling for the rest of my life. It has been one of my favorite parts of studying abroad, each place offering something new, exciting, and different. By the end of this semester, I will have been to eleven countries…

My fourth stroll out of Paris was more than just another trip to the French countryside. It was a weekend of chilling lakeside breezes, Lake Titesse in the Southern Black Forest getting acquainted with some feathered friends along the shore, breathtaking glimpses of vineyards, and meadows that seemed to be pulled straight out of The Sound of Music! Yours truly, frolicking through the meadows of Titisee, Germany I think it’s safe to say that each landscape above was dangerously close to perfection. However, the most impactful aspect of the…

The clocktower in Piazza San Marco Oh Venice… The city built on water, the sinking city, La Serenissima (the most serene). On the first day of our overnight CEA excursion to Venice, it was the drowning city. The rain poured and poured. I was prepared because the day before the storm, I finally gave in and bought rain boots. I didn’t bring my rain boots from home because they are so heavy and I didn’t think I would need them often, but when I heard that Venice could…

We began our second day in Avignon watching the fog rise from the river until the sun came out over the bridge and washed it away. Avignon is full of medieval architecture and to further emphasize this point, members of a renaissance festival came over to introduce themselves. After the remnants of French espresso and flakes of croissant were consumed with our breathtaking view, Michel escorted us from medieval to ancient times, giving us another glimpse of Roman power at the Pont du Gard. The sky-high arches are…

I must say that one of the best things about studying abroad for me is the fact that I got the opportunity to travel all over China and see places that most people would never get the chance to see. One of my goals when I arrived in China was to explore this beautiful country and see another side of China that most people don’t really know about. As a CEA program participant, I felt very fortunate because this program planned several excursions for us in which we…

One of the prettiest excursions CEA will take you on will be to Alpujarras (a hilly landscape with many villages). Unfortunately, my roommate and I did not wake up in time to go, so we ended up missing a beautiful hike, the wonderful Alpujarran food, and a refreshing look into nature. My favorite excursions have always been to places with interesting nature, like our CEA excursion to the town of Sacromonte and our weekend trip to Lagos, Portugal. Seeing buildings and studying the history behind the architecture got…