Tag Archives: Study Abroad

Summer Plans

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By anthonyscheergwu.

Summer is right around the corner. This Thursday I’ll be done with my final exams and all my papers and I’m really excited so I’m going to take a break from studying and write about my summer plans!

From May 11 to 15, I’ll fly from DC to Denver and back. While I’m in Denver I’ll be meeting up with a childhood friend who I haven’t seen since 2014. I have no idea what we are going to do apart from a 14er hike, but I’m super excited to see him!

On May 17, I’ll officially say bye to DC and head to York in Pennsylvania again. I’ll be spending Friday night with my cousin to celebrate the end of my semester!

On May 18, I’ll take the train and arrive in NYC just in time to celebrate the birthday of a couple of friends. I’ll be in NYC till the 27th. During this time a bunch of my high-school friends are flying in and it’ll be fun to have a mini reunion in NYC. I’ll make sure to get a bagel while I’m there because I’ve never had one and apparently that’s weird.

On May 27 I’ll be flying out to Miami, and if you’re looking for me, I’ll be spending most of my time on the beach till June 3. Hopefully I’ll get a tan because that just isn’t possible in DC. 

On June 3rd I’m going to fly out of Miami and go back to LA (during Spring Break I fell in love with LA and I just had to go back). I’ll be in LA for 2 days, and then on June 6, I’ll drive out to Las Vegas. I’ll get their just in time for my birthday on June 7 and that should be fun! Hopefully, I’ll have time to visit the Grand Canyon during my 3 days there.

On the 9th of June, I’ll be flying towards San Francisco. I’ll have 2 full days to visit this city and I’m looking forwards to squeeze in as much as possible in this time frame.

On June 12, I’ll be on my flight back to NYC. I’ll be spending my last night in the US there with a couple of friends who’ll still be around.

On June 13 (the last day of my 30 day grace period) I fly out to Paris where I’ll be spending 3 nights there before heading back to my grandparents house to attend my family reunion just in time!

If you’re interested in following my adventures while I’m visiting all these cities follow me on instagram: @Anthonyscheercuzy, cause unfortunately, my exchange semester at GWU is coming to an end and which means that so is my run with this blog!

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GREAT WEEKEND AROUND SOME LOCALS

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By recueroraquel.

During the fall semester I spent most of the time around my fellow exchange friends. We all lived in 1959 E St and that created such a great community that was like a bubble. I had dinner every single night at my apartment in the 7th floor or in the 5th where most of my friends lived, and each of us cooked one night. We went out together and we visited the city, traveled the country and even did our groceries together. It was a really nice time in which I felt like I had my own family here. However, when I came back from the winter break and most of them were gone I tried to force me to step out of my comfort zone and make more American friends. Now that my time here is so limited I’m trying to spend as much time as I can.

As every Friday or Sunday evening, we went to do our two-weeks groceries to Walmart
The guys of the 5th (Javier, Amine and Angus) being especially social
Still jet lagged, my ex-roommates and I went to Ikea and bought pretty much everything (believe it or no, that plant is still alive and looks wonderful)

On Friday I had dinner with some friends. Miren cooked Spanish croquetas and I made Spanish salmorejo. It was so good! I had to work 8am to 6pm on Saturday so I went straight to bed.

On Saturday night I went out with Steven, a friend from California I met in my last semester’s Human Trafficking class. Some of his friends where hosting a party in an apartment close to the campus. We went there and since the weather was so good we chatted and had some drinks in the yard. Later, we went to Shenanigan’s, an Irish pub in Adams Morgan which was so much fun.

Carmen, Steven, and me!

Then we went to the classic Johnny Pistolas, however we were a majority of Latinos and the music was not our favorite, so we decided to walk all the way to El Centro D.F. in 14th St. On the way some of my friends grabbed a jumbo slice, so the whole walk to the club including the pizza stop took sooooooo long. Finally, when we arrived we danced salsa and reggaeton until 3 AM, when the lights were turned on and we basically closed the place.

There are no words to describe what is like to walk 1.5 km like this

On Sunday, I went to the Georgetown campus with my friend Luca, because even though I’ve been in Georgetown many times, I never went to see the university (Georgetown recommendations). We walked around the streets of the neighborhood that were SO BEAUTIFUL with all the tulips and the petals everywhere. Finally, we went to a library that is at the beginning of the neighborhood (straight after the bridge and the Four Seasons hotel) that has the coolest books. We stayed for like an hour?!

I want to live here so bad

In the afternoon I went to see this soccer match in which some friends were playing. They scored 10 goals while the others scored just 2. Oops.

In the evening we played some music, cooked some couscous and had dinner while watching GAME OF THRONES (!!!!!) and making sure we were safe of any possible tornadoes. I was so scared I took a 4RIDE back home (hey, I’m sorry, there’s no tornado alerts where I’m from!)

Routine

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By anthonyscheergwu.

My weeks are getting busier and busier because of a few factors. First, the end of the semester is near, therefore all my presentations, finals and papers are quickly approaching their due date and I have to keep up with all of them. Second, summer is coming and I since I got my flight back to Paris on the last day of my 30-day grace period, I have to plan my 30 day summer in the US. Unfortunately, prices of flights only get more expensive, therefore I have to book them as soon as possible but as I’m meeting up with a couple of friends, plans aren’t made easily and therefore it takes time planning. I wish I could do this after my exams but I can’t because I’m not a billionaire. Third, I’ve met great people during my exchange here and all the farewells are coming up and I want to go to all of them to see these people as much as possible. Fourth, I still have to eat, clean and work out (hoping to have my summer body ready by mid-may because I’m going to Miami). Fifth, DC is awesome and I’ve been visiting various places and the more I see the more I want to see, and therefore when I can I go tourist mode and visit the things I still haven’t seen in this amazing city. All those together have made me go crazy. So for this blog post I will talk about how a typical week used to be (I won’t talk about how they are currently because they mostly involved me working at Gelman and hearing the announcement that non GWU students must leave the library at 12:00).

Monday: Wake up at 11, clean my room till 11:30 to start off the week well organized. I eat a bowl of cereal and get ready for class. Go to class from 12:45 to 2:00. Walk from Elliot to Duques, and work on whatever homework needs my attention till 3:30. From 3:30 to 6:00 I have another class. After my class I stay an extra hour to work some more, and then go home. By 7:10 I’m home. I get changed into my gym clothes, I turn on the oven and put frozen chicken in it. From that moment, I have 1 hour and 15 minutes till my chicken is ready. I run to the gym, work out for an hour, and run back. I get back home and add vegetables on top of my chicken. I shower for 5 minutes and when I get out, my food is ready. By now its 8:45, I eat my food and chill with my roommates. I then cook my meal for lunch the next day, and go to bed by 10:30. I can’t sleep, and therefore this is usually when I complete non-school related task that need my attention (applying to jobs, speaking with friends and family). By 12 I’m asleep.

Tuesday: Wake up at 9:00, get ready for class. My class lasts from 9:35 to 11. I get back home at 11:10, eat cereal, and take a quick 30 minute nap. I wake up, go to the gym, get back home, and eat the lunch that I got ready the night before. By 2:00 I’m at Gelman, I work on whatever needs my attention till 6:00 pm. I go to my last class of the day from 6:10 to 8:40. I get out of class and go eat dinner. By 9:30 I’m back at the library and I work till 1:00 am. I get back home by 1:30 and I’m asleep by 2:00.

Wednesday: I wake up at 10, eat, work or complete chores that need my attention. I go to class from 12:30 to 2. After class I got to the library. Work till dinner, go eat at home, by 8:00pm I’m done with dinner. I take 30 minutes to rest and then I go to the gym. By 10:00pm I’m done with my work out and I’m in the shower. I try to get to bed by 12:00pm.

Thursday: Go to my 9:30 class and right after I go home, pack my bags and go on a trip, or relax and enjoy the start of the weekend in DC.

Thursday to Sunday: Enjoy my trip or hang around DC. Usually I didn’t have too much work because I completed most of it during the week, but if I did I would manage to make time during the weekend to work on what was needed.

Of course, all my weeks did not look exactly like that. I did stay in DC some weekends and enjoyed the great things this city has to offer. Some weeks, especially the few weeks after my mid-terms were very chill and I spent less time at the library. However, some weeks were so busy and I didn’t have time for anything else but work, and during those weeks the library would become my home (I don’t have a desk in my room so I always completed my work at the library). This was a very simplified version of what my typically week looked like, but the truth is they were never exactly like that because the various activities that happen around DC and at GWU kept me on my feet throughout the semester.

Although my exchange semester isn’t done, I would like to mention that I love it here and I really appreciate the energy people at GWU have because since January, I don’t think I’ve spent more than an hour being bored with nothing to do!

Now, for the next 20 days, if you would like to support me through my preparation for my finals and final assignments, a cupcake is always appreciated (I will be on the third floor of Gelman most of the time).

American Cuisine

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By anthonyscheergwu.

Everyone has different reasons for traveling, for me, I usually travel for food. This is why I’m going to dedicate this post to American cuisine.

But before I would like to talk about this little promise I made to myself when I was about 10. Myanmar at that time had no internationally recognized fast food chains in the country and therefore, to eat McDonald’s I would have to leave the country; and as a 10 year old, persuading your parents to leave the country for a burger usually had the same outcome as talking to a wall. Therefore at that age I promised myself that the minute I arrive in the US I would try as many American fast food chains as possible.

And so here it is my critic of the great American cuisine.

McDonalds:

Rating: 2.5/5

In France Mcdonald is simply delicious. You can see families going there to enjoy the good food and atmosphere. In America, Mcdonalds is not the same. It’s super cheap compared to France but I realized why. The beef patties area super flat and dry, the bread seems stale and overall, even though America is the birthplace of the Big Mac, it’s probably the country that makes the worst one. I wouldn’t recommend Mcdonald’s here unless it’s 3 in the morning and you want to eat a 1 dollar McChicken which actually isn’t so bad.

Chik-Fil-A:

Rating: 4.5/5

For years now, I’ve seen post about the chik-fil-a signature burger with just bread, pickles, chicken and sauce, and for years I kept thinking that a burger that simple can’t be that good. And well, I was right. Their signature burger is not special it has no remarkable flavor and I was disappointed and ready to give this chain a bad rating. But I give it another chance and ordered some different types of burgers and I must say those are delicious (royal spicy sandwich). Also, the fries dipped in the chik-fil-a sauce is probably the flavor I will miss the most when I leave the US, so yeah go to chik-fil-a, get fries and anything but their signature burger, and you won’t regret it.

Shake Shack

Rating: 4.5/5

Shake Shack has the best burger in terms of taste. The burger is a great mix of juicy and crispy, the cheese is completely melted and it just makes a super savory burger. The first couple of bites are delicious, but the burger is so packed and oily that by the end it’s too much and I never enjoy the last bites. All in all, it is definitely the best beef burger you can find compared to all the other fast food chains I’ve tasted.

Burger King:

Rating: 3.5/5

Good burger and fries, but nothing exceptionally different. Worth noting that you can get 10 chicken nuggets for 1 dollar.

Five Guys:

Rating: 4/5

Go-to fast food chain when I’m super hungry. The food is great and doesn’t feel too oily. I love that they let you personalize the burger to your liking with the extensive choice of toppings they offer.

In-n-out

Rating: 4/5

In-n-out just felt like a better and more old school version of McDonald’s. I was expecting so much from this chain, and flew to the West coast to try it, but I was relatively disappointed. The whole meal was very basic, and because I was expecting something exceptional I was disappointed by my over-expectations. However I liked the short menu (it felt like the old school American experience) and taking prices into account, In-n-out definitely has the best price to quality ratio.

Dominos

Rating: 3/5

The type of pizza you eat with ketchup.

Other worthy mentions:

KFC: 3/5

Arby’s: 3.5/5

Jack in the box: 3.5/5

Taco Bell: 2/5

I wanted to keep going and trying more of these chains, but I’m officially not a fan of fast food anymore. I find myself craving food from Roti more than any of the chains mention above nowadays, so I’m happy that I did this experiment because I am now sick of fast food.

*I know there is more to American food than Fast Food, but for this post I wanted to focus on these chains because America is where they were all created.

SPRING IS HERE!

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By recueroraquel.

Just kidding. It lasted a day. But that day was Saturday, I didn’t work and I had the chance to go both to the Kite Festival and the Cherry Blossoms around the mall and the Jefferson Memorial. I went with my friend Miren and we spent the morning going around families and kids playing with
their kites. We tried to go make one ourselves but the line was infinite. Then we went around the Martin Luther King Memorial to take the same pictures that flooded Instagram that same night. It was a really nice walk, however it was pretty crowded.

Miren giving me her best influencer face.
In my head I was like “Is that kite abandoned? Shit. No.”
There was a line to take this picture.

I went home for lunch and then I realized I didn’t want to study at all, so I texted my friend Luca to have a picnic in the mall, since he had already invited me to have dinner and grab some drinks later with Conor, his roommate, best friend, and definitely, my favorite American so far. We brought some drinks, prosciutto and bread, cookies and we played Uno and pet a dog that was around until it got dark. The weather was so nice I didn’t want to leave at all! After dinner and another Uno battle that of course I won we went to Johnny Pistolas (I know GWU students love it, but still, I need Latino music!) After a few gintonics and pretty much done for the day we walked all the way home enjoying the good weather that of course, didn’t last. Anyways, I’m heading to NOLA today! I’ll keep you updated!

“Why on f*****g Earth I’m playing this stupid game?”
The most beautiful sunset in DC ever.

San Diego and Los Angeles (Spring Break part 2)

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By anthonyscheergwu.

So after realizing that there’s not much to do on a Monday at Tijuana, we decided to head back to America and explore the West coast. As I expected, going back to America took much more time than entering Mexico. After being asked 8 – 9 questions I was able to pass the border. We went to an outlet that was basically on the border and spent a few hours shopping. Wasn’t the smartest decision cause our flight ticket consisted of bringing absolutely no luggages and at the mall I ended buying an extra bag to fit everything we bought (luckily the person checking us in for our flight back to DC was French and so we got through with no problem). 

That night, we were exhausted and decided to rest up. After eating a good dinner, and watching a movie, we got restless and bought on impulse a return ticket to LA. 8 hours later we were on a bus to LA and by noon we arrived. In the span of 5 hours, we walked through Melrose Avenue, the Walk of Fame, and went up to the Griffin Observatory. I then decided to take an Uber across town to go to Venice beach and was stuck in so much traffic that I stayed in the Uber for an hour and a half. It wasn’t too bad though, the driver had been to Myanmar before and so the ride ended up going by really fast as we talked throughout.

Venice beach was really nice, It was a shame that it was really windy but nevertheless I really enjoyed it and decided to come back this summer. I walked around the beach, watched skaters practice at the skatepark, watched people graffiti the walls around the beach, and saw muscle beach. I loved the atmosphere there because the many things to do at this beach gathered so many people with different interest and I thought that was really nice. I then took an electric scooter and rode all the way to Santa Monica Pier which was pretty fun, (It definitely beats dealing with traffic). After walking around the pier I went to pick up some friends at UCLA for dinner. The campus was huge and it looked more like a resort then a school. Therefore, I would like to congratulate the students at UCLA for getting any schoolwork done because with the beach not too far away and the LA weather, I would always feel tempted to do anything but work in a library!

The next day I ate at different places around LA and spent a few hours on the beach trying to get a tan. After a nice and relaxing day, I headed back to the station and took the bus back to San Diego.

In San Diego I visited La Jolla which was absolutely beautiful. We walked around the cliffs, saw the seals and ate at a UCSD restaurant which was by the beach. The views were great and luckily it was a very sunny day which made everything that much prettier. I went to eat at In-N-Out which was on my bucket list and had the best ramen I’ve ever had at this place called Raki Raki (go there if you are in SD). I then saw the campus housing of SDSU which did not make me jealous at all (they have jacuzzis and a swimming pool in the common areas)…

By the end of the day, the fatigue due to a lack of sleep throughout my spring break starting hitting me so I ended the day in bed watching Netflix and falling asleep at 11. The next day I headed directly to the airport for my flight back to DC!

I was able to rest on the flight and throughout the day Friday in my room. By 6pm I got restless again and booked a snowboarding trip for the next day which I will talk about in my next post!

SPRING BREAK

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By recueroraquel.


For spring break I went back home (home is Madrid for those of you who don’t know!) because my grandpa was sick and since my family is mostly abroad we try to go visit as much as we can. Apart of making my grandparents really happy I was able to see my friends and fly for a couple
days to Morocco (Fact: the shortest border between Europe and Africa is the Gibraltar Strait that separates Spain and Morocco by 14 kilometers and where both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet).

Madrid is a really beautiful city located in the center of the Iberian Peninsula, where Spain and Portugal are. With around 6 million inhabitants, Madrid is one of the most important European
cities and an really welcoming hub for immigrants from Latin America and North and Sub- Saharan African countries, as well as Eastern Europeans. This has enriched Madrid, turning it into a multicultural, diverse and unique spot loved by tourists from all around the world.

What I loved the most about going back for the break was definitely the weather. Since the moment I landed I was able to get rid of my coat and my scarf, enjoy the early spring, make a barbecue with my friends and just lay down in my yard with my bunny pet. (Who doesn’t want a
picture of a bunny?!)

Also, even though I didn’t know about it when I bought the plane tickets, I was able to attend my Masters graduation that was scheduled for the same day I arrived! As some of you might know, this is my second BA program and during my junior and sophomore years I studied a MA in
Madrid, for which I just graduated. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to bring much luggage and my mom decided to be my stylist. This was the result.

Another great thing I was able to do was to lecture in my home university. A professor requested me to lecture his two hours course in “Security Models” on Monday and so I did. I prepared a lecture about the differences between Spain and the US when talking about prisons, gun control and incarceration. (I highly recommend a documentary in Netflix called 13th about mass incarceration in the US and slavery). I had 62 students and I had so much fun. Here you can see me faking it until I make it.

After this exhausting vacation I went to Fes, in Morocco to visit Amine, a friend I actually met at GW during the fall semester. Although I barely had two days there we drove (just him, to be honest I shit my pants just by thinking about driving in Morocco) 1,000 kilometers! We went to Ifrane, where his university is, and then we went to Rabat, which is by the coast since I’m a sea lover. There I was able to lie in the sand and nap while just relaxing which is something I miss so much when in DC. Then we came back to Fes, one of the oldest cities in Morocco, from where I flew back to Madrid before heading back to DC. Here are some pictures.