Tag Archives: studyabroad

SPRING IS HERE!

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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.
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San Diego and Los Angeles (Spring Break part 2)

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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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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.

New York

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I decided to go to New York after a week of living in the library as I had to work on my mid-terms. I took the bus Thursday afternoon and arrived in New York by 6pm.

Thursday night I didn’t too much because I was so tried. I met up with some friends and walked around the city randomly to explore it.

We woke up early Friday and did the touristy things right away. We went to the one world trade centre, 9/11 Memorial, the charging bull on wall street, and saw the Statue of Liberty from far. I personally thought the two most impressive things were the one world trade center and the 9/11 memorial right next to it. Standing right under the one world trade center and looking up is really impressive because the triangular angles of the building give the impression that the building’s top is infinite. This was the same impression I got at the 9/11 memorial because I couldn’t see the bottom of the hole in the middle and I kept wondering how deep it was.

After a morning and afternoon of visiting New York, I started planning a dinner with a couple of friends that live in NYC. People always say that NYC is great because there are so many different things to eat, and while that’s true, no one ever says how annoying that is. Because NYC basically has all the different types of food you can imagine, planning a dinner with 8 people is close to impossible. After juggling between 8 different options, we decided to go to none of them and just go to an Italian restaurant 30 seconds from where we were staying.

That night we decided to explore the NYC nightlife and I understood why people always say that NYC is the city that never sleeps. We went around different places and every-time we were moving from one place to the other, there were people on the street, the subways were not empty and the roads still had cars circulating the streets. By 5:30 we got hungry and unlike in DC, Paris, or Yangon, finding food at the time was actually very easy. We even had a couple of different options to choose from which was pretty amazing.

Saturday we started our day going to Kellogg’s Cereal Bar. I definitely recommend going there because I don’t think there are a lot of places in the world where you have a bar that serves only cereals. We got a seat in front of a TV and watched cartoons while we ate our 5 dollar bowls of cereals. Afterwards, we walked around Times Square and SoHo, and basically just shopped and ate throughout the day. For dinner we went to Chelsea market and this place, again, has the bittersweet feeling that I got throughout my trip in NYC — there was so many different things to try and everything looked so good that instead of enjoying what I chose I kept thinking of what I didn’t get to taste. Therefore I ate at 4 different stalls, of which one serves really tiny doughnuts.

Sunday morning I took a bus back to DC and booked my next trip to New York while going back because I loved this city and I didn’t see enough in my 3 days there.

DIPLOMAT BY DAY, LIBRARIAN BY NIGHT

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As many of you have probably seen, I’ve been working at Gelman library since the beginning of the semester. It’s a really nice job, it’s pretty chill and allows me to make money enough to cover all my expenses. My tasks are basically check people in, mostly patrons from other universities or institutions, students that forget their Gworld, prospective students and people that come to attend events that take place in the library. When I’m at the check-out desk I check books for people, I find the books they requested from other universities or the ones the want to get from the reserves and I help them to find books in the stacks. Sometimes, I also help people who need an appointment with a specialized librarian for research. I love being at the check-out because it’s when I’m interacting with people and friends come say hi and bring coffee which is so nice. Some other times I’m shelving books back to the stacks or discharging them. My coworkers are so funny, there’s a really good vibe and we all help each other. If you are looking for a job and they open any position on Handshake don’t hesitate to apply, it’s such a great place to work in!

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So professional. Trust me, I work at Gelman Library!

Also, a couple weeks ago I got an internship in the Permanent Mission of Spain to the Organization of American States. I work directly with the Ambassador, attending meetings in the OAS itself or visiting other representing Embassies on behalf of our delegation. Then I write reports that are send straight to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Madrid. I have my own office in the Embassy, that is located in Massachusets Avenue in front of the Islamic Center of DC. On Fridays, when usually Muslims gather for the prayer in the afternoon the athmosphere is really good and I love watching from my window. Last Friday I also went to the Embassy of Canada for a meeting, and to a council in the headquarters of the OAS where the Secretary General Luis Almagro gave a speech. I feel so happy I got this opportunity, it’s a dream internship!

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The views from my office, the Embassy of Canada and the Headquarters of the OAS

Boston Trip

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Since school was closed Monday for Presidents Day I decided to take the opportunity to travel somewhere, and somehow, I ended up in Boston. Apparently my Burmese friends want to go to places that are even colder than DC…

I had a lot of time since my flight was at 7:30pm so I decided to try the electric scooters, and I ended up going from GWU to Union station with it. The trip ended up costing me more than taking an Uber, so I wouldn’t recommend it. I took the MARC train to the airport and got there much faster than I expected (if you want to save money, fly out from Baltimore it’s much cheaper than Dulles).

I landed in Boston at 9pm and quickly realized that city is very proud of their NFL team. I wasn’t expecting this, but the high of winning the Superbowl persisted as I saw tons of people wearing Patriots clothing.

Friday morning my friends were sleeping, so I decided to head to the center of Boston and walk around the city center, and meet them for lunch later on. I decided to take the bus but I didn’t have cash nor a travel card so I was planning on showing the driver my card from DC and asking him for a free ride into the city so I could get a “Charlie card” there. When the bus arrived an old lady had a hard time getting off, so I helped her get on the sidewalk. I then reached for my wallet to take out my DC card as I walked into the bus and the driver said, “You’re not paying for this ride, god bless you” which was pretty convenient. During the rest of my trip there I noticed that Bostonians were quite friendly compared to Parisians.

I met up with my friends by noon and since some of us were first-timers in Boston we headed to Quincy market. Since Boston is known for their lobster rolls, I tried it and honestly if you’ve had lobster and bread before you aren’t missing out on much. Not saying it’s bad but it’s nothing spectacular. After the market, we headed to the harbor which was really beautiful, the mix of old and new architecture is pretty spectacular in Boston. In my remaining 3 days there I visited Cambridge, the Harvard campus, Boston commons, and spent a lot of time walking around and exploring the city. I’ll say this one more time, Boston is beautiful and I definitely recommend visiting this city!

Now for the less “touristy” aspects of my trip: During my 4 days in Boston I managed to go to IHOP twice and both times at 3 in the morning. I discovered that Burger King sells 10 nuggets for 1 dollar. I saw some of my high-school friends and we managed to gather 19 Burmese people at Harvard for a reunion (here’s a picture of all of us). It was great to see my childhood friends and hang around Boston with them!

On Monday I took the bus to New York, managed to visit Times Square for 20 minutes and take another bus back to DC after (I saved a lot of money taking the bus back but I wouldn’t recommend it if you plan on doing it only). I’ve been to New York twice now but spent a total of about 2 hours in the city so next weekend I’m going there for a few days!

Also, I was told that licking the shoe of the John Harvard statue would bring me good luck so hopefully I won’t fail my midterms now!

*I didn’t actually lick the shoe in case it wasn’t obvious that I was making a joke.

FAV THINGS TO DO IN GEORGETOWN

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Georgetown is a must. It doesn’t matter if you go to visit the University (tip: their library is open to the public and it’s such a good chance to switch from Gelman!) or to buy clothes, books or antiquities, just walk around, get lost, grab some food and enjoy yourselves. There’s a lot of places I love to go:

-Georgetown Waterfront: best views for the sunset, you can eat your ice cream there and until mid February you will be able to ice skate in the ice rink! That’s what I did last Friday.


-House of Sweden: the Swedish Embassy is way more than a beautiful building. You can enter as a visitor and wonder through their temporary expositions for free. It’s by the waterfront so they have amazing views.

-Thomas Sweet: is it the best ice cream in DC? Probably! Get a whole bucket of ice cream there combining as many flavors as you want (and they have so many) and toppings! Btw, they say Obama loved it.

-Flamenco live? Yes! Bodega, one of the most famous Spanish restaurants in DC hosts live flamenco and guitar every Thursday 7:30 to 10:30. Although going to a Flamenco show in DC without being Spanish could be weird, it’s a good chance to see something new and get some amazing food.

-Craving sweet but still too cold for the 2 kilos of ice cream? Then go to Georgetown Cupcake. It’s so good! Cupcakes are around 3 or 4 dollars and they come in so many flavors. They have also lactose and gluten free cupcakes. Just be aware that you might have to wait during the weekends, it’s so popular!

-El Centro, DF: If you are 21 and you have been going out in DC you might have felt like our beloved Americans are not especially gifted for dancing and you are too shy to show them your best performance. No worries! El Centro DF is a Latino club, where the only music played is reggaeton, salsa, bachata…You are welcome! Also, it’s an amazing Mexican restaurant during daytime!

-Paper Source: it might be just me, but I’m sure you also love brand new notebooks and incredibly original but useless gifts. Also, you get cards for your friends, there’s a million themes in Paper Source.

-Dating? Impress them! Chez Billy Sud must have be the best food I had in DC. It’s a small cozy restaurant delicately decorated. French food at its finest. Dress formal.

-Not really into French food? In the same street you will find Flavio, a really popular Italian restaurant where you can find the most amazing seafood pizza ever!

-3 sisters: this great bakery has pies you can buy by the slice or whole. Perfect for a coffee stop or if you have people over and you want to impress them with that fantastic pie you made

-Escape rooms! Perfect for bonding and groups. IQ PanEscape Room is super famous. Although I ended up in another one in Alexandria, you can find really affordable packages in Groupon.

-American food: Yeah, you came all the way to the US and you still don’t know what “American food” is exactly, apart of hot dogs and mac & cheese. No problem, try Clyde’s of Georgetown. It’s a really famous local chain, but has nothing to do with fast food. Try the spicy-fried chicken!!

-The Tudor’s Place: don’t miss this amazing landmark. This house and its yards belonged for the family of Martha Washington for 6 generations!

-The Blues Alley: It’s the most famous Jazz and Blues bar in Georgetown. It hosts live music every single night. Although most nights shows are programmed and require the purchase of tickets, you can walk in anytime! Enjoy!