Tag Archives: study abroad

International Potluck

6 May

In honor of our international student population, the Vesalius Student Government hosted an international potluck after everyone returned from break. They had foods from everywhere from China, Turkey, Italy, the US, Mexico, and many other places. For me, I couldn’t think of anything more American than apple pie, but I didn’t want to make pie because I didn’t want to make the crust. So instead I made an apple pie dip that I found a couple years ago on Pinterest. For your enjoyment, read the recipe below or click this link!

 

Apple Pie Dip & Cinnamon-Sugar Tortilla Chips from “The Peach Kitchen”

Ingredients

  • 2 cups peeled, cored and diced apples
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon/calamansi juice
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tsp water

For the chips

  • 6 (6-inch) wheat tortillas
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar

Directions

  1. You can either cook this on the stove-top or the microwave.
  2. Combine all the dip ingredients in a small pan/ microwavable bowl except the cornstarch-water mixture.
  3. Heat for a few minutes until it’s boiling and has extracted juice from the apple.
  4. Add cornstarch-water mixture to the “sauce”.
  5. Put back in the microwave/stove top until boiling and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Set aside. You can serve this warm or chilled. It doesn’t matter. It will taste delicious.
  7. Cut tortillas into desired size. {wedges}
  8. Put in a slightly greased baking pan.
  9. Brush the tortillas with butter.
  10. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and bake at 210 degrees C {410 degrees F} until golden brown, about 5-8 minutes.
  11. Let them cool before serving and serve with the Apple Pie Dip.

My personal tips:

  • One batch of this doesn’t really make a lot. When I normally make it I tend to double or triple the recipe.
  • I put a little more cornstarch in because I think it makes a thicker sauce, which I like.
  • It can be served with things other than the cinnamon sugar chips. I have also served it with stroopwafels and regular waffles.
  • I’ve also never made the dip in the microwave, so I can’t say how that will turn out.

Where In The World Is Agnes Irvine Scott?: Episode 7

27 Apr

Flat Agnes did spring break Europe-style! She spent 2 weeks doing 9 cities in 4 countries. Check out her updated map below, as well as some of her selfies!

Map of Flat Agnes's travels

Map of Flat Agnes’s travels

France

Luxembourg

Flat Agnes's travels in Luxembourg

Flat Agnes’s travels in Luxembourg

Belgium

Italy

For a more detailed map of where Agnes has traveled so far, go to think link!

https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zzJvgL802O74.kHDO49BIkIng

Tips for Travel: Italy

27 Apr

I know it has been absolutely forever since I’ve posted, but between travel, school, and my internship, things have been crazy! However, I just returned from a fantastic trip to Italy. I spent 6 days exploring Vatican City, Rome, Florence, and Venice. I saw and experienced so much, but I also learned some good lessons. In honor of the four weeks I have left in Europe, I will give four helpful hints for traveling to each of these cities.

 

Vatican City

Sign leading to the Vatican Museum

Sign leading to the Vatican Museum

1. You cannot get to St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica from the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. They have separate lines and both are crazy long (2-3 hours).

2. Definitely get tickets to get into the Vatican Museum before you get there. It is definitely worth the price to get in (8 euro for the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel for students), but the line can get a little tedious. You can order your tickets online though before you go and get to skip the line.

3. Ignore the people walking by offering to let you get in early with their “skip the line” tours. If this tour is legitimate (some of them don’t seem to be real) the groups are incredibly large and get very crowded. Better to save your money. The cheapest tour of this kind that we were offered was 25 euro a person.

4. Remember that this is a religious place. It doesn’t matter if you are Catholic or not; it is a sacred place and should be treated as such. People will get angry if you don’t treat it with respect (me included).

Rome

At the Trevi Fountain

At the Trevi Fountain

1. If you buy a ticket for the Colosseum, you are also buying a ticket for the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum. Therefore, your best option is to go to the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum first and buy your tickets there. The cost is the same and your wait time will be cut in half. Then you will feel magic when you get to the Colosseum and get to skip the hour-long line to get it (I know I did).

2. Go to the Trevi Fountain at night! It is less crowded and the lighting around it is fantastic!

3. There is a place right on the Trevi Fountain square that is fantastic for cheap dinner. They have pizza that you purchase by the weight and they have fantastic (and inexpensive) gelato!

With the Gladiator

With the Gladiator

4. There are men walking around the city dressed as gladiators and are willing to take a picture with you. Just remember that this will cost you! They may try to tell you that it is a ridiculous price after the picture is taken (ours tried to get 20 euro from each of us), but don’t pay any more than a couple euro a piece. When in doubt, negotiate a price beforehand.

Florence

Room at the B&B Guelfi e Ghibellini

Room at the B&B Guelfi e Ghibellini

1. Stay at the B&B Guelfi e Ghibellini. It is about a 15 minute walk from the center of the city, but it is in a nice area that has a grocery store and good restaurants. The rooms were fantastic, the people who worked there were so warm and helpful, and the breakfast was wonderful and consisted of breads, jams, cereal, meats, cheeses, quiche, and pastries, as well as coffee and tea. It also wasn’t any more expensive than any of the hostels would have been.

2.If you want to go see The David at the Academy Gallery, book tickets in advance. That is what everybody suggested and even though we didn’t want to go inside to see it (not enough time), we saw that the line was crazy to get in. Should you really want to see it though, I’ve heard to it worth it. If you don’t really care about seeing the real one, there is a reproduction of it right outside of the museum with a number of really cool other status.

Reproduction of The David outside of the Academy Gallery

Reproduction of The David outside of the Academy Gallery

3. Florence is a good city to just walk around. However, wear good walking shoes. The cobblestone streets aren’t the most even to talk on and the sidewalk tends to break up or slope at random places.

4. Check out the Galileo Museum. Though it isn’t advertised as much in the tourist information online, it is supposed to be fantastic!

Venice

1. Spend a day just walking around Venice. We only have 1 full day in Venice and we didn’t plan anything out. We started at the main square next to the train station and just started wondering throughout the city. We went through little alleyways, over bridges, and found some very pretty gardens. I honestly felt like I got more out of Venice from just walking around than I would have from visiting a bunch of museums and churches.

2. Invest either time or money in the masks of Venice. At least spend some time wondering through the mask shops of Venice. You can find some pretty masks at the tourist shops and stalls, but the real art is in the handmade masks that can be found in shops all over the city. They really are an art in themselves. Zach (once of my friends I travel with) invested in a beautiful, handmade mask, while I invested in an inexpensive plastic one from a tourist stall. Both are very pretty.

3. Gondola rides run around 80 euro. We just couldn’t justify the price for one. Therefore, if you’re trying to travel thrifty, try not to get your heart set on a ride. If there are more inexpensive options, I definitely did not see them.

4. Sit and relax at a cafe on the canal. Have some lemoncello, or a spritz (Italian alcoholic beverage), or just a pop (soda for those of you not from the Midwest). Just sit, relax, and take in the beauty of the city!

 

I hope those hints are a little helpful in your planning. If you have any more questions, just comment here and I’ll get back to you. Here are some more pictures from our adventures below.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Working With Networking

10 Mar

I know that it has been a while since my last update, but between school, my internship, and traveling, I have been strapped for time to just sit down and write something. However, now that midterms are officially done, I have a good 5 minute break. 🙂 This post I am going to give a little background as to what I’m doing at my internship this semester and the experiences that I am receiving.

Macedonia on a Map of Europe

Macedonia on a Map of Europe

This semester I am an intern with the Mission of the Republic of Macedonia to the European Union. This is just a really long name to say that it is the representation of the Macedonian government at the EU. The relationship between these two entities is interesting because Macedonia is not an EU member state, but instead they are a candidate state. This means that Macedonia is in the process of reforming enough to become an EU member state. Macedonia has been a member state since 1995, but they are currently stuck in the stage before negotiations are opened due to a dispute about the name “Macedonia” (I won’t go into the dispute right now, but write a comment at the bottom if you would like a brief description). However, even though they are not a member state, the EU and Macedonia have a number of cooperation agreements, as the EU has been present in the country and the greater Balkan region since the Yugoslavia split-up in the 1990s.

My job here is to be support for the mission staff. I start everyday by doing a media review. To do this, I browse news sources from both Europe and North America and look for references to Macedonia and other Balkan states, as well as other important states such as Bulgaria and Greece. Once completed, this review is sent to the mission staff and some headlines are used to update the mission’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Though that is my main job for the three days a week that I am working, I also have other responsibilities. One of the most tedious but the most interesting job I do is gather, read, and analyze European Parliament Resolutions that the mission staff feel are important to understand deeper. My favorite part of my job is when they send me out into Brussels to attend think tank events. I usually go to about 1-2 of these a week, and I am attending so many that I have run into the same man from the European Commission 5 times and he and I have discussed different organizations that I should look into for future employment. The topics are also interesting. I’ve attended events on the European economy, the international response in Syria, the relaunching of negotiations in Cyprus, the accession process of Montenegro and the other Balkan countries into the EU, and the future of the European External Action Service. After these events I then write up a report that gets sent out to the others at the mission.

All in all it is a great place to work. It is an amazing atmosphere and the people are so kind to me. The first day in the office they took me to eat at a traditional Macedonian restaurant, and I never go a day in my office (which I have to myself) without them coming in to check if I’m doing okay. This is probably the second best internship I’ve ever had behind the Atlanta History Center (kind of hard to beat the Swan House).

Me at the Macedonian Mission

Me at the Macedonian Mission

Where In The World Is Agnes Irvine Scott?: Episode 6

7 Feb
Agnes's Travels To Date

Agnes’s Travels To Date

Though this was my third time, this was Agnes’s first time going to Paris, France with me. Though she went all over the place, she got a good long look at the Louvre. She really does love her art and artifacts!

Back At It!

21 Jan

Well, the second semester has officially commenced, meaning I’m back at classes. Though I’m continuing with a second semester packed to the brim of political science classes (I’m starting to have history withdrawal), I do have one random elective for the semester. I also don’t have any classes on Tuesdays or Thursdays (though I’m hoping that will soon be filled with an internship). So, here they are!

Government and Politics of Global Powers

As stated in the syllabus, this course “analyses the challenges of Global Governance and the role played by emerging countries (BRICS) in the new global order.” What are the BRICS you might wonder? Well, that is the fun new acronym (because International Relations and Political Science didn’t already have enough) for the emerging world powers: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. So this course looks at those states (except South Africa, don’t ask why) along with different international institutions, like the UN and IMF, to see how they are changing international political arrangements. I think it will be an interesting class. I really don’t know much about any of the BRICS states, and the professor seems really knowledgeable. She comes with years of experience working in almost every part of the UN.

International Organizations and Global Governance

I had the professor I have for this course in two courses last semester and he is great, which makes me super excited for this course! As you may be able to infer, this class will be interacting a lot with the first class on this list, and vice versa. This course looks at how international organizations, such as the UN, NATO, EU, AU, WTO, and others, work to try and establish global governance. They really do have the best professor to teach this course as well, since he is the director of the Global Governance Institute (a think tank here in Brussels).

History of Political Thought

I have not been to this class yet, so I’ll let you know if it is as interesting as I hope it will be. What this course will be is an evaluation of political theory and the big political theorists in relation with the historical context that they were writing in and how that continues to be applied today. We will study theorists from Machiavelli, to Hobbes, to Marx, and many more along the way. This course has a pretty daunting term paper, but it is supposed to be a cross between a politics and history course, so I’m excited to see what I’m in for. Maybe I won’t have much of a history withdrawal after all?

Introduction to Psychology

I don’t think I really have to explain what this class is all about. Can you guess which class is my free elective this semester? 🙂

Diplomacy and International Negotiations

I think this is the course that I’m the most excited for! It is divided into two parts. The first part of the course focuses on the theory behind diplomacy and international negotiations. The second part will look at specific examples of successful and failed attempts and diplomacy and international negotiations. It also looks like I’ll be taking a country and having the responsibility to speak on their behalf for some negotiations in different areas, such as peace and security, the environment, international trade, etc. It will definitely be challenging, but interesting.

So there you are; my exciting schedule for the semester! If I get my internship I will have to drop one of those classes, and I don’t know which one I will pick, but it looks to be a fun and challenging semester! If you have any questions, just drop me a note below in the comments section.

P.S. I have officially updated my contact information, for those of you who were looking for my new mailing address!

Where In The World Is Agnes Irvine Scott?: Episode 5

19 Jan
A- Brussels, Belgium; B- Cologne, Germany; C- Langenfeld, Germany; D- Bielefeld, Germany; E- Aachen, Germany; F- Charleroi, Belgium (where we flew out of); G- Doesn't show, but this is Dublin, Ireland; H- Galway, Ireland; I- Cliffs of Moher, Ireland; J- Cork, Ireland; K- Dublin, Ireland

A- Brussels, Belgium; B- Cologne, Germany; C- Langenfeld, Germany; D- Bielefeld, Germany; E- Aachen, Germany; F- Charleroi, Belgium (where we flew out of); G- Doesn’t show, but this is Dublin, Ireland; H- Galway, Ireland; I- Cliffs of Moher, Ireland; J- Cork, Ireland; K- Dublin, Ireland

And off we go to the Emerald Isle. For Agnes, this was a return trip to the land of her birth (since Agnes Irvine Scott was actually an immigrant from Northern Ireland). After spending the New Year in Brussels, Flat Agnes and I caught a flight from Brussels to Dublin for a week and a half tour of Ireland with Alex! Fortunately for us, we were also able to meet up with some more great Scotties who were visiting Ireland on their Global Awareness: Literary Ireland trip. Here are some pictures of what Agnes got to experience!