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India - The Trip!

Hi Friends!

   This is the master post of my India trip, covering what I did while there, the best foods, and my overall experience! I'm going to have one post with my top five favorites, so if long posts aren't your thing, be sure to check out that one for the highlights! 

   For the majority of my time in India, I stayed at Infosys' training center in Mysore, India. This is where we had classes, from workshops to normal lectures to projects and exams, and spent most of our time. Mysore is in the state of Karnataka in the south of India and is known for its silks and sandalwood.
   While we were in class from 9:30am-6:30pm (yikes right?), we did have the opportunity to get off campus and explore the city! Our first excursion was for Mysore local sightseeing. We visited the Mysore palace, Chamundi Hills, and had the chance to shop for Sarees!

   The first weekend was our first long excursion. We woke up early Saturday morning and headed for Bylkauppe Tibetan Monastery. This…
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India - Packing & Expectations

Hi Friends!

   So this summer I had the opportunity to study abroad again, by the grace of USF Ed Abroad and my sheer determination to see as much of the world on the college's dollar. After months of going back and forth trying to pick a trip to apply for, I settled on India! This post will be the first of a series on my experiences planning, packing for, and adventuring to the other side of the world!

   My initial thoughts on to going to India were very mixed--it's a very diverse country, with rich culture and history, but it's also very very far away and VERY very different from anything I'd ever experienced. But, I decided that nothing ventured, nothing gained, and applied. I was also almost at a disadvantage, because as this was my second study abroad trip my expectations were very very high. Another thing was flying internationally by myself. I can say though without having gone to Europe last summer, I would not have had the mental capacity and nerve to throw m…

#jessabroad ~ Dresden

Our first morning in Dresden, we had a visit to the Semperoper and a city tour. I absolutely loved our tour guide, as she spoke with so much passion for the history of the art and music and culture of her city. The Semperoper was absolutely gorgeous, featuring painted ceilings, impressive colonnades, and immaculate detail in every way, shape, and form.

   After our tour of the Semperoper was finished, we reconvened to head off on our tour of the city itself. Dresden is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. We were able to visit various palaces, churches, see the Zwinger palace, and stroll down the streets of Dresden, absolutely immersed in the beauty and art of the city.
   Our tour concluded in the main city square, and we were able to break off into small groups to continue to explore the city. We decided to head up to the dome of the main cathedral to look out over the city.

   That afternoon, we decided to visit one of the castles just outside of Dresden. The best …

#jessabroad ~ Weimar/Buchenwald

Our second week in Osnabrück consisted of more classes, more shopping, and preparing ourselves for our long excursion. From fighting over the laundry machines to navigating our way through Kaufland's to gather snacks for the bus ride across Germany! We left around four in the morning on Wednesday, after a night of staying up all night so we would sleep on the bus ride, headed to our first destination--Weimar! The bus ride was filled with naps, charades, and card games as we made our way to Buchenwald.

   Once we arrived in Weimar and got to Buchenwald, the atmosphere completely changed. It sounds cliched to say, but it really does just feel heavier when you arrive at a place that was the site of so much hatred and suffering. Since we'd read Night by Elie Weisel in our class during the semester, this was a particularly heavy place to visit for us. The visit is hard to describe in words, and the value of the visit is more than I can describe in words; it's one thing to l…

#jessabroad ~ Munster and Bremen!

After our first week enjoying Osnabrück, we had our very first set of excursions. The weekend consisted of day trips to Munster and Bremen. Traveling by train, we passed the time playing cards, talking with our IFTs, and sneaking selfies with classmates who just so happened to fall asleep during the journey. 

Our morning in Munster consisted of a guided city tour around both the historic and modern parts of the city. We toured various churches, learned about the history of Night Watchmen in the city, and had the chance to view some palaces throughout the city. 

After the tour, we were free to split up into groups and explore the city on our own. With our IFTs, we headed off to find some lunch and to do a bit of shopping. One of the IFTs recommended some thrift shops, and we visited some tourist shops as well for postcards and souvenirs.

   That afternoon, we headed back to Osnabrück for a bit of rest before our excursion to Bremen the next day!     The next morning, we headed back to …