MDub Students Around the Globe

Studying abroad is one of those quintessential college experiences. Where to go though? There is a whole world full of possibilities out there.

If you want to get a true idea of what it is like to study abroad look no further than some of Mary Washington’s very own students who are studying abroad. The following students have taken the time to blog about their experiences in various countries around the world. From the mundane to the spectacular, these blogs are worth taking a look at for the insight they provide into what it is like to study abroad.

Image of statue in RomeThe first blog is written by Andromeda who studied in Italy in the fall of 2008. She is a classics major at MW and here is how she described the program she did:

I am currently living in Rome at a little social experiment called the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies. The program consists of 36 Classics majors from all over the United States living and studying together in one building. Sounds like a reality television show, doesn’t it? All students take a class called The Ancient City, which involves several site tours per week. Though the class falls into the archaeology category, the ultimate purpose is to gain a better understanding of Roman culture, which is valuable no matter what aspect of Classics one prefers.

Italy not quite exotic enough for you? Well how about Istanbul? Emily Potsky is studying at Bogaziçi University in Turkey. This blog is rich in photos and videos and gives a great insight into what it is like to study abroad in a very different culture. When is the last time a cat came wandering into the middle of your class? I certainly can’t remember, but that is just one of many random observations Emily has made. She also has a Flickr account with a bunch of great photos and some videos too.

On to Egypt we go to find Matthew Guckenberg studying in Cairo. I love this blog because of Matthew’s description of what the culture is like in Cairo and already Matthew seems to really grok it. His observation of little things make this blog worth watching:

…it seems that in Cairo sidewalks are not for walking at all, but rather for all sorts of other activities. I have found that most sidewalks are taken up by people sitting in chairs, smoking, loitering, selling various things, and security guard posts. And don’t let me forget the possibly illegal parking half on the sidewalk, half on the road. So you may be wondering where you walk then. That’s a very simple answer, the road.

Matthew has also responded to readers comments and I’m sure if you had anything you were interested in he would be glad to tell you about it.

Next we will take a look at a UMW student studying in Bulgaria. Eric Halsey is studying abroad at the American University of Bulgaria. Did you know Bulgaria was so pretty? I didn’t, but thanks to Eric’s blog I have been able to see the beauty that surrounds him. So take a look at it, you won’t be sorry . Also, one of the nice things about his blog is Eric’s description of the locations beyond his own impression making this blog practically a quick guide to place in Bulgaria.

Last but not least is Joe who is in Florence for 4 months. Right away you will notice that Joe was eager to get to Italy, his passion for the culture is clear. He has a job at the American Consular Service where on his first day got to work on passport renewals and emergency passports, cool right? And scary fact courtesy of Joe is “about 70% of all the cases of stolen passports in Florence come from the train station.” Something good to keep in mind. And just recently, Joe spent the weekend showing various members of Congress, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, around Florence, now there’s an experience for you!

I hope this has been helpful to those of you interested in studying abroad and if you really dig these blogs leave some comment love. Also, if you know of any other people blogging their experience overseas, let us know.


Mapping Your Own Domain on UMW Blogs

Image of Serena Epstein's Blog/site

Q: What is domain mapping?
A: This is where your blog and/or website is hosted here at but it looks like it is somewhere else – on another domain.

Q. Why would I want to do this?
A. Well, if you want to have your own web space to capture the academic work you’re doing, but aren’t interested or able to get your own web hosting space, this may prove a nice solution. You can have your own domain to frame an online identity and showcase the work you’re doing without in the URL. Want an example? Take a look at Serena Epstein’s website that brings her work from several of her course blogs into her own, personalized domain:

It’s simple to get up and running, for a quick how-to click here.

A Blogging Survey

Professor Marcel Rotter has created a blogging survey as a means to find out more about your opinion and approach to blogging. If you have a spare second, take the survey so that he can have all your datas!

Link to survey.

Momento de primer amor

Professor Betsy Lewis’s Spanish 375 course spent much of last semester reading and discussing thick Spanish novels from the 19th century as well as some awesome films adaptions of them, such as Luis Buñuel‘s Tristana. Professor Lewis encouraged her students to experiment with creating and presenting their own media-rich examinations of the translation of these works from novels to film, a process which is broken down into four distinctions projects on the course blog. Originally, the final project for the class entailed working together to script a story they read during semester that hadn’t been made into a film, yet the class went above and beyond that assignment and produced a full-fledged 10 minute film titled Momento de primer amor (which has been embedded below).

What’s more, their film won second prize this past Friday at the UMW Film Festival, and I would be interested to know if any other films premiering were also born out of a class project. Kudos to to both professor Lewis and all the students of Spanish 375 for having so much creative fun with their learning.

UMW Blogs wants you!

While many of you might think the right Reverend is the only cat who can feature excellent work happening on and around UMW Blogs, you’d be right up and until now. But that is all about to change. The fact is, while I love featuring work from around the community, I have to admit that there is far too much amazing work happening around UMW Blogs for any one person to get a clear handle on it all. So, in the spirit of openness that this whole experiment was conceived, UMW Blogs wants you to feature either a post, or profile an entire blog, that you think deserves wider attention. The option is open to any one in the UMW Blogs community, all you need is the will and a username.

Moreover, doing it is actually quite simple, once you have a username and have logged in, look for the “Feature a post!” area in the sidebar on the UMW Blogs homepage and click on the “Add me” button. After that, you will be made a contributor of this blog and you can feature away. Keep in mind your post will not be published immediately, it will be added to a queue, and will not show up until the previous featured post has enjoyed a certain amount of time at the top.

So, what are you still doing here reading?  Go on, get out there and find one of the thousands of awesome posts around UMW Blogs that desrves to be featured–we’ll leave that criteria up to you. For ask not what UMW Blogs can do for you, but what you can do for UMW Blogs!

Special thanks to Serena Epstein for the photoshopping.