So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedershen, Goodbye!

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The InternationalWM Blog bids you a fond farewell.  It has been a wonderful two years sharing all of your fantastic study abroad stories.

To everyone who has shared their stories, a heartfelt thank you!

To everyone who has taken the time to read our blog, another heartfelt thank you!

The blog archive will remain available for your perusing pleasure for a little while longer.  To keep up with all the Reves news and study abroad happenings, check us out on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Thanks again and see you later!

 

 

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The Best Spring Break I’ll Ever Have

I got home last night from an 8 day trip to Istanbul, Zagreb, and Dubrovnik. I really enjoyed all three cities and while I would love to tell every hilarious story and amazing detail of the trip, I don’t have time to write a novel. Instead, I’ll tell you about my experience getting a Turkish bath, a highlight of my time in Istanbul.

When we arrived, we were given our bath tokens and directed toward the women’s side. First, you take off all your clothes and put on a bikini bottom-ish thing that is provided. Then you uncomfortably wait around clueless and topless in a room full of Turkish women blow-drying their hair and getting ready to go out (we went at like 9pm) until a very short, very large Turkish woman with enormous breasts wearing either lingerie or topless takes you by the hand, drags you into a beautiful sauna-like room with a vaulted dome and forcibly directs you to lie on a hot stone bed. You try to relax there until one of the Turkish women comes over and starts soaping you up and scrubbing you down. Now you’re simultaneously trying not to laugh because it tickles so much, trying not to cry because there’s soap in your eyes, and trying to pay attention to the physical instructions the woman is giving you (hint: a tap on the butt means “turn over”). When you are done being scrubbed, you are dragged over to a fountain where buckets of water are poured over your head until all the soap is gone. Lastly, you are placed in a hottub-like pool where you float around and reflect on what just happened to you. Although it was a bit stressful being completely clueless, the bath did make my skin feel incredible. It was so great that we discussed going again the next night. Definitely a memorable experience.

Here are a few of the billion pictures I took of my travels:

Hagia Sophia

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Istanbul Spice Market

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*Reprinted with Tracy’s permission from her blog, CWTOCPH

304470_3739877010678_1908533954_n-e1357715665956Tracy Brinkerhoff ’14 is spending her Spring 2013 semester in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She is an English major and an Economics minor with a strong interest in sustainability.  I enjoy a chai latte, a good novel, and a warm cat. I’m a member of Orchesis Modern Dance Company and Chi Omega Sorority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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General Life Updates

I went to a Nik & Jay concert. If you don’t know who they are, check out my previous post. The bartender at Vega (a really cool concert venue in Copenhagen) actually asked us why we were at the concert because we were clearly not Danish. Maybe 70% of the songs they sang were in Danish but that didn’t stop us from dancing and having an amazing time. Best concert I’ve been to so far this semester! I also finally sucked it up and got my hair cut for the first time in Copenhagen. I know many people are hesitant to get their hair cut while abroad because it’s not their home salon, but I had a very non-traumatic experience.

I leave tomorrow (at 5am) for Istanbul. Although I have been excited for all 3 travel breaks, I think I am most excited for this one because I will be traveling independently (without DIS). I will be in Istanbul for 4 nights where I will hopefully be able to meet up with two of my friends who are studying abroad there. Then I’m going to Zagreb for one night and seeing BEYONCE at the opening concert of her world tour before 3 days on the beach in Dubrovnik.

Nik & Jay:

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*Reprinted with Tracy’s permission from her blog, CWTOCPH

304470_3739877010678_1908533954_n-e1357715665956Tracy Brinkerhoff ’14 is spending her Spring 2013 semester in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She is an English major and an Economics minor with a strong interest in sustainability.  I enjoy a chai latte, a good novel, and a warm cat. I’m a member of Orchesis Modern Dance Company and Chi Omega Sorority.

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Vamos a la Playa

Okay, I know that’s Spanish (and not Portuguese), but you get the point. I’M IN PORTUGAL! One of the things that sets DIS apart from other study abroad programs is the amount of vacation time. We get three full weeks off from classes for travel; one week with your core course (which for me, was two weeks ago in Amsterdam) and two for individual travel. BUT because planning trips with your friends is stressful/expensive/time-consuming/potentially dramatic, I would highly recommend one of the DIS adventure trips.

I am currently in Ericeira, Portugal, a costal town North of Lisbon with the Portugal: Surf the Atlantic trip. The surf lodge is beautiful, the staff is wonderful, and I have already stood up multiple times on my surfboard! (I have never touched a surfboard before yesterday, I swear). Our schedule is pretty intense with two-a-day surf lessons, yoga, and delicious meals. Although my sore muscles are saying otherwise, I have enjoyed every second of the past two days. It was pouring rain this morning as we were surfing, but we all agreed that the rain just made us feel cooler and more exciting people. Toward the end of today’s lesson, the sun even decided to grace us with its presence! My cheeks are pink. This is a big deal after 2.5 months in Scandinavia.

Ericeira

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*Reprinted with Tracy’s permission from her blog, CWTOCPH

304470_3739877010678_1908533954_n-e1357715665956Tracy Brinkerhoff ’14 is spending her Spring 2013 semester in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She is an English major and an Economics minor with a strong interest in sustainability.  I enjoy a chai latte, a good novel, and a warm cat. I’m a member of Orchesis Modern Dance Company and Chi Omega Sorority.

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Being a Bad Tourist

I was lucky enough to have my parents visit me in Copenhagen last week. We visited places I have been hearing about all semester and ate at restaurants I have walked past and never entered. Over the course of the week, I realized something important: when you study abroad in a city you are NOT a tourist. In fact, I’m downright bad at being a tourist in Copenhagen. My parents kept asking me which bus line to take to their hotel, what days the Castle or museum is open, and should they get a Copenhagen card? (All questions to which I had no answer.)

Being slightly clueless actually made me happy! I can say with confidence that I know about the language (a little..), culture, history, of Copenhagen. I know to bring flowers too the hostess when invited over for a meal, I know where to buy the cheapest coffee and best falafel in the city, and I know that’s it’s mandatory to make eye-contact when cheersing with Danes. It was exciting to see the difference between my observations after three months in Copenhagen and my parents’ observations after three days.

Although I wasn’t a pro tourist, my parents and I did manage to make it to Roskilde, Kronborg Castle (Hamlet’s Castle), and the newest Copenhagen tourist attraction, The Blue Planet. We saw Romeo and Juliet at the Royal Theater, walked around Stroget, went through the Black Diamond, and generally enjoyed being outside in what was hands down the best week of weather I have experienced in Denmark so far.

Here are some pictures of my week with my parents:

 

Kronborg Castle

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The Blue Planet! (Copenhagen’s new aquarium)

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Royal Library

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Royal Theater

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*Reprinted with Tracy’s permission from her blog, CWTOCPH

304470_3739877010678_1908533954_n-e1357715665956Tracy Brinkerhoff ’14 is spending her Spring 2013 semester in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She is an English major and an Economics minor with a strong interest in sustainability.  I enjoy a chai latte, a good novel, and a warm cat. I’m a member of Orchesis Modern Dance Company and Chi Omega Sorority.

 

 

 

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Mason School of Business First-Year MBAs Studying the World through Global Business Juntos

In 1727, Benjamin Franklin and 12 friends convened the first Junto dedicated to mutual improvement.  Meeting once a week for over forty years, the junto formed the basis of the American Philosophical Society.  Befitting The College of William & Mary’s storied roots in American learning, the Global Issues Juntos takes its cue from Benjamin Franklin.  Designed to enrich and enhance the Mason School of Business MBA Program, the first-year MBA Cohort at the Mason School of Business began the second year of the Global Issues Juntos on November 27, 2012, concluding February 19, 2013.

The program is designed to increase students’ active participation in their learning process, apply core lessons and methods to contemporary business conditions and events, allowing for a more personalized program, integrating meaningful leadership opportunities and providing a forum for an exchange of ideas.  Each junto is comprised of 10 to 12 students and a faculty advisor acting as a resource for each junto.  Importantly, the successful junto encourages participants to hold members accountable, while developing and sharing the course content through a detailed weekly blog monitored by the faculty supervisor and an end of program summary presentation for the Mason School of Business community.

Commenting on the appeal of this program, MBA Program Coordinator Julie Hummel remarked that, “the students seem to really appreciate the chance to work in new, small groups that are defined by their mutual interests.  Since the juntos are self-directed, they can take them as far as they want to go!”

Topics for juntos are developed by the first year cohort.  The 2012-2013 first-year cohort developed eleven exciting juntos examining cutting-edge international issues.  The topics included in this year’s juntos are corporate responsibility, energy, health, the fiscal cliff, and China, among others.

MBA Program Coordinator Julie Hummel noted that, “we had over 56 junto suggestions that were narrowed down to 18 topics, and then 10 were chosen.”

Guillermo Sacriste, first year MBA student and point of contact for the Global Economic Systems Junto, described how his interest in the deepening financial crisis served as inspiration for his junto.  Sacriste remarked that since 2008 he has “been watching closely as events play out around the world, noticing a pattern” of responses by individuals throughout the world.  Based on his observations, Sarciste developed the Global Economic Systems Junto to investigate the “need for a new economics that takes into account current changes in society and future constraints of natural resources.”

Although the juntos are student-designed and directed, each junto is assigned a faculty advisor. Designed and executed by the MBA students for themselves, faculty advisors are resources for the students, not lecturing in front of the class.

Associate Professor Jeanne Wilson describes her role as a faculty advisor thusly: “my major role is support—connecting the group to resources or evidence-based material if they need help.”  However, Wilson also acknowledged that her faculty advisor role goes beyond simple support, recognizing her “secondary function as a provocateur—to ask thought provoking questions to help the students think about the topic in different or deeper ways.”

Expanding on the benefits of the Global Issues Juntos module for the Mason School of Business and William & Mary, Professor Wilson affirmed “it is a great experience for self-directed learning.  And since it is a collective experience it has other important dimensions like leading and coordinating a group of people without strong external incentives.”

In addition to developing interpersonal leadership skills, The Global Issues Juntos are important because of the increasing demands of global knowledge necessary to successful navigate today’s business environment.  According to Wilson, the Global Juntos program is “indispensable for most MBA’s career success, in both for-profit roles and also not-for-profit organizations.”

Sacriste agrees with Professor Wilson’s belief in the benefit of the Global Juntos program.  Describing the importance of the module, Sacriste said, “just looking inside the classroom or my own junto group—we have individuals representing China, Taiwan, India, Nigeria, Venezuela and different parts of the United States—you can see the impact globalization is already having on education.”

The success of the Global Issues Juntos module is ultimately measured by the experiences of the first-year MBAs.  Not only does the module promote active roles in crafting their own education, but also helps contextualize first-year MBAs’ education and futures as business leaders in a world-minded business environment.

First-year MBA student and Global Junto participant Luke Oberjuerge connects the importance of the Global Issues Juntos and his W&M education, “global education is so important, because so many of us are going to be working in the international sphere.  This is especially true of MBAs who will be making far-reaching investment and trade decisions that can dramatically change people’s lives.”

Excitedly, Obejuerge concludes that “the junto is an opportunity for us to explore how our actions affect others and how we can bring about positive change.”

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Gotta Get Down on Friday (in Copenhagen)

I finally bought a pair of legitimately warm boots.  I can feel my toes for the first time since arriving in Copenhagen.  I wanted to get a pair of Danish looking boots sooo I might have bought the same exact ones my European Sustainable Development professor wears on the reg…

I went to Christiania yesterday on an assignment for my Dynamic Project Leadership class with three of my classmates.  My group was supposed to interview this vegan restaurant located in Christiania about their business model and compare it to a model we’re learning about in class.  I won’t tell the full story here, but let’s just say it was an interesting and challenging experience.  I have a sneaky feeling that our professors knew the restaurant was closed for construction until February and that the people who run the restaurant wouldn’t be very willing to talk to us. Christiania was wonderful though- I definitely recommend it to anyone visiting Copenhagen!

Last night, after wandering around the glass markets trying to make a dinner out of free samples, we had an America-themed party in our house.  Our Danish SRAs (social and residential advisors) threw a multi-floor party to encourage house bonding.  We were split into three teams: gangstas, Jersey Shore, and cowboys.  I was pleased I didn’t get Jersey shore.

Eating gelato by a bonfire outside the glass markets.  We know this doesn’t make sense but the gelato was delicious. p.s. check out my new kicks

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*Reprinted with Tracy’s permission from her blog, CWTOCPH

304470_3739877010678_1908533954_n-e1357715665956Tracy Brinkerhoff ’14 is spending her Spring 2013 semester in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She is an English major and an Economics minor with a strong interest in sustainability.  I enjoy a chai latte, a good novel, and a warm cat.  I can’t imagine what my life would be like without dance.  I’m a member of Orchesis Modern Dance Company and Chi Omega Sorority.

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COPENHAGENIZATION!!

Tonight I attended a lecture titled “Copenhagenization.”  It was the first of five Climate Seminars that DIS holds at Studenterhuset (the student union), which is conveniently located around the corner from my house.   The speaker was Mikael Colville-Andersen, founder of Copenhagenize Design Co.  This idea of Copenhagenization involves urban planning, psychology, and sustainability all functioning together to produce smarter cities.  In Copenhagen, the word has become most associated with the bike-friendly nature of the city.  While walking (or biking) around Copenhagen, it is very evident that thought, money, and planning have gone into making biking a comfortable, safe, and practical mode of transportation. This idea is being spread to cities all over the world. Go Copenhagen!

In other news, our first Green House dinner was tonight.  We rotate who cooks each week.  This week it was some delicious frittata and spaghetti squash we got from the food co-op.  We discussed different organizations we want to get involved in or projects we want to undertake as members of the Green House. I am still deciding what direction I want to take.

ALSO, I am honored to have been selected as a DIS student blogger for the semester!  You can check out the cool new logo addition on my homepage that tells you I’m legit.  After being accepted as a student blogger, I actually shared the link with my parents (who promptly sent it to like every member of my family that has ever heard of me…)

Here’s the table all set and ready for our first Green House dinner

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*Reprinted with Tracy’s permission from her blog, CWTOCPH

304470_3739877010678_1908533954_n-e1357715665956Tracy Brinkerhoff ’14 is spending her Spring 2013 semester in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She is an English major and an Economics minor with a strong interest in sustainability.  I enjoy a chai latte, a good novel, and a warm cat.  I can’t imagine what my life would be like without dance.  I’m a member of Orchesis Modern Dance Company and Chi Omega Sorority.

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Settling In: Further Adventures in Copenhagen

DIS has a great option for students who want a relationship with a Danish family but don’t necessarily want to live with a host family.  They call it a “visiting family.” I have been in contact with my visiting family for about a month now.  My visiting mom, Linda, is the sweetest person and sent me a full description of each member of their family and attached pictures too. We have made plans to meet up next Saturday and I could not be more excited.

Yesterday, Friday, I took my first REAL biking trip.  My roommate Caitlin and I biked to Carlsberg Brewery in the afternoon.  We got lost on the way their AND the way back, but it was awesome.  The brewery tour was really informative and came with two complementary beers.  From there, we went to Riz Raz for a delicious vegetarian buffet that was provided by the Sustainability in Europe program.  It was great to bond a little more with the 75 or so other members of the SIE program since I will be spending a lot of time with them this semester.

Recent accomplishments:

1. Going outside
The temperature is 25 degrees F but “feels like 11 degrees”

2. Showering quickly enough
I live in the Green House so we have a shower gadget thing that shuts the water off after an undefined amount of time.  The only way to turn it back on is to get out of the shower and push the button on the opposite wall.  Needless to say, it has forced me to shorten my shower time.  Today I finally managed to get all of the soap off my body before the shower shut off.

 

Caitlin and I at Carlsberg Brewery

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The world’s largest collection of unopened beer bottles

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Rosenborg Castle in the King’s Gardens

 

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Trying to catch Katie mid-air. Fail.

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*Reprinted with Tracy’s permission from her blog, CWTOCPH

304470_3739877010678_1908533954_n-e1357715665956Tracy Brinkerhoff ’14 is spending her Spring 2013 semester in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She is an English major and an Economics minor with a strong interest in sustainability.  I enjoy a chai latte, a good novel, and a warm cat.  I can’t imagine what my life would be like without dance.  I’m a member of Orchesis Modern Dance Company and Chi Omega Sorority.

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I Want to Ride My Bicycle

I biked in Copenhagen!!! Granted, it was only from the bike shop around the corner back to my home on Store Kannikestraede, but still I biked!  I was going very slowly and definitely had a ridiculous look on my face.  I was also saying much too loudly…”I’M BIKING AND I’M IN COPENHAGEN!! I FEEL SO IMMERSED!”  Because that’s what immersed people say, right?

Perhaps more importantly, today was my first day of classes.  I dropped three classes for three other classes today, so my schedule is still a bit confusing.  BUT here are the classes I had today:

European Sustainable Development:
This is my core course.  My professor is the most Danish Danish woman I can think of and she’s clearly very smart.  I’m looking forward to getting to know my classmates and my professor better over the next few weeks and especially during core course week!

Danish Language and Culture:
After just one day I can already say things like, “Hi my name is Tracy. I come from America.  I live on Store Kannikestraede in Copenhagen. I study English.”  Don’t ask me to type these simple phrases in Danish, because the tricky thing is that written Danish looks NOTHING like spoken Danish.

Environmental Economics:
This is a pretty big class and the professor is a little intimidating.  Seems like this might be my most difficult class because there are 3 scheduled exams and lots of legitimate information to understand.  Still excited about it though!

In case I haven’t already made it clear, I don’t have class on Fridays. I have informally declared that Friday will be ADVENTURE DAYYY.  On adventure day, I pledge to never ever do homework and to always go out and do something fun in CPH.  Tomorrow, I have big plans to go to Carlsberg brewery for a tour (and some beers) with two of my housemates.

 

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This is the entrance to my home and my new silver bike!

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Me, cheesin’ on my bike.

 

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My roommate Joanna and housemate Devon cheesin’ with their bikes.

 

*Re-printed with Tracy’s permission from her blog, CWTOPCH

304470_3739877010678_1908533954_n-e1357715665956Tracy Brinkerhoff ’14 is spending her Spring 2013 semester in Copenhagen, Denmark.  She is an English major and an Economics minor with a strong interest in sustainability.  I enjoy a chai latte, a good novel, and a warm cat.  I can’t imagine what my life would be like without dance.  I’m a member of Orchesis Modern Dance Company and Chi Omega Sorority.

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