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Driven to Discover


December 30, 2012

Looking forward to next semester!

Coming back to Minnesota from Rome will be bitter-sweet. There is a part of me that is dreading the day that I have leave this magical place, but there is also another part of me that is excited to see all of the people and things I have missed over the past couple of months. Another reason why I'm looking forward to next semester is because I will be studying abroad for my 4th time in South Africa over winter break. A week and half after I get back from Rome, I will be headed towards Capte Town with 20 or so other students from the University of Minnesota. I am beyond excited for this program; as I have heard from past participants that it is a life changing global seminar. 

Additionally, I will be taking my last couple of classes before I graduate this May.

Here are the classes that I will be taking:

-Women in Leadership
-Intro. to Project Management 
-Intro. to Under-educated Adult 
-Diversity in the Workplace
-Societies of the Future

December 29, 2012

CEA overnight trip to Pompeii, Sorrento, & Capri

This was our first stop once we got to Pompeii. It is a very important archaeological site in Pompeii. We had a very informative guided tour around the site and had a break to get some lunch before we headed to Sorrento for the night.

This was our beautiful hotel in Sorrento. After we checked in, we spent some time in the pool before we went to the center of Sorrento to explore the night-life.

This picture was taken in Capri- an Island on the south coast of Italy. After spending the night in Sorrento, we left the next day to explore Capri. We went on a boat just like the one you see on the left side of the picture to see the island.IMG_1474.JPG
After the boat ride, we had free-time to either go to the beach or take cable carts to the top to see the whole island; which is what we did.This is another picture taken after we took the cable carts to the top. This spot gave a really good panoramic view of the island.

After spending the whole day in Capri, we took the fairy to the port of Naples. We then had a choice of going back to Rome, or spending the night in Naples and coming back on our own. Myself along with other people in our program decided to stay a night in Naples. This picture is of me horseback riding on Mount Vesuvius.

This was the most beautiful view of Naples from Mount Vesuvius.

What better way to finish this amazing trip than to devour some Neapolitan pizza? After all, that is the place where it originated. This was by far the best pizza I have ever had, ever!


November 29, 2012

Slowly coming to an end...


It's without a doubt that the past couple of months have been the best and most memorable in my college career. Living in Rome has been a phenomenal experience. It literally feels like a dream to finally be here learning about an amazing historical city, eating one of the most delicious types of cuisines in the world, meeting people, and building relationships that I know I will forever cherish.

Ever since I studied abroad in Spain and China, I knew that going to school outside of my home country would create a life changing experience and that every college student should partake in that. Spending one moth in both countries opened my eyes to many possibilities. I learned not just about the places that I visited, but also about myself. From my experience, I know that there is something significant that takes place when a student is pushed beyond their comfort zone in a different country. Although there are some challenges that students face when studying abroad, I feel that there is something significant that takes place when a student lives and experiences a different way of life. Through my own voyage to the United States, living in Ethiopia, and studying in Spain and China, I know that the best way to learn about another country is to be in the native environment that allows you to develop an understanding of the culture, the people, the language and their history.

As a result of studying in China and Spain for a short period of time, I knew that I needed more than a month to immerse myself in the culture and have an amazing learning experience. So that is the very reason I chose a semester-long program in Rome. Looking back at the past two months, I have learned and retained a lot more than the past couple years in college combined. Since our program includes many cultural activities in addition to our class, we are learning more and more about the Italian culture, people and their history in a more pleasant way than just sitting in a classroom.

Since I arrived here in Rome at the end of August, I have had the opportunity to travel to 9 countries in Europe. When asked to describe my experiences in those countries, I'm mostly at a loss for words because there are literally not enough words to describe how fun and incredible all of the places have been.

All of my learning and traveling have made me realize that I want a career that will allow me to explore more of the world. Since I am in my senior year, it's very important for me to know the career path that I want to follow after this semester. From the beginning of college, I knew that I had an interest in International business, but now, it's solidified as a result of my traveling adventures. In fact, I have already started applying for Business Consultant positions for companies that have a global presence. So when I am asked how this program will affect my life after college, I can honestly say that it has already changed my whole life. I know now that I want to spend majority of my life working a living abroad and I definitely have CEA to thank for that!

November 29, 2012

I won an iPad :)

While studying in Rome, our program (CEA Global Education) opened up a new position for students to blog about their experiences abroad.  The position is called CEA MOJO (Mobile Journalist). Anyone who wanted to enter the contest had to submit a video application, and from that they choose one lucky student. One of the main incentive to this position is that the winner gets the new ipad. I figured I had a fair shot, so I applied. Then, couple of days later I was notified that they have selected me and that for the reminder of my semester I would serve as a CEA MOJO . They also told me that I would receive the new iPad upon completion of this program. 

Click here to see my Video Application  on YouTube.

November 28, 2012

Cooking Class- Roman Style

In addition to the classes I am taking at CEA Global Education, I participate in various cultural excursions in order to get a better understanding of Roman culture and Italian overall. One of these activities is a cooking class. As you can see in the pictures below, we learned how to make pasta from scratch. 
We used 10 eggs, and 100 grams of flour to make the pasta dough.

As you can see in the picture above, we made 3 types of pasta with the dough (Fettuccine, Tortellini, and Ravioli ) and we used mashed potatoes as a stuffing for the Tortellini and Ravioli.

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And this is the final product. I took the Fettuccine I made and boiled it while I sautéed some garlic, onions, green peppers, and onions in a different pan. After it was done I mixed the sauteed vegetables with the pasta. To add some finishing touches, I added some red crushed peppers and basil. 

November 20, 2012

Exploring Europe through food








November 20, 2012

Europe Travel

Hello readers, it has been quite sometime since I last blogged. I've been having way too much fun in Italy and Europe in general to keep up with writing, and I apologize for that. Since my last entry, I have traveled to 8 countries in Europe and 4 cities in Italy. With traveling just about every weekend, taking 5 classes, and trying to explore Rome as much as I can, I feel very busy here and time is cruising by. Here are some of the places that I've been to since my last blog entry:

Pompeii, Sorrento, Naples, & Capri, Italy

Prague, Czech Republic

Corfu, Greece

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Brussels, Belgium

Dublin, Ireland

London, England

Budapest, Hungary

Munich, Germany

Since I have less than a month here, I am only traveling for one more weekend to go to Florence and Venice. Beyond that, I am taking advantage of every second I have in Rome by continuing to explore. I truly can't believe that this adventure is coming to an end soon.


September 24, 2012

Home away from home

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It's funny how every single time I travel outside of the U.S., one of the first things that I miss is Ethiopian/Eritrean food. Luckily, I found a couple of Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants close to where I live in Rome. Once I told all of my roommates that I really missed my food, they all suggested that we make a trip to a near by restaurant. So I took my 7 roommates for what ended up being an amazing cultural adventure.  We went to an Eritrean restaurant called Sahara. Everything in the restaurant was decorated in a traditional manner including the uniforms of the waiters.  They played traditional Eritrean music and even talked to me in my primary language: Amharic. It was simply delightful.


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