Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Travel: AKA the Best Teacher

Monday, October 23rd, 2023
My trip to the Berlinale film festival this past year.

Regardless of how passionate you are about your major, I feel like having a few classes you’re less than thrilled about is an inevitable experience in college. For me personally, a lot of my first-year classes were extremely introductory and could be a bit boring at times. However, with the free time my less-than-packed schedule allowed, I decided to take advantage of being in Europe and travel as much as possible.

My school has what are called reading weeks, which happen twice a semester and are essentially just a week off of school. Despite the name, I think the average Trinity student can tell you that not very much reading gets done during reading week. However, for the first reading week of my freshman year, I was a little nervous about going on a long trip. I didn’t have any super close friends and was definitely not brave enough to try traveling somewhere alone. So, two friends and I made the crazy decision to try taking a day trip to London.

While Dublin is only an hour and a half flight from London, we failed to factor in all the additional time of getting to and from airports as well as potential delays (if you’ve ever flown Ryanair, you know exactly what I’m talking about). However, the chaotic-ness of the whole thing was probably what made it so memorable. We were up at the crack of dawn, spent the few hours we had in the city speed-walking from sight to sight, and collapsed in our dorms back in Dublin at the end of the day. Even today, as I’ve gotten to know those friends better, it’s always a great story to tell.

Day trip to London!

For my spring reading week however, I was determined to cement a longer, more elaborate trip so I could really get to know the culture and layout of another country. A group of friends and I finally settled on the city of Barcelona and I began an extensive few weeks of researching and compiling an elaborate spreadsheet (I am most definitely my mother’s daughter). I had every day planned to the hour, although I reassured my friends that nobody was obligated to follow the schedule I set. Surprisingly though, they were all mostly willing to follow my lead and try to cram in as many sights and activities as possible.

Barcelona was truly an incredible trip and I fell in love with the city over the week we spent there. We started our trip by visiting the stunning Sagrada Família, the remarkably massive church that has been in construction since 1882. The architecture was insanely intricate and, despite having seen pictures online before, no photo could capture the feeling of standing inside the church and gazing up at the ceiling. Another memorable attraction was the Park Güell, a lovely green space with ceramics and architecture designed by the famous designer Antoni Gaudí.

The stunning Sagrada Família

Without getting into every little thing we did, some more memorable moments include a three-hour hike we did up the Montserrat mountain, a visit to a creepily empty theme park on Tibidabo, and a cello concert (followed by a meet-and-greet) by the talented Sheku Kanneh-Mason. No shade to any of my classes or assignment from that semester, but I think it was well-worth taking a break from school to make some of the best memories of my freshman year.

Post-hike on Montserrat! (the photographer let us pose with their dog)

While I am definitely not the first person to say it, I don’t think the educational benefits of traveling can be preached about enough. I fully recognize that getting the ability to travel to different countries and have experiences in new cultures is a privilege, one that not everyone can afford.

However, if the opportunity does arise, and the resources are available, I highly encourage every college student to seize the moment and travel abroad. Whether it’s just for a week or a full semester, it is so beneficial to physically spend time in another country to immerse yourself in newness and see firsthand how other cultures live and operate

Especially coming from the US, it is all too easy to get caught up in your own bubble and forget about the rest of the world to whatever extent it fails to factor in your day-to-day life. However, unawareness often breeds ignorance, and getting to spend even just a little time outside of your bubble can help you remember how big the world really is.

The benefits of travel don’t only apply to travel outside of the US borders. College schedules are hectic, and funds can be tight, so traveling abroad may not be a viable option for most students. However, one can still travel to places that are closer to them while also receiving the beneficial lessons learned from visiting a new place. Whether a neighboring city or state, there are more easily accessible locations that can inspire the same amount of learning and open-mindedness as visiting a foreign country.

For me personally, travel has helped me see the bigger picture in all aspects of life. Getting bogged down in the college environment makes it all too easy to stress over the most trivial of things, from assignments to friendship dramas to what you want to eat for dinner. In that sense, travel in any capacity is not simply a break from the lull of everyday life, but a chance for a new perspective on the world, and how you might fit into it.


  • Freshman year I saw travel as a way to get the most out of my education
  • My first trip of college was a day trip to London
  • My week-long trip to Barcelona opened my eyes to the benefits of traveling
  • Traveling can help put the stresses of your day-to-day life into a bigger picture

Grab a bite of French cuisine right in NYC with this 15% off coupon!

By Bella Littler

Bella is a second year film student within the Trinity College Dublin / Columbia Dual BA program. She grew up in Iowa, but is currently living and studying in Dublin. On the average day, you can find her watching obscure movies, going on aimless walks around the city, or raving about any and all Taylor Swift lyrics.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


From New York to…Vienna

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Cities can be gross, crowded places to live. Because of this, we sometimes forget to well…look up. The amount of effort and planning that went into the buildings around us is often lost when we’re caught up in the rush of getting to work or class. This is especially true in New York, where I’m usually too concerned with the location of the F train to look around and see some of the huge, insane works of art that skyscrapers and other buildings are. Another place I found this to be true was Vienna, home to some of the most glorious architecture I’ve ever seen.

Taken by Jainita Patel.

Taken by Jainita Patel.

If you have a minute to stop and look up, here are a few of the things that might surprise you:


Places of Worship.

As a means to preserve culture, centers of worship tend to be some of the most intricate works of architecture in the world. Since both New York and Vienna are mainly Christian, most of these places tend to be cathedrals. In New York, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and St. Patrick’s Cathedral spring to mind immediately as extremely impressive buildings that stand out in the urban streets. In Vienna, Votivkirche is a well-known cathedral with a breath-taking exterior. Karlskirche in Vienna on Karlplatz is not so impressive from the outside, but the baroque architecture inside is sure to stun you—if you go, be sure to take the elevator all the way up to see the fresco ceiling up close. In both New York and Vienna, however, cathedrals are not the only houses of worship with impressive architecture. If you’re willing to make the trip, the Hindu Temple Society of North America has an extraordinary Ganesh Temple (or Mandir) in Flushing that is built in the traditional Hindu architectural style. In Midtown, the Central Synagogue looks as stunning form the inside as it does the outside and it’s hard to miss even if you’re in a hurry to catch the next train. In Vienna, there is a Shaolin Temple Culture Center (Shaolin Tempel Kultur Zentrum) built in a traditional fashion with gorgeous gardens. Also in Vienna, the Islamic Centre of Vienna (Islamisches Zentrum Wien) lies just beyond the Danube and is worth the trip.

Votivkirche Taken by Jainita Patel.

Taken by Jainita Patel.



New York is known for its tall skyline. The Empire State Building and the Freedom Tower are some of its most famous structures, but if you get a chance, feel free to swing by 8 Spruce St. for it’s mesmerizing exterior or 56 Leonard St. which looks like a precarious game of Jenga. In Vienna, the Millennium Building towers over downtown, mixing the old and the new. The IZD is also an interesting building, even more so once you realize that the U.S. NSA has an office at the top of this famous skyscraper.


Palaces and Castles.

This might be one place New York falls a little short. New York is old, but it cannot even be compared the age of the older European cities. There is, however, one building in New York that looks a bit like a castle. The Park Avenue Armory looks like a fortified castle from the outside—it even has turrets. The outside of this building is of architectural interest, but the inside is even more so. In Vienna, there is no lack of royal residences, but my favorite is Belevedere, a palace built in the same baroque style as Karlskirche. Now an art museum, the slightly expensive price (€22 for all 3 sections) to enter the museum is worth seeing the works inside—including The Kiss by Gustav Klimt—and the gorgeous gardens and architecture.


Odd, Secret Spots.

Sometimes in city life you need a slightly idyllic respite from the rushed life style. Luckily, there are two spots in Manhattan that provide a few seconds of breathing room on your way to that important meeting you just can’t miss. As most NYU students know, Washington Mews with its cobblestone road is a cute little spot to just take a stroll and some silly pictures. The old-style architecture of the building on the Mews will just take you back in time for a brief minute. Another secret street in NYC is Pomander Walk. Located on West 95th St. between Broadway and West End Avenue, Pomander Walk is surrounded by gorgeous Tudor-style buildings. In Vienna, though I don’t know any secret walks like the Mews or the Walk, there is Hundertwasserhaus, an apartment building that is designed and painted to look like an expressionist piece of artwork. It’s a bit of a surprise to see that walking down the streets of Vienna so it will certainly catch your eye. There are a few expressionist buildings in Vienna so keep an eye out.

Pomander Walk

Pomander Walk



So take a minute and look around you and soak it all in. Cities are beautiful (most of the time). And who knows? Maybe if you like New York for its architecture, you’ll get to see Vienna’s some day or vice versa.


By Jainita Patel

Jainita is a Campus Clipper publishing intern who is double majoring in English and Environmental Studies at NYU. Though writing fiction and painting are her two main passions, she also has a love of travel and adventure that has taken her across the globe.  Jainita writes under the pseudonym Jordan C. Rider. If you like her posts, you can find more of her work here or follow her on Twitter. For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourage them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015. 


Study Abroad, Get Hired: Virginia Yu, Copenhagen, Denmark

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

It’s hard to argue that there are many benefits to studying abroad, and for MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art) graduate, Virginia Yu, it gave her a unique job opportunity as well.

“I’ve always loved traveling and learning about new cultures,” the 22-year-old says.

Yu attended the Danish Institute for Study abroad (DIS) in her spring semester of 2013. The school is located in Copenhagen, Denmark — “The land of LEGOs and awesome architecture!” she quips.

The tuition to study abroad was actually cheaper in Denmark than in Baltimore because Yu didn’t have to pay for extra on-campus fees. Her trip included classes, housing, two study tour trips, transportation in Copenhagen, and food expenses in the form of a prepaid grocery card. Yu also had grants and financial aid from MICA that carried on for her spring semester abroad, including a presidential scholarship and a MICA talent grant.

Virginia Yu smiles for the camera overlooking a typical Denmark scene.

Virginia Yu smiles for the camera overlooking a typical Denmark scene.

“[One way] I saved money was by not eating out and always asking for student discounts when I did eat out,” she says. “Copenhagen offered plenty of them because the majority of people were students.” Education is free in Denmark, so many people there are obtaining their masters. Because of this, many stores and cafes offer student discounts.

Yu ended up staying in Denmark for a total of eight months after she secured an internship with Seidenfaden Design Copenhagen for the summer.

“I felt really fortunate to have that opportunity because it allowed me to have more time in Denmark and to see the country more,” she says. “The best part, of course, was being able to work internationally and to compare the work environment to how things were like back home.”

She said that in Denmark there were better wages, more time off and less pressure — a very different working environment than one would find in Baltimore or New York City.

Brainstorming at work.

Brainstorming at work.

For college students, resume building is everything and having work experience abroad can really help someone stand out from other applicants.

“I gained a worldly knowledge, a chance to see the world, an opportunity to study overseas, which lead to working overseas, and lastly a once in a lifetime experience that I’ll never forget,” Yu says. “It has helped me become the person I am today.

“You learn to redefine what home is and you learn to infuse another culture to call your own.”

And really, isn’t that what studying abroad is all about?

Copenhagen landscape.

Copenhagen landscape.


You can check out Virginia Yu‘s work at


Sam Levitz is a graduate of Brooklyn College and went on the CUNY Study Abroad trip to China the summer of 2013. Follow her on Instagram:slevitz

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Pushing Boundaries: How Traveling and Studying Abroad Have Changed My Life and Shaped My Career Path, and Why You Should Do It Too

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

At only 21 years old, I am no Confucius. I cannot give you sound and scientific advice that, if followed, will give you guaranteed success and happiness and all the things you’ve ever dreamed possible. I do not know everything; I don’t have all the answers. What I DO have is my own experience. One of my favorite lines from a book came from Arthur Japin’s In Lucia’s Eyes that reads, “The world is full of people who spend their entire lives seeking the miracle of love without ever seeing it. It’s actually very simple and self-evident, except to those who seek it. One need only have a different way of seeing things. That is not something you can teach people. All you can do is tell your story.”

Whether or not you’re looking for love, let that last sentence resonate with you. All you can do is tell your story. This is my story.


My mother was born and raised in Brazil and moved to the U.S. when she found her future husband who worked in San Francisco at the time. This man, my father, lived in the U.S. for several years already, but actually grew up in San Jose, Costa Rica.  Call them star-crossed lovers or whatever you wish, these two foreigners set out to make a new future in a new country for their new daughter, me!


Growing up, it was just my parents and me. No siblings, no relatives nearby, no pets other than the occasional goldfish won at a carnival with a lifespan average of two days.  I spent most of my breaks from school traveling, either to Costa Rica or Brazil, to see family and connect with cousins and friends my age, keeping up with both Portuguese and Spanish.

The language was never a barrier to me when I was in another country, but became an issue when I returned to the U.S. and had already started school. I would meet with friends and sometimes be unable to realize that I wasn’t speaking English with them because I was so used to being understood in another language.

In addition to traveling to see relatives, I was fortunate enough to have such hard-working parents who always wanted me to see the world, as was their goal for themselves.  We travelled to many places in Europe before I finished the 8th grade, even at which point it was very clear to me that studying abroad would be in my future, no question.

Before starting high school I KNEW I would be gone for sophomore year – I researched study abroad programs and took advantage of them.  Initially I wanted to go to countries like Italy or Spain, but I wound up finding a full-ride scholarship opportunity (sponsored by U.S. Congress and German Parliament) to study in Germany, so I applied. As I moved further through the selection process, it became surreal how competitive this was: out of 2500 applicants, only 50 would receive scholarships.

In April 2006, I learned I had received the scholarship. I turned 15 the next month and three months later was off to live in Germany for a year: no family, no friends, and didn’t  know a word of German. I was the youngest of all the recipients, and after 11 months I was fluent in German.

Before beginning my time at a University, it was clear to me I would study abroad again. I would have applied for the program right away if it weren’t for the window allowed for it by the study abroad office. I was the first to submit an application for that as well, and in the fall of 2010, I had one of the BEST semesters of my life in Bern, Switzerland. If I hadn’t graduated early, I would have studied abroad again.

I’ve now relocated from Arizona to New York and am pursuing a career here while considering my options for a Master’s abroad – perhaps Switzerland again.  I’ve even recently been asked to work with a European magazine for some press releases. My passion is traveling and connecting with people who have experienced this and exchanging cultures.  All the traveling and studying abroad I’ve done have brought me here and told me where I’m going.  You CAN and SHOULD do it too, and even if traveling isn’t something you want for your career, experiencing it now while you’re young is priceless and will teach you so much about yourself and the world.


Where to look for study abroad programs:

  1. Consult with your school’s study abroad offices: I realize these offices are becoming smaller and smaller in the U.S., but these guys know what they’re talking about. Ask which kinds of programs are available to you – some may have year standing or GPA requirements. Maybe there’s a specific kind of program you’re searching for – my school offered programs in which you travel with a group of students from the University while learning abroad. My school also offered a program where you didn’t pay a study abroad fee, just the same tuition you were paying while attending the school, which is how I was able to study abroad. Many study abroad offices even have information on scholarships. There are plenty of options; inform yourself!
  2. Check other programs: This gets tricky and is where fees come into play, sky-rocketing the price of your study abroad experience. My scholarship study abroad program was limited to high school students, but there are other groups out there! Check out: or
  3. Maybe you’re interested in the experience of it but don’t want to be studying: Check out things like where you can be a live-in nanny, earn some money, have a host family that could help teach you more about the culture, and be immersed in your new surroundings. You could take a semester off to do it, do it in the summer, or make time for it after you graduate. Another post-graduate option could be The Peace Corps.
  4. Degrees and Internships Abroad: These are other ways you can be productive in a new place. You can research schools in the areas you’re most interested in and see their guidelines for international students. My advice for those looking to study in Europe would be to check out OR where you can define your search based on degree subject, country, or tuition and GET THIS: tuition prices elsewhere could be as little as 4% what you’re paying now. What about textbook fees? That’s all an American scam so you can say “bye-bye” to that! As for internships, try or ask at your school’s study abroad office.  HEADS UP: this internship opportunity in China was just tweeted via @InternQueen that may be worthwhile:

5. If all else fails and you just want to travel abroad but want to do it sooner rather than later (excellent choice), check out for good deals on flights and hotel information – those prices keep going up these days so it’s good to know of a place that’s dedicated to finding competitive rates. I’d also recommend, which is where I found an affordable flight to NYC.


Even if traveling doesn’t give you insatiable wanderlust as it has to me, at the very least you’ll         broaden your horizons, learn something new and take these experiences with you in your next job interview, which could make all the difference. I encourage you to try something new, to not be afraid, and to learn a new language – there’s no better way than immersion! At the risk of sounding cliché, the world is truly your oyster so go out and open it!






Posted by Lauren A Ramires. Follow her blog, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (username: laurenaramires) for more lifestyle and inspiration posts.

If you’re interested in learning more of the experiences of a Peace Corps Volunteer, check out this blog for stories on the daily happenings of a PCV and things you could expect.