Study Abroad India 2015 – A Country of Stark Contrasts

My Trip to Nepal & India by Guest Blogger Brennan Carrington

India - ClassI haven’t done too much traveling around the world so far, but in my experiences I thought I would be prepared for what the Indian sub-continent had to offer because of learning in the classroom and watching YouTube videos. Actually these only prepare you for so much. The adventures and experiences I had on this trip were both unforgettable and humbling.

IndiaIndia

 

Before starting this course I honestly wasn’t too excited to visit these particular countries but I was excited for my opportunities to travel and add some visas to my passport. That changed.

This study abroad course included a class on campus that culminated in the trip. In the classroom portion, we had a lot of guest speakers come and tell us about their previous travels throughout India or Nepal. One that stood out to me explained how India is the country of stark contrasts, both physically and spiritually, which was very evident as we traveled throughout the political and spiritual capital of the country and some of the worlds biggest and oldest religions.

India

India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was incredible to witness both the extreme beauty and poverty of both countries, especially in India. From a political standpoint, India is a super power and one of the most influential countries on the global stage. Most people wouldn’t think that after witnessing first hand the struggle that the average Indian citizen goes through for food or basic necessities. But as it was explained many different times, if the outside appears broken, their spirit is still strong and happy. India truly is still a land of wonder and excitement.

I would highly recommend looking into traveling around this country for anyone that has an interest in a culture and society that has given so much to the world and has so much that the world can still learn from it.

India

Lauren’s Study Abroad with Semester at Sea Jan 13, 2016 – Hawaii

semester at sea

SAS ship

Hi I’m Lauren and I’m a student at Embry-Riddle in Engineering. For 100 days I am traveling around the world in a study abroad program called Semester at Sea. I will be posting blogs, reflections and photos of my journey in this Embry-Riddle blog site. I hope you follow me on my journey! Check out my photos!

January 13, 2016

Location: 21 degrees 18 minutes N (Latitude), 157 degrees 51 minutes W (Longitude)

Aloha!

Port 1: Honolulu

Yesterday, was our first port. We docked in Honolulu, Hawaii early in the morning. My friends and I woke up to watch us dock but we were already docked!

Before we were allowed off the ship, everyone had to clear U.S. customs. The process only took two hours and then I was finally able to get off the ship! I had never been so excited for land. It was surreal to not be rocking for the first time after 7 days at sea! However, I am not looking forward to our 10 day crossing to Japan.

Once I was off the ship, I was whisked away to Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial. Before boarding the Navy boat to the memorial, we watched a short film about the attacks on Pearl Harbor.

It was hard to imagine that where I was standing 75 years ago was once a Navy base. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The Japanese damaged all eight Navy battleships, three cruisers, and three destroyers. 2,403 men lost their lives and 1,178 others were wounded. This attack would led to the United States to enter WWII. The USS Arizona Memorial marks the resting place of the 1,102 sailors and Marines who were killed during the Japanese surprise attack.

I loved wandering through the museum and the memorial, but I was so moved by random strangers’ kindness towards a WWII veteran who was in our group. When he got off the boat first, he was escorted by two Navy sailors and everyone was clapping for him. Later, I noticed he was standing in front of the wall that the fallen sailors’ names were engraved in and he was kneeling and praying. People would come up to him, shake his hand and thank him for his service. I was so touched by
people’s appreciation for his courage to defend and protect us. I was so emotional that I had silent tears falling down my cheeks. I am forever grateful for all the men and women who have served our country and died protecting our freedom. God bless our military!

After the Memorial, my friends and I decided that we need to eat some “real food”. I really wanted good Italian food but I settled for an all American hot dog with chips and soda. But, most importantly I had ice cream! I savored every bit of it but I was so sad when I dropped some of it on the grass. The hot Hawaiian sun was melting it!

Afterwards we boarded the bus again and drove off to tour the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Punchbowl Crater then went downtown Honolulu. Downtown we went to ʻIolani Palace which was the royal residence of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hawaii. The Palace had beautiful renaissance architecture. I could definitely live in ʻIolani Palace! Did you know that it had electricity and telephones even before the White House.

Lauren Hawaii

Across the street is Hawaii 5-0’s headquarters. The building used in the TV show is actually Aliʻiōlani Hale, home of the Hawaii State Supreme Court. I got my picture taken with Kamehameha the Great, the famed gold leaf statue. Now I have pictures in front of both statutes! The original stands near the legendary king’s birthplace in Kapaʻau in Kohala, on the island of Hawaii.

Since we still had an hour and a half until we needed to be back on the ship, our bus driver took us to Wikki and Diamond Head. I desperately wanted to get off the bus and go play in the crystal clear blue waters of Wikki Beach but we just drove on by.

SAS Hawaii

I ended my brief Hawaiian adventure shopping at Walmart for everything that I forgot to bring. Although my mom accused me of being a Princess for needing a memory foam pillow, I bought it and slept soundly last night while I was cocooned in my new, soft gigantic blanket too.

I had a fantastic time in Hawaii. I wish I had more time in port but I will just have to come back another day!

Love Lauren

Check out my photos!

Lauren’s Study Abroad with Semester at Sea Jan 24, 2016 – Japan

Lauren to Japan

In case you missed it…

Hi I’m Lauren and I’m a student at Embry-Riddle in Engineering. For 100 days I am traveling around the world in a study abroad program called Semester at Sea. I will be posting blogs, reflections and photos of my journey under this Embry-Riddle blog site, profile “Study Abroad”. I hope you follow me on my journey! Check out my photos!

January 24, 2016

(I am 17 hours ahead from the West Coast.)

Location: 28 degrees 9 minutes N (Latitude), 146 degrees 44 minutes E (Longitude)

SAS JapanOnly one more day until Japan! It takes 10 days to cross the Pacific Ocean from Hawaii. It seems as if these days have been the longest days of my life. I am so excited to be on land tomorrow and to eat sushi!

Although my classes keep me busy, ship life can be very mundane especially during this very, very long crossing. However, there are many clubs and activities to help pass the time.

A few days ago, at the Free Thinkers club meeting, the topic of discussion that night was our increasing dependence on technology. This topic seemed very apt. On Semester at Sea, we have limited access to the outside world. We have no cell phone service and very limited internet. We are almost completely isolated from the real world. We live in our own separate reality. I do not miss being connected nor tethered to the outside.

The first few days of our voyage was strange. Everyone carried their phones but eventually people stopped as they served no purpose. Without our phones to shield us from having to be social, we were forced to get to know one another as we are trapped on the ship for 100 days together! At mealtimes, we would have meaningful conversations. People would smile in the hallways and would ask you how you are doing. When I was hanging out with my friends, we were all present and in the moment. We were distraction free.

It was astonishing to see how much time I saved by being disconnected. I was not constantly checking my phone for new texts, emails, or social media updates. At first it was frustrating that I could not text or call. When I was looking for my friends on the ship, I could not text them to ask where they are. Instead, I had to actually look for them!

However, I did not fully realize how dependent we are on technology until we arrived at our first port, Honolulu, Hawaii. That morning, all you could see were people’s faces being lit up by the glare of their phones. Everyone was reconnecting to the outside world again. Checking and posting on social media and texting and calling friends and family.

However as we are becoming increasingly dependent on technology, are we connected but alone? Online we find easy company but are exhausted by the pressures of performance. We enjoy continual connection but rarely have each other’s full attention. We like that the web knows us, but this is only possible because we compromise our privacy, leaving electronic bread crumbs that can be easily exploited. We can work from home, but our work bleeds into our private lives until we can barely discern the boundaries between them. We like being able to reach each other instantaneously but we have to hide our phones to force ourselves to take a quiet moment. We go online because we are busy but end up spending more time with technology and less with each other. We defend connectivity as a way to be close, even as we hide from each other.

We are at a tipping point. I believe we have reached a point where we can see the costs and start to take action. We will begin with very simple things. Talk to a colleagues down the hall, no cell phones at dinner, in the car, or in company. We are so dependent on our devices that we cannot sit still for a lecture or a play. We know that our brains are rewired every time we use our phone to search or surf or multitask. As we try to reclaim our concentration, we are at war with ourselves. Yet, no matter how difficult, it is time to look again toward the virtues of solitude, deliberateness, and living fully in the moment.

We deserve better. When we remind ourselves that it is we who decide how to keep technology busy, we shall have better.

Lauren JapanLauren Kimono

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My Favorite Class at Embry-Riddle has been Study Abroad

As a business student, it’s incredibly hard to pick just ONE class that has been my favorite so far. Taking classes in different countries can change one’s view on the subject or even enhance it because of the experience of living and studying in another country, so, by far study aboard classes have been my favorite.

This past summer (July 2014), I was fortunate enough to go to Paris to take BA 425 Trends and Current Problems in Air Transportation and EC 399 Studies of Economic Thought. The classes were full of information and I felt like I gained an extensive amount of knowledge in our multiple field trips, while exploring other cultures and religions. I was never bored in any of my classes and there was endless enthusiasm and I’m eager to learn more and more. Probably the best part is that I’m studying Global Business so I’m making great network connections every time I visit a company with my study abroad class. And of course I’ve gotten to know my fellow students in a way that I’ll always have good memories from. I highly recommend study abroad!

Study Abroad Paris and LondonStudy Abroad Paris VP 2