Spain | The Party’s Just Begun

BY PAULINA HERNANDEZ

What do you know, another Cheetah Girls reference for ya.

But really, this is how I would express my thoughts the moment I got settled into my new residence for the next 3 ½ weeks. I got a corner room, so my roommate and I lucked out with a larger room than normal. It had 2 twin-sized beds, lots of desk space and windows, a small kitchen and a bathroom. The evening I landed Barcelona, we had a short orientation with the professor and TA going over the unique layout of the course — which included a guided tour of the city the following afternoon!

One of the coolest parts of this program is that half the time, our classroom is the city and country itself via tours. Luckily, this city tour included all the major ‘touristy’ attractions Barcelona has to offer, so we easily got to check them off our list right at the beginning. It was great because the I didn’t feel pressured to go see these all the remaining of the trip on my own time. Here are some of the places we got to visit 🙂

Montjuic

Montjuic is a mountain that stands over the city. It literally translates to “Jewish Mountain” because that is where the Jews were thought to settle in the late 1400s. It was the first time I got a good look at the skyline as our tour guide was pointing out particular buildings and areas I would soon come to know on my own.

There were people selling souvenirs, which was common to find in this tourist attractions. Others were just picnicking on the hill or set out blankets to relax and enjoy the view among good company. Our tour guide continued to tell us about the Olympic Stadium that was reconstructed for the 1992 Olympics that were held in Barcelona and practically reshaped the image of the city to the world. It is now currently used for concerts, sporting events, or music festivals.

Park Güell

This place was the one I was most excited to see for various iconic Cheetah Girls 2 reasons (y’all thought I was kidding huh?). It was created by Antoni Gaudi, whose work I soon began to recognize and fall in love with. He has this style of organic architecture that was inspired by the idea that nature was a creation of God.

Park Güell was originally built for residential housing, hoping that the wealthy families would want to live up on the hill with one of the best views of Barcelona. Unfortunately only a couple of families bought into this idea, so the remaining space was decided to be used as a public park. The beautiful arches and artwork of Gaudi, including the fairytale-looking houses and mosaic dragon, can all be seen here!

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is probably one of the most iconic landmarks of Barcelona today, and Gaudi’s most well-known masterwork — it just so happens to not be finished yet. It has remained an active church, except for during the Spanish Civil War period. The construction of this beautiful monument began in 1882 until Gaudi took over in 1883 and worked on it until the end of his life. It is still a continued project and is now projected to be completed in 2026!

From a birds-eye view, the finished shape of the church is supposed to be the cross. There are going to be 3 facades once it is finished representing The Nativity, The Passion and The Glory. Staring at the Sagrada Familia, you can see the endless details all around. One of the clearest views of the church is from the Plaza de Gaudi.

Paulina Hernandez studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain in summer 2018: https://ieo.ucla.edu/travelstudy/span-barcelona/

France | Step Inside a Painting

BY SARAH BRANDENBURG

A short train-ride outside of Paris there is a tiny town called Giverny. This village is where Claude Monet lived, and he created some of his most iconic paintings in these gardens.

The gardens in Giverny, where Claude Monet used to paint, are still cared for splendidly by talented gardeners. The little pond he used in his paintings still exists and there was a certain nostalgia in visiting a place I had only seen in impressionistic paintings.

Monet’s impression of the gardens is what catapulted a simple pretty and calming place into an iconic landmark. The place is beautiful, but Monet made it so.

My classmate enjoying the gardens at Giverny

The pond that Monet famously painted

I tried to capture an impressionist style photograph

Another classmate standing on the famous green bridge

The famous lily pads

A photograph trying to be a painting

Sarah Brandenburg studied abroad in Paris, France in summer 2018: https://ieo.ucla.edu/travelstudy/French-Paris/

Ireland | The Southwestern Wild Atlantic Way

BY ALEXIS HARMON

We finally rented a car and were able to explore parts of rural Ireland. This trip we focused on the southwestern coast and we found some incredible spots. Plus, they’re all free since we avoided the major tourist sites in favor of lesser visited but equally beautiful spots! We saw a lot of beautiful nature, but also encountered old churches, ancient ruins, and a castle.

Cliffs of Kilkee

These cliffs rival the Cliffs of Moher, but they’re free, don’t have any ugly barriers, and virtually no one is there to impede the view so in my opinion they’re definitely superior. There’s a nice scenic drive along the Kilkee coast with incredible views that will make you want to pull over every other minute to just revel in the beauty. This is probably the most beautiful place I’ve been in Ireland and the town of Kilkee is a great place to stop for lunch besides.

Dingle Peninsula

There are two major scenic peninsulas in southwestern Ireland, the smaller Dingle Peninsula and the vast Ring of Kerry. We only had time to drive the Dingle since that drive alone (with plenty of stops) took a full day. First, we went through Conor Pass, the highest drivable mountain pass in Ireland. You can see the foundations of some ancient town down below.

It was freezing and windy out, but even so the beaches just looked so inviting. The color of the water everywhere was just unreal and the cliffs were stunning.

We stopped by at a cool exhibit called the Famine Houses that overlooked the ocean. It’s an abandoned rural homestead full of information on the famine that I highly recommend going to see. They also have lots of sheep in the area and they give you free food to treat them with.

Churches

We encountered lots of old churches, especially around Lough Gur, many of which were between 400-600 years old. Many conveniently had placards with information on site. These had fascinating graveyards with really old graves and the remaining detail on the crumbling structures was really interesting.

This church had something in the graveyard called a marriage stone which looks like a plain gravestone with a small hole in the middle. If you and your sweetheart touch index fingers through the hole, you’re married for a year, according to tradition.

We didn’t have time to go farther, but if you hike two miles from this Lough Gur church you’ll find the ruins of a whole prehistoric village. Even without time for this, driving around you’ll come across prehistoric beehive houses and slab tombs.

Legend has it that if you squeeze through this tiny church window you’ll make it to heaven- a reference to the “eye of the needle” scripture- so we did it just in case.

In addition to churches, you’ll encounter random beautiful shrines like this one we saw right before hitting the westernmost point in all of Ireland.

Rock of Dunamase

The Rock of Dunamase is a ruined castle with truly fascinating history that’s too lengthy to go into depth here so read about it here instead. Briefly, it has been a defensive fortress since the 9th century, although this structure was built around 1200. The pictures don’t capture the grandeur of this ruined fort set atop a huge hill with commanding views of the countryside so just go see for yourself and climb around the 800 year old castle!

Alexis Harmon studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland during Spring 2019: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/ireland/Pages/immersion_ireland_universities.aspx

Ghana | Transportation in Ghana

BY ASHLEY YOUNG

When I first arrived at Kotoka International Airport in Accra, I was picked up, along with some other UCEAP students, by one of the UC Study Center Staff, who we call Uncle Solomon. He helped us get our luggage into the UCEAP van and then drove us to our new dorms at the University of Ghana. This was my first experience of transportation in Ghana, and wow was it exciting! Upon exiting the airport, we were immediately immersed into a whole new world. Hawkers (people selling goods and food) swarmed the streets, walking in-between cars and passing their goods through car windows to local buyers. Young men stood at street corners selling fresh coconuts alongside women roasting plantains to eat with salty groundnuts (local peanuts). People were everywhere – walking, talking, selling, living. I had never seen anything like it.

Apart from all the people, I was also struck by the traffic in Ghana, which at first seemed incredibly chaotic and unorderly. Many intersections did not have proper stop signs or traffic signals, and when they did, they were often ignored. Cars cut in and out of each other without any hesitation, driving bumper to bumper, and car horns honked incessantly to notify each other of their passing. It seemed as if there were no rhyme to reason to the traffic patterns, and yet, we somehow made it to the University relatively smoothly.

This characteristic of Ghanaian driving is rather interesting. In the U.S., traffic seems to be much more orderly, and I would argue that in fact, it is. But in Ghana, although the way people drive seems at first sight to be absolutely nuts, it works. I did not once see a car accident during my time in Ghana, though I see these frequently in the U.S. I also did not often see individuals driving while using their phones – they were generally more focused on the task at hand than American drivers. However, this does not mean that transportation in Ghana is notably safe. Because vehicles are often in poor condition, because drivers take more risks, and because passengers often do not wear seatbelts, when there are accidents, they are often very bad. It is advisable to use a seatbelt whenever possible and to avoid travelling at night when roads may be poorly lit and drivers may be especially tired.

Public transportation in Ghana is also a beast. Public transportation includes tro-tros, shared taxis or cars, and large, longer distance, government operated buses. Tro-tros are the most common form of public transportation. They are minivans that can carry between 12 and 20 people at a time and are almost always operated by two men – a driver and a mate. The driver operates the vehicle while the mate calls out the direction of the vehicle and makes hand signals indicating the vehicle’s direction to collect new passengers alongside the road. The mate also handles payments, which are always in cash. Unlike in the U.S., where scheduled buses make their way around set routes and arrive at and depart from bus stops at pre-determined times, tro-tros in Ghana are unpredictable and irregular, though fairly constant. While they do not follow set schedules, they travel along set routes and are always operating and readily available for use. To ride a tro-tro, you simply walk to a tro-tro stop (or even just stand at the side of the road) and look for mates calling out or motioning the direction of your travel. If you are not sure what direction to look out for, it is helpful to ask a local who will be glad to help you get on the right tro-tro. Tro-tros and are often packed to the brim with passengers. They are generally very beat up, hot, loud, and lacking seatbelts. However, they are a cheap, efficient, and frankly amusing way to get around. Riding in tro-tros also provides opportunities to meet locals who you might sit next to. Learning a few phrases of Twi is especially useful for these instances as it immediately shows locals that you are making an effort to better understand and appreciate their culture.

All in all, getting around in Ghana can be quite the experience! At first, it can seem a bit confusing and overwhelming, but once you get used to it, it is actually great fun!

Best,

Ashley

Complimentary Twi Lesson:

Fa benkum / nifa. (Take a left / right.)

Ko w’anim paa / tee. (Go forward a lot / a little.)

Mepakyew, gyina ha! (Please, stop here!)

Woreko* hene? (Where are you going?)

* Woreko is pronounced wo-ko; extend the o sound in place of re

Ne boo ye sidi edu. (The price is 10 cedis.)

Mepe se mefa tro-tro Tema. (I want to take a trotro to Tema.)

Ashley Young studied abroad in Accra, Ghana in 2018: https://uceap.universityofcalifornia.edu/programs/explore-ghana

Ghana | Academic Culture at the University of Ghana

BY ASHLEY YOUNG

When choosing where to study abroad, academic concerns are very important. While many students initially begin considering study abroad programs in order to travel, experience another culture, or have other sorts of experiential opportunities, they quickly realize that this is only possible if their chosen study abroad program can align with their academic needs and the requirements that they must fulfill in order to graduate. Unfortunately, comprehensive information on academics at perspective host institutions is sometimes difficult to find; some international institutions lack easy-to-navigate websites that would otherwise be used to find valuable information on academics. Thankfully, UCEAP has a wealth of information on academics at the University of Ghana, especially regarding courses, registration, and special study opportunities (research and internships). I will provide links to these resources at the end of this blog post. However, information on the academic culture at the University of Ghana is sometimes lacking in detail and accuracy. This blog post seeks to provide helpful information on this topic for students that are considering studying abroad in Ghana.

Academic Culture

The academic culture at the University of Ghana is very different than in the United States, at least in reference to the University of California. In some ways, the academic culture is more serious, and in other ways it is substantially less serious. This makes for quite an interesting and new dynamic for study abroad students!

Academic culture at the University of Ghana is more serious than at the University of California in that there is a certain added layer of formality to the way that classes operate and students interact with their professors. For example, most students dress nicely to their classes. It is rare, if not looked down upon, for a student to wear athletic or leisure-based clothing to class. Additionally, language between professors and individual students appears to be very formal; students may address professors as ‘Sir,’ and tend to approach authority figures very politely. Finally, finals at the University of Ghana are usually worth 70% of a student’s grade, and assessment is sometimes based on information broader than what has been taught in class. Students may be required to draw on information from supplementary texts and individual studies rather than solely on information provided by the professor, which is common in the UC.

However, academic culture at the University of Ghana is in many ways less serious than at the University of California. While finals may be heavily weighted and may require more individual studying to compile the appropriate information, it is also common for professors to distribute the questions to a final or give an outline of the topics that will be on a final a week or two in advance. This can make studying for an assessment extremely streamlined and simple. Additionally, from my personal experience and the experience of other students in my UCEAP program, the curriculum presented in University of Ghana classes is altogether less rigorous and comprehensive than the curriculum presented at the University of California. However, this may not be the case across the board for all disciplines or courses.

Professors and students at the University of Ghana also come across as less serious to University of California students because of their lax handling of time. This is a Ghanaian cultural feature that spills over into University operations. Professors and students alike are often, if not usually, late to or absent from class. It is common for students to request extensions for assignments and be granted these extensions. It is also common for professors to skip or disregard items on their syllabus due to their being absent from class. Finally, information is passed between professors and students rather informally – often by word of mouth through class group chats. It is imperative that international students make sure to be included in such chats and pay close attention for changes in readings, meeting times, locations, and assignments.

These differences make studying at the University of Ghana quite different than studying at the University of California. However, my experience was altogether a positive one! While some differences do take some adjusting to get used to, they are by no means insurmountable. Studying abroad in Ghana is a great experience and of extremely high value; I would certainly recommend it to anyone considering going!

Useful links

UCEAP University of Ghana Program Website:

http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/ghana/Pages/univ_of_ghana.aspx

UCEAP Ghana 2018-2019 Program Guide:

http://eap.ucop.edu/guides/ghana/1819/Pages/ghana_fall_spring_year.aspx?section=2

MyEAP Course Catalog (lists previous UG classes taken by UC students):

https://myeap.eap.ucop.edu/Galileo/service/coursecatalog/Coursecatalog.aspx?direct=yes&programid=143&_ga=2.224151839.562799495.1559584272-1330362280.1559584272

University of Ghana Course Descriptions:

http://www.ug.edu.gh/aad/Students-Handbook

Complimentary Twi Lesson:

Me w) asembisa. (I have a question.)

Deεn? (What?)

Da bεn? (What day?)

Bere bεn? (What time?)

Ashley Young studied abroad in Accra, Ghana in 2018: https://uceap.universityofcalifornia.edu/programs/explore-ghana

Spain | Eat. Pray. Love.

BY PAULINA HERNANDEZ

I just saw Eat, Pray, Love for the first time on this plane ride to Barcelona. I am flying by myself across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time. I accidentally mixed creamer and sugar into tea because I thought it was coffee for the first time. Lots of first here on this July 5.

I am a believer in everything happening for a reason.

Don’t get me wrong. I am a 21 year old college gal who is used to being away from my family for long periods of time because, you know — schoolwork, organizations, friends, mental health, social life, church — it catches up to you. But being home for 2 1/2 weeks before my trip made me feel like I was a high schooler again, in the best way. I was really going to miss my parents and the crazy kiddos I call my siblings. When I hugged my mom goodbye as I went up the escalator, I tried so hard not to cry. I have been so excited for this trip for months, I didn’t anticipate the nerves to come as much as they did. But that was okay, too.

So was my flight being delayed almost 2 hours.

It was one of those very hot days in LA and even though I was nervous to board, I was ready to leave — but our plane wasn’t. We had already pulled away from the terminal when the pilot says an engineer needs to double check something on the plane. But hey, better that than something going wrong on your first flight across the Atlantic right?

I was lucky enough to get the window seat, even though this dude was sitting in it hoping no one showed up (sorry I need the window seat lol). But the real lucky part was that the two guys sitting next to me are locals from Barcelona, Spain who came to travel the coast of California to surf! They speak Spanish and Catalan (which I was trying to learn via DuoLingo as I tried out the 10ish words I knew). It’s cool to speak Spanish with them because even though it sounds a little different (and faster) we are able to communicate, which is the super cool thing about learning multiple languages. A friend once described to me that once the language barrier is broken, the personality can soar. I want to show my personality to Spain, who I am.

I journaled this a little before I boarded, but without having my expectations or hopes too high, I am ready for this life-changing experience everyone keeps telling me I am about to have. I don’t need to rediscover who I am because I already love who I’ve become, BUT I am excited to see the ways in which I grow, the only way God can teach me in the place I am about to explore. Vengo por ti Espana.

Hasta luego,

Paulina

Paulina Hernandez studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain in summer 2018: https://ieo.ucla.edu/travelstudy/span-barcelona/

Spain | Studying Abroad in Spain

BY PAULINA HERNANDEZ

If you’re new to my little corner of the internet, hey there and thanks for visiting! I’m Paulina and am blessed to be able to study abroad THIS SUMMER to my dream destination: Barcelona, Spain. I am participating in the University of California (UC) Summer Travel Study program “Barcelona: The Story of a City, Its Art and Cultures” all of July. I will be completing two upper division Spanish courses going towards my Spanish minor, though any major or minor is welcomed to the program. This program is particularly exciting because part of my classroom will be the beautiful city of Barcelona!

A little bit about myself: I am a proud Latina and UCLA Bruin majoring in Statistics and double minoring in Spanish and Chicano Studies. I am SoCal born and raised (and yes, I freeze below 70 degrees). I love to dance all kinds, experience new cultures, am obsessed with Disney and mini marshmallows, love Jesus and my family dearly, and am probably the only Mexican-American girl who listens to country while eating spicy chips. If you decide to stick around, you’ll quickly realize how much of a dork I really am. I’m excited to document and share my travels in Barcelona with y’all + keep an online journal for reminiscing and inspiration, or just for fun!

It all started when…

I was a baby freshman who knew two things: I wanted to major in STEM and study abroad in Spain. I cannot tell you how many times I came to Murphy Hall to schedule an appointment with a study abroad counselor since my first quarter. I came into UCLA with all of my general education classes and foreign language requirements completed, so it was not as easy to find a study abroad program in Spain that would count towards my major. For Bachelor of Science majors, it can sometimes seem impossible to find a program that: 1) won’t be a waste of time or money or 2) won’t take up 100% of your time abroad because the experience is just as valuable as the education. It was not until the beginning of my junior year when a specific counselor, Sergio, helped me realize I could pick up a Spanish minor so the classes I would be paying for would transfer for some credit. It was honestly the best thing I could have done; I do not know why I didn’t think of that before! So if you’re in the same boat as I was (south campus major that didn’t want to take math/science classes abroad), I highly recommend adding a language minor.

Truthfully, the sole reason I wanted to travel to Spain was inspired by The Cheetah Girls 2 movie (and if you have not watched it, you are either below the age of 12 or have not checked Netflix yet). But in reality, this city and its country are full of immense history, culture and beautiful people that I CANNOT wait to witness and experience with my own two eyes and feet!  

Paulina Hernandez studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain in summer 2018: https://ieo.ucla.edu/travelstudy/span-barcelona/

South Africa | Post-Finals Trip to Rwanda and Uganda

BY KELLI HAMILTON

Finals at UCLA are a big deal, as are finals everywhere, but nothing compares to the way finals occur at UCT. In my three courses at UCT, no final was worth less than 50 percent of my grade. For finals there, you are assigned a seat number. You put stickers on your test booklet and your name is sealed, so that there is no bias when your test is graded. Additionally, you have two hours to take your test and can not leave within the first hour or last twenty minutes of the exam. After the first test, I got used to the procedure, but it is still daunting to me that tests I took count for half of my grade. Here is to hoping they all went well!

After finals, I decided to treat myself. Knowing that my time in Africa was coming to an end, I figured I needed to cross off a few more things on my bucket list. I have always wanted to visit Rwanda because not too long ago, they experienced a horrific genocide, but today, it is one of the cleanest and friendliest countries in Africa, according to various reports. With this knowledge, I booked a flight to Kigali, Rwanda and stopped in Uganda and Kenya on my East African journey.

After three flights, I finally arrived. At night, the air was lukewarm and the city was vibrant. At the airport I saw an advertisement for GoKigali Tours and decided to make a reservation for the next day. In all honesty, I can say that was one of my top ten decisions during my time in Africa. Along with about 10 other people from across the world, I went to a milk bar (unique, I know), the top of Mount Kigali (even though it was raining, the cloudy view was amazing), coffee tasting, to the largest market in Kigali, the Genocide Memorial, and on a boat ride to a local town. To end the day on the perfect note, I went to a rooftop restaurant with some people I met on the tour and we tried various African teas that were all delicious. I rode home on a moto-taxi, the most popular mode of transport in Rwanda, and smiled as the night breeze hit my face, in the beautiful city of Kigali.

The next morning, I headed off to Musanze, about two hours from Kigali. My host graciously upgraded me from a dorm room to a private suite for free! From there I went to the Twin Lakes, which are stunning. I took a boat ride across the lakes and went to a restaurant and played with some children. The next day I was set to hike Mount Bisoke, an area known for its gorillas. Unfortunately, about halfway into the hike I experienced altitude sickness and had to come back down. However, I was escorted all the way back down by two lovely park rangers and it made the experience worth it. I also saw an antelope! I will have to come back in the future and try again (or live vicariously through pictures).

The next day I headed to Gisenyi, where Lake Kivu, a famous Rwandan lake, is. This was to be the perfect ending to my Rwandan journey. Knowing it was the last leg of my trip, I decided to splurge and stay at a private resort near the lake for one night. LAKE KIVU IS STUNNING.

The people in Rwanda, are the nicest people I have ever met, and I am not exaggerating. Also, the country has an extensive amount of passion fruits, making it the ideal destination. The sites I saw literally took my breath away, from the lakes, to the volcanoes, to Mount Kigali. It has become my favorite country that I have visited in the world. Kenya and Uganda were also great, and I kissed a giraffe and touched elephants in the former, and went to the ‘Switzerland of Africa,’ while ziplining, seeing rhinos, and exploring local places with fellow travelers in the latter (shoutout to the crew – Frank & Marvin). I stayed with family friends in Uganda and my South African friend Leanne’s family in Kenya (both were amazing)! Also, I met up with a friend from NYC, who was studying abroad in Rwanda! East Africa is a special place, and everyone should come see it for themselves. (Who doesn’t want to ride motorcycles in various countries while backpacking?) Even

Kelli Hamilton studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/south_africa/Pages/univ_of_cape_town.aspx

South Africa | Expeditions to Johannesburg, Cederberg Mountains, Muizenberg Beach, and Noordhoek

BY KELLI HAMILTON

As much fun as it is exploring other countries, South Africa is a beautiful country in its own right, and my housemates and I took the opportunity to explore it whenever possible. Perhaps my favorite expeditions were as follows: Johannesburg, Cederberg Mountains, Table Mountain, Muizenberg Beach, and Noordhoek (and of course, Signal Hill).

Since Johannesburg was where my love of Africa started, I knew I had to revisit it when I came back to South Africa. Luckily my housemates, Matthew and Ekshika, were also excited to go to Joburg, as the locals it. International Women’s Day, which took place August 9th, was a holiday, so we decided to use that weekend to go to Johannesburg. I experienced nostalgia being there and remembered why I loved it so much, for its vibe is not replicated anywhere else. Additionally, in the spirit of urban renewal, we stayed in an up and coming area, called Maboneng, which is being crafted into an arts district. While in Johannesburg, we went to the Soweto Towers. There, we met South Africans who invited us to join their goodbye party and served us endless meat and chakalaka (spicy South African vegetable mix that is delicious). Another cool thing we got to experience in Joburg, was being featured on a television show. We were eating breakfast at a cafe when we were approached by a film crew. I am hoping to see that footage on the internet soon so that I can finally tell my mom that I made it!

A few weeks after Johannesburg, we went to the Cederberg Mountains. We rented a car and drove about 4 hours to a cottage in the middle of nowhere. It was so cozy and beautiful. Having no wifi or electricity made the experience even more special than it was already set to be. We also watched the most beautiful sunset (I know I say everything is stunning and beautiful, but I am not exaggerating this time). That same day, we explored rock paintings (what my hand is touching in the first picture in the middle row) that were so unique. We also hiked and chilled in an outdoor hot tub. Furthermore, I saw more stars there than I have ever seen in my life and let the sound of geckos lull me to sleep (it was a little jolting to be honest lol). It was truly a cottage to remember.

Muizenberg Beach is known for surfing. Although I am from California, I have never been surfing. Genesis, a friend from NYC, and I, headed out there to go for a surf, but since she can’t swim, she decided against it and became my personal photographer instead. We had a blast, and I that learned surfing is really hard! The beach doesn’t have much of a shoreline, but the cotton candy and colorful houses along the water make up for it.

Lastly, Noordhoek Beach was a favorite spot of mine. Unbeknownst to me until a day before we got there, it has white sand and beautiful views. My friends Julia and Genesis went with me on a sunny Friday afternoon to ride horses on that very beach. We ended the day with a lovely view at Cape Point Vineyards that I reminisce about quite a bit.

In the quest to be global while in Africa, don’t forget to be a local explorer too, for the coolest places could be right under your nose!

Kelli Hamilton studied abroad in Cape Town, South Africa in 2018: http://eap.ucop.edu/OurPrograms/south_africa/Pages/univ_of_cape_town.aspx

France | Edible Art: Food in Paris

BY SARAH BRANDENBURG

I have one slice of cake, I mean, one slice of advice for you, be adventurous with food in Paris! I recommend trying the classic french staples, that everyone in the world knows about, but then I challenge you to move forward and try new things. Ethnic food, unique bakeries, unfrench like food! I say this because Paris is a diverse and multicultural city, and as much as trying french food is almost a requirement, I want to push you to press those boundaries and go further than the classic french.

A chocolate and salted caramel crêpe at a family establishment

One of my favorite meals was a falafel wrap in Le Marais (the Jewish quarter). Every establishment claims to be the best, but I found every place there delicious. (L’as du Fallafel is a good place to try.)

I also tried a Persian restaurant in the 14th Arrondissement where I lived called Le Chalizar. It was delicious.

Push yourself to try new things. Discover the diversity within Paris by experimenting with food.

A juicy burger and pomme frites

Profiteroles – A classic french dessert which is a “must taste”

A Falafel from the Marais

A pizza from the Italian square

The best hot chocolate in Paris is not at the tourist filled Ladurée. I found my favorite cup at Café Laurent.

Above were my two favorite desserts in Paris and must visits. First is a meringue cake from Le Merveilleux de Fred. These bakeries are scattered around Paris and the famous Merveilleux is a must-try, perfected by Frédéric Vaucamps.

Second is a chocolate St. Honoré from the oldest bakery in Paris, Stohrer. I recommend trying anything from this bakery. St. Honoré aux Chocolat was my favorite, and I had the best chocolate éclair here.

Persian food from Le Chalizar

Decadent homemade icecream and sorbet from La Crème de Paris

Crème brûlée

Sarah Brandenburg studied abroad in Paris, France in summer 2018: https://ieo.ucla.edu/travelstudy/French-Paris/