The Bruin Abroad

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Mexico | First Few Days…

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By Andrea Zheng

Greetings from Mexico! Today is the second day I’m in Mexico as I landed last night. I met my mamá right off the plane and she even had a little sign made for me (how cute!). Driving back to the house, she started introducing herself, telling me about Merida, and what to expect for my next month to come. My Spanish was a little rusty to

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Mexico | Let’s Get Ready!

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By Andrea Zheng

Hey guys! It’s a few days out from my flight to Merida so it’s time to start preparing. Here are a few tips on things to bring and NOT to bring on this trip. First thing to know about Merida is that it is hot, hot, HOT. Not only that, it’s also very humid. This means that the main attire will be t-shirt/tank top, shorts, and comfy

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Italy | Staycation Abroad

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By Andrea Arredondo

Florence is wonderful and the accommodations arranged could not have been any closer to the classroom we met in, but July is a hot time of the year in Florence. As a Southern California native, I also am not used to humidity, so when a heat wave struck, I needed to swim in some water.

Beach, river, inflatable pool—I didn’t care. It

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Italy | How to Make a Pizza

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By Andrea Arredondo

What is the first thing you think about when you hear the word Italy? For me, it’s pizza. Imperfectly circular, cheesy, and saucy, a simple pizza is one of my favorite things about Italy. Lucky for me, while I was abroad, I had the opportunity to learn how to make a classic Italian pizza. Now, the instructions I am about to explain won’t

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Italy | Forkfuls of Florence

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Okay, you can’t make a blog about Florence without at least one post dedicated to food. From pasta to gelato, Italians have perfected a variety of dishes. However, I also discovered some not-too-Italian dishes which were delicious while I was abroad. While some splurge on Italian shoes, I splurged on eating out. Eating is truly one of the greatest pleasures in life for me, but a lot of foods can

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Italy | Art Scene in Florence

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By Andrea Arredondo

Florence is known for collecting some of the world’s most famous sculptures, paintings, and taxidermized animals, but with so many museums available, where should you go in the limited time you have there? Well art lovers and curious travelers, read to find out what some of my highlights and underrated recommendations are…

The Uffizi Gallery is by and large, one

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Italy | Under the Tuscan Sun

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By Andrea Arredondo

If there is one thing that makes Florence unique, it is that the city is beautiful to walk though. Whether you are on one side of the Arno or the other, there is so much to see that you could easily spend a few hours taking in Florence. With little shops along the streets, one-of-a-kind museums, and restaurants that smell divine from outside—it is easy to

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Italy | Solo Trip to Milan

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One of the scariest things about going abroad is going abroad by yourself—especially if you are a woman. But sometimes, it is important to have that alone time. While I was in Italy, I felt inspired by the powerful women I was reading about in class. So, one weekend, I decided to travel to Milan—alone.  

Now, I have traveled alone before, but I had never been to

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Italy | Textbooks and Traveling: What It’s Like to Take Classes A Foreign Country

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By Andrea Arredondo

Studying abroad may seem to be a bit counterintuitive. You are traveling to a foreign country and encouraged to see new places, yet you also have to take classes and are given assignments to complete. You are told that you should interact with locals and try to soak up as much of this culture and community you are experiencing, but that can seem challenging

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Italy | Ciao Italia!

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By Andrea Arredondo

After a beautiful month in Italy, at last my time to leave had come. Clothes washed and bags packed, I reflected on everything I had just experienced. Cheesy as it sounded, I was already feeling nostalgia and I had not even left my apartment. Florence is a magical city and I had just experienced the trip of a life time. On my last day in

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