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2018 UMKC Study Abroad Programs Now Accepting Applications

Spring and Summer 2018 faculty-led study abroad programs are now accepting applications. UMKC faculty and staff develop, direct and teach these UMKC credit-bearing programs. You will learn and travel with UMKC faculty member(s) and students, exploring common interests. Program lengths vary from one to six weeks  and cultural activities and excursions are included.

Faculty-Led Bloch MBA Capstone Taipei

One of the four Asian Tigers or Asian Dragons, Taiwan is an economic power in the global market. Known for its industrial & high-tech manufacturing (especially semiconductors), it has become one of Asia’s biggest traders. Students will have a unique opportunity to experience its exceptional history and culture in both casual and business environments, while working on a real company consulting project.

Faculty-Led Bloch Summer: Urbania, Italy

The UMKC Summer Program: Urbania, Italy is three weeks of total immersion into Italian culture while taking UMKC courses from UMKC instructors. Urbania is located in the Le Marche region between Tuscany and the Adriatic coast of Central Italy. The region is best known for its beaches and its art and culture. Urbania will be our “home base” as we explore other cities in Italy, including Rome, Florence, Gubbio, Pesaro, and more. Classwork is brought to life by utilizing Italy as the lens through which new topics are explored. To further enhance the experience, students will take part in a conversational Italian workshop. Students will learn the basic linguistic elements of “survival Italian” used in real-life situations outside the classroom (i.e. asking for directions, ordering a meal, shopping, etc.). Prepare to be transformed by an authentic experience of Italian life and culture.

Faculty-Led UMKC Bloch Summer London

International Study in Business: London, United Kingdom, is an integrated class investigating management practices of HR and leadership in the United Kingdom. Not only will participants visit one of the most modern yet historic cities in the world, they will learn how management policies and practices differ between the US and the UK. The Brexit context makes this course a particularly relevant and informative experience for graduating students of all levels.

Faculty-Led UMKC French Language Summer in Lyon, France

The UMKC Lyon Summer Study Abroad Program is a six-week, homestay experience, June 4 – July 13, 2018. Students from UMKC or any other university should have completed the equivalent of at least one year of college French and should have a minimum French GPA of 2.5. At the end of program, students will have engaged significantly with aspects of Lyon history and culture, including its UNESCO world heritage sites and famed Guignol puppet theater. They will also have improved their French communication skills through extensive practice and coursework.

Faculty-Led UMKC Geosciences Spring Break Bahamas Program

Dr. Tina Niemi is a Professor in the Department of Geosciences at UMKC. She has been leading this Field Methods course in the Bahamas since 2007. The class will also take part in Dr. Niemi’s ongoing research with UMKC graduate students investigating the paleolimnological record and changes in the coastal morphology due to recent hurricanes.

Faculty-Led UMKC Honors Summer Program in Ireland

Our home base will be the seaport city of Cork, a community of 125,000 people. Founded in the 6th century, Cork soon grew into an urban commercial center heavily involved in European trade. Cork has seen it all—medieval feuds, the Black Plague, the English War of the Roses, and eventually the modern movement for Irish independence.  Although nicknamed the “Second City,” Cork residents consider their city the real hub of Irish culture and politics.

Faculty-Led UMKC Spanish Language Summer in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Participants will be housed with host families who are specifically chosen for their interest in sharing Argentinean life and culture with foreign students. Students generally eat breakfast and dinner with their host families. By living with families, students not only communicate in Spanish with native speakers, but also eat Argentinean food, live in an Argentinean home, etc. The home stay is an invaluable aspect of the UMKC program in Buenos Aires and sets it apart from other summer study abroad programs. There will be 1-2 students per home stay location.

Athens

My glorious dream of a spring break trip came to an end with a final stop in Athens. Lori and I met up with the fam, Holden and Dafni. Dafni is from Athens, and graciously offered the three of us housing for our visit. While we used Airbnb to get more of an authentic feel, rather than a touristy vibe, for the whole of our trip, it was incredible to be able to stay in a place that actually felt like family.

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During our     stay, we didn’t actually do too much. The first day was us three Americans going to the mandatory ancient sites like the Acropolis and the Parthenon. The next day we went to the market, and in the evening did our first Escape Room. I had never heard of them before this trip (even though there are a couple in KC), but basically you’re locked in a room with a group of your friends and you have an hour to figure out the puzzle that will open the door. Sounds fun, except for the fact that the clues were in Greek and only three of the six of us knew more than two words.

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We spent a lot of time at Dafni’s house interacting with her family. We ate so much home-cooked food it made me miss my own. We learned a new card game, Tichu, which I bought to take home and have since taught my family. It was a great end to an amazing trip and I will forever treasure the memories.

While the entire study abroad experience as a whole was incredible, the memories I made and the things I got to see and experience throughout the trips I took elevated it. I am so thankful to be able to have these pictures and posts to look back on. Thank you for everything, and I still have a couple more posts to conclude with, so stay tuned!

Xx Jessica

Naples

After Rome, Lori and I headed to Naples. We were unsure of what to expect, we really only booked it in order to take a trip to Pompeii. It ended up possibly being one of my favorite stops on the trip, if not my favorite.

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Our Airbnb host was named Ester, who had the most incredible flat, with a balcony. I almost died when I opened the door and saw Mount Vesuvius from our room. Ester didn’t speak English very well, but was happy to help with recommendations for what to do. She even made a lemon cake for us to have with tea for breakfast!

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Our first full day, Lori and I booked a last-minute tour down to the Amalfi Coast. This, hands-down, was the best decision we made on the entire trip. We managed to get a small, private tour, with just two other couples and their babies. We made multiple stops, with main stays in the towns of Positano and Amalfi. Words cannot describe how breathtaking the views were.

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The final day we went to Pompeii, again on a tour. It was so cool to walk through the ruins of this ancient city, with Mt. Vesuvius ominously in the background. There was also a modern art gallery scattered throughout the site, which juxtaposed the ruins coolly.

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This portion of the trip is something I will always remember for the sights alone. Naples and our detour to the Amalfi coast was the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life, and I hope to make a return trip again some day.

Thanks for keeping up; stay tuned for my final post from my spring break trip coming up next!

Xx Jessica

Rome

After catching our final water taxi at three in the morning, we arrived at the airport for our second Italian destination: Rome. I know I’m not alone when I say Rome has always been on my bucket list of places to visit. We made it to our Airbnb, which was not quite what we had been promised, but all that aside, we were in Rome, who could complain about that?

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All we did the first day was walk to the Coliseum and grab food. The second day was when we bought our tickets to enter the amphitheatre, as well as the Roman Forum. I was immediately overwhelmed by the size of everything, and the intricacy of detail throughout the ancient city. I was incredible to see places I had only read about or seen pictures of come to life.

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The next day, Lori and I did yet another bus tour, with a main stop at Vatican City. Opulence and wonder coats every street and corridor. The amount of artwork left me in awe, each piece stealing my breath. This day was a particular favorite of mine from our time in Rome.

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Sorry this one isn’t as wordy as my previous posts, but hopefully the pictures suffice! Thanks for reading/viewing; stay tuned for my next post!

Xx Jessica

Venice

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The next morning, Lori and I woke up bright and early once again to being the next leg of our trip: Italy. The first stop was Venice. However, we had a minor (major) set back. When booking our Airbnb, I managed to somehow book a room in a completely different city, about an hour away from the actual island of Venice. Luckily, at this point in the term, we had enough money to get a hotel on the island, deeming it much more worthy of our time and money than trying to make daily trips from Treviso to Venice and back. So we ordered a land taxi to catch a water taxi to get to our new destination.

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While I’m sure there are many who will disagree, there isn’t a ton to see in Venice, as far as sites go. Venice is much more of a “take in your surroundings” than a “go-see-do!” city. Wandering the canals and winding through cobblestoned streets was how we spent most of our time. We dedicated a whole day to getting lost in the city, while in actuality we only needed a few hours because the island is so small. Venice was our relaxed stop of the tour, since every other one was jam-packed with too much to do in too little time. The photos shown in this post are mostly from the leisurely stroll we took that day.

 

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Thanks for reading, stay tuned, and I hope you’re enjoying my catch up!

Xx Jessica

Barcelona

The next leg of our trip was our final city in Spain. We flew into the city center as the sun was coming up and took time to get settled in. A short train ride later we were in the city center. The Cathedral of Barcelona became our recognition point as it was near Las Ramblas and the beach, amongst other notable attractions. We met up with a few classmates from Roehampton who recommended us doing a bus tour, which is exactly what we did the following day.

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As I mentioned in the previous post, many major cities offer bus tours, stopping at a majority of the main tourist sites. A few from Barcelona’s included the Olympic stadium as well as many of the notorious Gaudi sites.
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The next day, we explored Park Guell, another on of Gaudi’s masterpieces. From here we took in the most breath-taking views of Barcelona.

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One thing we did on our last day in Spain was visit one of Barcelona’s market, La Boqueria, directly off Las Ramblas. We browsed the stalls filled with everything from animal heads to alcoholic popcicles to luxury chocolates. Despite spending the previous days being as touristy as a tourist can get, it was refreshing to see a different side to Barcelona, a more local, realistic view, and a perfect round-up of our time in Spain.

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Thanks for reading; stay tuned for our next stop!

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Xx Jessica

‘Lizzie McGuire Moment’

From Venice to Rome we took a water taxi to the airport and got on our next flight. Our hotel room was nice in Venice, but extremely warm and we couldn’t figure out how to work the AC, leaving us to the fan that only blew out warm air. This made it difficult to sleep and left me with approximately two hours of sleep, making my first day in Rome exhausting. Not to mention that our taxi driver got lost and what was supposed to be a thirty minute ride, turned into an hour and a half. The driver stopped the cab multiple times to ask for directions and each time he got angrier with the people trying to help him. Many times he turned to us and asked us as well…but in Italian, so obviously we couldn’t help. Finally after an hour and a half he finds it and was kind enough to give us some money back for the time he spent asking for directions. By the time we got out of the cab we were more than ready to just chill in our Airbnb for a little bit.

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Rome’s Airbnb was beautiful, but was confusing as to who the host was. It turns out that the flat we stayed in is owned by a couple, but they rented it out to this girl who was living there. We had no idea we would be rooming with someone yet again. Except, we weren’t really rooming with her because to be rooming with someone you have to have a room. We had a couch…that the two of us shared. Mind you it was an L shaped couch so we fit comfortably for the most part, but still we didn’t have a room. We booked for a room and got a couch.

Anyways, after we unpacked we went out to explore. With only two hours of sleep and not eating anything, I figured lunch would help. I was wrong, eating food only made me feel worse. So after lunch we decided to call it quits for the day and return to the flat to do some laundry. I did laundry while Jessica took a nap and while waiting for laundry I read Harry Potter. But eventually, exhaustion took over and I passed out. When I woke up I still felt sick, so we went to the grocery store to get some food and stomach remedies. Needless to say that was an early night.

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Our next day in Rome was better. We met the girl living in the flat and she was lovely and ate breakfast with us. When we were done with breakfast we went down to the Colosseum and got tickets for it and the Roman Forum. The Forum was huge and beautiful; we easily spent a few hours there. After the forum we got another hop on hop off bus tour and went to the Trevi Fountain (aka the Lizzie McGuire fountain). Here I got to have my Lizzie McGuire moment and tossed a coin into the fountain, only it didn’t exactly go into the water. I’m almost positive it got stuck on one of the stone carvings.

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Shortly after the Trevi Fountain and a few more stops on the bus tour we headed back for the day, where the girl we stayed with was getting ready for her dinner party. She was thoughtful and invited us to it and even gave us her room for the night so they wouldn’t bother us. However, exhaustion took over and we politely declined and passed out in her bedroom, not to mention that we don’t understand a word in Italian.

The next and last day in Rome was more chill and we spent our day in the Vatican, exploring and learning about history and art. It was a nice way to end our time in Rome and move onto to the next city. The next stop is…Naples!

YOSAO (You Only Study Abroad Once)

Here is where the trip gets a little crazy. Our Airbnb was in Treviso, Italy…we needed to get to Venice. Little did we know that Venice was an island and to get to Venice from our Airbnb in Treviso it would be an hour taxi ride that would cost almost 80 euros and from the taxi we would have to get a water bus that was another 8 euros. Mind you we would have to pay that price again to get back to our Airbnb. However, we knew none of this when we landed in Treviso.

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When we landed we got a taxi to our Airbnb and trying to get inside the house was a trip itself. For starters, the host wasn’t even home. She was at work, which makes sense. However, we couldn’t find the keys to get in. She told us that they were in a black and silver box, so naturally we were looking for a black and silver box. Unfortunately, she failed to mention that it was not an actual box. The box she was referring to was the keypad to get past the gate and into her yard. Now you might be wondering how a keypad to her gate would be a box, well that’s a great question! Apparently, once you put in the code for the keypad and push in on keypad a secret compartment slides down and that’s where the keys were. But, honestly, who would’ve guessed that’s what she meant when she said a “box”.

Nonetheless we got into the house, changed our clothes and unpacked a little. Our next mission was to find a restaurant. The only problem was we didn’t realize that Treviso was a ghost town and the two restaurants we did come across after walking for half an hour were closed. Naturally we were frustrated. We were, hungry and tired (tungry), the place we wanted to see was an hour away by taxi and two hours by train, both costing a fortune. We were stuck and we didn’t know how to get out of this crappy situation. Luckily, the resaurant that was close had wifi so I started to research hotels and ended up booking one within the next fifteen minutes.

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Before I booked we weighed the pros and cons of staying in Treviso. Pro: we would save money by staying in Treviso. Con: There was nothing to do in Treviso. Con: All the restaurants were closed and we hadn’t eaten since early that morning. Con: We weren’teven in Venice…the place we came to see. Con: The airport we were flying out of Marco Polo, which was closer to Venice. Con: There was absolutely nothing to do in Treviso. Con: We were only in Venice for two days. As you can see the cons of staying in Treviso outweighed the pros of staying. So once I booked the hotel for Venice we walked back to our Airbnb and packed up, letting our host know we weren’t going to be able to stay (to which she didn’t even reply).

Once we got to Venice we picked the first restaurant we found, which was mistake number one. It was very fancy and the portion sizes were extremely small, yet cost a fortune. I got soup and water and it was over 20 euros. At this point Italy was doing some damage on my bank account, but that didn’t’ stop us from getting gelato. After dessert we headed back to the hotel and called it a night.

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The next day we spent our time getting lost in Venice. It was a nice relaxing day and even though it was cloudy, everything was still beautiful and breathtaking. I was relieved we had so little time in Venice. The whole getting to Venice from Treviso was stressful and Venice had done a good number on my bank account with that hotel, but YOSAO, right? Our next stop was Rome!

Barceloneta

We had another early flight for Barcelona, but at least we had four to five hours of sleep under our belt. When we landed it took us a while to find our flat, but once we did we were relieved to see that there was an elevator to take us to the fifth floor. What we didn’t find out until later that night was we were sharing the AirBnB with three other families. That was interesting, seeing as how we were spoiled in Madrid and had the flat to ourselves, minus the host. We hardly saw our host for Barcelona, but it didn’t really matter because we were typically out all day.

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The first day we met up with some of Jessica’s friends and got lunch. They showed us around their favorite parts of central Barcelona and we had a great time, despite being exhausted. Later that night we found the best place for sangria. Although the gelato was not as great as the one in Spain, we kept up the tradition of having it at least once a day (please stop judging me). After gelato we went back to the flat, only to find that once again the door was hard to unlock, so of course we struggled with that for about five minutes. See? I told you this would be a reoccurring theme. Once we finally got in we hit the hay.

After a good night’s rest, I was ready to take Barcelona by stride. We went on a hop on-hop off bus tour that took us to Barceloneta Beach. It was absolutely cold, but still breathtaking. After that we got back on the bus and saw the Segrada Familia. By now we were pretty tired, spending most of the day out so we got tapas and Sangria then called it a night.

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The next day was our last full day in Barcelona, so naturally we decided to go to Park Güell and hike. But, before we went to the park we went to St. Joseph’s Market. They mostly had fresh fruits, vegetables and meat, but we found some fruit popsicles that were amazing! We didn’t stay too long in the market, because we wanted to have enough time at the park. Getting to the park was a hike itself, but we wanted the best view of the city so we continued to hike throughout the park, which was on a hill that gradually got steeper. But, nonetheless we made it to the top and got some breathtaking pictures. I wish you guys could see how beautiful these places were in real life. My phone nor any camera could do it justice.

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When we were done with the park we headed back into the city to get some dinner then back to our flat for an early night in so we could be as rested as possible to catch our flight. Our time in Spain had come to an end and it was onto a new country, Venice, Italy. Or so we thought it would be Venice…

Hola Amigos!

First off I’d like to apologize for not posting in ages. It’s been about three weeks since I’ve last written or posted anything due to traveling for 19 days during Easter Holiday, but now that I’m back it’s time to get you all caught up. I’ll start by saying that this trip was a lifetime experience that I do not regret, even with all the ups and downs. Our trip got off to a rough start simply because we had to catch a taxi at two in the morning to get our early flight. But, because our taxi was so early Jessica and I pulled an all-nighter and didn’t sleep until we landed in Madrid, Spain that afternoon. Madrid was a nice start to our trip because there wasn’t a lot to see on our list so it was very relaxing. As nervous as I was about trying to speak Spanish in Madrid, little did I know that Spain was the last place we would be before returning to London where I could somewhat understand the language. For some reason I didn’t anticipate how much of a struggle the language barrier would be, but we’ll get to that later. Anyways, back to Madrid! Madrid was lovely for many reasons, but the number one reason was because it was warm.

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Seeing and feeling the sun in Madrid was great and refreshing. We even went out one day and took pictures at the Temple de Debod. It’s a beautiful place and I recommend going. You get an amazing view of the city near the temple and there’s some people selling gorgeous jewelry. Another great thing about Madrid was we went to Park Del Retiro and paid to go out on the pond and row a boat for only 6 euros! You’ll be surprised (I was amazed) that we didn’t fall in.

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But even though the temple was beautiful and the boat ride was lovely, I’d say the best thing about Madrid was this little gelato shop right across from our Airbnb. We went there at least two times a day once we discovered it. No shame. But hey! We the flat was on the fifth floor, so we definitely worked it off by the time we got back.

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Our flight was nice and we were hosted by a lovely family with a baby. We had our own little room and when I mean little, you couldn’t stand up straight without hitting your head on the attic style ceiling. The good thing about this Airbnb was that we didn’t have to share a bed. The bad thing about this flat was that it was on the fifth floor and we had a difficult time unlocking the door. You’ll soon find out that this is a reoccurring theme throughout our trip. Anyways, as calming and beautiful as Madrid was, we were more than ready to leave by the fourth day. Our next stop was to Barcelona!