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Thanksgiving

To start off this post I will give a quick rundown of the events of the last few weeks.

Picking up where I left off a few weeks back, I was lucky enough to compete in a golf tournament with the UCC team at St. Anne’s Golf Club in Dublin. It was a great week and my first real taste of Irish links golf. I’m not exactly sure how I was able to play, considering I was the only non-Irish kid in the field, but I’m sure glad they let it fly. I did not play extremely well, but I could not have cared less. It was an awesome opportunity to compete and represent the university and meet a few new friends along the way.

Following the golf tournament, we headed back to Cork for a full week of Jazz festival. For five days every year, at the end of October, artists come from far and wide to play live music all over the city. Almost all study abroad kids stay in town for the long weekend because it is a big deal. Each night we went out, we were able to sample music from some of the area’s finest musicians. Needless to say, it lived up to the hype.

Fast forward a couple days, and we were off to Edinburgh, Scotland. I was a bit bummed I had to sleep in the Dublin airport on Halloween, but it was well worth it to say the least. The first day a buddy and I made the journey up to St. Andrew’s Scotland where I was able to tour the most famous golf course on earth, The Old Course. We spent the day walking around, taking pictures, and admiring the history. I was like a kid in a candy shop. Shortly after we mosied back down to the city. Edinburgh quickly became one of my favorite places I have been so far. The city offers abundant history, incredible architecture, some great hiking, and unrivaled views of the North Sea. During the 3 days we spent in Scotland, we toured the city, ate local cuisine, took a trip to a beautiful national park, and had an overall great time.

This past weekend, along with a friend, I took a jaunt up to the northern part of Ireland for a golf trip. County Sligo did not disappoint. The course was right on the Atlantic and had a beautiful backdrop of mountains, rock outcroppings, and amazing plateaus. Aside from the golf, we were able to tour Sligo a little bit the night before. As far north as we were, the area was very rich with tradition. The pubs, people, and food were a fantastic example of true Irish culture. It was a quick trip up north and a lot of travel for two days, but I would recommend it to anyone who steps foot in Ireland.

Looking forward to the coming weeks, I am very excited for what lies ahead. This week, in fact, my family will be making the trip across the pond to visit for about 10 days, and I could not be more excited. This also coincides with thanksgiving and our last week of class, which seems crazy in itself. I remember thinking as I was leaving that it would be about 80 days until my family came over, which seemed like such a long time. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My time here has flown by, and it is crazy to think that after I get done traveling around with my family, there will be just a couple weeks of finals left and a plane ride home. As I have done over the entirety of my time here, I will try to make the most of it and really soak up the last few experiences.

That should be easy this week, as we plan to cover as much of this beautiful country as possible. After a few days in Cork, we will head west and shoot up north following the Wild Atlantic Way. I am so excited to not only show them a few of the places that makes Ireland so great, but also to see many of these places for the first time myself.

Since this week is the prelude to a very special holiday and time of year in general, I thought it necessary to mention a few things along those lines as well. It is pretty tough not to have many feelings of gratitude during an incredible experience such as this one. Not many people get the opportunity to go and do something like this, and I am extremely grateful to be able. Not only am I thankful for what this trip has brought, but the people and places that wait for me back at home. Sometimes when we are in the middle of those people or places, it is easy to gloss over how lucky we are to have them. It is kind of funny how magnified things like that become, and how special we realize they are when we are 4000 miles away. Obviously, I am enamored with what I have been able to experience over here, but because of those reasons I will be more than ready to head home in a few weeks. Along with a big smile I will bring those thoughts of appreciation back with me, or what most people would call… thanksgiving.


Matthew Twaddle is a sophomore at the University of Missouri- Kansas City majoring in civil engineering. He is attending the University College Cork in Ireland through the UMKC Direct Exchange Program during the fall semester. Matthew is from Maryville, MO and is excited to continue his education in Cork, Ireland where some of his family still resides.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Going to See Plays in London

     For my intro to London stage class I’ve been to see about 4 shows total. The best part about it is that I don’t have to go to see certain shows by myself! Some notable theatre’s that I’ve been to are the London National theatre and the Phoenix theater.

      My classmates all meet up by the library at 6 every Thursday and we set out to see a new play at a new venue every week. It’s interesting because every venue is different in every way. Whether it’s the size, location or even the spectators. It’s very refreshing to be at a new theatre every week for these purposes. Here there is a theatre on every corner, back home I can count the amount of theatres we have on my hand! Anyways every time we go out, I’m always excited to go out and see what’s in store for the new week.

     Last week I went to see a play that was for a deaf audience. It was so interesting to see a play from that perspective. There’s a girl in my class who is losing her hearing and I just love that as a class and theatre community we can all appreciate different audiences.

      The only downside to seeing plays every week (and I know how could there be a downside??) is the money I spend for transportation. I do sometimes get lucky and find buses to the theatre, but I doesn’t happen often. I wish that there were more frequent cheap options available, but I usually have to take the tube or train. It’s fine though because the shows I see make up for it!!

     I don’t even spend time thinking about it because the shows are so good. I think I brought this up before, but yes transportation isn’t cheap here so when I go out, I try to stay out for my money’s worth. Some people leave straight from class and spend the entire evening in central London until the play starts. I should start doing this, but I never can find anyone to tag along from my class. Usually people leave class and eat or do whatever they need to do before leaving to see the play.

     Once I was out at a theatre with my class and I saw Emilia Clarke, she’s an actress in Game of Thrones. I spotted her about 15 minutes after I got to the theatre. After the show, we went to see a one man play called baby reindeer, the whole class saw her. I wanted to go up to her but everyone said it was inappropriate. Big cultural shock for me, but now at least I know! See you guys soon!


Kierra M. Fayne is a junior at the University of Missouri- Kansas City studying theatre performance. Kierra is spending the fall semester abroad with the Missouri-London Semester Program: University of Roehampton. She plans to study theatre in London to seek new techniques and tools that will help her tackle performances with more ease. Kierra was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, where she has made connections that have helped her identify her goals to study theatre performance. She is now ready to spread her wings, find connections, and make new friends in London.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Wanderlust

I have not written as many of these things as I had originally planned, but it is sometimes hard to find the right things to say in just a week’s time or even do enough cool stuff in a week to write about. Over the last 3 or so weeks since I have written, I think I’ve done some noteworthy things, so here goes.

​For starters I just want to say that this trip, if you want to call it that, is flying by. As I am writing I am almost exactly halfway through my time here. Before heading out, four months seemed like a big chunk of time to be away. When you get down to it, start adventuring, mixing in school, and just living life, that amount of time can pass by before you know it. I realize now that in a few years when I look back on this it will seem like such a small chapter of my life, with a huge impact, nonetheless.

​A lot has happened since I last wrote, so I will go through the events I found to be the most memorable. Before I came, I planned on thoroughly traveling Ireland, mainly the southern area around Cork, before venturing to other countries. This proved to be exactly what happened. Last week I was finally able to get an appointment with immigration and get my temporary status that allows me to travel more freely around Europe. Look at me now customs guy at the airport. That was a weight off my shoulders as I already have many trips planned outside of Ireland. First, I will start with a little journey I embarked on a few weeks earlier.

​A few Saturdays ago, I did not have any plans for the weekend so a friend and I thought it would be cool to go hike the tallest mountain in Ireland, Carrauntoohil. If you look it up, it shows that it is only about 4,000 feet tall which does it no justice at all. In fact, I will never judge a mountain based strictly on height again. To be fair, the bottom of the mountain starts right around sea level unlike most of the mountains in the states which start already at 8 or 9 thousand feet above sea level and rise about the same amount as Carrauntoohil. To throw in another wrinkle, it is also a twelve-mile bike ride and some change just to get to the base. The hike itself was listed at four to six hours and a bike ride that long is about an hour. When we arrived, we had only about five hours to get the job done, so if you do the math, we had to book it. The first part of the jaunt seemed like a cake walk right up until it started pouring with a forty mile per hour wind mixed in. This continued as we trekked through the valley up the steep rock chute between the peaks. As we crested that, the weather broke for a bit to reveal one of the coolest views I have ever seen which I will picture below. With not much time to waste, we carried on. From there it was probably a 2,000-foot ascent to the top. The weather was much like the first half, but there was no quitting to be done. We reached the peak and were treated to glimpses of beauty through the heavy fog. After a brief sit to bask in the pride of reaching the summit, we were off like a shot. Something about being crunched for time, fighting through the elements and putting burning legs to the back of your mind makes it that much more special. The rock chute I mentioned was basically a river by the hike down, so it took intense focus to get through the precarious positions to reach the bottom. The race was still on though as we hustled back to our bikes and pedaled to no end. We screeched into the bike shop just as the man was locking up and sprinted to the bus stop. From dawn to dusk it was a mad dash, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

​Moving on to this past week, I was lucky enough to make my maiden voyage out of the country. The first stop was Norway. It was quite the experience as I bussed to Dublin, flew over and reached my hostel at half past one in the morning. I woke up early to realize that no one else in the country does the same, apparently. I toured the city and took some photos before getting some coffee and mapping out the day. It was raining most of the time, so I settled on a short train ride out of the city to hike around a lake called Randsfjord. As we say here, it was absolute class. The countryside was beautiful and the small villages very cozy. Later, I headed back into Oslo to have dinner and do some more exploring. After a few short hours, I was content with my short trip as I had an early flight the next morning to get home at decent time. Two choices were presented to me on lodging as I could rent another hostel or bunk in the airport for the night. I thought it would be more memorable to do the latter, so I decided on the tile floor of the terminal. Boy was I right. I will never forget getting zero sleep waiting on that 7 am flight back to Dublin. Most people shake their head at me when I tell about my trips, but it keeps things interesting. Maybe the hostel would have been more comfortable, but who wants to hear about that. A two-hour flight and a four-hour bus back to Cork pretty well wrapped that one up, and I was ready for a nap.

​I’m sure many other things happened that are worth telling over the last few weeks, but these really stick out to me. In the coming weeks I plan to head over to Scotland with a few friends along with a nice stay in Cork for the upcoming jazz weekend. Currently, I am sitting in a rental house in the middle of a golf tournament as I was lucky enough to compete with the UCC club team. I would tell the tale, but I have rambled on enough. Therefore, I’ll save it for next time. I’ll do my best to write again soon. Until then lads.    


Matthew Twaddle is a sophomore at the University of Missouri- Kansas City majoring in civil engineering. He is attending the University College Cork in Ireland through the UMKC Direct Exchange Program during the fall semester. Matthew is from Maryville, MO and is excited to continue his education in Cork, Ireland where some of his family still resides.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Thrifting in London

     With Halloween literally around the corner I’m getting more and more excited day by day. Everyone here loves Halloween. I have yet to be scared here in London, like at a horror house, but we shall see. The university is putting on some scary maze and I cannot wait! Back at home you don’t have to search hard to find scary places, but here it’s a bit of a rarity.

    I keep wondering what it is, like is it because of religion or something, but a flat mate said that he thinks America just goes all out for Halloween. Like even though Halloween didn’t start in America we took the concept and made it our own. It’s still fun even though they don’t celebrate Halloween like America because everyone here loves Halloween, and I love that because Halloween is my second favorite holiday.

      Me and my friend in the spirit of Halloween went out to find some quick easy Halloween costumes. Just to our luck there was a costume shop just a 15-minute bus ride down the road. Now I wasn’t expecting a lot, but this store seemed to have it all. My friend found two costumes there! They had everything from light up tights to realistic politician masks. We had a lot of fun in that store, and the staff is awesome. I think the store is called party palace. Oh yeah, I forgot to add the most important part…the costumes were dirt cheap!

     Afterwards we decided to go thrifting because there were so many thrift stores that were in that area, we had to check them out. I found such cute sweaters for such low prices I couldn’t believe it. I love thrift stores because you never know what you’re going to get…kind of like a box of chocolates (LOL I’m very cheesy sorry). No but really every thrift store has a different vibe to it.

     Some thrift stores are much too expensive, some are dirt cheap and you’ll never know until you go in to see the prices. The thrift store I got most of my sweaters seemed really posh, but the prices were considerably low. Things were so cheap yet so beautiful. I am sad to say that none of the shoes I liked from this store fit me. I told my friend that its “god sending me messages not to get anymore shoes”.

     The thing is I came here with quite a few shoes so that’s the joke. It’s okay though, at least my friend found some shoes, and she’s totally obsessed with them. She couldn’t even bear to take them off in the store. I told her that’s how you know you must get that pair of shoes. I guess I can say this was a perfect place for shopping.

We also got ice cream, I got green apple gelato, for £2! Is it me or is that really cheap? I would have never been able to find cheap gelato back at home. Okay see ya later guys.


Kierra M. Fayne is a junior at the University of Missouri- Kansas City studying theatre performance. Kierra is spending the fall semester abroad with the Missouri-London Semester Program: University of Roehampton. She plans to study theatre in London to seek new techniques and tools that will help her tackle performances with more ease. Kierra was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, where she has made connections that have helped her identify her goals to study theatre performance. She is now ready to spread her wings, find connections, and make new friends in London.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Study Abroad in Senegal this January!

Applications for the Gender, Health, and Development in Senegal Study Abroad Program are now open! The third UMKC Study Abroad program to Senegal will take place in January 2020. The application deadline is October 29, 2020. Applications are now being accepted (to apply, please visit  https://umkc-sa.terradotta.com/?go=senegal)


Pre-Departure Sessions: December 6, 2019, 4 – 7 p.m. & December 7, 2019, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Senegal Trip: January 2 – 19, 2020

Post-trip Session: February 7, 2020, 4 – 7 p.m.

Applications Due: October 29, 2019 – apply online at https://umkc-sa.terradotta.com/?go=senegal


UMKC Faculty Leaders:

Dr. Brenda Bethman | bethmanb@umkc.edu

Dr. Amanda Grimes | grimesa@umkc.edu


Coursework: Gender, Health, and Development in Senegal: 3 Credits

WGS 408  |  FRN-LNG 380 |  HIST 408  |  HLSC 408  |  BLKS 405

Earn 3 UMKC credits (undergraduate or graduate) through this intensive course led by UMKC faculty (2.75 or better GPA required).

Fulfills the following requirements:

  • HLSC 460 global health requirement for Health Sciences majors
  • minor electives for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Black Studies minors
  • breadth requirement for Foreign Languages & Literatures majors
  • major elective for FLL majors with the International Studies emphasis
  • major elective for History majors
  • Biology 397 for biology majors
  • humanities distribution requirement for all CAS majors

Program Overview

This program/course examines women’s economic empowerment, health education initiatives, and social entrepreneurship in West Africa and Senegal in particular. In the main city of Dakar we will visit indigenous and global nonprofits to study their policies and processes. The culture, both urban and rural, will be experienced in order to provide a unique perspective on the Senegalese and their culture.

The program will be split between Dakar and the area around Toubacouta in the Fatick Region. Toubacouta is located in a mangrove delta and known for abundant fish, birds, and wildlife. This program allows you to live, volunteer, and experience two distinct parts of Senegal.

In Dakar you will meet Senegalese leaders and community activists working to improve life in Senegal. After a day of introductions and a city tour, you will stay with a host family, who will help you learn about Senegalese culture. After a couple of days of lectures, you will receive your volunteer placement — you will most likely be able to choose from 3 or 4 volunteer placements. Placements will focus on areas such as: health, education, music, entrepreneurship, business management, social service, local governance, and/or human rights.

In addition to volunteering in Dakar, there will be cultural visits built into the schedule. Visits include Gorée Island, which is a small Island off the Cape Verde Peninsula, known for its role in the slave trade. We will also visit mosques, museums, and the lively markets.

After six days volunteering and exploring Dakar, we will travel south to the Fatick Region and Toubacouta. Here you will stay in an ecotourist hotel while we work on volunteer projects in the village. Saloum Delta National Park was formed when two great rivers met the Atlantic ocean. We will visit the park and explore the beaches, mangroves, sand dunes, and wildlife. At the end of that week, we will to Dakar for a final wrap up.

Dakar was the capital of all of French West Africa from 1902 to independence in 1960, and Senegal has traditionally had a special relationship with France. Senegal was also the home of major Francophone African writers Leopold Senghor and Ousmane Sembène, also known as the father of African film; there are interesting Francophone women writers from the country as well, including Marie NDiaye, the first black woman to win France’s most prestigious literary award, the Prix Goncourt.

Housing & Meals

You will live with a Senegalese family while in Dakar. You will be welcomed into the home of a Senegalese host family, who will provide breakfast and dinner most days. You will spend the first night and the last night in a hotel in Dakar. Some group meals at restaurants in Senegal will be organized and included in the program fee. While in Toubacouta, you will stay in an ecotourist hotel. Most meals are included. There will be 2-3 students in each homestay and sharing rooms at hotels.

Excursions

Several excursions are included in the program. The city tour introduces you to Dakar’s museums, mosques, markets, and beaches. In addition to volunteering in Dakar, we will also travel to Gorée Island. This small Island off the Cape Verde Peninsula is known for its role in the slave trade, colonial heritage, and museums.

The second part of the volunteer experience is around Toubacouta in the Fatick Region. The bulk of the time here will be spent getting to know the people of this region and working on volunteer projects. We will explore the Saloum Delta National Park as a group. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for mangrove forests, islands, sand dunes, and wildlife.

Neither Here Nor There

Thank you for joining me for the second installment of my journey through Ireland. These last few weeks, much like the first few, have had their share of excitement, discovery, and head scratching moments. Since my last post, I have done quite a bit of exploring, mostly around southern Ireland. In reality, classes have picked up a bit, so I have to pick and choose my days to wander. Still, it is mainly just lecture as they do not believe much in homework apparently, which is more than fine with me. With that it leaves me quite a bit of extra free time to go to cool places during the week. 

I have a break in class from Tuesday morning through Wednesday evening, so that has become my exploration time. These have been some of my favorite trips because they involve little to no planning and a lot of figuring it out on the fly. For example, on the 17th of September, I hopped a bus up to Killarney and spent the day touring the castle and gardens. I walked around for hours before sitting down at a fishing dock away from the crowds to take in the scenery. There I met a guy named John, who had been backpacking Europe for a few months, and struck up a conversation. The conversation lasted a couple hours and ended with John eventually deciding he would buy a plane ticket to head back to the states to get a fresh start. I can’t take any credit for his realizations, but I wish him the best in his new pursuits. After that whirlwind, I attempted to walk back to Cork, got lost and ended up hailing a cab to get back to my apartment. That’s a story for another time. 

The next weekend I was lucky enough to embark on a fly fishing trip to a small town in the next county over. Late on a Friday night, I made the trek over to the town of Clonmel where I rented a last minute AirBnb. The nice lady who owned the house called me a cab for the next day in order to get to the fish shop. After arriving a bit early the workers and guide showed up and started collecting gear. Once we were armed and dangerous it was time to snag some trout. The day consisted of catching a few fish, learning some tricks of the trade, and seeing a ton of awesome country. The guys were extremely knowledgeable and kind as almost everyone has been. All of this made for a great day on the water.

Jumping ahead to this week, again with a few friends, we went and toured the town of Kinsale on the southern coast by way of bike. There we went around the city and out to an old military fort dating back hundreds and hundreds of years. I was able to learn a bit about the area’s history and take in the scenery. To no one’s surprise the views out over the Atlantic were nothing short of amazing.

This leads us to this Tuesday. A few days ago, I was sitting in my morning class thinking I had not done anything spontaneous in a minute or two, so I headed to the bus station as soon as we were dismissed. I had remembered reading about a bike trip through the Gap of Dunloe that was a must do, so I bought a ticket and was off. Upon arriving in Killarney, I rented a bike from a local place, nodded as the guy went through the local stops to make, and tore out of town. About 8 miles in I chained up and began to ascend a hiking path. An hour or so later I stood at the top of Slippery Bridge or “Big Gun” peak looking over more country than I could even take in. After staring in amazement for awhile, I headed back down realizing I would be in a real time crunch to make the last bus back. From there I picked back up the bike trip and headed through the Gap of Dunloe. I would try to explain the surrounding scenery, but it’s just one of those places you have to see for yourself. I attached a picture below, but it does not even do it justice. Five or so miles later of pedaling up the rugged terrain and down through the Black Valley, I finally got a bit of signal and realized I had an hour and a half to bike 15 miles back either direction. With the steepness of the surrounding hills, that just would not be possible. With a little detour and a lot of luck I was able to find a flooded walking path back through the forest and out to the main road. A couple miles and a soaked pair of shoes later I was right back on track. From there it was a long but manageable 8 miles back into Killarney. Legs burning and heart racing, I chugged along cursing myself out, and made it just in the nick of time. I chained up the bike and hustled to catch the last bus as it pulled in, a great success. 

As I look back on these last few adventures, I realize they are not things that can be strategically planned out. Life is about adjusting on the run, so sometimes you just have to buckle up and let it fly. I know these are the times I will look back and appreciate the most because they weren’t supposed to happen. I can’t be quite sure if it’s curiosity, determination, or just plain stupidity, but the three combined seem to create something special, something an itinerary will never capture. These trips are just more meaningful. They are about the journey and not the outcome, more about the story of getting there and less about the end result. That’s life.

 Again, thanks for reading, and I will continue to keep updating as often as possible. Much obliged. 


Photo courtesy of The Gap of Dunloe


Matthew Twaddle is a sophomore at the University of Missouri- Kansas City majoring in civil engineering. He is attending the University College Cork in Ireland through the UMKC Direct Exchange Program during the fall semester. Matthew is from Maryville, MO and is excited to continue his education in Cork, Ireland where some of his family still resides.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Taking Flight

Leaving home for the first time can be a bit daunting. No matter how many times you tell yourself or tell others that you are ready for it, you never really are. Sure I may have left home to go to college, but it is just not the same. In Kansas City I at least have the occasional day trip back home whenever I need it. This is a whole new ball game. Definitely exciting but new ground nonetheless. In my mind, getting over here and getting setup was really just an after thought until it became reality. I realized it wasn’t going to be a cake walk when I got to customs the morning of September 3rd, looking like a zombie since it should have been the middle of the night. Showing up with every document except for my letter of acceptance to University College Cork was a microcosm of  my whole journey up to this point, so it was very fitting. I thought I was going to be kicked out of Ireland before I got in, but here I am two weeks in. Look at me now, customs guy.

It took a bit of learning, getting looked at weird, and wandering around to get settled in. Now I have all the necessary supplies I need to make it through the semester, which is mainly sandwich stuff and a pair of hiking shoes. To be fair, those shoes have already taken me to Killarney National Park and The Cliffs of Moher which were both mesmerizing, so I would say they have been a solid investment. With one week of classes down and a few adventures under my belt, things are becoming a bit less foreign with each passing day. Sure, it is easy to miss home and the family and friends that make it that way, but living in the moment is something I have always prided myself in. If you worry too much about what is going on elsewhere, opportunities will pass you by. This is an experience I don’t want to squander by thinking about being somewhere else or about what I am going to do next, but instead by enjoying where I’m at in the moment. This semester is going to fly by anyways so why not enjoy every minute. That is something that is pretty easy to do in a place like Ireland, as every corner reveals something else to be intrigued by. I also can’t forget to mention that the adjustment has been made so much easier by all the awesome people I have met. Making friends is a bit easier when everyone is equally confused about their situation, but I never imagined how many great people I would meet, and even go travel with, in such a short amount of time. I guess it isn’t a huge shock that a bunch of study abroad kids would want to adventure and explore new places. Nevertheless, I am really glad they do. Already I am extremely thankful for what this trip has brought to me and pumped for what is to come. I already have a few excursions in the works. I’m going to take a few trips with friends and a couple solo treks, so stay tuned for my next move. Oh and classes went well this week too. I made it to all of those.

Thanks a million, cheers.


Matthew Twaddle is a sophomore at the University of Missouri- Kansas City majoring in civil engineering. He is attending the University College Cork in Ireland through the UMKC Direct Exchange Program during the fall semester. Matthew is from Maryville, MO and is excited to continue his education in Cork, Ireland where some of his family still resides.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Arriving in London

     I’ve been in London for four days now and I’m still pinching myself! I still haven’t gotten the chance to see central London, which is a bummer, but I’ll find a way. In my home in Kansas City most people rely on their cars for transportation, but in London it’s the opposite. Mostly everyone here relies on public transit, which is great, but I’m not used to it at all.

Today I missed the opportunity to go explore central London with fellow international students. The jet lag has been real, and has finally caught up with me! When I first arrived in London I didn’t feel tired at all. It was just yesterday that I began to feel extremely exhausted, but I have been staying up very late due to me getting used to new surroundings. Due to that I completely missed out on exploring the city today.

While I’ve only been here for four days, I’ve already met some great people from my flat and orientation. I’m happy to be putting myself out there in social interactions, and meeting new friends. One person who has really made an impression on me is my flat rep Dre. He has been very kind and understanding. Sometimes, I cannot understand a word he is saying but he won’t hesitate to repeat himself!

So far I’ve been to Asda (a “Walmart” like supermarket), a student friendly bar on campus, and a campus movie night. I feel great so far, but missing out on photo frenzy is kind of getting me down. If I didn’t explain already, photo frenzy is a day when all international students go out into central London and explore the town. The University of Roehampton even set up a clue game to have fun finding historical pieces.

It sounds very fun, and I hope to go enjoy the city soon. As I’ve said already i didn’t go into the city so I have no pictures of the city. Instead here are some pictures of my view right now.


Kierra M. Fayne is a junior at the University of Missouri- Kansas City studying theatre performance. Kierra is spending the fall semester abroad with the Missouri-London Semester Program: University of Roehampton. She plans to study theatre in London to seek new techniques and tools that will help her tackle performances with more ease. Kierra was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, where she has made connections that have helped her identify her goals to study theatre performance. She is now ready to spread her wings, find connections, and make new friends in London.

Disclaimer:  Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space. The opinions or statements expressed herein should not be taken as a position or endorsement of the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

A Summer Semester in 13 Words

Deciphering my notes from my Arabic lecture after the class is usually like a Where’s Waldo exercise, and that’s not because I’m writing in Arabic. Instead, my notes are an amalgamation of grammar concepts, practice exercises, verb conjugations, and answers to questions that arise during class. This combination, while difficult to read at first, allows me to learn new vocabulary that I would never find in my trusty al-Kitaab book or in stories about Khalid or Maha (the main characters in the book). As I reach the conclusion of my Arabic classes, looking through my notebook is not only review for the final; rather, it’s a reminder of the conversations I’ve had, the relationships I made, and the knowledge of the Arabic language and culture that I will remember long after I leave Amman. I’ve had an amazing time here and I have learned so much!

Here are 13 of my favorite vocabulary words that aren’t from the MSA curriculum, along with a description of how I learned the word.

1.Hiccup = حازوقة  – hazooka

A necessary word when you can’t form a sentence without being interrupted by a hiccup.

2. Grilled cheese = جبنة مشوية  – jubna meshweeah

Learned while talking about our favorite foods from home.

3. Cheap = رخيص  – rakhees

One of the first words needed when learning to bargain at a busy souk.

4. Salary = مرتب  – morattab

Talking about the future requires at least some discussion of money!

5. Farms = مزرعة  – mazr3ah

A common weekend destination for Jordanian families, but the word can mean anything from a traditional farm to a luxury villa.

6. Ability = القدرة  – alkudrah

Another word that can aid in describing the future.

7. Extra or leftovers = ضل  – dal

While it was learned along with money change, it’s a mainstay when asking what’s for lunch to your host family!

8. Wonderful = رائعا  – rah’i3

Learned when you’re sick of saying ممتاز (momtaaz/excellent) every day.

9. I snorkeled = غصت  – gustu

This word is required when talking about your weekend in Aqaba!

10. Roman Theater = المدرج الروماني  – almudarraj alroomani

A good landmark for a taxi driver when navigating the busy streets of Amman.

11. Bracelet = اسوارة  – esswarah

Everyone knows this word after an afternoon at the souk.

12. Hungry = الجوع  – ajloo3

My classmates and I magically remembered this word half an hour before our lunch break every day.

13. Ideas = افكار  – afkaar

Used when you want to convey that you’re engaged in the class discussion but have forgotten all of your new vocabulary words.


Caroline Moriarty is a sophomore at the University of Missouri- Kansas City double majoring in political science and music. Caroline is spending the summer semester abroad with the AMIDEAST Intensive Arabic Program in Amman, Jordan. At UMKC, Caroline is a Trustees’ Scholar, member of the Honors College and Mortar Board, and the Vice President of the UMKC College Democrats. She hopes to attend graduate or law school in order to pursue a career in international relations, diplomacy, or public policy.

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Arrivederci Bologna

Piazza Maggiore, Bologna

A last-minute flight, a trip across London in the wee hours of the morning and two lost suitcases later, I have made it back to KC! It feels good to be back, but I am already missing my little home in Italy. Even though I may have been in the part of the world most famous for its food, the first thing I wanted when I got back stateside was some good ole’ Kansas City BBQ! There really is nothing like it.

Before I came back, I prepared a meal for my Italian friends. I brainstormed what the most American meal I could prepare… I settled on hamburgers, mac & cheese, vegetables with ranch dressing and s’ mores. I must admit, I don’t know why I was surprised when they hated mac & cheese. In retrospect, I think that it is all of my childhood memories that I associate these foods with that make them so special. However, they did like the Ranch dressing and BBQ sauce, so I guess I can forgive them.

Since being back Stateside, it has really made me appreciate the beautiful culture in Italy that I was able to experience. I made so many friends from all over the world and memories that I will never forget. I cannot wait to share all of my knowledge and encourage other students to make the most of their college experience!

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Milan, Italy
The Valley of Temples Agrigento, Italy
Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, Bologna, Italy


Olivia Weaver is a junior at the University of Missouri–Kansas City pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, a minor in Psychology on a Pre-Dental track. Olivia will be studying in Bologna, Italy for her spring 2019 semester through the University of Bologna Exchange program. Olivia is excited about the opportunity to experience and appreciate different customs and traditions of those across the globe.

Disclaimer:

Student blog entries posted to the Roos Abroad Blog may not reflect the opinions and recommendations of UMKC Study Abroad and International Academic Programs. The blog is intended to give students a forum for free expression of thoughts and experiences abroad in a respectful space.

Check out these other study abroad blogs for ideas and inspiration:

·         ISA Student Blog – https://isastudentblog.wordpress.com/

·         Gilman Global Experience – https://gilmanprogram.wordpress.com/