Jumping Abroad with A World Traveler

Priscilla Blum is student about to attend Cornell University in the spring of 2016. However, before her next four years of official education, Priscilla decided to embark on a journey through a program called semester at sea, where she traveled the world while taking her courses on a ship and docks at a different city each weekend. After discussing her trip with me, she came out with some great points, advice and insight on traveling abroad. Here are some pieces from Priscilla… 

1) Semester At Sea is a unique study abroad program on a floating college campus with approximately 600 students. Instead of studying in one country like a traditional study abroad, with Semester At Sea, you wake up in a new country every week or so (voyages range from 10-19 ports/countries). I was initially concerned about not being able to spend enough time in each country. I still feel I wasn't able to fully immerse myself into all of the different cultures, but since I got a taste of many places around the world, I now know where I want to return.

2)The countries that have stood out the most to me were definitely Morocco and Senegal because their cultures are entirely different than Europe even though Casablanca and Dakar claim to be 'the Paris of Africa'. My biggest culture shock was the poverty in Senegal. I obviously knew there would be poverty, but I never really understood it until I saw it for myself. The joy that lit up in children's faces was astounding when I gave them their own water bottle. It was eye opening to me to see the immense appreciation in things we take for granted daily.  

3) In Italy and Croatia everyone spoke English in the areas I visited (Civitachavechia, Rome, Pisa, Cinque Terre, Naples, Capri, and Dubrovnik) but that is probably because those are touristy places. I never took Spanish in high school so I struggled a bit in Spain. Fortunately, the people I traveled with knew Spanish so it was helpful having them there. In Morocco I was on a guided tour with other students and their parents. We had multiple guides who translated for us when we were shopping in the markets. They speak French in Senegal, so the beginners French I took throughout high school came in handy especially when interacting with women and children in small villages.

 4) I really wish I had brought a go pro on the trip. I reccomend that to people planning on studying abroad. People have taken some really sick under water videos and pictures. They are great for sightseeing and travel in general.  I wish I hadn't brought as much clothes because there is limited closet space.

5) The thing I miss most about home is my dog and mac and cheese. In Greece and Spain there are a lot of stray dogs which are cute but dont come close to mine at home.American food isnt too difficult to find abroad, especially in european countries however I have not been able to get mac and cheese anywhere unfortunately.

7) A rule I set for myself this trip was to taste the traditional dish in each country I visit. The two countries with surprisingly good food were Greece and Morocco. I did not expect to like the food in Greece because I am not a fan of Mediterranean styled dishes. I ended up having an unhealthy obsession with tomato balls, gyros, and baklava. I had low expectations for Morocco as well. I was amazed by how flavorful everything tasted. The best dishes in Morocco are any kind of tagine (chicken, lamb, vegetable) and the olive bread. I can't wait to revisit those countries to satisfy my cravings. The country that had the friendliest people was by far Croatia. Everyone was extremely hospitable and kind hearted. Croatia also has a very low crime rate, so that might be a contributing factor.  

8) My advice for people going abroad is to not plan everything out and keep an open mind to trying new things. You never know whom you're going to meet or what surprises may pop up. You need to be flexible and you can't be afraid to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Some of the best days I've had were spur-of-the-moment decisions about what I am going to do and where I am going to go. Last week, for example, I was in Senegal and was invited to join some other kids to go hang out on a surfing island. It ended up being a beautiful place with great vibes.

3 tips to make Study Abroad the best experience of your life.

Meet new people. Obvious, right? You’ll be surprised to see how easy it is to stick to the group of friends you already know, especially if you are going to a country in which you have to speak a different language. Make an effort to meet new people whenever you can. It’ll be worth it!. I had so much fun and learned words that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

 

 

Join a sports team or club at your new University. I’ve played varsity soccer my whole life, even in college. When I went abroad I thought… “well, I already play soccer at home. This won’t be any different.” Oh, was I wrong. Everything from the way people play, to the words they shouted at one another was different. See if they have your favorite sport, and give it a try if you can. Even if it may be out of your comfort zone, the reward of having a great experience and meeting people from different backgrounds is well worth the risk.  If sports isn’t your thing, why not join a club?

 

Search for activities in your community. Every community is different and there is always something new to do and explore. Remember to keep an eye for what’s going on outside of your school as well - the options are endless.

 

Remember, these are just a few of the many things that can make your experience wonderful. As long as you keep and open-mind and meet new people not just in your program you will have an incredible experience.  Enjoy your new adventure! Bon voyage!

Storganize Study Abroad Logic: Affordability

Going abroad in the Spring? Have things to store but worried you might spend too much? We here at Storganize understand how important saving money is for college students - especially for those about to go abroad.  That is why Storganize has created a plan that is designed to work well for students looking to keep some stuff in DC while they explore a different part of the world.  If you store your things at Storganize you will know your possessions are safe in DC. You will also be able to have more money to spend while traveling the world. So how affordable is Storganize really?

Storganize is so affordable that you will spend more on Alcohol in one night than you will an entire month of keeping your stuff safe at Storganize.  Plan on going to Oktoberfest? Great, well one beer will cost you more than storing a large box of your valuables with Storganize for the entire month! Going to China and want to have a glass of Baijiu? Maybe you're going to Brazil and want a Caipirinha?  How about a glass of wine in Rome?  Well buy one of any of these drinks and you will have already spent more money than it costs you to store your stuff with Storganize for an entire month!!!l

The Item Plan at Storganize starts at just $7/month per box or $15/month for an item that does not fit in a box, like a couch or a bike for example. But wait, it gets better. We’ll pick it up, store it, and bring it back when you want it. So yeah, you heard it right: You get to keep that lovely couch of yours, take only the things you will ready need, and enjoy as many beers as you’d like with all the spare cash you have. Enjoy your trip!

How to Travel Like Anthony Bourdain

Do not miss out on one of the best parts of studying abroad, trying new Food!

 

Anthony Bourdain; chef, world traveler, and food extraordinaire once said that “food is everything we are. It's an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma.” I couldn't agree more. I think that one of the best ways to explore a new culture is by trying new foods. No matter where you are in the world, the food will always tell a lot about the history of the region and the people who live there. If you limit yourself to the places that you may be familiar with like American food chains, you will not be be able to fully immerse yourself in the new culture.

    Try broadening your options and that includes small food vendors as well. Worried you might get food poisoning? Observe where locals go, or even better, ask the locals which ones they trust. This will be a good way of spotting a good meal and also connecting with new people.You’ll be surprise to see how people are incredibly willing to give their suggestions on their favorite places to eat.  

    The greatest part about traveling is that the food you try may be an ordinary meal, and most likely cheap option for locals. However, for you, it will be a completely new experience that won’t break your budget. If you are not already convinced to try new foods when you travel, then do it out of respect.  One of the most effective ways to quickly show respect for a culture is by enjoying their food.  So make sure whether you’re in the U.K., China, or Chile, always try new foods.  Enjoy, and Eat Up!!!

Studying Abroad with Storganize

Whether you’re studying abroad in London, Rome, Hong Kong or anywhere else, its one of the most exciting and eye opening times in your life. When preparing for study abroad there are thousands of things on your mind – What will this new country be like?  Will it meet or exceed my expectations? What will my new roommate be like? The last thing you should be worried about is where to store your stuff while you are abroad. 

 

That’s where Storganize comes in – we take care of storing your stuff so you don’t have to.  Storganize makes it easy by picking up your stuff for you and even bringing boxes along so you don’t have to go through the hassle of tracking down cardboard boxes. Something that makes Storganize unique is that we categorize all your items by taking pictures of everything that you store and putting them online on your own personal portal where you can view them anytime. That way, even when you’re thousands of miles away, you can see what you have in storage in an organized fashion.  Finally, when you’re back from your study abroad, feeling refreshed and reawakened, just give us 48 hours notice and we will deliver your stuff back to you, to your doorstep.  It’s that easy.  So if you’re looking to have a fantastic time studying abroad and want to forget about the logistics of storing your stuff, the solution is simple – just Storganize it! 

Q & A with The Worlds Finest Travelers

Meet our Travelers:

-    Shelby Ostergaard, American University Senior studying communications, law, economics and government

-    Olivia Evans, Boston College Senior studying public accounting

-    Christina Penafiel, Catholic University senior studying biology

I chatted with three college students that have been everywhere from Denmark to London, Switzerland to Spain and asked them about how their experience studying abroad could have been made stress free with Storganize. 

Where did you study abroad?

Shelby: I studied in Copenhagen, Denmark. 
Olivia: Geneva, Switzerland. 
Christina: Rome, Italy. 

What did you do with all of your stuff that you didn't need while studying abroad? Put it in storage/keep it at a friends etc.

ShelbyMy brother drove to DC from Chicago with his pick up truck and we drove all my stuff back in it. Then we put it all in boxes and put it in my mom's friend's basement. When I came back we drove all of it back.
Olivia: I stored it in a storage facility split between two people. 

How much did that method of storing your stuff cost?

Shelby: As much as 12 hours worth of gas.
Olivia: $50 a month. 

Was there any way storing your stuff could have been made easier or better? Like being able to sell your old books through an online portal that categorizes all your items? 

Olivia: It would have been easier if they had dropped off my stuff to the place I was living next. 

With Storganize someone would have come to pick up your stuff for you and you could have the option to pay by item rather than by space. Finally, What was your favorite item you brought back?  

Shelby: My favorite items are a bunch of postcards I collected from around Europe.
Olivia: My favorite item brought back was swiss chocolate.
Christina: I took a sketching class while abroad and my sketchbook is definitely my favorite thing I brought back. 

Lesson learned: Storing your items with Storganize makes sense, is reliable, well priced and cuts out all the hassle of moving your stuff and paying people to help you. The last thing you want to be worrying about when you're a student of the world is if your stuff is safe back home in the states. Trust Storganize to safeguard your stuff, and give you a sense of security. 

 

My Tragic Mistake While Studying Abroad

Studying Abroad next semester? Great! I can speak from personal experience that when I studied abroad, my biggest mistake was packing way too much stuff. I didn’t know where to keep the things I didn’t want to take, and it was too much to leave at my friends’ house. I ended up taking way too much stuff with me. Like many of my friends did, when we wanted to take a weekend trip to Oktoberfest or extend our trip in Barcelona and Ibiza, we had to figure out how to take all of our luggage and where to keep it safe.  

That semester abroad I spent much of my money on excessive baggage fees that I could’ve spent on souvenirs and croissants. I knew there had to be a better way!  And then I found STORGANIZE!  See, Storganize is not your average storage company, unlike other storage companies, they understand that for students it needs to be easy and affordable.

Storganize gets that a lot of students don't need a full storage unit for their stuff, but instead might need to store just a few items.  Storganize gets that a lot of students don't own a large truck to go drop off and pick up their stuff in storage.  Storganize knows the needs of students, that's why at Storganize they charge reasonable prices, have a wide selection of programs to store your stuff including an item program, and they pickup and drop off your stuff when you need it.  That's why I tell all my friends to check out how Storganize can help them keep their stuff safe while they “study” abroad.  

https://benandisablog.wordpress.com/2015/09/24/5-tragic-mistakes-i-made-when-going-abroad/ 

Storganize: Stress-Free College Storage

Imagine you’re a college student… You’re loving life, making friends, planning awesome stuff for the future and trying your hardest not be crushed under all that classwork. Maybe you have plans to study abroad, travel the world, visit a friend or rent a new apartment. You got the world at your fingertips, but the crush of responsibility always seems to hold you back.

Now, imagine it’s exam week; you wake up in your dorm room, step over your roommate’s bag of clothes and rush over to your exam room. You crushed it, or at least you finished it; now you don’t have to worry about that test anymore. You’re about to head home for break and suddenly it hits you, what the *#!% am I gonna do with all my stuff? That’s where we come in…

Storganize is your full-service student storage solution for Washington DC. We’ll come right to your dorm or apartment, pick up those belongings you don’t know what to do with and store them for you. When you want them back, just click a few buttons on our website and our guys will deliver your stuff right to you. We even have an optional inventory service where we’ll photograph your items in storage and put everything up on a web profile so you can see what you have, order things to be delivered when you want, or send additional things out to storage.

While we’ll store any student’s (legal) belongings, some of you may need us more than others, such as:

·      Study Abroad Students

·      International Students

·      Students going home for the summer

·      Students who just have too much darn stuff in their dorm room

Alright, sounds great, but how much is this gonna cost me? Less than any of your other options and it’s easier too!

·      Our Item Plan starts at just $7/month per box/bin and $15/month per unboxed (larger) item

·      Deliveries are FREE if you store with us for at least 3 months

That’s it: simple, easy and stress-free. Seriously, see the world and do what you want with your life; let us handle your storage.