To GT-Lorraine...and Beyond!

25 years of academic excellence and adventure

Category: Ije (Page 1 of 2)

Farewell, France!

This morning, I completed my last exam of this semester and it feels absolutely surreal. On my way back to La Fayette, a place I have called home for four months, I immediately begin reminiscing on the amazing experiences and memories I’ve made here. I also think back to my first blog post, and it is interesting to revisit my pre-trip expectations and anticipations. Returning to Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go”, I discover four lines that encapsulate my time abroad quite beautifully:

“You’ll be on your way up!

You’ll be seeing great sights!

You’ll join the high fliers

who soar to high heights.”

I’ve certainly seen great sights and flown high heights! More importantly, I can confidently declare that studying abroad has been a life-changing experience for me. Living in an unfamiliar environment challenged me to step outside my comfort zone, which fostered personal growth and a new level of maturity. Along the way, I managed to build new relationships and friendships that will extend far beyond this four month period. Travelling to different countries introduced to me to new customs and people from all walks of life. I sampled a myriad of cuisines, and less successfully, new languages. I lounged on a beach in Barcelona and travelled 2,000 ft up into the Swiss Alps. I visited 9 countries in total, and experienced parts of the world that have always been on my bucket list. Travel granted me access and insight into various cultures and gifted me with a stronger appreciation for the world’s diversity. I value diversity and the qualities that make us unique; that said, venturing to new cities also taught me that people are very much alike despite seemingly insurmountable cultural barriers.

I left the United states as a nervous yet eager, wide-eyed engineering student ready to explore new horizons. I leave France much in the same way, but now instilled with a new sense of confidence. I am returning home an experienced traveler and global citizen. I cannot believe how quickly four months passed. My time in Metz has exceeded all my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed writing for the GTL blog and am so grateful for the opportunity to share and keep track of my memories. I am glad that prospective GTL students can use my blog as a resource for advice and a glimpse of the excitement that waits.

While I am eager to return home to reunite with family and friends, there are a many parts of this experience I will miss. I will miss the spontaneity that comes with each weekend. I will miss the different foods I indulged in, from döner kebabs to French cheese and baguettes. I will not soon forget the pieces of history I learned about each country. I will miss my professors, some of which were the best I’ve had as an undergraduate student. I will miss the bond that 138 built in our short time here.

I look forward to finishing my remaining semesters at Georgia Tech on a strong and positive note. I cannot wait to see how the life lessons I’ve acquired while abroad will apply to life back home.

Au revoir France!

Ije

 

GTL Athletics: Soccer

With nonstop travel on weekends and back to back classes/homework assignments during the week, it may seem almost impossible to find time for fitness. But students like Rene Kenmoe are helping to make the search a lot easier. Rene serves as the Sports Coordinator for the GTL BDE. Throughout the semester, he has organized a handful of soccer games on the fields outside of the Aloes dorm. And the turnouts are always fantastic. GTL students use these evening games as a means to let loose after class and release some competitive energy. “Playing soccer was a great release for me. It was nice to be outside in cool weather and fresh air. And getting a workout in is always a plus!” says Junior Christana Fagbile.

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Oftentimes, other university students will be out on the field, and end up playing a game or two with GTL students. In fact, one of Rene’s goals as the Sports Coordinator has been to connect GTL and the surrounding French schools through sports. While these matches are typically fun and light-hearted, they do still have their fair share of athletic “pros”/competitors. But not to worry! Even if you’re not the most skilled in the sport (cough, cough, me.), you are still very welcome! Out on the field, it is more about having fun and unwinding while learning the tenets of the game. The matches are not about who scores the most goals, but focus rather on creating a team-like bond with fellow classmates. Surely, in a semester filled with academics and travel, soccer is and will always be a great addition to the mix.

 

 

Spring 2016 Photo Contest Winners!

Check out some of  amazing photo submissions from this semester’s GTL Photo Contest!

Category: Best Selfie (photo taken of oneself)

Honorable Mention: Yoona Lee (Clare County, Ireland)

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Runner-Up: Sid Gore (Interlaken)

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WINNER: Tom Agger (Innsbruck, Austria)

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Category: Best Group Shot (photo must consist of 3 or more GTL students)

Honorable Mention: Sid Gore (Axamer, Austria)

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Runner-Up: Alyssa Griffin (Paris, France)

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WINNER: Emily Cowart (Athens, Greece)
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Category: Best Food Shot (photos of local food in markets, being prepared, on the table, etc.)

Honorable Mention: Esther Shin (Florence, Italy)Italy_Florence_Shin (1)

Runner-Up: Can Kanbalou (Paris, France)

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WINNER: Elizabeth Jang (Prague, Czech Republic)
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Category: Best Cultural Snapshot (photos that provide a sense of the local culture, people, customs, and traditions)

Honorable Mention: Emily Cowart (Athens, Greece)

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Runner-Up: Yoona Lee  (Barcelona, Spain)

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WINNER: Julie McCallum (Venice, Italy)Italy_Venice_McCallum (1)

Category: Best Landscape (photos of architecture, scenery, landmarks, etc.)

Honorable Mention: Chris Petrus (Venus, Italy)

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Runner-Up: Tom Agger (Innsbruck, Austria)

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WINNER: Kendall Peree (Merzouga, Morocco)

MOR

4 Easy to Make Meals While Abroad

Many of us jumped into this whole “study abroad” thing with little to no cooking experience. Rather than waste precious money on a pizza or kebab every night (although, sometimes this is absolute necessary and okay), here are four quick and easy meals to make in your very own kitchen.

10448641. Spaghetti: All you need are two basic ingredients: Noodles and spaghetti sauce (meatballs optional). Boil your noodles in 5-10 minutes on the stove, warm up a pre-prepared spaghetti sauce, and voilà…you have yourself a meal. If you really want to channel your inner chef, try throwing in some seasoning and parmesan cheese. (Suggestions: Panzani spaghetti noodles and tomato pesto, Auchan brand)

sandwich-on-plate2. Sandwiches: After a couple of months your meals may start to feel somewhat repetitive, and that’s where the sandwich comes in. Possible ingredients include tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, mayonnaise, mustard, ham, chicken, etc. There are endless combinations to choose from.  Even bigger plus: buy a bag of zip-locks and sandwiches become the perfect to-go meal.

6855099710_d9c42e48bc_z3. Potatoes/French Fries:  Who doesn’t like potatoes? Head to the freezer section of Simply or Cora and you’ll find potatoes cut in virtually every shape and size. Throw some oil and butter on a pan and warm them on your stove for about 10-15 minutes. Eat as a side dish or even a main meal. Optional: Season with basil, garlic, salt, and/or black pepper. (Suggestion: ‘Pommes Rissolées’, Auchan brand)

4. Cereal: One thing I’ve learned is that cereal can be eaten at any time of the day. Yes, even at midnight when you’re up cramming for anBowl-of-Cereal-007 exam. Buy a large carton of milk to last multiple meals. Keep in mind that most French milk is not pasteurized, and the taste is slightly different from what we’re used to back home. While you won’t find the exact same cereal brands, you’ll find very similar ones, for example, Kellogg’s Frosties.

….and if all else fails, La Boite à Pizza is right around the corner 🙂

 

RA Profile: Meet Adrienne Dooley!

Name: Adrienne Dooley10154526_637210376332590_830590590_n

Year: Sophomore

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Hometown: Redding, CT

What residence hall are you an RA in? Lafayette

Why did you choose to be an Resident Assistant?

My PLs freshmen year were amazing and really helped everyone on our hall get to know each other and transition to college life. I applied to be an RA so I could have the opportunity to provide support in Metz like I received in Atlanta. I also wanted to work on further developing leadership skills.

Were you a Resident Assistant before hand, or is this your first time?

This is my first time as an RA.

What are the benefits of being an RA? Are they worth it?

One of the greatest benefits of being an RA so far has been the opportunity to meet most of the undergrads at GTL through normal duty rounds and events the RAs have hosted as well as provide support. The position has also allowed me to develop leadership and supportive skills. I enjoy being an RA and definitely believe it is worth it.

Describe what a typical day is like when on duty.

Duty starts at 8 pm Monday – Thursday, although one of the RAs will always have the phone in case of emergencies. I usually start by walking around each floor of each building in Lafayette where GT undergrads live. The rounds provide an opportunity to talk with residents about any concerns with the dorm as well as to trade travel tips. Between 8-12 I’m available in Lafayette if needed, and I’m usually doing homework or planning for the weekend. I also do a second walk-through of Lafayette later at night.

Does being an RA affect your travel plans? Can you travel on the weekend?

I can definitely travel on the weekends! Traveling just involves a little more planning when looking at the semester as a whole so I can plan longer trips for weeks when I don’t have duty on Thursday night.  

What has been your favorite travel destination at GTL so far?

One of my favorite travel destinations was Bern, Switzerland. On the second day we were there we took a funicular up the Gurten, a close-by mountain. Walking around the top (which was a mini sledding and ski slope) provided us with amazing views of the city of Bern as well as the Jura mountain range and the Alps. The prevalence of ornate fountains and chocolate stores throughout the city also helped make Bern one of my favorite cities to visit.

Thanks for the interview Adrienne!

How Well Do You Know Metz?

How well do you know Metz? Read some interesting facts about the city below and see!   

  • Metz is a city in northeast France. It is on the Moselle River. It is the capital city of the region of Lorraine.
  • Where-is-Metz-on-map-of-FranceIt is a cultural, commercial, and transportation center of Lorraine, an industrial city producing metals, machinery, tobacco, clothing, and food products, and the home of one of France’s largest military bases.
  • Metz is one of eight cities targeted by the French government for special planning and development.
  • Metz was a major cultural center of the Carolingian Renaissance (8th century) and was later (10th century) a prosperous commercial city with an important Jewish community.
  • Metz became a free imperial city in the 12th cent. and was then one of the richest and most populous cities of the empire.
  • Paul Verlaine, a famous French poet associated with the Symbolist movement, was born in Metz in 1844.
  • PaulVerlaine_NewBioImageDuring the German annexation of E Lorraine (1871–1918), Metz, largely French-speaking, was a center of pro-French sentiment. During World War II the city suffered greatly under German occupation.
  • There are many Gallo-Roman ruins in Metz, including an aqueduct, thermal baths, and part of an amphitheater. Much has also been preserved from the medieval period.
  • The celebrated Cathedral of St. Étienne, built from c.1221 to 1516, has one of Europe’s largest collections of stained glass.metz-cath_1631917i
  • The Place Sainte-Croix is a square in Metz surrounded by medieval houses (13th–15th cent.).
  • Metz has several other churches, including St. Pierre-de-la-Citadelle Basilica, mansions from the Middle Ages, and many beautiful promenades.
  • Metz is also the site of the futuristic Pompidou-Metz museum (2010), the first regional branch of Paris’ Beaubourg (Pompidou Center).Centre_Pompidou_Metz_2_900x600_Hufton_Crow

Interesting, right? Stay tuned for more facts coming soon (and make sure to visit these sites while you’re here!).

-Ije

Source: http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Metz.aspx

The Final Stretch!

Oh em gee! It’s April already! Meaning, we have all but 5 weeks left here at GTL. It’s been a crazy and busy time for us all, as midterms, papers, and final presentations are starting to pile up in our classes. On top of that, we are all trying to squeeze in our last batch of “must see” destinations for the remaining weekends. For many of us, this time of the semester has become a mixture of wanting to be home with family and friends yet at the same time wishing your time abroad could be extended. So, how does one deal with this whirlwind of a final month stretch? Some may go on a sky-diving trip to get one last rush of adrenaline in. Others may stay at GTL and hit the books, in order to solidify that A in Statics. Surely, each and every one of us will decide what is best for ourselves on our own. Whatever you do choose to do, make sure the remaining weeks of your semester count.

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The Belgian Waffle

Note: Blogger, Ije, visited Brussels the weekend before the Brussels attacks. Students have been advised to avoid traveling to Belgium at this time.

I traveled to Brussels, Belgium several weekends ago and tried none other than their famous Belgian Waffles…and boy were they delicious.

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If you crave a crispy, sweet, and sugary treat that’ll melt your taste buds, then the Belgian Waffle is for you. Belgian waffles are made in a hot cast iron machine and leavened with yeast or baking powder. In Belgium, this waffle is often bought on the street and eaten with your hands, but it can also be served in more formal settings. Contrary to American waffle-eating custom, the Belgian Waffle is never served with maple syrup. Yes, it tastes just that good on its own.

So what is the history behind the Belgian waffle?

Belgian waffles were originally showcased in 1958 at the Brussel’s World Fair, and later introduced to the United States by a man named Walter Cleyman. They were further popularized in 1964, when Maurice Vermersh introduced his recipe at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. (Fun fact: Belgian waffles were originally called Brussels waffles. However, many Americans did not know Brussels was the capital of Belgium, and Vermersch changed the name for this very reason).

Topping choices for the Belgian Waffle are endless, varying from powdered sugar and strawberries to vanilla ice cream and warm chocolate syrup (Yummm!). And even better than the endless topping choices are the prices. Belgian waffles are sold as cheap as 1 euro, and they are worth every cent.

So, if you ever find yourself in Brussels, and want a taste of pure happiness, make sure to bless your taste buds with a waffle!…or two…or three…

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My first of many Belgian waffles!

 

5 Cures for Boredom on a Cross-Country Train Ride

Posted by Ije

1. Sleep.

gty_man_sleeping_on_train_thg_111208_wmainWhat better time to catch up on some Z’s? Especially on those 13 hour cross-country trips. Train seats may be a bit uncomfortable, but plug your ears up to some peaceful tunes, lean against a window or head rest, and you’ll dose off in no time.

2.  Play Cards.playing-cards

The amount you can do with one deck of cards is endless. Play a series of fun, competitive games with friends. Your trip will fly by in no time. A handful of exciting card games include Spades, Go Fish, Tunk, Thirteen, and Speed.

Boston-Kickstarter-Raising-Funds-to-a-Write-novel-on-a-Train-in-3-Days

3.  Write.

Write journal entries on past weekend trips. Reflect on your time at GTL. Use this extended amount of time to write down your thoughts and look back in retrospect. You’ll thank yourself months from now back home.

4. Have a discussion. Now_Were_Talking2

Take time to get to know your friends and fellow classmates. Talk about politics. Relationships. Life Events. Discussions can spark a lot of thought, and are great way to share your opinions while learning from others.

dsc_16195.  Do Nothing.

Rest. Look out of the train window. Observe beautiful scenery, and take in everything around you. Moments like these will be some of your best while abroad.

March Madness Begins!

It’s March Madness Season! And the BDE is hosting our very own March Madness Bracket Challenge!How-to-unblock-and-watch-NCAA-March-Madness-2015-outside-US-Smart-DNS-Proxy-or-VPN“What is March Madness exactly?”

Posted by Ije

March Madness, formally known as The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, is a tournament played each spring in the United States. The tournament features 68 college basketball teams, who play in fast-paced, intense rounds of single-elimination games. Yep, that’s right. Once you lose a game you’re out, and the last team standing standing wins it all. The tournament was created in 1939 by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, and has had an extremely huge influence on American sports culture ever since. In fact, alongside the Super Bowl, it is arguably one of the most famous annual sporting events in the United States.

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March Madness wouldn’t be March Madness without its famous Bracket Challenge. Each year millions of Americans fill out brackets in the hopes of winning that $100 bet against a family member, or even better, submitting a perfect bracket online and hitting the jackpot. The American Gaming Association projects that 40 million Americans will fill out more than 70 million brackets this year (that’s a lot of brackets.). But choosing the outcome of the tournament isn’t as easy as it seems. To have a perfect bracket, one must correctly choose the winner of every. single. round. of games in the tournament. And each year, without fail, a buzzer beater or underdog team ruins everyone’s chances of getting it right. For those of us who know nothing about basketball, the odds of randomly filling out a perfect bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808 (that’s quintillion). If you have some prior knowledge about the famous American sport, and make conscious choices in your bracket, you have a much better chance of…wait for it..1 in 772 billion! (lol.)

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The GTL student with the most accurate bracket (or who knows, the first perfect bracket ever) will win a sports jersey of their choice, and the runner up will win a sports cap.

Stay tuned for when we announce our first and second place winners in April! May the odds be ever in your favor!!

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