Sunrise on Table Mountain and Cape Town

My semester at sea: South Africa

South Africa is an immensely interesting and unique country. I have been learning about its history, politics and culture in my classes on the ship and have found it to be one of the most fascinating countries I’ve ever studied or visited. I spent my six days in Cape Town,
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My semester at sea: Mauritius and life at sea

Mauritius, a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean, has a few claims to fame. It was the former home of the dodo bird, its capital, Port Louis, is the richest city in Africa, although many people don’t count it as part of Africa, and it’s a favorite vacation destination
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The Taj Mahal, Agra.

My semester at sea: India

It’s very difficult to explain how I felt about traveling in India. There was certainly a lot about my experience that was not so positive, and I’ve never felt so far outside my comfort zone. I saw many people in really horrible situations, many of whom had very little hope
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School of Little Revolutionaries

Turkish politics are ruining my dinner plans

Two blocks from my apartment on the corner of a busy street is a restaurant called Sinem. From the walls to the front counter, the whole place seems to be made of glass. It’s open late and always lit up. There isn’t much in the restaurant besides chairs, tables and
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The Marina Bay Sands hotel.

My semester at sea: Singapore and Burma

In the past week, I’ve been to one of the wealthiest countries in the world and one of the poorest. Both Singapore and Myanmar (Burma) were occupied by the Japanese during WWII, but since then they have followed very different paths. The contrast was absolutely striking and not always in
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The Bosphorus Strait

My first week in Istanbul

I am now three weeks into my semester abroad at Bogazici Universitesi in Istanbul, Turkey. It’s been mostly cold and gray here. The city smells like spiced meat and the bus driver’s cigarette, and it sounds like traffic and the Islamic call to prayer over loudspeakers. On my first morning
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Weekend escape to London

I’ve been studying in Lund, Sweden, for almost two months now, and although my current schedule includes a mere three hours of class a week, I was ready for an escape from this college town. A few people from the UC Education Abroad Program decided to spend Valentine’s Day weekend
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Banteay Srey temple

My semester at sea: Vietnam and Cambodia

Before this trip, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Vietnam and Cambodia. On one hand, I had heard wonderful things about the natural beauty, the rich history and the fun people, all of which make this part of the world so special. However, there is also the fact
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A long weekend in Berlin

I spent last weekend in Berlin, the place I have come to call home over the past few months. The experience can only be described as “too much weekend”: I discovered the bar where I plan to end every good night, the coffee shop in which I plan to plow
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martha_bawn_tibet1

My semester at sea: Tibet

One of my fellow travelers was talking to a Tibetan acquaintance, and he told her, “You will see the beautiful parts of Tibet but no more.” When traveling to a place like this, what you don’t see is just as important as what you do see. There is so much
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