Rachael Levesque: Abroad Nostalgia has Officially Commenced

Rachael Levesque: Abroad Nostalgia has Officially Commenced

Posted by: on November 12, 2015   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized


Hello fellow edu majors! As the days begin to get darker a little bit earlier, and the warm Florence air has been replaced with a crisp, autumn breeze, it seems that we are in the home stretch of returning home back to the states, which is definitely a bitter sweet feeling.  I think this point in the semester is such a nostalgic time, as you look back at all the places you’ve been and the things you’ve seen, and realize you only have a limited time to cross any final things off your bucket list before going home.  Just yesterday my friends and I had the once in a lifetime experience of seeing the Pope! He literally drove right by my apartment, in his Pope-mobile, nonetheless. Another crazy experience which happened to my friend and fellow edu major, Meaghan Creamer, was finding her picture on the cover of an Italian newspaper, as she completed a local half marathon!

As I reflect back on so many of the things I have done throughout my study abroad experience, such as drinking a beer at Oktoberfest, having a croissant in France, riding a gondola in Venice, sailing the Mediterranean with my family for Fall Break, amongst so many other clichés, you come to realize how very few people can say they’ve also seen and done these things.

As someone who was a bit apprehensive about leaving home, and my small, quaint Connecticut hometown, I can firmly say that going abroad was the right decision.  With the great friendships you make, and the indescribable memories you will take away from this experience, missing home (and Dunkin Donuts ice coffee) seems like such a small price to pay.

Corny Study Abroad Tip: Take every chance, drop every fear!

Here are some of the highlights from my experience thus far:


Savona, Italy (View from the cruise ship)


My friend and I, on a gondola in Venice.


The Pope driving by my apartment!


Providence College’s own Meaghan Creamer on the front of the Ravenna Italian newspaper after completing a local half marathon!

Hello fellow edu majors! As the days begin to get darker a little bit earlier, and the warm Florence air... MORE

The Final Few Weeks

Posted by: on December 4, 2014   |Comments (0)|Florence

It’s so hard to believe that we are already winding town to the tail end of the semester. Only 18 more days until we will all be USA bound! I think I speak for everyone when I say leaving here on December 13th will be the most bittersweet feeling we’ve ever experienced. I am so excited to go home to see my family, be in the comfort of my own home again and enjoy one of my mom’s home cooked American meals; but at the same time, I never want these exciting adventures that I have had here to end. I have had an absolutely incredible experience here so far– I don’t even know how to begin putting into words how amazing this semester has been. We have all traveled to places that in the past I only could have dreamed about: Croatia, Germany, Budapest, the Amalfi Coast, Greece, Paris, London, Switzerland and so many more. I am constantly thinking about how to respond to people who ask me how my abroad experience was when I get home, because it truly is so difficult to explain to anyone the ups, downs, fun times, scary experiences, new friends, immaculate views, and beautiful places that we’ve seen and been to.

Since finals week is rapidly approaching, all the Education girls are preparing final lesson plans, working tirelessly on our big Lesson writing projects and our Social Studies unit project, as well as trying to stay on top of our work for our other classes. Although the work has been tough and some nights have been late, the fun times we’ve had inside and outside the classroom will make all of it worth it. Many people have friends and family visiting this week for Thanksgiving as well, and we are all looking forward to the Thanksgiving dinner that Professor Hayes is hosting for us on Thursday evening. Many of us are planning Thanksgiving lessons for our classes this week and all the Italian students are eager to learn about this American holiday. All I know is that I have a LOT to be thankful for this year, and although I cannot be home with my family on this special holiday, I am sending all my love and thanks from the beautiful city of Florence. Happy Thanksgiving!!!


-Maggie Schmidt

It’s so hard to believe that we are already winding town to the tail end of the semester. Only 18... MORE

Final Month in Belfast: Travels, Holidays and Goodbyes

Posted by: on January 4, 2014   |Comments (0)|Uncategorized

We can’t believe how the time has passed so quickly especially in the month of November. Once we returned from our respective travels in Germany, Italy, Holland, and Copenhagen, we only had a week to our next adventure week and till it was December. Before we could travel again, we celebrated Thanksgiving with the Stranmillis college, ISFA- Butler and Michelle’s parents. The dinner was enjoyable and the meal filled with all the traditional Thanksgiving foods. There was turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans and apple pie. After dinner, everyone Skyped or Facetimed with their family while they had Thanksgiving dinner back in the United States. Afterwards everyone packed a bag for Paris.








As our last big adventure in Europe, we tried to soak in everything Paris had to offer. We were all able to take the sight seeing bus around the city and see all the main attractions even the Eifel tower. We spent our night wandering around the Paris Christmas Market trying food and looking at the booths. The next day, Maggie, Michelle and I went to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa and other famous works of art. Then we went to the Shakespeare book company to buy copies of the book Madeline. While, Colleen traveled to see the Palace of Versailles It was great trip to end the month of November.

With our days numbered in Belfast, we tried to make each day count! Between our placements and classes we continued to venture around the city. Both kept us very busy! Final papers, and lesson plans were being written.  We even returned to the restaurant we went with Dr. Skawinski, the Crown Bar. Additionally, multiple trips to the Christmas market occurred with filling up on all the delicious food.  There were so many different foods from around the world for us to try. Some our favorites were the burgers, the Dutch pancakes, and the churros.  Then we went to St. George’s market for art souvenirs. Also in the holiday spirit ISfA- Butler took us to winter Wonderland Park in Belfast. All the ISFA-Butler students were able to ice skate, have a hot chocolate and go on a carnival ride. Everyone got into the holiday spirit and had a great time!



As the departure date grew closer, our days become busier! We passed in our final papers. Stranmillis University and ISFA- Butler hosted a graduation for all the American students studying in the fall semester.



Ger from ISFA, professors, the international office, student union international advisor, and our placement vice principal were all at the lunch.  After a great meal, the Principal of Stranmillis began the ceremony. Everyone received certificates and graduation stoles. For dinner that night, we went to eat with our flat mates for a farewell dinner.  Ironically we began our first night at an Italian restaurant in Belfast and ended it another Italian restaurant near campus.  As a group we reminisced, about all our great adventures, and time at Stranmillis. It has been a great three months! We learned, we laughed and took on Europe!  It’s bittersweet leaving this amazing country! But we are excited to see our friends and family back home!


Happy New Year!   Kati, Maggie, Michelle and Colleen

Elementary Special Education Belfast Year One

We can’t believe how the time has passed so quickly especially in the month of November. Once we returned from... MORE