Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nadia B. and Elise in France!

Bonjour from Saint Étienne, France. Je mappelle Nadia B, and my human companion Elise and I have been living in France for 2 months now.  It is crazy how time has flown by, but Elise and I are glad that we have a whole year to do and see everything. Elise is currently attending classes at three separate places! She takes musicology classes at the Université de Jean Monnet, French intensive classes at the International Center for Language and Civilization (a small part of the university) and she also takes composition lessons at the Conservatoire Massenet in Saint Étienne.

Nadia B. enjoys the view of St. Etienne near the residence building

But Im getting ahead of myself.  At the end of August, Elise, her mom and I arrived in Paris.  We enjoyed the sights of Paris, soaking the excitement in.  Eiffel Tower, Musée dOrsay, Notre Dame, Sacre-Coeur and Père Lachaise Cemetery.  I think Elises favorite part though was the Musée Rodin, beautiful gardens and sculptures, but also not as busy as the rest of Paris.  

Eiffel Tower
Elise at the Musée Rodin, the Thinker

Monday, September 29, 2014

Haleigh and Pancakes in Northern Ireland

Greetings from Derry! My name is Haleigh Evans, and I have been living abroad in Northern Ireland with my dragon, Pancakes, for about three weeks now. Even though our adventures abroad have only just begun, we are already having an amazing time! Northern Ireland is a beautiful country with a rich history and friendly people. Pancakes has not gotten to meet any Irish dragons yet, but the Irish humans we’ve met have been incredibly kind and helpful. Pancakes and I arrived two weeks before classes to participate in a thorough orientation. We toured the campus, walked the city walls, visited museums, and much more. The best part of orientation was definitely our visit to the Giant’s Causeway.

Pancakes takes in the view of the Causeway

Pancakes poses near the surf
The Giant’s Causeway is a breathtakingly beautiful site covered with basalt columns on the Antrim Coast. The international students at Magee ventured to the site together on our first weekend abroad. We walked along the grassy green cliffs and down the shore where the basalt columns are located. There are few sites on Earth that could rival the beauty of the Giant’s Causeway. Pancakes and I had a lovely time during our visit. After a few hours at the Causeway, our group journeyed to another spot on the Antrim Coast to walk across the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Pancakes opted to fly across instead of walking the bridge, which is suspended nearly 100 feet above the rocks below. I can’t say I blame him. Visiting the Giant’s Causeway and walking across the famous Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge was the highlight of my orientation. I am lucky to be visiting such a scenic country.

Haleigh on the Giant's Causeway
Once orientation ended, I decided to visit Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, with a few other international students. We spent a day exploring the city, touring City Hall, and visiting the Titanic museum. The Titanic was built in Belfast and many of the workers aboard were denizens of the capital city. The museum offered a fascinating look at the building process of the Titanic as well as the infamous sinking. Pancakes was not that impressed with the museum; he much preferred our adventure afterwards- peeking around outside the studio where Game of Thrones is filmed. Unfortunately, there were no dragons on set that day for Pancakes to see.

The Titanic Museum in Belfast

My journey is only just beginning, but so far I’m having a blast. I cannot wait to see what grand adventures await me in my studies, my travel, and my life abroad.

Haleigh Evans and Pancakes the Dragon
University of Ulster at Magee
Derry, Northern Ireland

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Blog: Kelly Donovan

News from our Fall 2014 traveling dragons will be coming soon!

In the meantime, turn your attention to the blog of Fulbright Scholarship winner and UNCG/LIHC alumna Kelly Donovan.

Kelly is living and teaching on Kinmen, a tiny island close to mainland China but part of Taiwan.

Kelly has been updating her blog since April, when she first learned that she had won a Fulbright.  Her blog is full of her sharp observations and her fun photos.

Especially insightful and of use to UNCG students is Kelly's blog post on what it took to win a Fulbright.  Her advice touches on the pragmatic (start early!) and the sustaining (find cheerleaders, realize that rejection is not personal).  The entire post is linked below and worth a read.

Kelly's blog is linked to the right under Dragons Abroad.  Follow her and our other bloggers on their adventures!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Navigator, Summer 2014

We take a break from our regularly-scheduled program to bring you the Summer 2014 issue of Navigator, the Lloyd International Honors College Newsletter!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tim-Tam and Tabitha in Australia!

Tim-Tam and his human friend, Tabitha!

G’Day mate from Tim-Tam in Townsville, Queensland, Australia! We really don’t say that here, but I just like the phrase in general. Me and my human friend, Tabitha, have been soaking up the sun and having many adventures in the land “Down Under.” Of course I can’t tell you everything, why, that would take years! But I shall include the favorite parts of our trip so far:
The first weekend we were here we got to visit Magnetic Island, which is right off the coast of Townsville. It was so beautiful! I have never seen water so blue before. While we were on the island, Tabitha was brave enough to touch some of the animals, including a huge snake! Me, I told the Ranger, no thank you. A dragon’s got to think of his safety!

Tabitha bravely holding a snake!

A momma kangaroo and her joey.

The beach on Magnetic Island

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mario and Luigi Take Lorenzo de Medici!

Ciao from Mario and Luigi! We just got back from the beautiful land of Italy! It is good to be flying through the skies of our homeland again, but we really miss the views from the top in Florence!

Here we are looking out over Florence!
 We had a very full month filled with lots of traveling. Our humans weren’t always thrilled about the plane rides, but we enjoyed being above the clouds (though we wish we could’ve flown ourselves!) Our first weekend there we took a bus ride through the Chianti region of Tuscany. We tried around twenty different types of wine and got to see how it was made. The next day we learned how to use the train system and took a day trip to Pisa. You could feel the lean in the tower as soon as you stepped in, and it took Elizabeth and Lacey awhile to adjust as they climbed all of those stairs! 

Chianti from Tuscany!
Our human friend Elizabeth in Pisa

Our other human friend Lacey pretending to have the strength of dragons!

  Our next weekend we went to Fiesole, Cinque Terre, and Venice.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jordan and Hong Hai'er in Shanghai!

Hello everyone! My name is Jordan Griffin and I'd like you to meet my faithful friend, Hong Hai'er (红孩儿). His name comes from a character in one of the four Chinese classics, Journey To The West, in which the Monkey King is confronted and nearly defeated by a child clothed in red, the Boy Sage King, who commands the power of fire, when the goddess Guanyin subdues him by bringing his hands together and forcing him to bow.  
Hong Hai'er crossing the Yangzi River, the longest in China and the 3rd longest in the world!
My experience abroad so far with Hong Hai'er hasn't exactly been what one might call a "usual" one. For example, I've already appeared on local television here (twice!), attended two weddings, judged an English competition, and visited neighboring Korea. So if you're looking for an unconventional experience, this post is right up your alley!


Judging a local English competition

Beginning with a brief background, I'm living in a type of home-stay in Yangzhou (about 5 hours north of Shanghai where I'll be studying) with my good friend's family. He's an international student of ours at UNCG who I met when I asked to join him for lunch after seeing him eating alone in the caf one fateful day. One year and 2 trips to China later, here I am making this post and preparing for a year-long study of Chinese language in Shanghai! So if this isn't inspiration for you to get involved in our colorful international community here on campus, then I'm not sure what is. I have been here for about 3 months so far getting myself into wacky adventures and will begin school in about 1 month. You'll be hearing from me in another post after I've started school and can comment on that and I couldn't be more excited!

Typical Chinese lunch
My home-stay family eating lunch

I started my experience by moving in with my home-stay family. We soon visited our town's 东岳庙 Daoist temple and 个园, one of our city's most famous classical Chinese gardens.

Jordan at the classical gardens

Daoist Temple of the God of Mount Tai 东岳庙

个园 Chinese classical garden

I was soon approached by a friend of a friend of a friend (relationships/who you know, also known as 关系 (guan xi), is a crucial part of Chinese life, influencing everything from society, jobs, politics, and business) to participate in an episode of popular local television game show. The first of my media studies / asian studies double major is Media, so I was extremely interested in gaining first-hand experience in the Chinese media industry and getting a look at all the behind the scenes goodies and viewing the Chinese process of television production. I'd later be interviewed on another local television show after watching the action on set.

Being prepped for recording.


The sky really is the limit in China but the lesson here is to push your study abroad to the limit and never be afraid to ask questions; you'll open doors to unique opportunities you never even knew existed!

Kung-pao chicken!