On the Metro

by Mary Maschio, French and English:- I usually take the metro twice a day, five days a week. I’ve been living in Paris since January so that makes a total of over 200 metro trips. Whilst this in no way makes me a metro veteran, it has been plenty of time to observe the comings…

Living in a Radical City: Notes from Athens, Greece

by Dimitris Christianopoulos, Modern Greek and French – Athens is not a year abroad destination. Athens is not a holiday. In a period of crisis, where austerity continues to run rampant, where even the new radical left party cannot save the country from the imperialistic measures of the European Union, where a humanitarian crisis in…

In Defence of Naples: Seeing beyond a bad reputation

by Laura Shanahan, Italian and French– It’s early evening on a Sunday, still warm and light outside, and I’m sitting in one of Naples’s main squares, Piazza Dante. The scene before me is one of chaos. The piazza is dominated by a group of teenagers who have stretched a bit of rope between two lampposts…

The Burden of Bureaucracy

by Lise Noyau, Spanish and Portuguese –  Lise is currently interning in São Paulo, Brazil. Here are her thoughts and experiences of bureaucracy there: My experiences of bureaucracy, specifically Brazilian bureaucracy, has come close to making me hate the place. Within four hours of landing in São Paulo, I received an email enthusiastically informing me…

An evening of dolce far niente

by Simon Posner, Italian Behind Italy’s messy façade of fast cars, bustling streets and lively personalities there lies a calmer aspect to life which has allowed my year abroad to live up to its reputation as 16 months of lazing around. This aspect is known as the dolce far niente, the ‘sweetness of doing nothing’.…

Tereré with Ña Ana

by Sarah Peyton Jones, German and Spanish – Tereré is a beverage originating from Paraguay, served cold in a vessel. Here, Sarah Peyton Jones joins Ña Ana for some of the traditional drink of the Guaraní in the heat of Santa María: “I’m the parish secretary,” Ña Ana chortles. “I see everything and everyone!” The central…

Scattered Hearts – My Neighbours’ Story

by Emmeline Skinner Cassidy, Arabic– People often ask me if I feel safe in Jordan. They are thinking about how close Jordan is to the war in Syria, ISIS and the Israel-Palestine conflict. They assume that this proximity to the violence must mean that Jordan, too, is dangerous. I usually reply that, for me, the…

A Quick Sketch of Barcelona

by William Webb, Spanish and French – After initially spending his year abroad in Le Havre, France, Bill set out to stay in Barcelona for a few days in order to arrange work for the second half. Here is an account of his job-hunting experience, with the people he encounters and the scenes he witnesses…

War and Pissed

by Marianna Hunt, Russian – A Tale of the Love between a Nation and Distilled Ethanol In fair Kievan Rus, we lay our scene in 980, with Prince Vladimir and the very dawn of the Russian nation. Vladimir, the new leader, decided to symbolically cement the uniting of Russia with the adoption of a common…

How Amman Stole my Heart

by Emmeline Skinner Cassidy, Arabic –  Amman is not a stunningly beautiful city. It is not the sort of city in which you arrive and, after five minutes of sauntering down picturesque streets, find yourself falling madly in love with its urban charm. It is neither a stereotypically ancient and “exotic” Middle Eastern city of…