At Northeastern, the question isn't whether or not to go abroad, it's when. I decided to participate in a dialogue this past summer, after my freshman year. Between four cities, countless espressos, endless pasta, and crowded trains, I had the experience of a lifetime. I learned how to adapt to new cultures, see the history in buildings, and even learned a little Italian.
My architecture class consisted of classroom time in the mornings and guided tours of the cities in the afternoon. In between, we had the typical Italian lunch- hours long, with three courses and never any hurry. Classroom time consisted of learning to sketch, which was a completely new experience for me. In our first class, we learned how to draw straight lines (which is a lot harder than it sounds!). By the end, we were drawing the Colosseum and making floor plans of Renaissance palaces. My favorite story of our class time is when a blind man took us on a tour of Rome. As a young architecture professor, he began to lose his sight and started to memorize the facades and layouts of buildings. He would tell us exactly how many windows were on a building and never missed a turn. It was definitely an experience I'll never forget, and one that motivated me to follow my passions no matter what.
I will never forget my adventures abroad and will always cherish the amazing people and places I saw there.
Anya Losik and Marina Hess
It was last Spring when we realized we had chosen to go on the same dialogue for Summer 1 in Russia. We chose this program mostly because of the location and itinerary, having no idea that any sisters would be going as well. Russia is an amazing country that most people may never have the chance to visit, and we couldn't believe we were about to - together!! This trip started in Saint Petersburg on the western coast of Russia and had stops in Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk (Siberia), Tomsk (Siberia), Nizhniy Novgorod, and ended in Moscow. The transportation between cities included traveling on a plane, short distance train and long-distance train on the Trans-Siberian Railroad. For us, the highlight of this trip was being able to fully immerse ourselves in Russian culture. We were able to experience things such as ballet performances in well-known theatres, banyas (or Russian saunas), and traditional Russian cuisine. We even went to one of the best restaurants in the world, The White Rabbit. The opportunity to travel as sisters has brought us much closer, and definitely allowed us to make amazing memories that we know we'll have for a lifetime!
Knowing I couldn’t spend the entire summer in the suburbs of LA without going crazy I spent my summer traveling because I refuse to accept that summers are for working.
Stop 1: San Francisco. First up was a road trip with my little sister. I’m still not sure who thought it was a good idea to put the two of us in one car with no adult supervision, but we survived. Thanks to my control freak tendencies I had a Pinterest board full of ideas so we spent three days eating like queens and posting way too many Instagram stories.
Stop 2: Boston. Next, I wanted to see my friends for a few days. Despite my amazing Pinterest abilities in finding things to do, I can’t actually make plans, so I basically spent an exorbitant amount on a plane ticket (summer prices are rough) to move my best friend out of her apartment, drive her to the airport the next day, and then spend the rest of the time crashing at a friend’s and watching movies all day while they went to work for co-op.
Stop 3: France. Two weeks later I visited my grandparents. My uncle, aunt, cousins, and their dog were already there so it was a packed house. And my dad surprised us by coming a few days later! Every morning we stuffed ourselves with pastries and then lounged around all day doing nothing. It was awesome.
Stop 4: Greece. After two weeks with family, island hopping with my best friend definitely seemed like a good idea. We went to Mykonos and Ios which were BEAUTIFUL. Unfortunately, neither of us were 25 so we couldn’t rent ATVs so walking was our form of transportation; however, after all the pastries I ate in France it was for the best. After the10 most exhausting days I have ever lived, I actually was looking forward to going home.
Stop 5: New York. Clearly, I needed one more trip so I took my uncle and aunt up on their offer to visit. What was supposed to be quiet and relaxing ended up being quite eventful with things like giving myself second degree burns just trying to make tea, learning to drive stick, and getting a kitten (her name is Dutch, she’s adorable and I could talk about her forever).
Four months of summer seemed long, but they flew by so incredibly fast. While I’m extremely happy to be back at school and with all my SDT sisters I already started my Pinterest board for winter break…