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Study Abroad Blog

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A New Kind of Home

Home is a place where one lives that they know well. When you decide to move to another country, you decide to make a foreign land your well known place.

The problem for most people is that they expect their study abroad home to be just like their old home. However, the way to feel comfortable is not to try and decorate your new place like your old home, but rather, to find ways to fill your apartment, dorm, or homestay with things that make you happy and feel settled.

 Records, books, and board games picked up from travels on a shelf

During my travels, I tend to accumulate a lot of what I call "treasures." These are records, pins, pamphlets; the little things that I have pick up that remind me of the experience I had certain places. Instead of letting all of these treasures be hidden in a bag, I display them on shelves or in boxes so I can remember all that I have been able to do.
 Treasure box

Sometimes you need to hold tangible piece of encouragement or love from people at home. When I left home, I packed up the good wishes that people gave to me and have brought them here. It is comforting just to know that while I am living this life, at any time I can reach into an envelope and find the encouragement I need.
 Letters, pictures, and good wishes from home

As I sip my cup of warm cup, I am warmed not only by the coffee, but also the site of where I came from on my cup. This mug was a gift from a dear friend and it reminds me every morning, and all the other times throughout the day that I drink coffee, of home and all the people who support me in my choice to come here.
 The golden state and a warm cup
of french press coffee

Each of the three girls I live with have very different schedules, however, we make a point to have family dinners together once a week. We cook, eat, and laugh together about our crazy lives. It is something to look forward to throughout the week in the midst of the stress and midterms.
 Polaroid picture taken at our first family dinner

I love traveling, but I look forward to the time I have to reflect. When I have nothing to do, I can sit in the courtyard and paint my favorite part of our last adventure.
 A place in the courtyard to reflect

With each of these little things I have done, I have been able to feel settled in a place that was once so foreign to me.

Gaby G. is the Spring 2017 MOJO Blogger in the FrenchRiviera, France. She is currently a Sophomore studying Communications at Vanguard University

Gabriella Gebo is the Spring 2017 CEA MOJO Blogger in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis) in French Riviera, France (Sophia Antipolis), and is currently studying at Vanguard University.
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