Student Blog

Read first-hand accounts from our students about their experiences on APA programs.

Goodbye (for now) Senegal!

July 27, 2021

by Danielle Freshwaters

Bonne fête de Tabaski! After eight busy, exciting, interesting, adventure-filled (and exhausting) weeks, here I am at the end of my time in Dakar. A lot of people have been asking me what I enjoyed the most, and while there are so many cool things I got to see and do, what’s really stood out to me is the kindness and hospitality – teranga. And this last week, it’s been on full display! Tabaski, the Wolof name for the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, was celebrated, well, all week, but officially on Wednesday. My host family is Christian, but as I talked about in one of my previous posts, everyone is included in the party! One of my colleagues at GAIA, Marieme, invited me to her house on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate. What exactly does it mean to celebrate Tabaski? Mostly eating, drinking, talking, and more eating – it’s a chance to gather with family and friends. When I arrived at Marieme’s house, I helped out a little in the kitchen, but lunch was mostly already... Read More

Feeling Hungry? A Glimpse into Senegalese Cuisine

July 19, 2021

by Danielle Freshwaters

My classes and activities are starting to wrap up, and though I’ve had a wonderful time in Dakar, I am starting to count the days until I head home (eight). There are some aspects of Senegalese culture that I won’t miss – the traffic congestion and car exhaust, the lack of... Read More

History, ecology, geology, oh my!

July 12, 2021

by Danielle Freshwaters

This week passed without any major excitement – but I realize that if this was my first week, I would be saying it was full of excitement! I had a literature class, another session of dance and djembe (the best one yet!), a museum visit, and I made good progress on my projects... Read More

What is there to do in Dakar?

July 12, 2021

by Danielle Freshwaters

This week was all about Dakar. A lot of my outings so far have taken me to the outskirts or outside of the city, but there’s so much to do right here! It’s always fun to get out and about, explore different regions, see new places, but I think a lot of times people forget... Read More

A Weekend in the Sine Saloum River Delta

June 28, 2021

by Danielle Freshwaters

This week marks the halfway point of my time in Senegal – already?? I’m starting to miss home a little bit, but it’s currently over 100 degrees F in my hometown of Tacoma, and the city of St. Paul where I go to school is covered in mayflies…so I’m happy to be in Dakar.... Read More

Music in Dakar

June 21, 2021

by Danielle Freshwaters

This week I was immersed in the very lively music scene of Dakar. Mostly it was fantastic, but I learned one very important lesson: time is a suggestion, not a rule. For example, last weekend when Yvanna and I went to see Wally Seck, we arrived shortly after 7pm for the 8pm... Read More

Daily Life

June 14, 2021

by Danielle Freshwaters

... Read More

Greetings from Dakar

June 7, 2021

by Danielle Freshwaters

Before I write too much about my experiences in Senegal, I should tell you that the program looks a little different this year.  I’m the only student!  There is a lot of value in a traditional study abroad experience – sharing the newness and discovery of a culture... Read More

5 Reasons Why a Program Provider is the Best Way to Study Abroad in France

May 13, 2021

by apaparis

When a student decides to study abroad in France, immediately a wide range of program choices unfold. One of the first ways to narrow down the options is to choose to participate with a third-party program provider or via an exchange with a foreign university. Here we’ll talk... Read More

Paris with a 9pm Curfew

October 23, 2020

by apaparis

Last week, Macron announced he would be imposing a 9pm to 6am curfew on Paris and 8 other French cities. This came as a bit of a shock to me, as my university classes are in person, and bars have continued to serve alcohol past their 10pm limit. The idea of living with a curfew... Read More

Museums as a Space for Meditation

October 15, 2020

by apaparis

I’ve always enjoyed going to museums. With a mother who is an art historian, museums were automatically a big part of my life. Every time we traveled; museums were the first on the list of things to see. And when new exhibitions came to Lisbon, Portugal, we would often make it... Read More

Everyone comes to Paris for a different reason.

October 8, 2020

by apaparis

Everyone comes to Paris for a different reason. For some it’s love, for others it’s the architecture and culture, and for others still it’s the food. For me? To finally become fluent in French and to feel like I had a European base that I could call home. But the truth is,... Read More

Guest Post: How do you capture a semester (or 2.5 months) abroad?

July 2, 2020

by apaparis

The following is a guest blog post from Lisa, Spring 2020 Paris participant. Having been sent home early from a beautiful spring semester in Paris, I’ve found myself returning to this question. Though I am an avid photographer and almost obsessively document my experiences, I... Read More

Divine Dark Chocolate Cake with Aurélie

June 12, 2020

by apaparis

With a self-proclaimed sweet tooth, I may be biased when I ask, “Is there anything more divine than a chocolate dessert?” Short answer, no! Every birthday growing up there was never any question or hesitation for my special celebratory treat: chocolate cake! Warm... Read More

Classic Crêpes with Lindsay

May 5, 2020

by apaparis

What’s the first food you think of when you hear the word Paris? For many, crêpes are the must-eat snack when visiting the City of Light. And it’s no surprise: freshly made before your eyes with a flick of the wrist, this light, buttery confection is the perfect... Read More

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