Our first day in Paris we arrived by Eurostar at around lunch time from London which was very fast and really cool. We then took a bus from the train station to the hotel to drop off our bags and from there we hopped on the Metro which is their subway and headed to the Louvre!

We spent a good part of our day at the louvre. There were so many things to look at and of course the Mona Lisa was on everyones including my list of things to see. The Louvre was so big i actually got lost and had to ask a few people how to get back to our meeting point.

After the Louvre we headed back to the hotel and then off to dinner. We ate at a smaller restaurant and the first thing brought out to us was tuna salad and i don't like tuna so i waited for the main course which was steak and fries. The steak was a little overcooked but by this point i was so hungry it didn't matter to me all that much. We also got dessert before we left. It was flan which was about the consistency of a boiled egg but cold and that wasn't all that great to be honest.

Our second day in Paris we took a bus tour around the city and saw a lot of major sites. The Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe, Napolean's school and grave site, and some other cool places. After our bus tour we walked to a little shopping area and got lunch. The food looked and tasted so good. Then it was off to Notre Dame Cathedral which was huge we walked inside and all the way around it. It was amazing! The Eiffel Tower was next and it was stunning! Just the presence of it, knowing that everyone in the world has at least seen it on a movie and i'm standing underneath it! I went to the very top of it after two elevator rides and a few steps and it was breathe taking to be able to see all of paris from above.

After snapping a bunch of pictures i scooted out of there in a bit of a hurry to try to catch the Musee d' Orsay where me and Hollyann saw a bunch of artwork by Monet, Van Gogh, Seurat, and many other talented and popular artists. Later that night we ate at the Latin Quarter and called it a night.

Our third day in Paris strated off with our business trip to Galeries Lafeyette which is like there Macy's but ten times bigger! The first part of the business trip was lame because we couldn't hear the tour guide she was very quiet and wasn't very confident in her english but the second tour guide through the art gallery in the top of the shopping mall. After our business adventure there i got some lunch and went back to the hotel to take a cat nap. The walking and constant go go go was taking a toll on me.

After I woke up i caught up with Hollyann and we went to Sacre-Coeur a really cool cathedral at the top of this hill. We walked through it and when we got out we did a little bit of people watching since there were hundreds of people outside sitting on the steps and grass just enjoying the day. After that we snagged some grub and went on the river cruise that was planned for us. It was a site filled boat ride. They took us up and down the seine river from which you could catch a sunset veiw of almost all the major sites. It was a Friday night and the weather was amazing so there were people out all along the river drinking and having fun. We then all found our own ways home and called it a night.

Our last day in Paris was pretty much all to ourselves to do what we wanted. I finished up some shopping for people back home and went to the river to just relax and people watch. We then all met up at the end of the day and got on an over night train to Rome.

Settling In!

Well, we have been home for a couple of days now and I think we are all just now getting back in the swing of things. I wanted to blog about Rome, but as we didn't have internet access in Italy, I didn't have the opportunity until now!

Italy was so far from what I expected. On the first day we had the opportunity to see the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, which were both breathtaking. I never expected the landscape surrounding the ruins to be so beautiful. Life in Italy was much different than in France or England, as everyone was more laid-back and had a very different perspective on life. Our business visit to Il Tempo was on the second day. It was fascinating to see how the newspaper operation works in another country. After the business visit we were able to split off into groups to see different sites of interest and were forced to fend for ourselves in terms of transportation and adaptation to the city in general.

One of my learning objectives for this trip was to do just that (learn to fend for myself in a foreign country), so that if I ever were to travel overseas for business in my career I would feel more comfortable doing so. Having the opportunity to do that was definitely a learning experience and helped me accomplish one of my biggest objectives.

We spent our last day as a group and had the chance to take in the culture in Italy by visiting areas that locals frequent, not just tourists. It was fascinating to see the difference in our lifestyles. I had an outstanding time and learned so much during our studies and am so grateful for all those that contributed to this study abroad experience!

Kelsey Camp
Class of '11

Oh the places you'll go...

We packed our bags, got on a plane, and fourty people travelled from Canton, Missouri to London, Paris, and England. The trip was 12 days long but seemed like a blur because we were taking part in nonstop activity and digging deep into the European culture. I had a great time on the trip, learned so much about history and culture, and will never forget some of the amazing things I was able to see and experience.

The last stop on the trip was in Rome, and was my favorite city along the way. Italy is a beautiful country full of excitement and rich in it's Roman history. The city of Rome had so much to offer, and I continued to be amazed by all of the things we were able to do.

The first stop we made was at the famous Colosseum, and the massive historical structure did not disappoint the expectations that I had. It was a beautiful building and I was amazed that it was built so long ago. It is truly a testament to the ability and intelligence of the ancient Romans. After going to the Colosseum, we made our way to the Roman forum which depicted the lifestyles of the Romans when they were in their prime. We finished the first day in Rome by making wishes in the Trevi Fountain.

Other sights that we visited in Rome included the Victor Emmanuel Memorial, the Pantheon, and the Spanish Steps. I loved the laid-back lifestyle of the Italians and the food was amazing! I am very thankful for the opportunity to take this trip and I can't replace the memories that I made during my time in London, Paris, and Rome.

Danielle Harper

Culture Shock of Europe

After twelve short eventful days, the class has inevitably returned back home to Culver-Stockton College. After returning home, I personally have learned to appreciate the American ways. If you have been keeping up with the blogs you must have read the remarkable information my classmates have informed you about regarding the sites of interest, as well as the historical monuments that we have been so grateful to view. With out repeating those stories, I would like to give you an overview of the cultural difference we endured everyday in the city life of London, Paris, and Rome.

The first thing that was noticed when reaching London was the obvious driving of cars on the left side of the road. This was a huge change for us as pedestrians attempting to get use to looking the opposite way to ensure that a car was not coming. When reaching Paris it was even a bit more chaotic even though the cars were back to driving on the "right" side of the road. At this destination we had to get use to the unstructured sense of driving, specifically when cars are allowed to drive any which way to reach their destination, along with no pedestrian walk ways or center median to establish which lane you are driving in. This area was specifically located around the square surrounding The Arc de Triomphe, which represents Napoleon and his victories. Also included are the names of Generals who commanded French troops during Napoleon's regime.

On the flip side of this were the forms of public transportation. Where Americans living in a small town are use to hopping into their cars when you want to go somewhere, it is more likely for Europeans to use the tube, subway, or metro. This transportation method was very helpful in terms of finding our way around the city.

In terms of business there were also several aspects that I noticed differentiating between The United States and Europe. One thing I noticed right off the bat, that I was hugely grateful for, was that it was very easy to locate someone that could communicate with us in English. After returning home, I have learned to appreciate free refills, water, ice, and friendly customer service while dining out at a restaurant. Europeans have a different way of operating. In Europe, communication with a service person is minimal to none. This isn't necessarily the wrong way, it is what Europeans expect. Oppositely, Americans expect interaction between the person giving and receiving the service.

One other huge aspect, that was a little hard to get use to, was terms of personal space. Most Americans act independent having there own little bubble in which they don't expect anyone to invade. In Europe, this space is somewhat violated. We were constantly reminded to scoot in or get closer by our tour guide, Richard, because if there was a gap between us someone would fill it and believe me he was right.

There are many differences between the lifestyles of The United States and Europe, neither of them being right or wrong. Everyone has there personal system that works best for them. These were only a few of the differences I noticed while recapping on this amazing experience in which I am very grateful to have taken a part in.

Chasitie Hall

Bitter Sweet Goodbyes

Goodbye, Au Revoir, Caio....
Saying goodbye to three amazing cities was so bittersweet!!! I cannot believe how much I loved being overseas and how different it is from the US. I am so happy to be back home, but I already miss the fun and exciting sights and sounds, smells not so much, that London, Paris and Rome offered.
London was by far my favorite city to visit, probably because it was closest to home. Even still there were some differences to become acquainted with like using Pounds versus Dollars and even ordering your food "take away" versus "to-go". I learned that phrase the hard way in a little cafe in the outskirts of London when the cashier looked at me strange....Thank goodness our tour guide Richard was there to help me change phrases. My favorite part of the visit in London was having lunch at a little pub off the main street. I ate fish and chips, talked with locals, and just enjoyed the afternoon soaking in the moments. I can honestly say I felt at home there and would love to live there someday.
Paris pulled up second on my list...only because it was a little less appealing to me. I loved the beautiful architecture and history of the city, but it was just a little less "comfy" than London. I was awe struck when we were on top of the Eiffel Tower and in front of the Mona Lisa, again moments I will never forget. Another favorite moment was driving around the Arc de Triomphe and seeing how crazy the drivers were. There was no sense of order in the direction of traffic and it was almost a "dog-eat-god" world. It takes a skilled person to be able to handle driving in THAT traffic.
And finally Rome...Oh Rome....What interesting sights and smells we had there also. Some of the locals put on quite a show for our group our last day. Even Richard was a little taken aback at what we experienced. On the flip side there were BEAUTIFUL sights to see all over the city. The Trevi Fountain was one of my absolute favorites! We ate lunch there one day and just enjoyed the beautiful weather and the fountain. "Sit and do nothing" was one of my favorite past times on this trip! :) In all seriousness though, I think that was why I was able to enjoy each city so much. I definitely learned more about the culture this way.

Now that I'm back in the states, I cannot tell you how happy I am to have ICE in my drinks, the fact that my water/etc is COLD, and I can have FREE refills!!!! Never EVER forget how lucky you are to have those simple things here in America. I certainly learned what I take for granted from this trip.

Goodbye, Au Revoir, Caio!!!
Sarah O'Laughlin

When In Rome

Ciao C-SC!

So now that we are officially back and getting settled into our normal routine at C-SC I am going to take this time to travel back a couple of days and tell you about my AMAZING experience that I had in Rome!!!

The first day in Rome was the absolute highlight of the trip for me. After taking a 14 hour overnight train ride through the country sides of France, Switzerland, and Italy we finally arrived in Rome and wasted not time immersing ourselves in the culture. I enjoyed authentic Italian Pizza for lunch and it was everything and more then what I expected it to be. After lunch we took a bus and traveled to one of the new Seven Wonders of the World the Colosseum! Let me tell you pictures and books do no justice to this magnificent amphitheatre! Walking through it and taking it all in was incredible! This amphitheatre is the largest in Rome and was built in 70 AD! Its story is amazing. It hosted shows, animal fights, and executions and is still standing proud and tall after all this time. I touched and saw and took in apart of history that day and it is a memory that I will have for a lifetime!

After getting a tour of the Colosseum we visited the Roman Forum. This place was incredible as well. We got to see the remains of Rome, its churches, political buildings, and theatres. Rome has such a rich history and visiting both the Roman Colosseum and Forum you couldn't help but think that just having these two places standing there today is a magnificent feat in itself.

Then we got the opportunity to visit the Trevi Fountain!The story to the Trevi Fountain is that if you wish you visit Rome again you throw one coin over your left shoulder with your eyes closed, and if you wish to find love you throw two! This was really fun to see all the different types of people from all around the world going to the fountain and making a wish and throwing a coin in. I threw two coins in and I'll keep you posted how my luck turns out but after experiencing just one day in Rome I can tell you I am a believer that I will return again some day!

To end our first eventful day in Rome we enjoyed some more authentic Italian food. We had a 4 course meal at a nice restaurant where we enjoyed bruschetta, pasta, chicken and salad, and dessert! Italians love to eat and meal time and I have to say I appreciated it.

Rome was everything and more then what I could of ever expected. I saw pieces of history and experienced a different culture which I fell in love with. Even though I am very happy to be back home, I can't wait to get another opportunity to go back and visit the Rome!!!


Lauren Eloff

Europe in a nutshell

Whew, The last twelve days have flown by before our eyes and has come full circle. On our twelve hour plane ride yesterday, I found myself reflecting on the different sights, smells, and customs of the three amazing countries that we recently visited.
Reflecting first on London, I remembered our tour guide, Richard, asked each of us to admit our first impression of London. Admittedly, my first opinion of London was that it looked like a prison. Outside of the airport, barbed wire and high fences lined the streets, while graffiti decorated the sidewalk and buildings. However, once we left the airport, I was awestruck. Flags and British memorabilia were strung about the streets, flowers hung from windows, and happiness and celebration filled the air. The city was quaint and beautiful. Space was hard to find; personal space is nonexistent. There is only one pace of the city and its fast. If you don't keep up, there's a great possibility of getting left behind. The famous cuisine was fish n' chips with some local beer, while the fashion included skinny jeans, shorts, and comfortable, casual clothing. The energy on the streets is laid back, entertaining, safe, and exciting. There is something to do of interest for every age, personality, and gender. The citizens of London are very helpful, outgoing, and proud of their heritage. Just having hosted the royal wedding may have contributed to the the respect and pride of their city. However, it was humbling to experience such a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Paris, France was the next visit on the itinerary of the trip. My first impression was mixed between gorgeous and filthy. While the city and its monuments were breathtaking, the city itself was very busy and dirty. The aroma of urine consumed the city and the traffic was unbelievable. Public transportation had its moments of confusion but was absolutely necessary. The language barrier was frustrating at times, however on the whole it was easy to communicate with the French. The overall personality of the citizens was pushy, rude, and impatient. The cuisine was incredible and the fashion was indescribable. Women wore heels, leggings, dresses and a designer handbag, while men wore collared shirts and slacks with dress shoes. Beggars stood at each monument, which was overwhelming for small town folk. I didn't ever feel safe in Paris, which was disappointing and disheartening. Business is taken very seriously in Paris. The goal is to become the biggest name, the fastest and staying on top. I was very impressed with their business etiquette and technique.
The last stop on the trip was in Rome, Italy. The first reaction of Rome was that it was incredibly stunning. Palm trees and vibrant colors adorned the streets, flowers aligned the window sill, and the aroma of pasta filled the air. Culture and history ran deep which was enlightening and exciting. Every corner turned, there was another surprise to unwrap. The group uncovered churches, monuments, and fountains that hid from the public eye. It was as if we were on a large scavenger hunt throughout the city. Uncovering these historical landmarks was unbelievable due to having studied them for so long. Meals were enormous and served in 3 courses. The most popular choices included pizza, pasta, and a desert, all of which were incredibly delectable. The fashion was relaxed with jeans and nice t-shirts, besides the few people dressed as Roman guards. Shopping was available on nearly every corner. The atmosphere was loud, passionate, and warm. Musicians lined the corners of streets and plazas, as well as artists. Business held precedence and defined power in Italy. Wealthy persons funded the smaller businesses in order to help them prosper and flourish. The city was comfortable and enjoyable. We had plenty of opportunity to "be European and sit and do nothing."It was nice to enjoy the scenery and observe the customs and activities of those around us. Not only was this experience pleasurable and the trip of a lifetime, but the trip was eye- opening and insightful. My main goal was to become more culturally diverse and culturally competent, and I believe it did just that.