Spring 2013- Issue 1
NEW Year New FACES
PR Committee: Brittany Beachle Christian Unkenholz Delilah Mulgannon Areli Fisher Victor He
Kelsey Walsh Anastasia Kanakaris Ivan G. Zhivkov Mariah K. Zarychta Tracy Fund
Bryce Davis Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma Goals: to see that Phi has a fantastic semester, to effectively oversee the restructuring committee in order to get the best possible results, and to end chapter meetings within an hour almost every week If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Sexy What’s your guilty pleasure? #hashtags What’s one story your family always tells about you? That time my family and I were at a lakehouse in Montana and we all got swimmer’s itch and I got it the worst… Itchy for dayz. Good times. :/ Do you have any hidden talents? I give excellent massages What’s your New Years resolution? To not be a bum
Erin Lee Hometown: Syracuse, NY Goals: to bring a fun and productive semester of service! If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Home What’s your guilty pleasure? Shopping and gaming! (I can’t choose) What’s one story your family always tells about you? Apparently one night my dad found I was staying up past my bedtime staring at the moon. Apparently it as my favorite thing when I was growing up. Do you have any hidden talents? Not really. But I do like to play games! What’s your New Years resolution? To work hard and build up a sturdy confidence! Anything else you’d like people to know? Come talk to me anytime about potential service projects and collaborations! The more service the better!!!
Eugene Philip Sebastian Law Hometown: Syracuse, NY Goals: have a great Rush, make sure that the “natural cap” keeps the pledge class manageable, and to move the fraternity forward through the restructuring committee If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Encouraging What’s your guilty pleasure? Procrastination What’s one story your family always tells about you? How I used to run around naked and say I wanted to be a mother Do you have any hidden talents? I am an excellent chef, some people know that but maybe not so many in APO What’s your New Years resolution? Cut back on sugary drinks and lose 30 pounds Anything else you’d like people to know: I hate cats.
Edwin Chalumeau Hometown: Somerville, MA Goals: Remove alumini to alumni section. If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Fun What’s your guilty pleasure? Video games What’s one story your family always tells about you? They comment on how I am pretty independent Do you have any hidden talents? I like to think I can inspire people What’s your New Years resolution? Get a job. Anything else you’d like people to know: My family is starting a school in Haiti
Eros Lopez Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela Goals: To solidify the bond between pledges and brothers, as well as making everyone know who each person is. Also, have the upcoming pledges cross and provide them the knowledge of what APO stands for and what we are made of. If you could describe APO in one word what would it be? Awesome What’s your guilty pleasure? Chick Flicks What’s one story your family always tells about you? I used to close my eyes really tight and tell everyone I was going to blow up :/ don’t judge Do you have any hidden talents? The world would never know What’s your New Years resolution? GYM Anything else you’d like people to know: I have a dark sense of humor, so don’t run away when you talk to me :/
Kayla Nunemacher Hometown: Lansford, PA Goals: Welcome and educate an awesome group of new pledges! If you could describe APO in one word what would it be? Family What’s your guilty pleasure? The TLC Network What’s one story your family always tells about you? When I was younger any time someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up I told them I was going to be a transformer. Do you have any hidden talents? I know more about football than any normal girl should and I’m an expert at driving the struggle bus. What’s your New Years resolution? To spend less time stressing out and more time enjoying life with my friends
Shyang Bor Ao
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA Goals: •Keep up-to-date records as well as an audit trail for all transactions (consider setting up an audit committee and appointing an external auditor) •Protect the organization against fraud and theft, ensuring safe custody of money, and prompt banking •Make sure the board understands its financial obligations •Make sure the organization complies with tax regulations, such as GST, payroll tax and fringe benefits tax •Review all internal processes and reporting methods at least annualy If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Cultured! What’s your guilty pleasure? Fizzy Cola Candy! What’s one story your family always tells about you? The time I wore my power ranger action figure as a shoe (I was half asleep) Do you have any hidden talents? Cooking/Baking What’s your New Years resolution? To stay off coffee and drink tea! Anything else you’d like people to know? I’m a really, really bad ninja
Brittany Baechle Hometown: Hazlet,New Jersey Goals: Produce montly Philings and expand tasks of the PR Chair. If you could describe APO in one word what would it be? Ohana What’s your guilty pleasure? Brideday Fridays What’s one story your family always tells about you? When I was younger my brothers convinced me that the fat ladies were out to get me, so whenever I would go to the store I would point to them and ask my mom if they were one of the fat ladies. Do you have any hidden talents? Roll my tongue. What’s your New Years resolution? To be more studious.
Laurel Griffith Hometown:
East Syracuse, NY
have alumni join us for RELAY as their own team. To involve alumni in leadership events. To go to leadership events. To scale the “Abe riding a horse” statue on ESF campus. If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Family What’s your guilty pleasure? Watching
bad horror flicks
Recently, that time I woke them up in the middle of the night to call the cops on some strange guy taking a #2 in my apartment. Do you have any hidden talents? Sometimes I can be a real person What’s one story your family always tells about you?
What’s your New Years resolution? To
I am ALWAYS up for grabbing coffee or tea to get to know/hang out with present/future/previous Phi bros Anything else you’d like people to know:
Tiffany Kwong Hometown:
create some fantastic fellowships to continue building and strengthening our Phi chapter relations If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Selflessness What’s your guilty pleasure?
strawberry ice cream
What’s one story your family always tells about you?
Always getting carried around like a princess Do you have any hidden talents? Extremely
Move out of my parents’ place! (…and not into a box) What’s your New Years resolution?
I am always open to criticism so never hesitate to tell me your suggestions and opinions! Anything else you’d like people to know:
Avery Witzel Hometown: Rochester, New York Goals: Have a fun semester full of interchapter communication and activities! If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Love What’s your guilty pleasure? Home shopping networks What’s one story your family always tells about you? Until I was about 3, I was short enough to comfortably stand under the counter tops of the kitchen island Do you have any hidden talents? I’m a dog whisperer What’s your New Years resolution? Go on many adventures
Fabián Rodríguez Castro
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA Goals: Make every graduating Senior a scrapbook and document as much as possible. If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Amazing What’s your guilty pleasure? Songwriting What’s one story your family always tells about you? How I got a concussion in a shower Do you have any hidden talents? Cooking What’s your New Years resolution? Tighten my bonds with family and friends
Carolynn Steele Hometown: Marcellus,
the vest VP Leadership there’s ever been!… Which should be easy considering that there’s never been one. Really I just don’t want to let anyone down. I was to bring the brotherhood closer together.
If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Ohana What’s your guilty pleasure? Supernatural
(I bingewatch). Actually just TV in general… but especially Supernatural. What’s one story your family always tells about you? I
used to put my identical twin cats in doll clothes and push them around in strollers. One of them still resents me for it. Do you have any hidden talents? Procrastination. And
can touch my tongue to my nose What’s your New Years resolution? Stop
(quite so much)
Michael Kolis Hometown: Marcellus, NY Goals: My main goal is to keep the peace! Also, improve interactions between the brotherhood and the E-Board. It seems like over the past couple semesters, E-Board has been looked at a separate entity from the brotherhood, when really, the brotherhood IS the E-Board. If you could describe APO in one word what would it be? Crap… I’m never good with these types of questions. I would say… surprisingfunenthusiasticfriendlysupportiveoutgoingcrazy… ness What’s your guilty pleasure? One Direction are my homies What’s one story your family always tells about you? So this one time when I was younger, I found a frog outside and tried to show it to my sister. She ran inside the house to try and get away from me, but I followed her in so she locked herself in her bedroom while I was screaming “But I want you to meet my Aunt Phibian! I was basically destined to go to ESF since I was Do you have any hidden talents? I can drive stick shift. Surprisingly, not a lot of people know how to but it was what I learned to drive on. What’s your New Years resolution? GRADUATE
Francis McParland Hometown: Rutherford, NJ Goals: organize a great retreat If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Awesome What’s your guilty pleasure? Chocolate oranges What’s one story your family always tells about you? The tooth story Do you have any hidden talents? Put legs over head What’s your New Years resolution? Lose 5 pounds Anything else you’d like people to know: I’m a triplet
Stacie Fanelli Hometown: Union Beach, NJ Goals: I want to do more projects for the campus, have more participation in drives and awareness events, and get behind causes and charities that matter most to us If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Unconditional What’s your guilty pleasure? Pawn Stars What’s one story your family always tells about you? My first word was McDonald’s Do you have any hidden talents? I’m an excellent hula hooper What’s your New Years resolution? Reduce my carbon footprint Anything else you’d like people to know: I work at Build-a-Bear, which means a) I’m organizing some beary fun service with kids and b) I give pawsome hugs
Jennifer Li Hometown: Brooklyn, NY Goals: If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Friends What’s your guilty pleasure? I like to eat desserts way too much What’s one story your family always tells about you? They love to tell my little cousins that when I was little my grandpa tried to potty train me and I didn’t listen so I took a poopy in the living room and oh my gramps was so mad Do you have any hidden talents? Nope What’s your New Years resolution? Get that 4.0
Oscar Chan Hometown: Flushing, NY Goals: to improve Phi Portal website by making it more visually appealing If you could describe Alpha Phi Omega in one word what would it be? Family What’s your guilty pleasure? Spending all day playing games and watching shows on netflix What’s one story your family always tells about you? N/A Do you have any hidden talents? I’m fairly decent at shooting billiards What’s your New Years resolution? To be a better person than the year before Anything else you’d like people to know: You’re all amazing
To our newly inducted brothers, Pledge Class Fall 2013 Alex Lander Aliyah Griffith Ally Thibault Alyssa Avanzato Amy Chestnut Amy Dries Andrew Lâ€™Hommedieu (AJ) Ayman Alselimi (Adrien) Brian Garber Calvin Huynh Caroline Aloe Chantal Perets Chenyuan Yuan Chris Connell Chris Sarling Christian Unkenholz Christie DeWolff
Coralis Rivera Dalerys Gonzalez Dan Kim Dana Wakeley Danielle Stella Diego Pleitez Doriselys Pagan (Dory) Emily Proutey Erdira Wirengjurit (Dira) Erica Chen Francis McParland Georgia Chaniotaki Greg Kronisch Hermela Dereje Ivy Liu Jackie Barr James Bova
Jennifer Imbro (Jen) Jess Reuveni Jon-Eric Miller Joolee Chin Karissa Farrell Kellyann Leong Kiara Flores Linsey House Liuzhen Huang Madalyn Forte (Maddie) Maddi Durbin Maggie Sharma Mary Ricchezza Megan Barrow Monica Stout Oscar Hernandez Phan Hieu Nguyen)
Philip Leach Rebecca Gasiorek Ruoxi Wei (Roxy) Ryan Chou Sarah Grabman Shirley Chan Shirley Gao Stanley Hoffman Suehee Lee Susie Tran Ursula Warszawa Victor He Wing Yee Cheung Yaskira Mota Yikun Meng (Marvelle) Zeqing Li (Liz) Zerong Jin (Ronda)
146 Days Down Under By: Kelsey Walsh
They were often seen wandering around the zoo on a leash with a zookeeper in tow. At Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo, you could even sign up to walk them yourselves.
“ They [kangaroos]liked being fed and often fight with each other who would take the food from your hand.”
hen people think of Australia, they think of the Great Barrier Reef, kangaroos, the Outback, and a wide array of creatures that are out to kill you. Before venturing across the Pacific on a 20-hour flight, that is pretty much all I knew about the country. I quickly learned how friendly the people were, the wide variety of breathtaking beaches, and how strong the sun was. (ouch!) My most favorite thing to learn about in Australia was all the unique wildlife that inhabits their country. The clear favorite of the animals is hands-down the koala, but the wombats and kangaroos were also very funny creatures. I was lucky enough to live a half hour bus ride from the oldest and largest koala sanctuary in the world, and visited a total of three times. Of course I had to hold one each time i went, and they can be quite heavy! They are very funny animals to watch and learn about, especially because they are hard to spot at any zoo in the states. Another commonality seen in Australian zoos was to have kangaroos be the primary animal in any petting zoo. You are able to purchase a small bag of food for a few dollars to hand-feed these friendly marsupials. They liked being fed and often fight with each other who would take the food from your hand. Though these kangaroos were kept in captivity, even the Australians were wary of approaching one in the wild. The wombats were probably the funniest animals to spot in the zoo. For those who don’t know, wombats are a medium-sized marsupial that resembles something close to a large guinea pig.
Something that did not know about Australia before traveling there was the abundance of beaches that they have. I was lucky enough to visit a total of twelve beaches, some I even revisited two or three times. One thing that every beach I visited had in common was the softest sand I have ever felt. Most beaches had sand that was so fine, that when you stepped down on it, It make a squeaking sound. The one beach that was probably the most unique of all was Whitehaven Beach. The sand on this beach was not only the softest, but also the whitest of all the beaches I visited. The reason for this was because the sand on this beach was made up of 98% pure silica. When dry, the sand on the beach felt similar to the consistency of baby powder. Aside from these stunning beaches, I was also fortunate enough to visit the Great Barrier Reef. I went on two snorkeling trips and regret not taking the opportunity to scuba dive while visiting. Though there was plenty to see when snorkeling, it also depended on the location you went to. Since the GBR consists of almost 3000 reefs, there is plenty of sea life to see-from both above and below the surface. During my first day there, I was lucky enough to see sharks, giant clams, countless fish, and even a turtle! The one animal that you had to be especially careful to avoid was the jellyfish. Toward the end of my time there, jellyfish season was starting up. For this reason we had to wear stinger suits, which were made to cover the majority of your skin, reducing your chances of getting stung by one of these deadly creatures. Though
you had to be watchful for these fatal creatures, the wildlife both on and off land was fascinating to explore. Aside from beaches and zoos, I also visited many of the major cities in Australia. Many people do not realize how big this country is and so during my five months there, I was only able to cover the east coast. Some cities I visited included Cairns, Gold Coast, Melbourne, and Sydney, while I lived and studied in Brisbane. My favorite city was probably Melbourne. Right outside the city is the Great Ocean Road, which takes you to the Twelve Apostles. The Twelve Apostles now only consists of eight limestone stacks, which were caused by erosion. They are a breathtaking view due to their large size and unique appearance. Some other places I traveled included the outback, rainforest and many different national parks. Of all the places I traveled, my favorite place to visit had to be Moreton Island. This island is the third largest sand island in the world, and is made up of some very large sand dunes. The most entertaining experience I had on the dunes was sand boarding. The activity is similar to sledding, but instead of snow there is sand. Another attraction that the island had was a man-made shipwreck where fish, octopus, sharks, and dolphins liked to live. One of my friends brought out banana peels to feed to the fish. In a matter of seconds, we were swarmed by fish of all colors and sizes. It was incredible. Australia will be an experience I will never forget. Any abroad experience will give you memories that will last you a lifetime. As cliche as that sounds, it is definitely true. Being able to explore a country you know so little about is one of the most exciting things I have ever done. I have learned so much while exploring the country and met people from all over the world. Going abroad makes you step outside your comfort zone and makes you realize that there is a bigger world outside the bubble of Syracuse. I hope that everyone has the opportunity to travel whether it be a semester abroad, after graduation, or years from now. Though it is exciting to try new things and meet new people, Australia will always hold a special place in my heart. I plan to return one day and continue to explore the country that made me grow and learn so much about myself and the world we live in.
â€œBeing able to explore a country you know so little about is one of the most exciting things I have ever done.â€?
reunite all of Ireland and those who want Northern Ireland to stay part of the UK. Before this trip I didn’t know much about the issue. Maybe I heard about the Good Friday Agreement but I didn’t really know what it entailed. I learned first hand from both former IRA and republicans who were part of the conflict, known as the Troubles, and the experiences they went through. Even now it astonishes me what they went through. At one point we even had
By: Anastasia Kanakaris
ver since I was a child the idea of traveling fascinated me. As I grew older I became interested in the different cultures of the world and their customs. When I got to college I thought of how amazing it would be to be immersed in those foreign cultures while furthering my studies. In August, all of those dreams came true. I understand this may sound cliché and typical of what every abroad student says about their experience but honestly, those four months in Europe were the best four months of my life thus far. Before my adventure in London and the rest of Europe I took a journey to Ireland and Northern Ireland for a pre-semester seminar. During this seminar we spent five days in Dublin and another five days in Belfast, Northern Ireland. While in both cities, my appreciation for the Irish culture grew. Before it, I didn’t really know much about the culture besides St. Patrick’s day and that a majority of people seem to be some part Irish. In Dublin we learned about the long and hard history the Irish have faced with the British and how they overcame it only to face economic troubles with the fall of the Celtic Tiger. We met with city officials and historians who talked about what plans they have to bring Dublin and Ireland back to glory. Our time in Belfast was just as interesting if not more amazing. Over the past few decades, Northern Ireland has faced civil war between the nationalists and republicans; those who want to
a former IRA and two republicans sitting together in the same room when twenty years ago they would have tried to kill each other. It was amazing to see in person how far they’ve come. Beside the historical and educational aspect of the course we also explore other parts of Northern Ireland. We got to go to the coast, walk across a famous rope bridge, see castle ruins, Game of Throne sites, and I even saw two of the actors on the streets of Belfast (one happened to be sitting outside of a pub)! Sadly, my trip to Ireland was only 10 days long but I was ready to get to London. There are not enough words to describe how special my London experience was. I was fascinated with everything the moment I got there. You hear about how great London is from brochures, people who have been there, or what you’ve seen on Doctor Who or Sherlock. However, it’s so much more than those. Whenever I would get “bored” I would just get lost in the city, maybe go to the British Museum to visit some mummies and see the Rosetta Stone, or maybe I’d go to Borough Market and try all the samples and spend a ridiculous amount of pounds on food and Turkish delights. While over there I also got the opportunity to see a number of shows for crazy cheap prices (thanks to SU London) such
as Once, Matilda, Wicked, and Billy Elliot. I could go on and on about London and how great it is but if I did this article would be so much longer than it already is. A lot of good things happened while I was in that city, some of them large, like going to Hogwarts, and some of them small, like being able to take the tube and the person on the speaker telling me to “mind the gap” (which I didn’t at King’s Cross...). Although London was the main aspect of my time abroad, traveling was necessary. I traveled to Barcelona, up and down France, Scotland, and Wales. Barcelona was an impromptu weekend trip which I thought was exciting. However, once I got there I had my wallet pick pocketed within a half hour. On the bright side, I got it back after making a scene on the Spanish metro and chasing down the woman who took it. After Spain, I decided to spend fall break in France, traveling from Nice, to Aix-enProvence, and finally landing in Paris. For as long as I can remember going to France and Paris have always been a dream so the entire week I was there seemed unreal. I sat on the stone beaches of Nice, walked through French vineyards in Provence, and celebrated Halloween in Paris. I still find it hard to believe I did all that. Lastly, after break I decided I would spend my final travels exploring the rest of the UK. I took a day trip to Wales to visit Cardiff and then took a weekend to see Scotland. I had high expectations of Scotland since my entire family had already been there and loved it, and, not surprisingly, I loved it just as much. Nothing can compare to the Scottish country, castles, or their people. It was just fantastic. That’s all I can say because it’s simply that. Whenever I think back on to those four months I feel a sense of joy and heartache. I feel joy because I was fortunate enough to go abroad and gain all of those experiences. The heartache comes from a feeling of homesickness. London truly did become my home. It took me in and treated me well. It helped me grow as a person. Before going into it I felt like I was losing myself somehow. London helped me pick those pieces back up though and created a better person out of them. Everyone who goes abroad claims how great the experiences are but not all those experiences are the same. For me, these are my experiences and what they mean to me.
“Whenever I think back on to those four months I feel a sense of joy and heartache.”
Turkish Life By: Ivan G. Zhivkov
ooking back at my travels, the cultural immersion, exploration of my wonderful host country, and the friends that I made while in Turkey, I feel grateful. To be able to live in such a fascinating country, with rich history and sometimestumultuous politics, to meet perhaps the most friendly people who taught me so much about their values, their cultures and their lives. Upon arrival in Turkey, I was brimming with excitement and clueless as to the adventure that I was embarking on. Istanbul, a city located on two continents presented an enormous metropolis of Byzantine and Ottoman history and eighteen million people. My first two weeks, I lived on the Asian side of the city where I experienced my very first Turkish civil demonstration, its vibrant nightlife and the friendliness of its people. During those two weeks, I was picked up some Turkish that I was able to expand later on. During the first month, my group and I toured not only Istanbul but the rest of Turkey as well. We visited the capital, Ankara, toured the Aegean coast, the ancient cities of Ephesus and Aphrodisias, and saw natural wonders like Pamukkale and Capadoccia. It was a whirlwind of events that exposed me to a world so different from my own. Listening to a cooking lesson by a Turkish family, playing backgammon with the old man who owned the small motel that I resided in, and witnessing a Turkish village wedding (along with dancing with the bride), were experiences that I will never forget.
Attending school in such a vibrant city like Istanbul offered me so many learning experiences outside the classroom. Speaking and interacting with Turks exposed me to what they really feel about the current situation in Turkey, their thoughts on the government and big business, and what they thought of world affairs as well. It was an eye-opening experience and I was able to learn so much from them. Perhaps one of the best things about studying abroad are the friends that one makes. My best friends were from Turkey and from various countries of Europe, all coming together to study in in one university. Apart from classes, I greatly enjoyed exploring the city, drinking chai with professors and friends, and playing soccer with the boys. It was an amazing experience and a small article does not do it justice. All I can say is that I am immensely grateful to have embarked on this adventure, I still keep in contact with the people I’ve met, and I would encourage for everyone to step out of their door because the world awaits.
“Speaking and interacting with Turks exposed me to what they really feel about the current situation in Turkey, their thoughts on the government and big business, and what they thought of world affairs as well.”
year ago I took the most challenging leap of my life so far by studying in Jordan. The program was located in Irbid, the second largest city in Jordan located about twenty miles from the Syrian border. It was a total immersion program with a language pledge that I had to sign in the beginning of the semester, making me promise I would only speak Arabic for the duration of the program. On top of being in a totally different culture, the language pledge was another challenge that I had to overcome. I lived in university housing with a Jordanian roommate, adding to the immersion aspect of the program. I had four hours of Arabic class Sundays through Thursdays (Fridays and Saturdays are the weekend in Jordan and the Middle East) and took a class on Archaeology in Jordan and another on Jordanian politics. Aside from this, I met with a Jordanian language partner for a minimum of four hours a week to practice my Arabic. Even though it is the second largest city after the capital of Amman, Irbid is a very conservative city with not much to do –there was no movie theater and the biggest source of entertainment was the run-down bowling alley, just to give you an idea of how little there was to do in Irbid. In addition to the limited choices of entertainment, I experienced severe culture shock during the first month of living in Jordan. From differences in the bathroom to the differences in social conduct between women and men, it was a lot to take in. However, as I became accustomed to these differences and began to see all the good that Irbid and Jordan had to offer, I truly began to enjoy my abroad experience in Jordan.
It did not take me long to realize that the best thing about Irbid was the people. I have honestly never felt more welcomed in my life than I did in Jordan. Hospitality is one of the most important aspects in Jordanian culture – it is so important that Jordanians judge other Jordanians’ character on how welcome they make their guests feel in their! It was not uncommon to meet someone on the street and instantly get invited to their home for mansaf, the national dish of Jordan consisting of a bed of rice and nuts covered in either lamb or chicken (or both) and a fermented dried yogurt sauce. One of my favorite moments in Jordan was when I went with my Jordanian friend, Haya, to her home in Ajloun, a town not far away from Irbid to visit her home (as well as all of her relatives’ homes) and eat mansaf.
“I have honestly never felt more welcomed in my life than I did in Jordan.” I tried to do as much traveling as I could in Jordan and the surrounding countries. The program had several trips planned throughout the semester going to places like Jerash and Umm Qays - cities filled with ancient Roman ruins - and to the Dead Sea, Petra, and the Wadi Rum desert. In addition to this, I traveled with a group of friends to the capital city of Amman and to Aqaba, a port city on the Red Sea.
A Full Year of Abroad Adventures By:Mariah K. Zarychta
My outside Jordan travels consisted of a weekend in Al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Tel Aviv, Israel and a once in a lifetime spring break in Egypt. My spring break in Egypt began in Luxor, which is an overnight train ride south of Cairo. Luxor is definitely the city to go to if you are an Ancient Egypt nerd (which I am) because it is where all of the major temples and tombs are located. I was fortunate enough to visit sites such as the Valley of the Kings, the Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor Temple, and Karnak Temple. Every night we would go up to the rooftop terrace of our hostel for tea, watch the sunset and talk with the other people staying there, as well as with the hospitable hostel owner and staff. My friend and I stayed in the ancient city of Luxor for five days and then took a train up to Cairo. I definitely had a love-hate relationship with Cairo. The stares and catcalls were prevalent throughout Jordan and to a greater extent in Luxor, but nothing compared to downtown Cairo. When walking through the market, the sellers would literally put the souvenirs they were selling in my hand and ask for money. This even happened when going to the pyramids and Sphinx, which was definitely the highlight of Cairo. Overall, my semester abroad in Jordan and the Middle East was one of the best semesters of my college career. It was difficult and trying at first, but it did not take me long to find my niche and discover all of the splendors the region had to offer. I could write for days about my experiences in the Middle East but I will stop here, and move on to the second part of my study abroad adventures. On the total opposite end of the study abroad spectrum, I spent last semester in Washington, D.C. participating in the Maxwell in D.C. program. Although the program welcomes students of all majors, the program is specially designed for International Relations majors who are serious about seeking a job in the government or in D.C. after graduation. The program requires the students have an internship throughout the semester, and is definitely the most beneficial aspect of the program. Along with an internship, I took classes on global issues and another on global political economy. Our Thursday seminar class consisted of going to a different organization, either governmental or nongovernmental. We traveled to places like the National Security Council, a variety of embassies (the Russian and Afghani to name a couple), and Human Rights Watch.
As mentioned above, the internship was the most beneficial part of the program. I ended up landing an internship at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in their Stein Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, working for one of the leading experts in the field of counterterrorism in D.C., Dr. Matthew Levitt. It was a research based internship in which I would compile a daily take of articles focusing on terrorism and terrorist groups in the Middle East, mainly focusing on Hezbollah but also included Al-Qaeda and Hamas. I also helped Dr. Levitt in drafting articles he published in major newspapers and magazines. My major assignment was to draft an article on the Hezbollah cell in Southeast Asia. Dr. Levitt was a very busy man last semester because he had just released his new book on Hezbollah, so I did not have many chances to work directly with. However, one of the best moments in my D.C. experience was my first day at my internship, which was also the day of Dr. Levittâ€™s book launch. The book launch was held in a swanky dance hall, filled with 150 diplomats, policymakers, and government officials. It was busy semester and with the government shutdown, it was difficult to visit the many memorials and museums. However, just being in the countryâ€™s capital and being among the most powerful and influential people in the nation made up for not being able to sight see. Besides that, the knowledge I gained there and the networking I accomplished has made me hopeful and prepared for what is to come after graduation. After a full academic year of first traipsing around Jordan and the Middle East and then slipping my foot in the iron-clad door of the job arena in DC, I finally return to my beloved Phi! It feels so good to be back and you all have made me feel like I never left. I could not be any more grateful for everyoneâ€™s consistent love and support. If you have any questions about Jordan, the Middle East, or my time in D.C., please do not hesitate to ask! I love talking about my various experiences and am always ready to share them with anyone who asks!
A Semester in Hong Kong By:Tracy Fung
tudying abroad in Hong Kong has definitely been a memorable experience of my college career. Although difficult, I immersed myself in the culture and adjusted to the new environment quickly. Iâ€™m really glad that I decided to study abroad because I have gained a multicultural perspective through traveling, studying, and working. The SU Abroad Hong Kong program was unique in that it included a two-week seminar that allowed us to travel to Beijing, Malaysia, and Singapore while learning about each city/country and the challenges that they currently face. In addition, I had a five-week internship at The Henley Group, a financial planning and wealth management firm. I met many new people from both the SU Abroad program and the City University of Hong Kong, where my classes took place. I also became a mentor for the English Language Centre, where I facilitated discussions with first and second-year students to help them improve their English speaking and listening skills. Not only was it satisfying to help my peers, but it was also fun getting to interact with the local students.
city. Getting to eat authentic Chinese food was very satisfying, not to mention cheap. An average meal cost HK$50, which is roughly US$6.50. However, being one of the most densely populated areas in the world, Hong Kong is extremely crowded, an aspect that shocked me the most. There are a ton of people wherever you go, and double decker buses and trams are the norm in order to accommodate the millions of people who need to get from place to place every day.
Living in Hong Kong for four months, I had a glimpse of things that I liked and didnâ€™t like about the city. Something that I liked was definitely the delicious food. Sometimes, figuring out what to eat was a problem because there were just too many choices. Much of the food was Chinese, but American food like pizza and burgers were not hard to find in this westernized
Aside from its crowdedness, Hong Kong is an amazing city that is worth visiting. It is modernized and has a nice mixture of eastern and western culture. I highly recommend studying abroad there. Since being back on campus, I have become an SU Abroad Global Ambassador so I can share how much I loved studying abroad with others.