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Unabridged N'at

Ellen Gaus

School: Duquesne University

Major: Integrated Marketing Communication, International Relations

Hometown: Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania

I've got the wanderlust bug. Travelling the world and embracing different cultures and perspectives is a grand dream of mine. I aspire to make a difference in the world through social responsibility and activism... or by at least being open-minded – [Read more]

Mosaics of Self

Dear Reader, I’ve had a lovely evening. Now that I’ve lit some candles, made a drink and settled in to get a Bildschirmbräune and All the Little Lights by Passenger, I’m ready to talk. Previously, I wrote about What We Share. Briefly, I wanna talk about what we don’t share. Imagine that our identities are composed

What We Share

Dear Reader, Today, 2 April, is World Autism Awareness Day! Today’s the day to “Light It Up Blue” and share an act of kindness with an individual with autism. Autism now affects 1 in every 68 children, which is up from the previous CDC estimate from 1 in every 88. I’m not sure what the

Makin’ Tracks

Dear Reader, Seems like I can never stay in Pittsburgh for St. Patrick’s Day. Well, actually, I can, but I’ve just never been down for our own parade! This year, I spent my weekend in Boston to celebrate my friend’s 21st birthday, so we had enough celebrating going on that we didn’t need to add

The Bigger Picture

Dear Reader, I want to think a little more broadly about study abroad experiences. Rather, let’s talk about global issues and awareness. We may be limiting ourselves when we think in terms of our homes or study abroad destinations, but underlying and overarching issues exist that bind us together as members of the human race.

About Being Worldly

Dear Reader, You don’t have to cover a map with pins to be considered worldly. Exercising cultural awareness and sensitivity is a better demonstration of consideration for other cultures. I’m currently taking a course titled “Intercultural Competency: Becoming a Global Citizen,” and we’re reading scads of articles and and exercises about intercultural communication. At the

The Problem with Puzzles

Dear Reader, So I just had the sudden realization that being a nice, friendly person doesn’t work to your advantage all the time. Let me give you an example: when we are having a particularly hectic day at the restaurant, I joking say “Well, if we didn’t serve such good food, we wouldn’t have this “busy”

Accepting Introversion Abroad

Dear Reader, Studying abroad offers students one of the best times to grow personally. One challenging but also rewarding  lesson while studying abroad is to accept yourself as you are. For me, this meant acknowledging that I am an introvert, and that’s not wrong. In fact, being content with this makes me a lot happier

A Letter to the Next

Dear Reader, Ooh, how envious I am of you! And also excited! Like, I am stupidly grinning and beaming with excitement for the journey you are about to have. Rather than me preach to you, I’m just want to convey a simple message: SLOW DOWN. Take the time to appreciate this opportunity to go abroad

A Preemptive Christmas Letter

Dear Reader, One thing I am dreading about being home(specifically, the family Christmas gathering)… is the questions. I am 100% sassy enough to hand out letters at the family Christmas party to potentially head off any questions and save myself from repeating the same answer 43 times. I asked some friends what (annoying) questions they

An Open Salutation and Love Letter to Dublin

Dear Dublin, For 111 days, I called you home. Starting from the early morning hours on the first of September when you greeted us from the clouds with rolling green fields and the sea kissing the coast, you became home. In that instant, I caught my breath, smiling with tiny tears in my eyes at

Protected: A Quick Christmas Card

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Traveller’s Foot

Dear Reader, My dad believes that grey hair is a badge of honor, that every grey hair is a symbol of triumph over something stressful or achieving a strenuous goal. Having grey hair shouldn’t make you feel old, but rather honored that you’ve made it through so much. Your grey hair is a way of

Back to Bavaria

Dear Reader, I didn’t get to post the usual weekly blog update because I was FINALLY back in Germany! For about 9 days in June of 2009, I travelled a lot of southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg and the like. This trip was a pretty big one, as it was my first plane ride,

How To Be An ExPat

You should be a Pat first. Dear Reader, Once a US American studies abroad, volunteers abroad, interns abroad, works abroad, lives abroad or whatever he/she does abroad… he/she is an expatriate. Well, in the sense that they were an expatriate during that time and you can’t exactly un-expatriatize yourself. Or, rather, that you can’t extract

Packing on the Pounds

Fortunately, no, this is not about gaining weight while studying abroad. Dear Reader, From the 14th to 17th of November, I went to London for the first time. Granted, all my international travels thus far have been firsts, but still, London! I went to London. Would you like me to tell you the story? Prologue

Ring Around the Kerry

Dear Reader, This weekend, I went to Kerry with the International Student Society(ISS) from UCD. Essentially, the Ring of Kerry and Killarney National Park were my last “Must-do’s” in Ireland. I’m not saying I’ve done it all, but I’m trying to imply that I have ;) The weekend began at 8:30 am Friday morning and

Study Abroad is a State

Dear Reader, Studying abroad can happen anywhere, even in non-academic settings. I like to joke that just being abroad is part of my studies as an international relations major. You might think that the opposite of study abroad is “study domestic,” AKA normal, nothing-special being in the homeland. However, study abroad is a state –

Galway Gals

Dear Reader, On the 25th of October, my roommate Madison and I left bright and early for Galway! We were leaving one day before the rest of the Duquesne in Dublin group. The bus ride wasn’t bad, and thankfully the weather wasn’t either. We arrived to a bright, sunny and warm city on the west

Where the Streets Have No Name

Dear Reader, On the 18th of October, I made my second solo trip. This time, I went to Belfast in Northern Ireland, home to the inspiration of a few U2 songs such as the one in the title(and also the title of my photo album on Facebook). This kicked off my month-long travel spree, as

7 Reasons to Bring Your Smartphone(and 1 Reason NOT to)

Dear Reader, I have a Droid RAZR M, the greatest phone ever, in my opinion. All the photos I’ve posted here were taken on my phone. Initially, I wasn’t planning to bring my phone; purchasing a phone here would be simpler and cheaper, I thought. Plus, it’d be nice to ‘unplug’ from the smartphone world.