Claire: Studying Abroad Twice? It’s Possible!

Boston University offers loads of incredible study abroad opportunities and the programs offered through COM were one of the main reasons I chose to attend BU. I dreamt about my time in Los Angeles kicking butt at my big studio internship during the day, taking interesting BU classes at night and adventuring in Yosemite on the weekends. However, as senior year approached and more of my non-COM friends started to go abroad I itched for adventure. While I knew I would never give up Los Angeles, I wanted to participate in an overseas study abroad program.  It’s at that point I decided I would just do both! Yes, it’s possible! Here’s how it went…

The main thing that makes choosing a study abroad destination so difficult is making sure you can fit in all your requirements. That’s what makes the COM specific programs so appealing – because you are able to take BU classes that count directly towards your degree. When I was looking at abroad opportunities overseas I looked for programs that would allow me to take liberal arts courses (to knock out those pesky freshman/sophomore requirements).  Fortunately, there are plenty of those programs offered through BU. Planning Tip: I saved three fresh/soph requirements for my senior year, which really opened up the opportunity to study abroad twice. I calculated my requirements down to the T and had space to fit in an internship as well, which I didn’t think would be possible.

After I narrowed down my options, it was a pretty easy decision to choose to do an internship program at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. I am an avid hiker and grew up loving the outdoors but three years in Boston made it difficult for me to hike. New Zealand is one of the adventure capitals of the world and has mountains and forests that literally seem to only exist in the movies. Plus, New Zealand is VERY far away from home and I really didn’t think I would be able to travel there again in my life.

Now, my time in New Zealand is coming to a close and I know choosing to study abroad here was one of the best decisions of my life (even if scheduling my interviews in LA while traveling is a pain).  I took one class through Boston University (which counted as a liberal arts class) and two classes through the University of Auckland. At the University of Auckland, I took Logic and Shakespeare on Screen (which counted as my Philosophy and Writing Course).

I also interned for credit with an incredible local film producer both at a design agency and his private production company. Interning abroad enhanced my experience so much by integrating me in New Zealand culture and giving me the opportunity to make friends with locals. It was also fantastic professional experience that related directly to my career goals. Interning in New Zealand is far less common than in the states so I found that I was given even more responsibility than I was used to. I assisted the producer directly on several commercial productions, short films and the development of several feature films. My boss even took me rock climbing J

While studies and work experience are all fantastic – my favorite part of studying abroad in New Zealand was definitely the endless opportunity to travel. Nearly every weekend my roommates and I ventured out of the city into the mountains. There were even two weekend trips through Boston University (included!). The seasons are reversed here in the Southern Hemisphere…so I got Spring break in August.

Check out some of my travel photos below!

I have more traveling to come! The Auckland program ends November 15, which gives me over a month before packing up for the Los Angeles internship program. In between those programs I am backpacking Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand).

If you are interested in studying abroad twice and have questions/want some guidance…please contact me! clairedorwart@gmail.com

Travel on!

Zach: Losing it Over Loose Leafs

As everyone knows, I love to rank foods at BU. If you know me at all, you know the GSU is incredibly important and near and dear to my heart and stomach. So today, without further adieu… I will rank the THEMES OF LOOSE LEAFS!

 

Pacific Rim

NO! NO! NO! This is so gross! This is not a salad flavor! No one ever asked for MANDARIN ORANGE themed DRESSING! The ONLY good topping is BABY CORN! The teriyaki chicken and salmon are fine additions though.

2/10

 

Flavors of Italy

This is overall fine. It is a boring theme with boring toppings and boring flavors. The pesto chicken is a plus, but the dressings are offensively lackluster.

4/10

Middle East

This is the ugly cousin of Mediterranean week, however, given how attractive mediterranean week is, this is not that bad. I am a big fan of the pita bread that is included and the tahini dressing. The toppings are where this week falls short, but I am a forgiving man.

6/10

Southwest Week

This used to be my favorite week, but I got bored with it fast. It is a bold collection of flavors with bold toppings, but you have to be in the mood, you know? Def a fan of the avocado caesar dressing and the toppings this week. Also obv love cornbread and even more love the flank steak.

8/10

Mediterranean Week 

GRAPES. ON SALAD. LEMON. FETA. DRESSING. I. LOVE. IT. This is ONLY slightly worse because it used to have bowtie pasta but now it is grains but that’s ok. I love the shrimp and I love the chicken. Such a fan. Woohoo!

9.5/10

Thanks for reading see you soon!

Nick: The Beantown Sports Scene

On the heels of the Chicago Cubs shocking the baseball world and clinching their first World Series championship since 1908 (before sliced bread was even a thing), I thought it would be fitting to talk about one of the topics nearest and dearest to my heart – sports.

You’ve heard it before – how Boston is the City of Champions. The Red Sox broke their own 86-year curse in 2004 and went on to win two more titles, the Celtics won it all with the Big Three in 2008, the Patriots have four championships in this millennium, and the Bruins took home the Stanley Cup in 2011.

Whether you’re an avid sports fan like myself, someone who wants to learn more about sports or simply a casual fan, BU has all of that for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can get involved with sports at COM, BU and in Boston:

1. Fenway is in our backyard
One of the biggest draws for me as a Boston sports fan was BU’s proximity to Fenway Park. We are minutes away from one of the most historic ballparks in all of sports (cc Wrigley Field), and fans can get cheap student tickets too (Student 9s). I can’t tell you how many games I’ve been to with my friends since coming to BU. Even if you’re not a Red Sox fan or a fan of baseball, taking in a game at Fenway Park is a Boston experience you don’t wanna pass up.

2. The other pro teams here are pretty darn good
Baseball not your thing? That’s fine, because as mentioned above, all four of the major sports teams in Boston are perennial contenders.

The TD Garden where the Bruins and Celtics play is just a T ride away, and Gillette Stadium in Foxboro makes for a great day trip with some friends to watch some football. Tom Brady can only play for so long, right?

3. BU hockey ROCKS
While BU may not have a football team anymore, the BU men’s hockey team is a perennial contender for a national championship. The team is off to a solid start this season, and three of its freshmen were first round picks in last year’s NHL draft.

Also, the atmosphere at Agganis Arena is always raucous. The pep band kills it and the chants are always a good time. There’s something special about coming together as a school and rooting for a common cause. Similar to attending a game at Fenway Park, watching some BU hockey at Agganis is a vital BU experience. #GoTerriers

4. The sports opportunities in COM are second-to-none

As a sports fanatic with a passion for writing, sports journalism seemed like a logical career path for me. While I’ll be in DC next semester exploring the politic scene, many of the activities I’ve gotten involved with at BU have helped me grow journalistically while also exploring my love of sports.

I’m currently the sports editor of the Daily Free Press, where we cover every BU game throughout the year. This has been an incredible opportunity and experience, as I’ve been able to foster relationships with players, coaches and other beat writers. We have a rolling application, and I’d encourage you to apply. There are also opinion, news, features, layout and blog sections.

Since freshman year I’ve also been involved with BU’s only pro sports talk show Offsides. This has been another amazing experience, as I’ve met some of my best friends through BUTV and learned so much about television production. Plus, my friends and I get to have debates about the hottest topics in sports – which we do anyway.

There are also a bunch of sports journalism courses offered at BU – like sports broadcast, sportswriting, and sports talk radio. Just another example that shows COM has something for everyone.

 

Angeli: 4 Things I’ve Learned from Hosting a Radio Show

This semester, my inner Pitch Perfect-loving high school freshman self’s dreams came true when WTBU granted me the privilege of having my own radio show.

Let me clarify. In the 2012 instant cult classic film, Anna Kendrick’s character Beca works for her college radio station and life only goes up from there. And, for anyone who might not be aware, WTBU is *deep radio voice* “the beat of Boston University,” or in other words, BU’s own student-run station. Like Beca, radio was the first extracurricular I wanted to get involved with when I got to college, and joining last fall was probably one of the best decision I’ve ever made. After interning for two different shows my freshman year (shoutout to Pop Cultured and Shrug Emoji) and learning the station ropes from some welcoming upperclassmen-turned-good friends, I could not wait for the opportunity to have a DJ name and programming time slot of my own. I therefore did my very best victory dance when I received an email this summer saying my show application had been approved.

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Now, every Sunday from 10 am to noon, you can catch me on the airwaves as host of On the Verge, the official music and talk show of Verge Campus BU. VCBU is another organization I got involved with last year that centers around an online college lifestyle publication. Our partner site/company, GoodMusicAllDay, focuses on publicizing up-and-coming artists. My show serves as an extension of these two brands, as we talk about everything from world news to everyday college experiences (often inspired by Verge Campus articles) and play the music of underground artists usually from GMAD.On the Verge has been on air for about two months now, and I could not be happier with how it’s going so far. I’ll be honest, every episode hasn’t been flawless. That being said, though, I’ve been grateful for even my most cringe-worthy moments on FM/AM. Having a radio show has frankly taught me a lot about life. Here are some of those cheesy, cliche, painfully unoriginal lessons with a DJ’s twist:

1) Teamwork makes the dream work. If it wasn’t for my amazing co-host and team of interns, On the Verge would be no where near as interesting a show as I think/hope it’s been. Not only do they all contribute to some great talk segments and OTV’s social media presence, but they’ve also helped me find stories to report as well as artists and students to interview each week. We can proudly say we’ve had a guest on-air every episode so far, and I’m more than confident our episodes will only improve.

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2) Hard work pays off. A lot of the artists I’ve interviewed on OTV have been college students, which has been really inspiring in more ways than one. I’ve mainly been so in awe of how individuals my same age and often with my same workload are still managing to pursue music careers and grow as artists. Whether they’re dropping full EPs or shooting industry-caliber music videos, college kids are doing insanely impressive things, regardless of all the hours that may be involved. Sure enough, they’re also getting the recognition on YouTube, SoundCloud, etc that they strive for. I think their successes are testament to the dynamic duo that is passion and persistence, whom other students should befriend, too!

3) Don’t sweat the small stuff. For a third-semester WTBU member, I should really be embarrassed of the amount of times I’ve pressed the wrong button on the mixing board or, better yet, forgot to press one at all. Anything done involving technology just naturally entails the possibility of technological difficulties, and boy do I feel like I’m prone to those. After my second episode as a host, though, I decided that I couldn’t be too hard on myself for my mistakes, especially when I have guests in the studio. I’ve actually become a fan of turning my incompetence into a punchline. Sometimes, laughing at yourself and getting others to do the same makes for great radio. Plus, you’ll look like a confident and composed host (despite the fact that you might be crying on the inside…)

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4) Don’t forget where you came from. Or to whom you owe your existence. Basically just love your mom, everybody!!! I know, just when you thought this blog post couldn’t get any sappier, I just had to throw that one in. Though my mom might just be OTV’s biggest fan (hopefully not our only listener), where I was really going with this one was your family and friends will always be your biggest support system and never forget that. Mine have continually supported my radio endeavors and really helped spread the word about On the Verge. Nothing’s worse than being incredibly proud of a project and having no one to share it with. Of course Facebook likes are always appreciated, too :)

Now, for a final plug: make sure to check out wtburadio.org to listen to and learn more about all of the fun shows fellow Terriers host each week!

Caroline: BUTV10’s The Vote 2016

Tuesday night BUTV10 covered the US Presidential Election. The Vote 2016 was a collaboration between BUTV10, the Journalism Department, the Film and Television Department, BU News Service, WTBU, DC Study Abroad, and London Study Abroad. Students were all over the country reporting from inside the headquarters of presidential nominees Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, insides the headquarters of New Hampshire Senate candidates Maggie Hassan and Kelly Ayotte, and outside of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.. The whole show is the thesis project for journalism graduate student Natalie Robson.

We rehearsed for our two hour show for about a month leading up to Tuesday, but no rehearsal could prepare us for five hours straight of live coverage, three of which were unscripted. We had each bloc on the fly during commercial breaks. There were two anchors, a congressional reporter, an exit polls reporter, a social media reporter from BUNS, and an interviewer for us to integrate, and the five remote reporters. There was a delicate dance between calling states’ results and sticking to the plan we decided just minutes before. The most important thing is to be prepared and have back up plans. Sometimes Skype wouldn’t connect, so we would have to change the format, or a state would be called and we would have to cut out of a break early. It was hard work, but the support system around Natalie and myself allowed us to succeed.

The journalism and film and television professors were instrumental in the production. Their experience reporting and producing news really helped during crunch time. They were able to help us make informed decisions about what was next. The engineers in COM worked countless hours to hame sure the set and control room were ready for this huge production. We were lucky to have two important interview guests who have reported on elections in the past, mass communication professor John Carroll; and Pulitzer-prize winner, Dean Tom Fiedler of COM. We were also lucky enough to interview Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore.

The experience each student working on the election coverage got on Tuesday night is something very unique. No other university did the comprehensive coverage we had with all of our moving parts. This was honestly the most valuable experience I’ve had so far at Boston University. I was able to do Tuesday night essentially what professionals were doing, and I can take everything that I learned into the workplace after I graduate. I’m so grateful COM is full of professors and students willing to push the limits and try something we’ve never done before.

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Joe: Look Back At It

So here we are, just weeks away from the rest of my life. I always have said that Halloween is basically the end point of the semester, with the following weeks acting like one of those moving sidewalks in an airport. The time just seems to jump and everything is coming down to the wire so quickly. So I want to take this time to slow down. Take it all in. Stop and smell the roses, if you will.

Get ready because this blog post is about to get weirdly emotional and feel like you got kicked in the face with emotions.

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I have spent 3.5 years at B.U. and it has been some of the best years of my life. I have met people who have built me up and challenged who I am. I’ve grown and grown and grown some more. I’ve made mistakes and accomplishments and everything in between. I have learned more about the world and it’s people and how I fit in to all of it. What role do I play and how can I make the world a better place for all who inhabit it?

These are the questions I have been asking myself upon my impending graduation. What do I want to do with my life and how can I, Joe Piro, a humble boy from Long Island, make a difference in this big scary place? And will even those small efforts make a difference?

Last week, I sent in my absentee ballot to vote for the first female President of the United States. And while that seemed to have received some backlash from my family members back home, I’ve never felt more sure in my decision.  Yesterday, I cried watching Hilary’s “The Story of this Campaign” video. Even though I supported Bernie Sanders through the primaries, watching her progress made me think of my sisters, nieces, mom, grandmas, and every female friend I’ve ever had as I’ve watched them have to overcome things I as a man do not have to deal with. Yesterday may have been Election Day, but today starts the real work towards progress.

As of writing this blog post, the Presidential election is still undecided. And I just want to remind you all that the world is a wonderful place and we do not live in Medieval Times or during The Christian Crusades. And I feel now more than ever we have the power to shape this world into what we want it to be. I want to live in a place that is filled with optimism and hope and love. Wow, this sounds corny but I’m in rare form from this election and I just want the world to be a happy place.

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Christy: I Still Don’t Feel Like an Adult, and That’s Okay

I am almost half way through my junior year, and I still don’t really feel like an adult. 

Although I may outwardly exhibit signs of being an adult (“legally” of adult age, living in an off-campus apartment, etc.), I actually feel like I am no where close to mastering the art of “adulting” just yet. The initial transition into college was a taste of freedom that I never experienced before, tricking me into thinking I was actually an adult ready to take on the world. But really, everyday I find that I am still learning so much about myself and it makes me question if I am as ready and grown as I thought I was freshman year.

I actually feel less mature than I did freshman year. I think the biggest reason being I talk to my mom almost everyday, sometimes multiple times a day. Sometimes I call just to check in or tell her about my day, and other times I call for advice — both make me feel young. 

Telling my mom about my day seems like I am coming home from elementary school and giving her a full play-by-play. (Yes, sometimes I even tell her what I ate for lunch.) But she takes genuine interest and I love talking to her, so I never see any fault in calling her. But, I probably call my mom more often than my friends talk to their parents. Telling her about the highs and lows of my day not only help me decompress, but also allow me to receive advice when needed. 

Which leads me to what I think is the constant need for advice and approval. More often than not, I call her to help me make decisions. From asking her what I should do for dinner to helping me make more difficult decisions, I always seek her advice and hold her opinion above all else. Always turning to my mom makes me wonder if I am capable of making decisions on my own. Could I be satisfied with making a big decision knowing that my mom was not a part of the decision-making process/I don’t have her seal of approval? There is no shame in seeking advice, though, and especially for an indecisive and anxious person like me, it is in no sense demeaning and childish, but rather comforting.

Through it all, I am still learning. Seeking help and advice from your parents does not necessarily mean you’re a child, but rather means you are on your way to coming into your own as an adult. We have been told time and time again that college is a learning experience; you don’t become an adult the second your parents leave your freshman dorm after move-in day. Being away from your parents for the first time often makes you reach for their support more than ever before because they can no longer come to your aid by calling them from the next room over. So don’t be afraid to call your mom for advice next time you don’t know what to eat for dinner! She will love to help you out.

Amy: Best Places to Study Away from Campus

As finals start getting closer and closer to us with seemingly no end to midterms in sight, you might be getting a little sick of all the quality time you’re spending in Mugar. Or for that matter, anywhere on campus. Sometime, you just have to get away to give your mind a refresh to study. Here are some of my favorite off-campus places to go when I need to focus.

  1. Boston Public Library: In the warm weather days, there’s nothing better than grabbing your textbooks and camping out in the courtyard. Between the fountain and the open air seating area, it’s a quiet peaceful environment that you absolutely can’t miss!
  2. BPL pt. 2: When it gets cold out and the courtyard is too freezing, try the reading room! It’s a beautiful room filled with tables and gorgeous architecture, for times when Mugar is just a little bit too much like Mugar. Watch out though, they won’t let you drink coffee in there!
  3. Barrington Coffee Roaster: 100% coffee friendly. This is a small coffee shop on Newbury St. that has a slightly slower bustle than Starbucks or Pavement. I can attest, the coffee is A+ and the baristas are super friendly. Plus free WiFi!
  4. The Thinking Cup: While there are a few locations of this one, my favorite has to be the one on Tremont St. Easily accessible from Arlington or Park St. stations, The Thinking Cup is another super cute coffee shop with a bonus view of the Commons.
  5. Trident Booksellers and Café: Just try not to get distracted by all the fun knick-knacks they sell. All in all though, a great place to go for some food, a coffee, and some quality time with your textbook.
  6. Brookline Public Library: WOAH. Another BPL. This one’s a little less crowded, and also super convenient for anyone living west or south of campus. The Coolidge Corner location is super accessible from campus!

Stacy: Things to Know About Studying Abroad in Washington DC

“Abroad” usually means across the pond or even across the border… but I chose to stay in the U.S. and study abroad in D.C. for the fall of my senior year. This was 100 percent the right decision for me. And yes, there is more to D.C. than politics and the National Mall.

The first two things people will ask you are, “Where do you work?” and, “Who are you voting for in the election?” It takes some getting used to, but you are never not networking. You will hear the word networking more than you hear your own name. But it is so fun to be in the D.C. bubble. You are right where the magic happens (or doesn’t happen depending on how you view Congress) and you won’t find a better place to experience policymaking and politics up close.

The Metro is more efficient than Boston’s T system – without a doubt. But the escalators to and from the underground platform are about a 2-minute ride if you don’t walk. So naturally, half of the metro-goers walk. The best way to indicate if someone isn’t from D.C. is how he or she maneuvers the Metro escalators. The left side is for walking, and the right side is for standing. Don’t mess this up or you will get yelled at.

Another thing to know about the Metro is that it’s sometimes more expensive than Uber depending on how far you travel. So before going underground, check Uber Pool to see if it would be cheaper, and it sometimes is.  Now, if you plan on Ubering in D.C… it is a city divided into sections. So when you’re Ubering or using Google maps, never leave out the “NW” or “NE” at the end of the street address because you will end up somewhere across the city. I learned the hard way…

This is very important…. Happy Hour is a thing! Yes, alcohol is exciting, but there is FOOD during Happy Hour too. My favorite experience in Happy Hour so far is at The Hamilton because they have a sushi bar… where there is sushi Happy Hour every day from 3-7pm. Half priced sushi people. It’s a big deal.

It is impossible to be bored here. There are things happening at the national level every day. This is the hub of international and national organizations. There are think tanks everywhere, free museums across the city, networking events and screenings for documentaries and movies all the time. But D.C. also has elements of a normal city, such as theatres, sports, nightlife, parks, shopping, etc. You can’t be bored here.

I know I said there is more to D.C. than the politics, and this is true. But don’t worry; you’ll still get your Frank Underwood experience. In addition to the politics, there is a city with its own culture here too. From one street to another, the vibe of D.C. changes completely. If you love the combination in Boston of history and modern day – then you’ll feel at home here in D.C.

I know D.C. isn’t the European adventure that Lizzie had in the Lizzie McGuire movie, but you will gain so much in this program. You will learn more about our country than you thought you could, you will gain professional skills from BU workshops and networking events and you will experience an intense internship that will give you more skills than a classroom ever could. You can always have a European adventure later in life. BU D.C. is preparing me for post-grad life, and I feel more confident about entering the real world after going through this program.

Jen: The Scheduling Conundrum

It’s that time of the year again! The leaves are turning different colors, coffee shops are beginning to offer hot apple cider, and it’s time to register for classes. Yes, that time when your inbox begins to fill up with tips on how to register for next semester’s classes and what you should and shouldn’t do in order to make sure you’re taking the right classes to help you graduate. It can be a stressful time. You may even experience the five stages of grief during your registration time. However, do not worry! If you didn’t have a pleasant registration experience, or if you’re starting to feel like you’re not going to have a great registration time, I have tips to help you get through this hard time.

  1. Deep breaths. Deep breaths.

  2. Checking the Student Link AFTER registration: This is my strongest tip I give to anyone who is freaking out about how badly their registration went. Yes, that class that you wanted to take did fill up on Sunday, but people change their schedule all of the time. So, wait like a week after registration and see if any seats have opened up in that class. You just have to keep checking and checking the student link. Luckily, I’ve gotten many classes that I wanted to take, that I didn’t get during the registration period, by just randomly checking the student link.

  3. Getting Put on a Waiting List: If you’re really really really stressed out about not getting into a class, email your department and ask to be put on the class’s waiting list. This will ensure you that if a spot opens up, you will be informed and then you can register for it. Sometimes, if enough people ask to be put on a waiting list for a class, they will maybe open up another section for that class!

  4. Take a Chance on a Class: Okay, so nothing that you want to take is open. Like, nothing at all. But, you see that a class that you think is interesting has a few seats in it. Take a chance, and sign up for the class! Yes, it’s not what you wanted, however if you think you’re going to be interested in it and it seems like a cool class, sign up for it! Again, you can always change your schedule before the beginning of the next semester. So sign up for that chance class, and if something you would rather take opens up, drop the chance class and sign up for the one you wanted to take!

  5. Sit Back and Relax: Congratulations! Your registration is done! Go grab yourself a nice blueberry plum iced tea from Pavement Coffeehouse. Actually, grab a scone too, you deserved it. Now you can lay in bed, put on a show (might I recommend every episode of Kitchen Nightmares?)(they’re all on Youtube, by the way). It was a stressful time, and you manage to get through it. Sure, maybe it didn’t go as planned, but it’ll all work out in the end, my friend. It’ll all work out.