Where were you born?
I was born in Chongqing, China in 1998 and moved to the U.S. when I was five months old.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in southern Vermont and will always consider myself an East Coast gal.
Where and what are you currently studying?
I am a freshman at Marist College (with the privilege of studying abroad in Florence for the 2016-2017 academic year), and I’m majoring in communications with a double concentration in public relations and advertising.
What’s your favorite aspect about studying abroad?
I love that every day is an adventure. I wake up every morning eager to get out on the street and be surrounded by a different culture and a more diverse population than I experience at home. Studying abroad is a constant learning experience, and it is something I will be forever grateful for. In addition, being able to travel is a huge plus to studying abroad!
What’s one of the biggest challenges you face abroad?
The language barrier has been one of the most difficult challenges to deal with. It’s not that I have a hard time communicating with the locals since practically everyone speaks English. However, I have found it much harder to learn Italian than I thought it would be. I’ve realized my expectation to become fluent might have been too ambitious in a place where English is so common. I’m constantly working on speaking as much as I can when I’m out and learning new phrases though!
What are some of your career goals?
My ultimate goal is to work in editorial someday at Hearst or Condé Nast. I am also interested in event planning, marketing, and public relations.
What made you want to start a blog?
Writing has been a passion of mine ever since I could read and write. I continue to journal on a daily basis, for it’s how I destress. I decided to start a blog so my friends and family could keep up with my study abroad adventures. I also knew it would help me build my portfolio.
What advice do you have for college students with similar editorial aspirations?
WRITE! Apply to be a contributing blogger for popular college blogs/websites (ex. FlockU, Society19, the Lala, Her Campus, the Odyssey), write for yourself in a journal, start your own blog. Although sharing your personal writing with an audience is intimidating, I have found the experience to be very rewarding.
What is your favorite place you have been to and why?
My favorite place I have been to (thus far) is probably Budapest, Hungary. I spent Christmas 2016 there with two girlfriends, and we had a celebration to remember. I loved the Gothic style architecture, culturally rich and historic aspect of the city, and the people were very friendly. Check out my travel posts about Budapest here, and put this city at the top of your bucket list!
What bloggers inspire you?
I’m inspired my Julia Hengel (http://galmeetsglam.com/), Shay Shull (http://mixandmatchmama.com/), Brooke Saward (http://www.worldofwanderlust.com/), and Amanda Holstein (http://advicefromatwentysomething.com/) in addition to many other female contemporary bloggers!
Who are your role models?
My biggest role models are my parents and grandparents. Throughout my life, they have consistently shown me what it means to lead a happy & fulfilling life and how important it is to value family. They do nothing but encourage me to achieve my dreams and take chances in life. I wouldn’t be here without them.
Do you have a dog?
Yes! I have the sweetest King Charles Cavalier Spaniel mix named Kiara. She is turning 6 on March 13. Her favorite activities include going to bed early, chasing tennis balls, and barking at our neighbor, Andre, and his two dogs every day at precisely 3 PM.