“What are grocery stores like in your country?”

Three students share their experiences with European grocery stores.

Maria Lorditch, France: Everything sold in grocery stores is crazy fresh! For example, I bought packaged mushrooms and they only lasted about two days before they went bad. Also, everyone buys at least three bottles of wine every time they go shopping.

The French diet is basically bread, cheese and wine, so these take up most of the aisles in the grocery store. Everything here is also done at a much smaller scale, so a large at a restaurant is the size of an American small. (That must be how they stay so dang skinny in Europe!)

Morgan Hylton, U.K.: Hands-down, the strangest product I’ve seen has been “man-size” tissues. These are tissues made by Kleenex that are supposed to be bigger and tougher than normal tissues, but its name could be taken as pretty offensive.

The main grocery store of the U.K., Asda, is a sister store of Walmart, so it is relatively the same. The contents of the store are a bit different, however; there aren’t a lot of typical American brands and nothing tastes quite the same even if it is an American brand, but I’ve found that nothing is inedible.

Allie Diehl, Spain: The grocery stores are very similar to ones in the U.S., except for the unfortunate lack of peanut butter and oatmeal (which happens to be my favorite breakfast). Although there are large supermarkets, many Spaniards shop at stores that focus on a specific food group, such as the bakery, butcher, or produce shop. Those stores are usually locally owned and more convenient to find in neighborhoods.

Natalie Reinford—Barcelona, Spain

natalie-reinfordMy name is Natalie Reinford and I am a 22-year-old senior at WVU. I was born outside of Pittsburgh, but I have lived in West Virginia for about 8 years. I am currently studying abroad at Pompeu Fabra, which is located in Barcelona, Spain.

I will be here for just barely over 6 months, which is two trimesters in the European system. While here, I am studying the Spanish language, so all of my classes are based around translation and linguistics (although I have some about culture and history as well).

What made you want to study abroad?

I have wanted to travel for as long as I can remember, so when I learned about studying abroad, I was determined to make it happen. When I was in high school, I visited Madrid, which is another major city in Spain. I fell in love with the culture and the people, and I knew that I wanted to come back to Spain to study abroad after that. I had never been to Barcelona, but I had heard great things about it, so when it came up as an option, I was all for it. Continue reading “Natalie Reinford—Barcelona, Spain”

Allie Diehl—Murcia, Spain

allieMy name is Allie Diehl and I’m a 21-year-old industrial engineering and Spanish major. I’m a senior from Chardon, Ohio, and will be studying in Murcia, Spain, throughout this semester at Universidad de Murcia until June.

What made you want to study abroad?

I have always loved travelling, making new friends, and seeing different parts of our beautiful world. For me, exploring and learning about new cultures is simply a way of life. Growing up in a military family, I have lived all over the United States.

While I love our country, we as Americans tend to act as if we are the only inhabitants of this planet. There is so much to learn from other places, and studying abroad was the perfect way for me to embrace my independence and go discover the world on my own.
Continue reading “Allie Diehl—Murcia, Spain”

Maria Lorditch—Strasbourg, France

maria-lorditchMy name is Maria Lorditch. I have lived in Bowie, Maryland, all my life, which is a suburb of Washington D.C. and Baltimore. I am used to chaos because I am one of seven kids. We are die-hard Steelers fans, Italian loud-mouths, devout Catholics, Conservative Republicans and closer than any family you can imagine.

I am in my junior year of college at West Virginia University. I am an advertising major with a minor in political science and international studies. My study abroad program goes along with my international studies minor and I will be studying and touring the European Union while abroad. I plan to gain knowledge on foreign affairs while in Europe in order to be successful in my future career aspirations. I will be completing my studies at EM Strasbourg Business School, which is a university along the border of France and Germany.

I hope this this blog will inspire others to take the leap of faith that studying abroad requires. I know that this experience will have a lot of emotional, mental, physical and spiritual results and I am so excited to share everything with all of you.
Continue reading “Maria Lorditch—Strasbourg, France”

Kristen Hinderliter—Barcelona, Spain

parc-guell-1My name is Kristen Hinderliter and I’m a 21-year-old junior strategic communications major with an emphasis in advertising and a minor in business. I’m from Morgantown, and I’ve been in Barcelona since New Year’s Eve and will be here until mid-May 2017. I am here to attend class at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, but my teachers tell me that as an Erasmas student, I am here more for the experience than the education.

What made you want to study abroad?

I have lived in Morgantown my entire life, and most of my immediate family lives here as well. I absolutely love this city: I moved only 5 minutes away from my parents once I started school.

Since I’m a townie, I have an enormous amount of friends and acquaintances established here. Anywhere I go, I am guaranteed to bump into at least 3 people I know. I have a fantastic job at Apple Annie´s Bakery, I have great roommates, and I get free groceries at this great little place called My Parent´s House. However, at some point, you have to break away from the comfort of home, or you will never know anything more than just that.

Continue reading “Kristen Hinderliter—Barcelona, Spain”

Morgan Hylton—Hatfield, U.K.

morganMy name is Morgan Hylton and I’m a 19-year-old junior English major. I’ll be studying at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield, U.K., for 5 months.

What made you want to study abroad?

Over the past year I have felt very anxious about the mundane life I lead in Morgantown. I tried to find ways to spice it up but always fell short, so I decided to take a leap and study abroad.

Studying abroad is something that I have always wanted to do, but I never knew if I was brave enough to actually go through with it. My love for different cultures and gaining as many experiences as possible was a huge driving force on my pros list, but the cons were still present in my mind.

After a lot of thinking and realizing what was going to make me grow as a person, I decided that studying abroad was exactly what I needed to feel fulfilled. So, here I am, 4,000 miles away from home, on the scariest, most amazing journey of my life.

What were your expectations for this trip?

I like to imagine that I will travel all around Europe with a Prince William-type man who I fall in love with and we will live happily ever after, but my rational mind just hopes to gain a little excitement and independence. Either would be superb.

Continue reading “Morgan Hylton—Hatfield, U.K.”

Hannah Patterson—Cochabamba, Bolivia

hannahMy name is Hannah Patterson and I am a 23-year-old super senior at West Virginia University. I am a multidisciplinary studies major, which means I have 4 minors: business administration, communication studies, public relations, and Spanish.

Though I am originally from Columbus, Ohio, I will be spending this spring semester in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Here in Cochabamba, I will be taking a Spanish class and a history class. I will also have to choose a service-learning project to assist the community, which will probably involve teaching.

What made you want to study abroad?

As a freshman, I had planned to study abroad at some point during my college career. Yet as the years passed, I found myself scared to leave my friends and became overrun with class requirements. However, in what I thought was my final semester at WVU, I learned about an opportunity to study abroad in Bolivia.

Continue reading “Hannah Patterson—Cochabamba, Bolivia”