Learning the Contrasts of Italy

For much of this past month, I have been living the clichés of la dolce vita: waking up late, practicing Italian when the spirit moves me, seconds and thirds of…

First Impressions in Bologna

This is my first post from Bologna, Italy, where I am beginning the first year of a M.A. program in international relations. I will be in Bologna for nine months,…

Reverse Culture Shock

Reverse culture shock is tricky. I’ve been back in the U.S. for about a month now. In many ways, I am still in the honeymoon period. I am thrilled to…

Back on the Road

It was the end of a long day. I’d spent several hours bouncing around in the back of a van as we drove through rural Côte d’Ivoire. We’d spent the…

Field Research near the Liberian Border

When I entered the makeshift conference room armed with only a list of questions (carefully translated into French) and recording equipment, I felt a moment of panic at the sight…