Category Archives: Abroad

Albert Bitici: With no time to linger.

As told by Shipnia Bytyqi (NYMP10).

Albert (in the blue shirt) with his posse!

What happens when one leaves the Middlebury “bubble”? Most current students—myself included—are wondering, anxious, excited, scared. Middlebury alumni, though, know what happens from personal experience and some have even realized that their lives have taken the most unexpected turns post-Middlebury. Albert Bitici, member of New York Middlebury Posse 4 and the Middlebury Class of 2006, shared with me just that kind of story.

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Black Pearl Ball: A Night of Elegance and Traditions

As narrated by Christine Valentin (NYMP10) with direct commentaries from Athenia Rodney (NYMP2).

MPNY10 at the Middlebury College Black Pearl Ball 2010For many students on the Middlebury College campus, the Black Pearl Ball is one of the most buzz-worthy events of the entire year. For those who have no idea of the Black Pearl Ball, it is a campus-wide dance hosted by the Middlebury student organization, Women of Color, that takes place during Homecoming Weekend. The event is attended by not only current Middlebury students but alumni as well. So how did the Black Pearl Ball, which in the recent years has also served as an alternative option to the Homecoming Formal itself, even came to be?

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La Vida Madrileña: Finding Home

As told by Alana Jenkins (NYMP10)

From JFK to Madrid!

And so it happened, Las Chicas were finally in España.  Las Chicas, of course, are Shipnia and myself; it’s a name we affectionately acquired while at Middlebury from our long-time Middlebury professor, Irina Feldman.  The title was appropriate enough because Shipnia and I had started our Spanish language and culture immersion together at Middlebury. The two of us vowed over chocolate milk in the Ross dining hall that “neither of us could change our mind about going abroad without the other [during our junior of college].” So with the clank of our glasses, Las Chicas had begun the journey that would one day place us right in the heart of Spain – Madrid.

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La Vida Madrileña: An Identity Constructed

As Told by Carlos M. Beato (NYMP5)

“It was over five years ago when I first embarked on a study abroad journey that would change my life forever. While I matured in the most basic of aspects, I also had to learn how to deal with the issues of race, socio-economic status and culture.

In a country that claims to be so [civilly] advanced, the division of race and class in Spain was one that caught my attention. I found out in the very beginning that my not being white would not only affect where I could live but I was often granted access to certain neighborhoods only when I mentioned that I was an American student from the United States. Never in my life have I felt that I was not wanted and it was through this experience of searching for a “piso” in Spain that made these feelings a reality.  While it helped that I spoke Spanish well over the phone, it was not until I visited many of these potential living spaces that I experienced firsthand the Spaniard’s actual reactions to my darker skin color. Nevertheless, this experience prepared me for other similar situations [during my time in Spain] that would eventually warrant me to question my identity. Continue reading

By No Means Perfect

If i could sum up my experience in a phrase

At 20 years old, the last three months have brought me some of the best and worst times of my life. In that time, I was challenged in more ways than I ever expected and only kind of survived.  I was given the opportunity to grow, to see the world and to learn about myself. No, it was nothing like trying to make it through freshman year of college nor did it involve trying to climb up the cooperate ladder, but it was more than I ever expected it to be and it was HARD.

For the three months of my summer vacation, I was a nanny living in Italy. Continue reading