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Bearcats on the Road

Be Not Afraid - My Trip to World Youth Day 2016

Posted by Helena Shoplik on Tue, Aug 09, 2016 @ 10:13 AM

When I signed up for World Youth Day in Kraków last fall, I never expected “fear” to be in the equation. I had been to Poland several times previously, and I had never been overly concerned about my personal safety or the safety of others on my trips. Poland, and the rest of Europe, seemed to be a very stable area and so I never gave terrorism another thought. 

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Topics: Catholic, faith, pilgrimmage, World Youth Day, Krakow, Helena Shoplik, Poland, Be Not Afraid, Pope John Paul II

Traveling to Kraków for World Youth Day

Posted by Anastasia Jaeger on Thu, Jul 28, 2016 @ 04:00 PM

This trip to World Youth Day (WYD) 2016 in Kraków, Poland, seemed to come quite suddenly. I had just gotten back from Rome on May 29. However, college is all about making memories and doing as much as possible. 

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Topics: Campus Ministry, Pope Francis, Catholic, Anastasia Jaegar, Salt Mine, World Youth Day, Krakow, Poland, Shrine of the Divine Mercy

Wrapping It All Up: Coming Home

Posted by Samuel Geer on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 @ 10:00 AM
This is my last post from Bhutan, and I’m writing it from my couch at home in Pennsylvania. I got home late this morning after a 52-hour trip from Bhutan to Thailand to Shanghai to New York to Pittsburgh. As of the moment I’m writing this, I’ve been awake for 18 hours straight, and I don’t plan on sleeping for at least another five (take that, jet lag)! 
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Topics: study abroad, Samuel Geer, Bhutan, Tiger's Nest Monastery, jet lag, Paro

Directed Research, Presentations and Packing Up

Posted by Samuel Geer on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

The past week has been entirely devoted to directed research. The complement of 22 students in the program were broken up into six different groups whose research groups included both physical and social science topics. Some of the most interesting projects, in my opinion, were: biodiversity in local forests, the growing cordycep (an extremely valuable Himalayan fungi) market, conservation around religious sites and, my own research project, the effects of forestry management practices on local forest stands. 

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Topics: nature, study abroad, research, Samuel Geer, Bhutan, presentation, Bumthang

People of Bhutan

Posted by Samuel Geer on Fri, Jul 08, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

The past several days have been filled with a plethora of cultural experiences with locals in and around campus. While simply walking down the street can tell you a lot about the Bhutanese people, it is something else completely to spend significant amounts of time talking with a Buddhist monk or staying with a family. Luckily, I’ve been able to do both of those things in the span of a few days.

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Topics: study abroad, Samuel Geer, Bhutan, advice, monastery, monks

Beauty in Taiwan

Posted by Theresa Thimons on Thu, Jul 07, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

My time in Taiwan has been so non-stop that I’ve barely had time to write any updates! The trip is two days away from ending, and while sleeping in my own bed sounds marvelous, I know that I will miss this as soon as I’m gone. Taiwan is filled with so much beauty and I am so grateful to be here. 

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Topics: Campus Ministry, Taiwan, service learning, Theresa Thimons, Fu Jen Catholic University

A Taste of Greece

Posted by Gianna Boburka on Wed, Jul 06, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

After a few weeks of finally settling into the city of history, culture, arts, nightlife, food and much more; Thessaloniki, Greece, has become my stay for these 37 days abroad. Choosing a city (the second largest in Greece), that is not too common among Americans for studying abroad, was a place I  knew was going to be very different. For example, dinnertime does not start until at least 9 p.m., businesses close from 3 to 5 p.m. for afternoon nap time, a large number of Greeks are avid smokers and the surprising appreciation from locals when attempting to speak Greek. The differences, however, have shown me that there is much excitement that can be found from being immersed in unfamiliar places. Places that hold so much learning and discovery.

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Topics: study abroad, Greece, Food, Thessaloniki, culture, Gianna Boburka

An Excursion through the Himalayas

Posted by Samuel Geer on Tue, Jun 28, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

During the past week, we left the relative coziness of our dorms on campus to go on a trek through the surrounding valleys. It was a three-day hike that would begin with us hiking across the Bumthang Valley where our campus is located. After the flat portion of the trek, we went straight up over the extremely small Himalayan Mountains in the area (only 12,000 feet high — the Laurel Highlands are a small fraction of that). Once on the other side, we’d be in the neighboring Tang Valley where we’d camp another night and hike to a cultural site to finish off our learning adventure. 

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Topics: study abroad, adventure, Samuel Geer, Bhutan, Himilayas, hiking, gender studies

The Last of China

Posted by Theresa Thimons on Mon, Jun 27, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

My time in China is coming to a close, and I just got kind of good at figuring out the subway system. It’s sad to know I’ll be leaving in the morning, but I am excited to arrive in Taiwan and begin the next segment of this trip!

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Topics: China, Hope Foster Home, service learning, Great Wall of China, Theresa Thimons, Pearl Market, Beijing

Talking Without Speaking (in China)

Posted by Theresa Thimons on Fri, Jun 24, 2016 @ 10:00 AM
As I think about the events of this first full day in China, the word that rings the loudest is joy. After a tour of the Forbidden City this morning, led by our wonderful tour guide, Jim, the group headed out for lunch in the food court of a nearby mall. Ordering and paying for food may not sound like an adventure, but it is when you and your waitress can’t even guess at each other’s languages. I was amazed at the success of our communication without the use of words. The waitress took a table of people from the other side of the world and was able to help us order and pay without any problems. People are really incredible.
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Topics: China, Hope Foster Home, service learning, laughter, Theresa Thimons, Beijing

About this Blog

In Bearcats on the Road, students chronicle their lives while studying abroad or completing internships away from campus.

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Current Bloggers 

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Hi! My name is Gianna Boburka. I am an international business major with minors in operational excellence and entrepreneurship. I will be studying abroad in Thessaloniki, Greece, this summer for five weeks. In addition to taking two classes abroad, I will be exploring many different sites around Greece.

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Theresa Thimons is a sophomore majoring in mathematics. She is the proud little sister to nine siblings and aunt to seventeen nieces and nephews. Theresa believes that each encounter she has with another human is an opportunity to better understand the heart of Jesus, as every person is the result of God’s love. In whatever career path she ends up taking, she looks forward to solving problems and hopefully inspiring more people to explore the world of fun that is found in math.

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My name is Sam Geer. I’m from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, and I’m a junior at Saint Vincent. I’m getting my major in Environmental Science and minoring in Public Administration. I’m a work study at the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve and am a member of the Benedictine Leadership Studies Program. This summer, I'll be traveling to Bhutan in the Himalayas of Central Asia, home of the bearcat, where I’ll be studying environmental sustainability and Bhutanese culture. 

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Hi! Im Gabrielle Kohl, an avid reader who loves to travel around the world! I love to experience new culture, literature, people and food. I aim to make a positive impact in the lives of people with whom I interact in order to make the world a happier place.

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Hi! My name is Nicole Berry and I am currently a junior studying communication and psychology. I also am minoring in children studies. I am a commuter and currently live in Delmont, PA. I am hoping to graduate in May 2017 and go on to graduate school for my Masters in Social Work and Juris Doctorate.

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Anastasia Jaeger is a junior English education major with a minor in German and a minor in peace and justice. She has always dreamed of being able to travel around the world and is thankful that Saint Vincent College has these opportunities available to students. When she is not at college, she is likely working her part-time job at a local bakery. In the future, she hopes to travel more and do humanitarian work or teach high school students English.