Thanks for putting these comments on this new blog! We think it will be a valuable tool for you to express what you are learning and discovering in other countries and within other cultures. I and my colleagues hope it will ignite a passion within you to learn as much as you can about the diversity of this world we all inhabit, and share that passion with others.
Safe and happy travels!
Dean of International Programs
This is the opening to the cenote (sink hole) that we were able to rappel down into at Pac Chen
The temple at Chichen Itza
We returned from Mexico yesterday afternoon. The trip was so amazing! We visited Chichen Itza, Xcarat, Xel-Ha, Pac Chen, and many more places while in the Yucatan Peninsula. Each new place we visited offered a new and wonderful experience. Some of these experiences included visiting ancient Mayan ruins, snorkeling in undergroud rivers, and rappelling into a cenote (sink hole). I learned so much about the Mayan civilization and it’s history. I never could have imagined what an experience the trip was going to be. I can’t believe it’s over already. I will never forget this spectacular week in the Yucatan!
It seems as though the days just sort of blend together over here, with no definite end to one, or a clear-cut beginning. To start off Monday, we got up bright and early, for most it was around 7:30 am or so to start getting prepared for our first agency visit. Our first visit was with the JWT Groupe. It was very informative and a very cool visit. From their top floor meeting room, you had a view of all of Paris, it was incredible. We got out of that visit early, so we headed to the Louvre since it is closed on Tuesdays. Spent a solid two hours seeing all the Louvre has to offer: the Mona Lisa, Aphrodite, Madonna of the Rocks, and Napolean’s Apartments. The video is when you first walk onto the Louvre Campus, just a 360 degree view of how massive it is. The picture is inside the infamous Glass Pyramid. After the Louvre, we high-tailed it to the offices of BETC Europe where we received an amazing presentation on European Advertising and then got a tour of the Rooftop Lounge; once again with an amazing view of Paris! After BETC, it was time to play the Metro game and squirm our way back to the hotel. Now, just waiting to go out to dinner!
Join another group of Northwood students as they travel to the Yucatan… They’re already posting!!
Here they are at the Study Abroad orientation. With campuses in three states, we often communicate with each other via interactive TV.
Day 1: November 13th, 2008
We finally arrived at our gorgeous resort and we all bonded over our first dinner in the Yucatan. We are so excited to visit Chichen Itza tomorrow and the rest of Professor Harris’s itinerary. Hasta Luego!
Day 2: November 14th, 2008
Today, we left our hotel early and began a tiring, three hour long bus ride to the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. Upon arrival, our awesome tour guide, Hugo, informed us about all the sustainable actions taking place to insure the preservation of temples and other ruins. After leaving Chichen Itza and enjoying a Mexican buffet, we arrived in the colonial city of Valladolid. We visited a historic cathedral, which reflects the strong Spanish influence in the Mexican culture. Upon arriving back at our hotel, we enjoyed a late night swim in one of the pools and a walk on the beach.
Day 3: November 15th, 2008
On our second full day in Mexico, we visited the ecological park, Xcaret. While here, we snorkeled through an underground river and observed the aquatic life and the underwater caves. After snorkeling, we ate an extravagant lunch where we all tried new and exotic forms of Mexican food. The next couple of hours allowed us to separate and enjoy different parts of the park on our own. After our solo explorations, we met to watch an authentic Mexican rodeo. Our last attraction at Xcaret was a spectacular show that took us on a journey through Mexican history and culture from pre-Hispanic to modern day. The show gave us examples of the various culture found throughout Mexico.
Day 4: November 16th, 2008
Today began with more ancient Mayan ruins at the walled city of Tulum. Hugo provided us with a very in-depth explanation of the city and its history. From Tulum we traveled to Xel-Ha, where we were able to experience more snorkeling for a very quick two hours. Along our way down the inlet toward the ocean, there were two twenty foot cliffs that we were able to jump off of into the water. Following our extensive view of ocean life, we enjoyed another awesome Mexican buffet. Next, we were allowed to explore some of the surrounding areas of our hotel, including a near by marina that houses dolphins, during some free time. Currently, we are getting ready to enjoy dinner and then the night life in Playa del Carmen! Adios amigos!
After just a day in the great city of Paris, France, I can say that this town is so beautiful, the history, the design elements in the buildings, the style of the citizens. Our first day in the city was a very busy one, we walked almost 3 miles, because it is the best way to get around in such a busy city. We went on a boat through the river that goes through the city and were able to see plenty of major city buildings like the Notre Dame Cathedral and The Lourve, which is very large… by the way. There is so much in this city that merits a visit from any visitor I simply hope that I am able to see all the things I just saw on that boat ride while I am here. The advertising in Paris seems to be from a whole different perspective, the city has small billboards at about eye level when walking. They shift different ads periodically and seem to be a more direct message.
The time change is a major challenge to overcome, right now it is 9:42 A.M. in Paris time but in our time that we are used to in Michigan it is only 3:42 A.M. imagine that it feels like I am almost caught up to this major difference, its just difficult to contact the parents at home when I think it is a valid time, but is a horrible time for them because its 6 hours behind in their time.
The communication aspect of being in this city is a major challenge, I can now understand the importance of effective communication skills. When you previously had no knowledge of a language, such as French, and that is all the citizens speak is tough to get your point across. Some people understand basic English but the majority speak solid French and seem to be talking really fast, so it is hard to understand what they are saying.
There is so much that I want to do and see in this beautiful city, so I am going to leave my post at that, and then go out to explore the city a little more. I can’t wait until we are able to visit a business in the same industry of advertising to ‘pick their brains’ on advertising issues that I am sure are much different than the ones we face and hear about in Michigan
Thanks and I am going to have a blast in this town!