Saying Goodbye

Today was the last day in Slovenia unfortunately; however, I had a fantastic time. We toured the company called Elan. It was very fascinating watching them produce the skis and snowboards. There was so much attention to detail in each step. After our visit, we visited Lake Bled and all that it had to offer. This was one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been to in my life. The water was so blue, and the castle was gorgeous. I was also very happy to ring the bell in the church for a wish. We were treated to some fantastic food. I really enjoyed the cream cake, which is known to this region. It was an amazing day overall that I will never forget.

The trip as a whole has been an unforgettable experience. I have seen so many things that I had not before or would ever see. Each company was unique in its own way, and I was able to learn something new from each visit. I want to try and use what I learned to shape my leadership style. I was also very grateful to have been immersed in the Slovenian culture. Being a major in another language, I always love to learn about different cultures and their languages. This experience really excited me since I had never learned Slovene. I was able to learn some phrases throughout the trip and communicate with some locals. I loved being able to do this! Meeting people really allows one to see more into the culture and world they live in. I have loved every second of this experience, and I am very sad to be leaving.

I have always been extremely nervous about studying abroad. It scares me to be on my own completely in a new culture. However, this experience has given me a lot more confidence. I know that I would succeed in a study abroad. In fact, I began looking into internships abroad during this trip. I would love to be able to go abroad again. It is such a unique experience.

I am so happy that I decided to join this trip. It was a wonderful experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

Emily Bridges

Experiencing new food

We were lucky enough to eat lunch at a castle today. It was a beautiful place with a lake out in front. The castle has been turned into a hotel and a restaurant. Everything was extremely elegant. I was very intrigued as to what we would be served. The first course that was brought out was a venison pate. I was very nervous to try this, but I still did. Although I did not like it too much, I am really happy that I tried it. This was something that I probably would not have tried in my life unless I had been given it at this restaurant. The next course was a cream based soup with a plant known to grow in Europe. It was delicious. Again, I would have not tried this in my life unless I had been served this at the restaurant. The entree course was a pork with potatoes and vegetables. This was the best pork that I have ever had. I really enjoyed having this. Finally, we had a fantastic chocolate cake with strawberry sorbet. Many of us agreed that this was the best dessert of the trip.

I have loved experiencing the many different meals of the trip. Food is an enormous aspect to culture. With the food, I am able to understand the culture of Slovenia more after each meal. It is such a wonderful culture, and I am so happy to have been immersed in it. The people are so nice, and they pay a lot of attention to every detail of the meal. An interesting trend of the culture is the lack of use of condiments. This is very different than the United States. Overall, I have loved exploring the culture of Slovenia through our meals.

Emily Bridges

A motivating story

Today we visited a very interesting company called Pipistrel. They produce lightweight airplanes which have the ability to glide. The beginning of the company was very interesting. The CEO began building a motor powered hang glider in secret due to the war. He smuggled in his parts from Italy to Slovenia. Once it was built, people began asking for them. He had never studied airplanes before, so it was amazing that he was able to do this. Now the company is super successful. In fact, they just made a big deal with China. This is a very motivating story. I know that I can do anything in my life. I love the motto for the company: to be successful, you need to set your goals too high. It is better to reach too far than not enough. This is something I want to keep in mind as I get older. This is pushing me towards wanting to intern abroad now. I have been hesitant in the past, but I have more confidence now after listening to this visit.

Emily Bridges

Biking to Croatia

We were allowed a free day while in Piran. Because Croatia is so close to Piran, a group of us decided to bike over there. It was a very long ride, but the views were beautiful. At one point, we were able to see the entire city of Piran from a distance. I loved all of the sites along the path to Croatia. Once we reached customs, we were a little lost about what to do. Luckily, this man helped us through. He even led us along a bike path and told us where the closest city was. He was extremely nice and even tried to fix my broken seat on my bike. While we were talking, he emphasized something that I have learned during this trip: if you have the chance, go abroad. Learning a new culture is such a wonderful experience, and it gives me many new perspectives on things in life. It is also helping me in choosing what I want to do later on in life. As he said, do not hesitate because that will make you not do it. I really would like to study abroad again after talking with him. Overall, Croatia was a great experience, and I am really glad that I went.

Emily Bridges

Getting lost in the streets of Venice

Today, our group traveled from Piran to Venice. We began on a boat ride for three hours. Once there, it started to rain sadly, but I was still really excited to be there. We walked to St. Mark’s Square, and it was absolutely stunning. The buildings in this city are beautiful. There is so much detail in each one. I went into St. Mark’s Basilica. It was something that I never thought I would see, but I am so glad that I was able to go. I was shocked at all the detail inside, and I could not stop looking at all of the different pieces. I want to go back there eventually.

The biggest take away from the day came from when I got lost in the streets of Venice. The city acts like a maze almost, and there is something new down every alley and street. I ventured through the different alleys and looked at the different shops. My favorite by far was a costume shop that had many different masks. After wandering around for over an hour, I began to wonder if the people who lived there still noticed the beauty of the city. This is such a special place with wonderful things in it. I was in awe everywhere that I went, and I am really curious if the people living there still notice the little things. I really hope so because it was an amazing city. I am so happy that I was able to go, and I really would like to go again some day!

Emily Bridges

Hidria visit

Hidria is a company that produces parts for cars. They have a complex system that they use in order to produce the best product possible. I was so shocked at how many steps they must take in order to produce one product. It was very complicated, and I never realized all of the steps that must be taken in order to produce a single part. The process is also very costly, so I was surprised to find out that each part only cost seven euros. It was amazing seeing all the detail and work go into a single piece for that little of a price. However, this shows that Hidria is wanting to produce the best possible product. Plus, the cost of the machines used to produce the product is divided out among all of the pieces, significantly decreasing the cost of a single piece. This was a very interesting visit because it was something I had never seen before.

Emily Bridges

The market at Ljubljana

Today, I decided to go to the local market at Ljubljana. The architect Pleĉnik designed this market to be open for all. It is a great gathering place; according to our guide, the best day to come is on Saturday because the whole town gathers at the market. I really wanted to go because I wanted to experience it and purchase the fresh fruit. There were so many stands at the market along with a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. I really wanted to purchase strawberries because it is currently strawberry season in Slovenia. The vendors were so nice, and they let me try different strawberries. I also practiced more of the language by speaking to them in Slovene because one vendor did not really speak any language. It was a very cool experience, and I was able to buy two cartoons of strawberries. They are fantastic, and I am so happy that I went! I definitely will be going again on this trip.

Emily Bridges