OIP Creates Site for Students to Blog From Abroad

This summer the Georgetown University Office of International Programs launched an official student blog for students studying abroad this fall.

Eight students were picked by a committee of students from the OIP to blog about their experiences abroad and relate a small taste of their travels to students back at Georgetown. The bloggers also received a $35-per-semester stipend for their efforts. A myriad of students studying around the world have been selected to blog about their abroad experiences.

Kristen Larson (SFS ’10), who is studying abroad in Italy this semester, said she wants her blogs to relate her experiences of the local culture.

“I try to make each blog an incisive essay on some aspect of Italian culture,” she said. “It usually ends up cynical, but I aim for sarcastic.”

Tineka Lebrun, Resource Center Coordinator for International Programs, said the students are supposed to blog every two weeks.

“Some of [the bloggers] write a lot, and others have yet to write,” she said. “This is the first time we’ve done [a blog], so we based it on what others schools had done.”

Currently, the blog receives an average of 30 hits per day, but the numbers keep growing.

“No country is heaven, but hell can be just as entertaining! As a result of writing my blog with that particular focus, I have started approaching the harder things involved in my study abroad experience with a better sense of humor, and I’ve started looking deeper, beyond myself, if you will,” Larson said.

– Bess Chapman

Organic Grab ‘n’ Go Is a Go

Grab `n’ Go renovations have given O’Donovan Hall both a fresh look and taste as the station has gone a little greener.

The takeaway food options have switched from Leo’s-made cuisine to new “Organic To Go” products from a company based in Seattle. Traditional options including salads, sandwiches, yogurt and granola, and fruit cups can still be found. New packaging and organic products have now been added to the menu, as well as more options available for vegetarian and vegan students.

“Leo’s has integrated Organic To Go offerings into the Grab `n’ Go program to meet Georgetown’s growing interest for organic, sustainable and natural products,” said Kendra Boyer, marketing coordinator for ARAMARK Higher Education. “As this program continues to develop, look for more environmentally friendly options.”

Ingredients in Organic To Go offerings are either all-natural or organic, Boyer said. In addition, the packaging is eco-friendly and made from corn.

New menu options this year include a buffalo chicken breast wrap, a caprese tomato mozzarella sandwich, a vegan-friendly Thai veggie wrap and a triple-decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Last year’s choice of non-organic chips, cookies, fruit and beverage options have remained the same, however.

Students have responded positively to the quality of the new food; however some have been critical of some smaller portions.

“Those small wraps are like a snack for big guys,” Tuan Trinh (COL ’11) said.

However, some were willing to make the trade-off.

“I think they’re smaller, but they look healthier and fresher, so that’s better,” Erin Mulholland (NHS ’11) said. “I really like the new choices. I like that there’re more salads and they seem to have a greater variety of flavor.”

Organic To Go, founded in 2004, now offers their USDA Certified Organic products at 33 cafés in the Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego and, most recently, the Washington, D.C. area, as well as service in 16 universities.

– Emily McGinnis

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