Archive by Author

Parque del Retiro en el Día de Acción de Gracias ©Cassidy Olsen

Feliz Thanksgiving, todos

Thanksgiving is problematic, to say the least. I messaged a friend from home a meek “happy tgives” over Snapchat this year and he responded with “Happy genocide!!!!!!” and that about sums it up. Despite the holiday’s flat-out lie of an origin story about how much sharing we’ve done with Native Americans (you can support indigenous […]

Parque en Lisboa--no es muy relevante pero es bonito y el morado es un color de paz y unidad ©CassidyOlsen

One Week Later

CASSIDY OLSEN- I’ve talked a lot about election anxiety on this blog throughout the semester, but always with something of a smile and an eye-roll. “Oh, let it end!” I’ve cried, “Let’s all try to take care of ourselves and not get too worked up about the future. It will all be over soon.” As […]


Bilbao, Logroño and Fuenmayor

CASSIDY OLSEN- Is there a better way to recover from election anxiety and a long week of school and work than stuffing yourself with chocolate, tapas and Spanish wine? It might not be the healthiest coping mechanism, but it’s worked for me. The first weekend of November, the program took a trip to the north […]

©Cassidy Olsen

Bishops, Unions and Protest Signs

CASSIDY OLSEN- As the U.S. finally drags its heaving body over the finish line of this marathon of a presidential election, it can be hard, as an American, to think of national politics happening elsewhere in the world. We’ve been spectators to this grueling disaster for so long, we can’t look away now! But even […]

Lisboa (Portugal)

Dublin, Lisbon and Coming “Home”

CASSIDY OLSEN- Growing up in New Jersey, I was instilled with both a reverence of New York City, where things actually happened, and a weirdly playful but hurtful self-deprecation in response to all the cultural put-downs. Personal class issues aside, saying, “You’re right, we’re awful!” when anyone called my home state trash was kind of […]


Sorry, I Mean My Host Mom

CASSIDY OLSEN- On occasion, I’ll be speaking to my friends in Madrid or Skyping with my boyfriend back in the States and find myself referring to Manuela, my host mother in Madrid, as “my mom.” “Oh, my mom loves this show,” I’ll say. “My mom painted all the artwork in my house. My mom’s a […]

A public library in Madrid

Madrid Study Spots: They Exist!

CASSIDY OLSEN- For a typically hurried, overcommitted and poorly-rested American university student like myself, the first few weeks in Madrid can be alternatingly blissful and jarring. Seeing endless couples on leisurely walks and people of all ages chatting over tapas at terrazas on weekdays seems too idyllic to be true. I’ve found myself regularly asking, […]