This blog has been created to share the College of Staten Island (CSI) students’ experiences around the world. Dolphins across the Seven Seas provides the opportunity for CSI students, staff, faculty and beyond to gain insight into the study abroad experience. Additionally, Study Abroad Peer Advisors provide reflections upon their experiences as well as advice to potential study abroad participants. CSI is the single senior college of the City University of New York (CUNY), located in the borough of Staten Island.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Top 5 Things To Eat In Seoul According To This Wannabe-Foodie by: Jonathan Saquisili

 1) SeolBing (설빙) - Mango Cheese Bingsu with Garlic French Toast
SeolBing is a popular dessert spot in South Korea that highlights its Bingus. Bingsu is a powdery snow dessert with an array of toppings. Above you see a Mango Cheese Bingsu with a side of Garlic French Toast. Sweet and Savory is key here -- this is an amazing combo. The small cup on the bottom contains condensed milk to add on top of the bingsu. A bingsu can range from 4,500-9,000KRW. Best way to eat a bingsu? Dig right in and mix it all up!

2) Budaejjigae (부대찌개) - Army Stew

Army Stew originated during the Korean War with leftover foods from the U.S. Army facilities. This stew is very hardy and filling. Some typical ingredients you’ll find are ramen, scallions, sausage, spam, kimchi, tofu and other ingredients. This soup does tend to be on the spicy side, so be sure to let the waitress know that you want little pepper paste if you don't do well with spicy foods. The spot I visited for this stew was in Dongdaemun.

3) ChiMaek (치맥) - Chicken + Beer
Thanks to the hit drama My Love From the Star, Chimaek (chicken and beer) has become very popular in South Korea. Restaurants that serve this meal can be found all over the place. This is a great meal to have with friends after a long week, enjoy by the Han River or even in your apartment. This is a very addictive meal as the chicken is not prepared like in the US; there is something very unique to the taste that I have not seen replaced in NYC’s K-Town.

4)Kup Bap (컵밥) - Cup Rice
The literal translation for Kup Bap is Cup Rice. This can be found in 노량진(NoRyangJin) a famous fish market in Seoul. This is a very popular meal that is enjoyed by school kids and adults. The typical ingredients are rice, spam, egg, pepper paste, sausage, yellow radish and kimchi. Again, this is on the spicy side, so be sure to let the vendor know that you don’t want a lot of spicy sauce. One of the best things is that meal is filling and costs anywhere between 3,500-4,000KRW.

5) Isaac Toast
Finding something for breakfast can be pretty difficult if you are used to sasauge, egg and cheese on a bagel. Thankfully, in Sinchon there is a place called Isaac Toast which serves a variation of toast sandwiches. The one I ordered was the Ham Special, ham, cheese, cabbage, sweet sauce and egg. One of the best things about this filling sandwich is that this comes in at less than 3,000 KRW

Despite all the food I listed nothing can beat a home cooked meal. On the last night before I headed back to the states I was able to stay at a friend’s house and ate his mom’s amazing cooking.

Amanda Ciaramella - Second Time’s the Charm: Feeling at home in Florence

        This year, I had the privilege of returning to Italy for a second study abroad experience.   I also studied in Florence last year, but as my first experience on my own in a foreign country, I had difficultly feeling comfortable.  After reentering Florence for the second time this past June, I was hit with a gust of nostalgia.  I remembered where my favorite gelato shops were, and I knew my way around confidently.  By the end of my trip, I did not want to leave!  Last year, I had felt very homesick, and although I loved Italy, there was no place like home.  This year, Italy became my home, and now, I desire even more travelling around Italy and the world.

Cinque Terre, or “Five Lands,” consists of a beautiful beach and scenic view.  This is one of my favorite sites; I highly recommend taking the hike to experience the full beauty!

I was reunited with my friends whom I met in Florence last year!  It is so exciting to hang out with local Italians!

I LOVE Venice!  There’s just something about being surrounded by water that feels so Italian to me!  The gondola ride is cute, but make sure to have a group of five or six since the boats are expensive.

When in Rome!  The Coliseum was probably my favorite part of Rome.   

I also went horseback riding in Tuscany!  Unfortunately I could not get a picture of myself since I was too focused learning how to ride a horse for the first time!


I was reunited with my Art Restoration professor from last summer!  He was like everyone’s adopted Italian grandfather!  

Lastly, here are my creations from my Sculpture class this year!  I took one of the cups home with me.  Unfortunately everything was very heavy so I was unable to bring it all.

Michelle Kushnir: 3 weeks in Copenhagen, Denmark!

This summer, I spent 3 weeks in the wonderful city of Copenhagen, Denmark. I never expected to enjoy myself as much as I did. The university I attended while I was in Copenhagen, the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS), made sure everyone felt at home, along with providing a class selection that I found remarkable. From this class selection, I decided to take Danish Greenspace, a class that focused on the landscape of Denmark and how it shapes their society. Not only did I get to experience Denmark to the fullest with this class, but it has also taught me to appreciate nature more. The people of Denmark take advantage of their scenic landscape and are always outside when the weather is nice. Whether they can be found at a park or a graveyard, they really enjoy the outdoors.

The food and atmosphere of Copenhagen was very different from what I experience here in Staten Island. The most popular food in Denmark is known as smørrebrød, which is just a slice of rye bread with fish on top. Most of the time the fish is smoked herring, but other types of fish are used as well. This doesn’t seem like the typical sandwich, but it was definitely worth the try. I even started making my own because I liked it so much. There was also a dessert that I would eat almost every day called flødboller, which is just a much better version of Mallomars. While the food was different from what I’m used to, it was still delicious. The culture itself also took me by surprise. Everyone wears all black and if it isn’t black, it’s another dark color. Red, orange or yellow are rare colors on the streets of Copenhagen. You would think wearing all black would look bland, but it made the Danes look sophisticated and stylish.

One amazing experience I will never forget from Denmark was the weekend biking trip DIS offered where you get to go to a different island of Denmark (the country has four islands), which was Bornholm. On this island, we were able to bike wherever we wanted. My group decided to go to a tiny city called Tejn where I had the best strawberry cake ever, and Svaneke where there were glass blowing, caramel shops, smoked herring and their very own brewery. While these cities were not the biggest, the culture that thrived there was fascinating and made the miles of biking worth it.

The main reason I wanted to go to Copenhagen was for its nickname, “Europe’s most eco-friendly city”. The city is known for its public transportation, where travelling by bus, train, or bike is supported while travelling by car is discouraged. Biking, specifically, is very popular in Copenhagen and wherever you go in the city, there are bicyclists everywhere. They even have huge parking sections for bikes because they are used so much. It gives the city a clean, spacious feel due to the little use of cars. Another way Copenhagen is eco-friendly is the creation of the many parks in the city. I went to so many different parks while in the city, and every time I felt like I was transported somewhere else. The people of Copenhagen really enjoy these parks, which preserve various amounts of nature so the city doesn’t turn into all concrete. This eco-friendly culture was pushed in order to make Copenhagen better, and it was successful, since most Danes are on board with preserving their city’s nature and enjoy the use of biking. Overall, my experience in Denmark was amazing and I cannot wait to go back.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Summer Snowfall in Morocco ~Joseph Perillo, Ifrane, Morocco

Going to Morocco for the summer was definitely the most significant, life-changing thing to happen to me, and I truly mean that. I didn’t even think that I would like traveling, but once you get a taste for it, you get the travel bug and you want to explore the world. The program I ended up choosing wasn’t actually one that CSI ran specifically, it was part of the College Consortium of International Studies (CCIS). It sounds complicated but the process was really simple. There’s this book of countries all over the world, and study abroad programs in each of them that you can participate in for a multitude of projects. I opened up the book, came across Morocco, and I was settled. For a short time I thought that the Thessaloniki program that CSI offers was for me, but Morocco seemed so interesting and foreign, and the thought of learning Arabic and having that under my belt was just too tempting to pass up.

Morocco itself was an amazing country. Al-Akhawayn, the university I studied and lived at for two months, was a fantastic place. Everyone in program was bunked up with a Moroccan student taking summer classes, and I had the pleasure of having the son of the program director as my roommate. We were as thick as thieves and hung out a lot in the local city of Ifrane, which is actually in the hinterlands of the Atlas Mountains, and it actually snowed when I was there in the middle of the summer. The program scheduled us two field trips, one to Marrakech, the famous historical city in Morocco with winding alleyways in its Old Medina, and the other to Merzouga, which was an oasis in the middle of the Sahara desert. While those two trips were indeed fun, I had my more memorable experiences on the weekend trips I planned with the friends I made there. Chefchauen, the blue city, was by far my favorite place there. I enjoyed it so much that I went twice with two different groups of people just because it was such a fascinating place.

One of the most intimidating prospects of studying abroad is getting into a program and funding it, but there are plenty of opportunities for one to get grants or scholarships. The CSI Center for International Service has plenty of scholarships and grants available to students for the programs they host; however, there are plenty of other funding opportunities outside of the CUNY system that they can get information for you on and assist you in applying to. The Gilman International Scholarship is one in particular because it is the one that I was awarded and allowed me to participate in this adventure. The application process was very straightforward; if you're a Pell Grant recipient, fill out a few pieces of information about yourself and write relatively short essays about why you think you should be awarded the grant to study abroad and your proposed follow-on project. 

Studying abroad changed my life, so much so that I have not stopped spreading the news about it since I came back. In fact, during the 2014 fall semester, I helped a classmate get information on studying abroad as well as do research for scholarships and grants, and she is currently studying abroad in Paris, France for the 2015 spring semester. Studying abroad is something every student should have the opportunity to do, and when in doubt on whether or not this is for you, remember that you only live once, so you might as well make it interesting.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Don’t Fret, You Haven’t Left Yet ~Study Abroad Peer Advisors, 2014-2015

Taking this trip you won’t regret, here are a few things you shouldn’t forget. Fear not, family and friends will be there for they love you most. Anticipate making new memories and friends along the coast! Whether it’s Italy, China or Ecuador, remember when packing – less is more! Be prepared before you go, you’ll never know if it’s rain or snow.

Soon enough you will leave, now we are en route overseas! It is time to go on a long flight, be comfy when you go, wear something light! Things will be different, from language to people – and keep in mind the currency will not be equal.  Learning from a different perspective is major; study, work hard & good grades you will savor.

Do your work & it will pay off, travel with friends on your day off.  From the Eiffel Tower to the Great Wall, to the Royal Guards that stand tall – the sky is the limit, you can see it all! Be aware of your surroundings and you’ll be fine, don’t put yourself in danger because you’ve drank too much wine. Moderation is key to having a good time, stay with your friends, don’t get lost in sublime. Taking this trip will change your life, take the leap, don’t think twice. If you’ve read this far, you’re certainly wiser - Bon Voyage from the peer advisors!

Steven Arriaga, Paris, France (summer 2014)
Thomas Giordano, Thessaloniki, Greece (spring 2014)
Amanda Ramos, Florence, Italy (winter 2014)
Alexis Rizzica, Florence, Italy (fall 2013)
Jessica Schoberl, Florence, Italy (winter 2014)

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Teeming Streets of Rome ~Katherine McSherry, Study Abroad Peer Advisor, London, England and Rome, Italy

Since my first study abroad program to London, England I have been unable to stop the constant desire to travel.  I set my sights on my next trip only three days after returning to the United States.  I decide to visit the birthplace of most European cities, Rome, Italy.  Rome has become a city that I will never truly leave.  I went to Rome during the summer of 2013 and studied for four weeks at the American University of Rome.  I took an anthropology class - what better way to see the historic city of Rome than with a professor who knows about every piece of history?  Through my class I was able to tour the city and explore ruins and sights that I would have never seen on my own, and I would have never discovered so much about Rome and its past without this class.  I was able to become immersed in two time periods, the Roman Empire and the Renaissance.  There was a stark contrast between the city’s ancient rulers, the roman emperor, and the early modern rulers, the popes.  These contrasts between the time periods became blurred when it came to art and architecture the city, which mixed old gods with the new and reformed the great buildings of the past into structures of the present. Rome became an ever evolving city of beauty and grandeur, behind each ruin was a story and behind each masterpiece was a ruin.  

Combing through museums, ruins, fountains, historical sights, piazzas, and churches, I was able to see the underbelly of Rome and discover the hidden mysteries of this ancient city. Places and sights I had only read about were suddenly standing in front of me as tall and real as the day.  Icons such as the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps were suddenly right in front of me.  I went beyond the usual tourist spots to find my most beautiful artwork in obscure galleries and tiny alleyway churches.  Rome is a city that provides constant entertainment, I could have walked down the same street one thousand times and still have found something new to discover and gawk at. 

Rome can be a leaping off point to other cities around Italy.  While in Rome, I was able to take trips every weekend to a new city: Mt. Vesuvius, Pompeii, Siena, Florence, Venice, Capri, and Sorrento.  I used the most of my free time so that I would be able to explore a new city within the walls of a fascinating country.  Italy is a country that is so diverse because it was, at one point, broken up into many city states each wanting to outshine the others through art and prestige.  Now these city states are cities with their own diverse history and culture to offer to visitors.  Places that almost ooze with the unimaginable, paintings so real that the images seem to almost move with their own hidden life and sculpture so alive it is like watching a play as you stare at their life like movements frozen in time. 

The people of Rome are the most helpful and gracious; most importantly they were always willing to give directions.  The city’s population is only paled by the amazing friends I made while on this program.  These people let me drag them around the city from one museum to another with pit stops at tiny shops and restaurants, and we did it all while sweating more than I imagined to be humanly possible, but laughing the entire way.  These are people who are truly wonderful and I am thankful to have met so many people who share the same passions as me.

While I have long since left Rome, there is not a day that goes by where I don’t remember walking through the teeming streets of Rome looking for adventure and beauty at every turn.  Rome is the eternal city with moments of time pressed between its pages I am glad to be a part of the city’s memory.