JWU Student Blogs

First Impression of Koblenz!

Saturday June 29th, 2013

What we did today, Sunday - June 30, 2013

Another busy day, we watched an elephant show, played with elephants, rode elephants, rode in ox carts, floated down a river on bamboo rafts, and ate bugs at the Ratchadamnoen Street - The Walking Street Market in Chiang Mai.

Are Things Different Here or What?

Who would’ve thought that even karaoke is different here! Back in the States, karaoke usually means you have to stand on stage in front of a bunch of strangers and sing your heart out while watching a tiny screen waiting for the lyrics. Here in Korea, you and your group of friends get your own room with a huge television, microphones, an awesome sound system and even a disco ball! The fee is usually 15-25 dollars per hour and that is split between you and your friends. It is just amazing that you can have an unbelievable time singing and dancing with your friends for just 5 dollars! You never have to worry about embarrassing yourself in front of people you don’t even know ever again!

Surviving Seoul: The Challenge

Last week our professors handed us a paper half in english half in Korean and said we had one day to go out and take pictures of these thing and places after we decoded the message. So yesterday my assigned group all met and decided to decode the lengthy document from Korean to English and strategically map out our intended route for the following morning.

Hyundai Motors Industry

Amalgamation: The Real South Korea


Hey Everyone, my name is Laurie and I’ll be traveling to Koblenz Germany for four weeks to study abroad in the wine training program.

Hyundai Heavy Industry

It’s time to almost leave, endless hours of packing, planning, and double checking; seems to never stop the thought of… did we forget something? Somehow we got the feeling nothing can prepare you for shock that comes with traveling to a whole new world. Our travels this summer will take us to South Korea, and as with any school trip there will be some learning involved. We of course were very excited to learn that for our studies, we will be visiting and learning about Hyundai. Our first reaction to learning this was “oh sweet, we get to see cards made.” Nope. Wrong Hyundai.

Singapore - second week.

It has been a whirlwind experience. We’ve finished our second week In Singapore with activities from dusk ‘til dawn. This week we had Sunday off.

Good Bye United States, 안녕하세요 한국!

After months of waiting, South Korea, the land of kimchi, cars, and karaoke is finally upon us.We are students from three different Johnson & Wales University campuses.We all are seniors, so we have been around the bush a few times.We have traveled and gotten to know different cultures, but as far as South Korea is concerned, there are many things we, and many Americans, simply don’t know about this country, or about it as a nation.

Singapore - Arab Street

Along with eating a traditional Malay Halal meal….mmmmmmmm., Our study abroad class to Singapore visited Arab Street today and had lunch at a Halal restaurant. Here are pictures of the mosque as viewed from the Malay Heritage Centre, and a picture of Chef Bryan photographing the class.

Singapore - lodging


Last Saturday the graphic design Italy group took a day trip to Tuscana, Italia, which included a tour of the Salcheto vineyard and wine cellars. Salcheto is extremely unique in the way they produce wine and manage their vineyard and facility. Salcheto strives to be as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible and are carbon free. Their carbon footprint is so small it is almost invisible! All their grapes are hand picked in three rounds throughout the season. On the top of the building there are these dome alien-craft looking objects that catch sunlight but also double as a way to transport the grapes from the vineyard to the first stage of processing. The dome-shaped objects catch and carry sunlight from the roof of the building all the way to the bottom most level of the cellars. The domes also lift out of the roof and act as a tunnel for the grapes to go into their first fermentation vats where they are skinned.

Summer Break!

(Picture of the resort)

Singapore - Monday, June 10, 2013

Johnson & Wales Graduate

Hello All,

Don’t let the Dunkin’ Donuts Outside of the Arrival Gate Fool You - A Note to Current and Future Students of the South Korea Study Abroad

Dear South Korea Study Abroad Student (present and future),

Arrived in Hong Kong

We lost a day. If you find it, please return it to its rightful owner.

"Mom, call me! I got into the South Korea Study Abroad"

Above is the exact text message I sent my mother the moment I was accepted to the program in South Korea. I sent her this message without any thought except for my excitement. Yet, looking back I remember when I was in Junior High and the ability to instantly send an SMS message through your phone was a huge deal. I had no idea that one of the companies leading the forefront of that advancement would be a company that I would get the chance to visit in South Korea: SK Telecom.

A Whole New World: Panmunjeon JSA

Yesterday I took a tour of the JSA which stands for Joint Security Area between South and North Korea. A few months ago anyone that turned on the news would have heard threats from King Jong-Un the current leader of North Korea talk about possible attacks on not only South Korea but on the United States. Luckily some of that tension has died down but the truth still stands that the relationship between North and South Korea is forever one of tension and strong emotion.

To say that I have experienced anything like it in my life would be far from the truth. The reservation for the tour had to be made 5 days ago for a background check. There was a very strict dress code that must be followed the day of the trip; including no unkempt hair, no sandals, no shorts, no jeans, and no sleeveless shirts. When we finally got off the bus we were brought into a small room with a PowerPoint set up, we were asked to read and sign a long document basically stating that if we did something to provoke North Korea things were not their responsibility but they would do their best to protect you. As I sat there reading over the document things suddenly became much more real for me. After signing we watched a video about the history between not only North and South Korea but about the military base we were currently on and why things were the way there were.

We then boarded a new bus with two South Korean soldiers carrying some type of large gun slung over their shoulder. We arrived to a series of small buildings and were told that half of the room was South Korea and the other half was in North Korea. We entered the building and technically went to North Korea, we were inside for about 5 minutes. As we left I overheard a group of high school boys say “that was it? well that was stupid,” unfortunately I think that because things were calm and safely handled the boys were unaware of the severity of the situation. Looking back you could see 4 North Korean soldiers watching our every move with binoculars.

For me it was a truly new experience and one that only gave me a brief glimpse of what it must be like for the citizens in North Korea as well as the countless families who have been divided between the two countries and those who have defected. It was an experience I won’t forget anytime soon.

South Korea

South Korea

I arrived a few days ago after flying out of Rome to London and then onto Seoul, South Korea. Exiting the terminal I was definitely overwhelmed, even though I thought I had this whole travel thing down pat. I pulled out printed directions to my hostel and tried to make sense of the airport signs. I walked over to an information counter to ask where to get the bus and immediately realized she spoke very little English. After a few hand signals and pointing I figured out where I was supposed to go. This conversation immediately reminded me of a lesson in Professor Varlaro’s class about something like 93% of a conversation is nonverbal, so maybe there is hope for me surviving here after all!

I was welcomed at my hostel with open arms by a native South Korean named Roy who made me feel like his home was mine as well. I dropped my bags and went out to explore. The city is truly a mix of old customs, culture and a youthful population leading the country in modern innovations and technology. Standing in front of City Hall you can see the Bukhan Mountains, the palace of Deoksugung and modern glass skyscrapers.

Now for the food; I have always loved Korean food but the food I have had here is obviously better than anything I have ever had in the states. Ordering is an adventure within itself, 3 out of 4 times I have ordered something completely different than what I thought; for me that’s all part of the adventure.

I’m getting very excited for the start of my program which is July 10th and joining other students. More to come soon, thanks again for reading!

Nobantu Centre Donations

A few weeks ago our Professor encouraged us to put together a few items to donate to the Nobantu Centre, located in the Mfuleni Township which we will be visiting during our program abroad. Everyone in the program jumped at the opportunity to give back to the community that would be hosting during our study, gathering dental, medical, and school supplies. As you can imagine, we didn’t all have the financial means to purchase supplies on our own, so many of us did small fundraisers and asked for donations. Astonishingly, after reaching out to the members of my church I raised nearly $800 and was able to purchase a large amount of recreational equipment for the Nobantu Centre.


My name is Kyle and, as you probably already know, I’ll be studying abroad in South Africa in just a few days. I wanted to introduce myself before I leave so it will be easier to follow me throughout this trip. As you probably know from my bio, I’m going into my junior year as a Culinary Arts and Food Service Management major at the Providence campus. What my bio won’t tell you is that I’m only 18 years old and this will be my first time outside of the country. Taking advantage of JWU’s early enrollment program, I was able to start at JWU’s Charlotte campus when I was only 16; fast forward two years, and here we are!

The Backpacking is Over but The Journey Has Just Begun

I remember so clearly leaving JFK Airport in NYC thinking how far off South Korea was; as it was the last leg of my journey. Yet, here I am snuggled into a cozy hostel in the heart of Seoul’s Jongrogu district.

A Pan-Asian Culinary Adventure

In exactly one week, JWU students will be flying to Singapore for three weeks and then Chiang Mai for one week to study abroad with At-Sunrice GlobalChef Academy; our class encompasses students from all of the JWU campuses. The journey lasts for four weeks. This blog will cover our travel, culinary classes, and experiences in Singapore and Thailand. I’ll check-in on Saturdays to keep you abreast of each week’s activities. For the day-to-day adventure, follow me on my personal blog where I share my/our experiences in greater detail.