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Ciao! Hola! G’day! Bonjour! from Observer Passport!

| Monday, September 19, 2011

Greetings from across the globe! While most Notre Dame students are busy on campus taking classes, tailgating and cheering on the Fighting Irish, hundreds of Domers are around the world studying abroad for the semester. The Observer is proud to have six of its staff members spread across three continents and six nations this fall. To keep up with their adventures, we decided to launch the Observer Passport.

Studying abroad is a two-word phrase for a reason: studying is balanced with the experience of living abroad in a foreign country. As much as the six of us enjoy taking classes, our time away from South Bend will be remembered most for the rich cultural experiences we not only observe, but are also a part of.

With the Observer Passport, we will show you what we do, see, eat, hear and learn in our time away from the Dome. Essentially, this blog is your passport to see the world in the way we will for the next semester. We hope you will travel with us often, as something new happens every day.

Below are the six contributors you will get to travel the world with via the Observer Passport:

Sam Stryker is a junior from Knott Hall majoring in Television. He is studying in Rome, Italy for the semester and is most excited to sample every flavor at Giolitti’s, the most famous gelateria in the Eternal City. While in Europe, Sam eagerly anticipates spending his birthday in Prague and traveling to Barcelona and Vienna. If you want to learn more about Sam’s Italian adventures, check out sampqr.wordpress.com.

Matthew Robison is a junior from Stanford Hall majoring in Psychology and Management Entrepreneurship. He is studying in Fremantle, Australia for the semester and is most excited to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef. Before returning stateside, Matt will venture to Bali, Indonesia, Sydney, New Zealand and Fiji. If you want to learn more about his time in the “land down under,” check out his blog at www.rhobes.tumblr.com.

Megan Finneran is a junior from Ryan Hall majoring in Pre-Medicine and Spanish. She is studying in Puebla, Mexico for the semester and is most excited to reach the point when she no longer gets lost walking to the bus stop and can finally understand her host brother’s Spanish. Her semester will be spent taking classes and shadowing doctors in hospitals. If you want to learn more about Megan’s Mexican adventures, check out meganymexico.blogspot.com

Chris Allen is a junior from Alumni Hall majoring in Accountancy. He is studying in London, England and interning with the National Football League’s United Kingdom office. Chris is hoping to become a regular at a local pub and not to lose his umbrella in rainy Londontown. While in Europe, Chris hopes to channel his inner Colin Farrell in Bruges and watch his favorite soccer (football) teams across the continent. You can follow his European adventures on Twitter @callenND.

Kristen Durbin is a junior from Pangborn Hall majoring in Pre-Professional and American Studies. She is studying in Toledo, Spain for the semester and perfecting her Spanish skills by talking with the locals about food. She is especially excited to sample all the delicious tapas and sangria Spain has to offer. Kristen is eagerly anticipating trips to Prague and Cinque Terre. If you’re interested in learning more about Kristen’s Spanish experience, you can visit irishentoledo.wordpress.com

Maria Fernandez is a junior from Lewis Hall majoring in Political Science. She is studying in Angers, France this semester and is excited to wander around the streets of France, sit and drink coffee at bistros and live “La Vie en Rose.” Maria plans to visit many of France’s unique provinces and towns and also hopes to also travel to Florence, Barcelona and Brussels while abroad.