a day and a half in venice

Venice! What a charming city and relaxing haven from more fast-paced destinations in Italy. There’s enough culture and history in Venice to spend an afternoon in search of the historic sights, namely bridges and basilicas, and taking the vaporetta or water bus to the neighboring islands of Murano and Burano feels like a mini-adventure itself. Here are my best tips for exploring Venice in a day and a half.

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district culture: not to miss this month of may

There is so much to do this May in DC. Maybe it’s the nice weather we’ve been having lately, or the surplus of arts and culture events on the agenda that is really making me feel the FOMO. Every weekend there is so much going on to take advantage of. Time to get out and start enjoying!

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exploring Iceland in two feet of snow

So, this post is just a tad delayed, but as I’m trying to get back into blogging, I figured my thoughts on Iceland were still worth sharing. Another reason I write these posts is so that I can better remember my own travel experiences, and so that I can easily look back on them – I would highly recommend doing this!

One of the many highlights of Iceland, and what propelled me to venture out there in the first place, was the Northern lights. My cousin and I first saw them faintly streaking across the sky from the Blue Lagoon one night. They weren’t as paramount as they were on our bus tour, but on a clear enough night it is definitely possible to get a glimpse of them from the Lagoon. The next evening we took a tour bus outside of Reykjavik into the middle of nowhere in hopes of getting an even better sighting of them.
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art adventures in washington dc: be a tourist in your own city

I opened a fortune cookie the other week that told me “you live your life in art.”

Here are some of my favorite things to do in the city when I feel like going on an adventure, or looking for inspiration.

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How to leverage your abroad experience on job interviews

Bordeaux, L'Opéra
Bordeaux, L’Opéra

Lately going on job interviews has been bringing me back to my adventure-filled days in France. Every question I get asked from “How do you deal with stressful situations?” to “What qualities best describe you?” and every open-ended prompt they pose, be it “tell me about a time you met a challenge,” or “What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned so far,” causes my mind to jump to my experiences exploring the globe.

Whether it was trying to maneuver my way through Gare de Lyon with luggage that weighed as much as I did, or sorting out my French bank account in a village where no one spoke English, like any other serious traveler, I’ve inevitably met plenty of situations which qualify as challenging, stressful or trying.

So does studying abroad or living abroad help you get a job? Is there any relation between that instance when you were trying to navigate the metro system in Budapest, or that time when you got lost in Paris to working and solving problems in the “real world”? In my opinion and based on my anecdotal evidence, the answer is that it depends. It depends on how skilled you are at communicating how these experiences translate into skills and traits that employers are looking for in a candidate.

Maybe figuring out a foreign transportation system doesn’t necessarily translate into success in the working world, but convince an employer of your resourcefulness and ability to solve problems under pressure that you learned while abroad… now you’re speaking their language.

For example, when an interviewer says, “Wow, you lived abroad in France for eight months, that must have been so exciting,” it opens the door for you to elaborate on your study abroad or work abroad experience and what you learned from it. Say something like, “Yes, it was an exciting learning opportunity. Living in a country where I didn’t speak the language taught me how to step outside of my comfort zone on a daily basis in order to learn the language and integrate into a new culture.”

There you go; chances are that in most work environments you’re going to be learning skills you might not yet be totally comfortable with and trying your hand at some new tasks. Having the ability to communicate with a variety of types of people, both colleagues and clients, is also a relevant skill to most any workplace. If you’re able to illustrate these examples (maybe some of them being from your time abroad), then you’ve just subtly informed your interviewer that you’re a candidate with the skills they want.

What have you learned while abroad that has helped you in your career?

Xxx

-Lafilleamericaine