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Relays Edition

Students’ blogs strengthen experiences abroad

Juniors Megan Bannister and Hanna Bartholic have a lot in common: they’re both Drake students, their last names both start with ‘B’ and they have both seen Harry Potter’s Platform 9 ¾. Beyond that, however, Bannister and Bartholic share a love for blogging that grew during their semesters in Europe.

While some may use their blogs abroad for school credit, Bannister and Bartholic used them as a way to stay in touch with family and friends and for the personal perks.

“I like to blog because it’s a great way to stay in contact with everybody at home,” Bartholic said. Who is currently spending a semester in London, England.

“It’s (also) kind of a nice way for me to look back and see what I did. It’s almost for me as much as for them,” she said.

Bannister spent last semester in Barcelona, Spain.

“It (blogging) was a nice way to digitally scrapbook and have a nice little, not-so-much a journal, but something I could look back at and say, ‘Oh yeah, I did do that,’” Bannister said.

In each of their blogs, Bannister and Bartholic describe their travels, sightseeing and unique, random run-ins with the different cultures in Spain and England. When each girl wasn’t attending classes, pub-hopping with friends or visiting Harry Potter’s Ministry of Magic, they were blogging about it.

“The Barcelona city festival is in the fall, and there’s an event where people run through the streets with fireworks,” Bannister wrote. “It was an experience, especially for someone who’s kind of afraid of fireworks.”

“It’s never really a boring week,” Bartholic wrote. “There’s just a ton of things to see, and sometimes you’ll just be out and there will be this random festival going on, so you just ditch whatever plans you have and go drink with the Australians because it’s ‘New Zealand Day’ or something.”

Bannister and Bartholic, however, differ in the ways they began blogging. Bannister got her start blogging for Drake Magazine and using her own WordPress account. Bartholic, on the other hand, purchased her domain name last semester and used Apple’s webpage creating software, iWeb, to create her own website.

“I knew I wanted a website because I knew I wanted somewhere to put my portfolio for getting jobs and stuff,” Bartholic said. “It seemed like the perfect place to blog, too.”

Bartholic plans to continue blogging throughout the remainder of her semester in London. Visit hannabartholic.com to see her latest adventures and to see pictures of the things on her “London Bucket List” — which includes seeing Westminster Abbey and visiting Ireland.

Blogs of Bannister’s semester in Barcelona can be read at siestasemester.wordpress.com and in the Drake Magazine website’s archives.

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