Olivia Leigh

A Blonde Abroad

Olivia Leigh

I'm currently a student at the University of San Francisco who has left the bay to spend the next five months studying in Malta.

Countdown to my weekend in Venice

Countdown to my Moroccan adventure

Africa » Morocco May 1st 2011

Hey everyone! I'm finally back from my two week vacation from vacation in Morocco. Before I start I just want to say that the families of the victims of the bombing at Argana Cafe in Marrakesh are in my thoughts. We had been there the night before and the staff, in true Moroccan fashion, was welcoming and friendly. The attack was not only shocking but appalling. Our trip began in Fez and right away we knew it was going to be a unique experience. Let’s begin with the fact that upon arriving at our riad we were forced to haggle with the owner who attempted to over charge us. After what felt like an hour of arguing we managed to get our room for the price listed online, not the 79euros he tried to charge us. ... read more
Our new outfits

Europe » Italy » Veneto » Venice April 5th 2011

Hey guys! Once again I'm sorry for the delay. The weather here has been beautiful and staying inside on the computer hasn't been on my list of things to do. Anyway let me fill you in on my weekend in Venice. First off let me say it was amazing and went by way too fast. Our first day in Venice was nothing special. We dropped our bags off at our hostel (Sleep Cheap at Francesca's B&B), which I highly recommend to anyone traveling to Venice, and went out to explore the city. Naturally the first thing we did was buy gelato and eat it on the Rialto Bridge. We then continued on and saw the main (free) sites including Piazza San Marco. That night we went out and experienced the Venetian version of Tapas called Cicchetti. ... read more
Headed to Murano
Opera - Rigoletto
Our New Friends

Europe » Malta » Gozo March 11th 2011

Sorry for taking such a long break from my blog but I've been stuck in a post-Carnival haze. By haze I'm referring to the cold that has taken over the residence. You would think being sick would make us all stop sharing food and drinks but it hasn't. I think most of us have just accepted the fact that this cold (and the cough that comes with it) isn't going away any time soon. In fact it has gotten worse since we all may have gone a little too hard for Carnival last weekend. I think I speak for everyone at the residence when I say it was well worth it. Carnival was amazing. During the day the streets were swarmed by parades of neon colored floats and intricate costumes. I have never seen floats like ... read more
Carnival during the day
Carnival at Night
Carnival at Night

Europe » Malta » Malta February 27th 2011

I've come to the conclusion that living in Lija is like living in a giant Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I've never seen so many bathroom design stores in my life. There is a 3 square block area of the town solely dedicated to these types of stores. These aren't your average run of the mill bathroom fixture stores either. Most of them are multi-story and stylishly decorated. Malta must have some of the trendiest bathrooms in the world. Which I actually wouldn't find surprising. Malta seems to have realized that much of the world doesn't pay attention to them. They are kind of like the forgotten middle child of Europe. No one notices their existence until something big happens like say Libyan pilots defecting to Malta followed by the appearance of possible Libyan war ships off ... read more
Denise's birthday
Sliema at Sunset

Europe » Malta » Malta February 18th 2011

Hey, I know it's been awhile since I've been active on my blog. I blame the horrible internet here at the Residence. I'm going to give one piece of advice to those who may plan to come and stay at the University Residence.....COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN, COMPLAIN. Honestly, it's the only way to get what you want here, otherwise the manager will ignore whatever issues may arise. For example our internet, it was horrible until a group of six of us went into his office and made a stink about it. The result? Two days later a man was in our flat fixing the problem. Also on this island people are either very helpful or couldn't careless. Any non-European who studies at the University or plans to get a visa has to present an X-Ray proving that they ... read more
Team Ireland
Feast of St. Paul's Shipwreck

Europe February 6th 2011

Let's start off by saying that I'm EXHAUSTED. I feel like people here never stop moving which results in me getting swept into everything....not that I don't love it. I've only been here a couple of days but it's amazing and so are the people I'm meeting. I rarely speak to any Americans (Cedirc being the exception) which means being surrounded by accents is beginning to take it's tole. I've caught myself thinking in an Irish accent as of today. Now you're probably wondering "why an Irish accent, you're in Malta." Well let me explain, I have been spending my days with two girls (and soon to be roomies) from Norway and about 4-6 kids from Ireland (one of which is also going to be my roomie). Since I rarely hear an American accent I'm getting ... read more

North America » United States » Pennsylvania » Bryn Mawr February 4th 2011

After nearly three weeks of arguing, frantic phone calls, and non-stop emailing my semester abroad is about to begin. Unfortunately I won't be headed to Lebanon (I will be sneaking over there for my Spring Break). Instead I'll be spending the next five months in Malta, which isn't too shabby of an alternative. When I mention that I'm going to Malta I get one of two reactions: "Where is that?" or "That's so nice. ____ went there." For those of you who would ask the former, Malta is a small country (11 miles at its widest) in the Mediterranean located between Italy and Tunisia. At this point most people mention how worried or nervous they are to take off to another country for a semester. To be honest, all I can think about is how I ... read more

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