Hannah Altman is a junior photography major from New Jersey.
Hannah Altman is a junior photography major from New Jersey.
Mackenzie is a Pittsburgh based portrait photographer and is currently a junior at Point Park University majoring in photography. She has gained experience throughout her career by maintaining an online business, and working with and expanding her clientele. Succeeding college, she aspires to work as a fashion photographer, as well as continuing freelance photography. As for the trip, she is most looking forward to being able to capture and experience the different places and cultures!
5.7.16 Pre-trip Blog Post
Tomorrow is the big day! I can’t believe it’s already here. I don’t think it’s quite hit me yet that we’ll be in Europe in less than two days but I’m sure it will start feeling more real very soon. I’m mostly packed but I still have a bit to get done. My boyfriend is graduating from California University of Pennsylvania today so I’m going to have a full day ahead of me. Between the ceremony and celebratory dinner, I won’t have much time to prepare before tomorrow. Thank God for checklists! There are so many questions racing through my mind but I’m really trying not to stress too much. I just want to make the most of every moment and take it all in. This is such an incredible opportunity and I can’t believe how lucky I am. I know it’s going to be hard leaving my family and I’ll probably ball my eyes out when they drop me off at the airport but it will all be worth it. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep in contact with them periodically throughout the trip. It would be even more difficult if I my two best friends weren’t going to be with me on the trip. I feel like they’ll help to make me feel less homesick. Overall, I have a really great group of people to be around for the next two weeks. Everyone seems to get along really well so I’m sure we’re going to make tons of memories together. It’s going to be such a unique experience. I’ve traveled out of the country before but I was never old enough to really appreciate it. Amsterdam, London and Bruge are all places I’ve always wanted to visit and I absolutely cannot wait to see what each place and experience have in store for us!
Blog Day 1 | 5.8.16 / 5.9.16
These past two days have actually felt like one very long day so I decided to combine them into one blog post. My mom, dad, brother and boyfriend dropped me off at the airport at 1:00 p.m. and it was a teary eyed goodbye. I’m extremely close with my family, which made it hard to watch them leave knowing I wouldn’t see them for two weeks. Once everyone arrived we got checked in and thankfully my luggage weighed 48 pounds; only two pounds under the maximum weight but I did it! The first flight to JFK airport was a breeze. It honestly felt like we were in the air for five minutes. During our layover I exchanged my American money for Euros and me, Kristen, and Madison went and to pick up something to eat to bring back to the gate. Little did we know, the flight started boarding right as we got our meals so we had to run back to the gate! The flight to London wasn’t too bad. It was a little irritating trying to get in a comfortable enough position to sleep but I was able to doze off a couple times. It was so odd flying over night because when we landed it still felt like the same day. Customs were a bit of a drag since my carry-on was so heavy but coming into baggage claim to see everyone’s luggage already set aside was a nice surprise! A large chunk of the day was spent site-seeing from the coach bus since we were stuck in some London traffic. I was just in awe of how different it is here than back home. We got to stop for a quick bite to eat near Big Ben but we didn’t get to see it up very close so hopefully we’ll get to go back at some point. Then we stopped at St. Paul’s Cathedral and took some photos. After that, around 3:00 p.m., we arrived at the hotel. I was particularly happy because, as much as I wanted to, I could barely keep my eyes open on the bus. Jet leg got me good. We had a few hours before we had to meet with the group so Madison and I listened to some music and got ready for the night in our room. At 5:30 we met with everyone and discussed our plans for the upcoming days in London then we all walked to dinner together. The restaurant we ate at was called North Sea Fish, which is known for their classic fish and chips dinner. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it but I was pleasantly surprised! The desert, Apple Crumble, was phenomenal as well. After we finished we just came back to the hotel. Now it’s finally time to sleep!
Blog day 2 | 5.10.16
I woke up feeling insanely sick to my stomach this morning and, after holding it back for some time, I actually threw up right before we left the hotel to go tour. I still felt a bit queasy on the tube but I continued to feel better and better as the day went on, thank goodness. I was nervous I had the flu so I was glad it didn’t stick around to long. First we went to Buckingham Palace, which was neat to see and then walked through a really beautiful garden to watch the changing of the guards. It wasn’t really what I was expecting it to be but I honestly enjoyed seeing the horses more than anything. Then we made our way to the Tower of London. I wasn’t expecting a huge castle! It was really incredible. Me, Kristen and Madison were in a bit of a rush because we had to leave to make it in time for our appointment at the Warner Brother’s Harry Potter Studio Tour at 4:00 p.m. that was a little over an hour away and we wanted to make sure we made it there as early as we could. The only part of the tower we got to see was the crown jewels but they were absolutely magnificent. I can’t even imagine how much they’re all worth. After we left the tower around 2:00 p.m. we made our way back to the main road to find a taxi. It wasn’t a very difficult considering they’re literally everywhere you look. We made it to the studio with time to spare! We were all extremely emotional and it really hit me once we got there. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan so this was one of the most life changing experiences I’ve ever had. That sounds a little dramatic but I would recommend it to anyone who has the chance to go, even for those who aren’t Harry Potter fans. I could go on and on and on about how incredible it was but I’d probably need a separate website to explain it all. I was so overwhelmed with happiness throughout the whole studio. It was a million times better than I could have ever imagined. We were there for around four hours but I could have spent a week there and still been overjoyed and intrigued. We were actually the very last ones to leave that day. Once we finished, we came back to the hotel, ate some nachos and pizza in the hotel restaurant and hit the hay.
Blog Day 3 | 5.11.16
Today was full of London media visits. I was anxious to see what they were going to be like since I’ve never been to one before. Battenhall was the first place we visited. It’s a public relation agency that has many talented, young individuals who are very passionate about what they do. They come from all different backgrounds and cultures, which makes them more diverse. They also stressed the importance of being multimedia savvy. In today’s world, you almost have to be able to know your way around most technology. I really enjoyed Drew’s, the founder and CEO of the agency, presentation. I thought he had some great insight, especially for students. He gave good advice on how to go about getting a job after college and how to make yourself stand out. The other employees who presented had some good advice as well and overall, I really liked the agency and what they stand for. The second places we visited is called BMB and it’s a advertising agency. My first impression was that their sense of style, as far as interior design goes, is amazing. Props to whoever decorated their office because it was gorgeous. Each employee who presented was very different but I could tell they had qualities that were clearly important and add to the success of the agency. If I were in advertising and living in or around London, BMB would be the place I’d want to be. Everyone is clearly doing very well and seemed to thoroughly enjoy it as well. The presentation from BMB’s founder and CEO, Trevor Beattie, was definitely something I wont forget. He is probably the most successful person I’ve met so far in my life so I feel really lucky that I was able to listen to all he had to say. He just seems so passionate about life and making the most of it. His creativity is exuberant and you could tell he cared about sharing his knowledge with us. Both of the visits were extremely beneficial for me and I feel that I’ve truly gained so much. Those were just a few highlights from the visits and even though I’m not a PR or advertising major, there are tons of information I took and will apply to different aspects of my life in the near future.
Blog Day 4 | 5.12.16
Today is the day we left the beautiful city of London. We had some time before we had to get on the bus to get to the ferry that took us to Brugge so we decided to go back to Big Ben. We stopped briefly at West Minster during our first day in London but didn’t really get the chance to walk very close to Big Ben or see what was around. We had some trouble getting there on the tube but we figured it out. We only had a little time to walk around and take photos but it was definitely worth it to go back. Then we came back to the hotel and got on the bus for the cliffs of Dover to take the ferry. Because of all of the security we had to go through, we actually missed the first ferry and had to wait for the next one. I was expecting a somewhat small, simple ferry but the boat was actually much bigger than I thought it would be and had a lot of amenities. The ride was about two hours long but it felt faster since we were able to eat and walk around the boat. We actually docked in France so it was cool to see some of their land on our way to Brugge. The bus ride was another hour and as soon as we arrived in the town, I fell in love. We weren’t even seeing the best parts yet and I already knew it was special. The hotel we are staying at is called Hotel Jacobs. It has the classic Brugge exterior and rooftop with a really modern mixed with classical interior. Since we missed the first ferry, we were running late for dinner so after dropping off our luggage, we met back up with the group to go eat at Bistro Den Huzaar. I wasn’t too crazy about the chicken but everything else was amazing. Once everyone finished eating, we walked around the streets and explored a bit. Everyone was really just in awe of this place that seems like the perfect fairytale.
Jacqueline Roberts is a New Yorker attending school in Pittsburgh, pursuing her dreams in travel, lifestyle & fashion. An avid reader of All Things Condé Nast, especially Vogue and Traveller. A junior Journalism major at Point Park University looking forward to visiting the top international media sites, specifically in London, Bruges and Amsterdam. Expecting to take cliché photos in a red phone booth in London, in front of Big Ben, dancing in a field of tulips while eating chocolate in Amsterdam and casually riding in a gondola on the canals in Bruges. Follow us, our digital Polaroid camera, and whatever else we can stuff into our carry-on on this two-week journey across Europe! Stay tuned to see photos and updates on our Instagram page, Imported Melanin.
Harley Skibicki is a 21-year-old junior studying Multimedia and Advertising & Public Relations at Point Park University. This has allowed her to design the T-Shirts for this trip along with helping run this website. Harley Loves to travel and throughout the years she has been lucky enough to travel to Australia, London, Amsterdam, and (although still within the U.S.), Hawaii. She is excited to travel back to Amsterdam to see the beautiful architecture and use of waterways. She also loves food and can’t wait to revisit London for their amazing curry. Harley is also very interested in Art and is excited to soak up some inspiration from Amsterdam’s creative environment.
May 6, 2016
I have been so busy; it’s hard to believe that our trip is only two days away. Between my Barista Shifts, Freelance Designing, and obtaining this website I have had enough to keep my mind off of vacationing. Now it is time to pack!
Based on my previous International journeys, I have learned that it is so important to pack as light as possible. I am the one who will be lugging this suitcase from London, to Bruges, to Amsterdam, to America; and I know I’m going to fill it up with fun trinkets that I find along the way. It’s important to have extra space in your suitcase when you’re on your way out!
Right now I’m focusing on my carry-on. I packed up the two books I’m reading, my notebooks, pens, pencils, and markers, my MacBook Pro, portable charger, and a nice comfy neck pillow to help me through the flight. Along with my gallon sized bag of 3oz or less liquids, and some cough drops and melatonin, I am so set for the journey! (Even though this newly developing cough is very annoying). I also couldn’t forget about the chewing gum so my ears don’t pop as we ascend into the sky!
Though getting there will feel like forever, I cannot wait to be in Europe!
May 9, 2016
Today was very long. We arrived at Heathrow International airport at 8 AM and immediately began our day. Luckily I got about 4 or 5 hours of sleep on the plane. I don’t have trouble sleeping while traveling, and taking some melatonin surely helped. Some of us were not able to fall asleep on the plane ride and as the day progressed, it was easy to see who didn’t. As we were sightseeing on the coach bus I watched as my fellow travelers dozed in and out throughout the city of London. This tour gave us a great chance to grab photos if we were paying close enough attention and could duck the glare from the windows. I would have enjoied it more if I could have walked around and had more time at each place. Also, that bus ride was making me fall asleep!
After the tour we had some free time, so my lassies Jess, Lauren, Hannah and I went exploring. We made our way to into the University College London Union, (I’ve never heard of it either, but we were curious). Next we moseyed our way to St. Pancras Station and Renaissance Hotel. The whole reason why we decided to sneak our way into this place was based on its extravagance. I almost thought we weren’t able to get near it because there was security all around and the cars parked outside were so exorbitant. But that didn’t stop these misfits from giving ourselves a tour. For dinner we all met up and had some EXCELLENT fish and chips. This was my second time eating this classic English dish, but this was definitely the best. As said by my good friend Lauren, “If fish falls apart like that you KNOW it’s good.”
We had expectations to go out for a drink after dinner, but once we got to the hotel room to put some things down we couldn’t resist sleep. We had a long day and did so much. We deserved those 10 hours of sleep.
Hello! I’m Madison Krupp, a senior journalism major at Point Park University. I’ve lived in Pittsburgh my entire life and have experienced many great things here! I love writing, experimenting with my Nikon camera and adventuring with friends. I’m now 23-years-old (soon to be 24) and have plans to move to Charleston, South Carolina after graduation. I graduate this April 30, which is both scary and exciting! My dream job would be to work for a women’s magazine.
My name is Kristen Musloe and i’m a Pittsburgh based designer. I am a junior at Point Park University and I am in the process of earning a B.A. of Arts in Multimedia, and a B.A. of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising. I’m using my college years to gain experience in the world of communications and design. I am primarily a graphic designer and am in search of internships and other opportunities to expand my knowledge as a designer.
Emily is a recent graduate of the M.A./M.B.A program. As a graduate assistant with the School of Communication, she worked with Wood Street Communications, an initiative that serves Pittsburgh’s nonprofit community. The past two years Emily has worked with Helen Fallon on fundraising efforts for the John E. Fallon Jr. travel fund that helps reduce students’ travel expenses.
This is her third time traveling with the international media course. Previously she has visited London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon. She’s thrilled to be headed back to London (crossing her fingers she sees Princess Kate!) and is most looking forward to the fairytale village of Bruge.