Pres Girls From Around The World

Pres Girls From Around The World

Erika Ackley, Managing Editor

Check out these travel insights from different countries put together by some of our very own international Pres students! While it would be impossible to fit all of the countries that students here at Pres represent, here are some facts from a few of the many countries and cultures that make up our student body.


Josefine Ackley – Sweden

Must try food(s): Swedish pancakes or waffles with whipped cream and jam

Traditional/Staple food(s): Meatballs and mashed potatoes in cream sauce with lingonberry jam on top, pickled herring with dill potatoes, and lots of coffee and cookies   

Primary language(s) spoken: Swedish and English

Best City/Places to visit : Stockholm (the capital), Old Town (in Stockholm), the Archipelago’s, Ice Hotel (in the winter), Midnight Sun and Northern Lights, Viking Ruins

How long does it take to get there : About 11 to 12 hours by plane

Currency: Kronor (1 dollar is about 9 kronor)

Interesting Fact: Both waffles and cinnamon rolls have their own national holidays. Also, if you live in northern Sweden you have 24 hours of daylight in the summer and 24 hours of darkness in the winter  

Best time of the year to visit: May-September; February if you want to do the Ice Hotel

What not to do: You get in line for everything, there is no such things as cutting or making your way to the front of the crowd


Elizabeth Villa – Mexico

Must try food(s): Buñuelos; it is fried dough in the shape of a ball or a tortilla and is covered in syrup. From where my family is from, Michoacan, Mexico, we tend to eat it in the night as a late night snack. It is often eaten during Christmas season.

Traditional/Staple Food(s): Morisqueta; it is white rice with beans and chili on top with cheese. There’s also birria; it is a spicy stew traditionally made from goat meat or beef. It is often eaten on Sunday mornings.

Primary language(s) spoken: Spanish

Best City/Places to visit: Morelia; it’s the capital of Michoacan and it is a very beautiful place to visit due to its European architecture. It is said that the crowned prince of Spain visited Morelia and he rebuilt the city in order to make it look like his home. There are a lot of chocolate factories, churros stands, and tamarind candy stands. Also, every Saturday night, they light up fireworks near the Cathedral and play traditional music.

How long does it take to get there: 4-5 hours by plane.

Currency: Pesos; 1 dollar = 19-20 pesos

Interesting Fact: There are ruins and small pyramids in Michoacan, Mexico.

When to visit: Summer or October when it is the season of parties.

What not to do: Don’t swear to people when you are driving- they will be very offended and it may turn ugly.


Mirella Tsegay – Ethiopia

Must try food(s): Timtimo (lentils with injera (sourdough bread)

Traditional/Staple Food(s): Shiro (stew), shahi (tea)

Primary language(s) spoken: Tigrinya

Best City/Places to visit: National Museum of Eritrea

How long does it take to get there: Normally, about a few days due to the fact that there is a stop made around Dubai. The estimate is about 1 day or more.

Currency: The currency is called nakfa. 1 Eritream nakfa is equivalent to 0.065 US dollars.

Interesting Fact: Many years ago, Eritrea was colonized by Italy. Italy has major influences in Eritrea, and there are many people that are mixed (Italian and Eritrean).

When to visit: In the spring, the weather is not too cold or too hot.

What not to do: Visiting in the summer or the winter is not a good idea because Eritrea is located where the climate is either very hot during the summer and very cold in the winter. Be prepared to bring either warm clothes that can be cool enough for the heat.


Hannah Franchetti – Scotland

Must try food(s): Haggis, Cadbury Chocolate, 99 ice cream, tablet, Walkers crisps, Irn-Bru, Haribo star mix

Traditional/Staple Food(s): Haggis, Tablet, Edinburgh rock

Primary language(s) spoken: English

Best City/Places to visit: Edinburgh is the best place to visit. You should go to Edinburgh castle, Holyrood Palace, The Museum of Childhood and the Royal Mile. Montrose is also a beautiful town to visit with a very nice beach and St. Andrews is a wonderful city to visit for golfing, beaches and shopping. Crieff is also a cute town with a very nice resort hotel, The Crieff Hydro. You should also make sure to check out a loch.

How long does it take to get there: It is about a 12 hour flight.

Currency: One pound is $1.22.

Interesting Fact: Scotland’s national animal is a unicorn.

When to visit: Visit in June-August because Scotland can be very cold in all seasons other than summer and can even be cold and rainy in the summer. Edinburgh also hosts a big arts festival in July and August.

What not to do: Don’t wear a kilt if you’re a tourist and don’t put on a fake Scottish accent.


Audrey Berner – Italy

Must try food(s): Try everything

Traditional/Staple Food(s): Polenta, Osso Buco, Arancini, Focaccia, Gelato, Pizza (Roman and Neapolitan), ESPRESSO

Primary language(s) spoken: Italian, English

Best City/Places to visit: Firenze (Florence), Venezia (Venice), Roma (Rome)

How long does it take to get there: Around 13 – 14 hours by plane

Currency: 1 dollar is approximately worth .95 euros

Something interesting about the country that people may not know: Italy has been a country for less than 150 years; as a result, Italians strongly identify with their native province rather than Italy as a nation.

When to visit: April – October

What not to do: Never put cheese on your fish or wear white socks with sandals.


Lea Stith – Croatia

Must try food(s): Palacinke (aka crepes). You can have them with chocolate spread or any type of jam, however; in my opinion, it’s not a true crepe unless it’s slathered in Nutella.

Traditional/Staple Food(s): Bread. Lot’s of potatoes in many different forms, none of which you can go wrong with. A traditional dish is called “cevapi”, which includes minced meat between two pieces of slightly grilled bread and a side of onions if you’d like.

Primary language(s) spoken: Croatian

Best City/Places to visit: Plitvice Lakes National Park (lots of cool waterfalls), Otok Krk (Island for vacationing), Gornji Grad (Upper Town) Zagreb (or really anywhere in Zagreb there are so many historic sites, good restaurants, and places to shop), Dubrovnik, Sea Organs in Zadar

How long does it take to get there: Usually 11-12 hours by plane. There are no direct flights to Croatia so you’ll always have to go through London, Amsterdam, or Munich first.

Currency: Kuna (1 dollar is 6.95 kunas)

Something interesting about the country that people may not know: Nikola Tesla was born in Croatia! Game of Thrones Landing is in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

When to visit: May-September is best for summertime activities

What not to do: Don’t call Croatia Yugoslavia.. Don’t visit if you don’t like amazing food, friendly natives, and endless opportunities to experience the beauty of nature in a small and wonderful European country


Samhita Krishnan – Northern & Southern India

North India

Must try food(s): Tandoori Chicken, Naan, Biriyani, Pani Puri

Traditional/Staple Food(s): Chappati, Dal(lentils)

Primary language(s) spoken: Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Marathi

Best City/Places to visit: Delhi, Agra (Taj Mahal), Jaipur, Udaipur


South India

Must try food(s): Masala Dosa, Payasam/Kheer, Mango Lassi

Traditional/Staple Food(s): White rice, Idli (rice pancakes) & Dosas served with Sambhar

Primary language(s) spoken: Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam

Best City/Places to visit: Chennai, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Tanjore (Temples)


How long does it take to get there: 24 hours

Currency: Rupee (INR) – 65 per dollar

Something interesting about the country that people may not know: There are only 22 official languages in India, but in total, there are around 1652 spoken languages

When to visit: The weather is nicest October – March, but it is cool to go during festivals like Diwali or Holi

What not to do: Don’t eat street food or drink water that’s not bottled. Never accept prices at markets or for taxi fares – always bargain


Chloe Zhou – China

Must try food(s): XiaoLongBao(in Shanghai), street lamb skewers, MaPo tofu, DanDan noodles

Traditional/Staple Food(s): Noodles, steamed rice,  soymilk, eggs

Primary language(s) spoken: Mandarin(however there are so many different dialects spoken throughout the country)

Best City/Places to visit: Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou(West Lake), Xian(Terracotta Warriors),Yunnan(Stone Forest), Zhangjiaje(where a part of Avatar was filmed)

How long does it take to get there: 14-16 hours by plane

Currency: Yuan (1 dollar is about 7 yuan)

Something interesting about the country that people may not know: Ketchup actually was invented in China from a sauce called kê-tsiap

When to visit: September-November or March-May (to avoid extreme cold or heat)

What not to do: Do not be “polite” about getting onto the Metro. Push your way in during rush hour or never get to your destination. (tip is mainly for Shanghai and Beijing)