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Hello from Grahamstown, South Africa »


My name is Ryan de Villiers and I’m from South Africa. And yes, I am white and speak English. I am a study abroad student for the spring semester here at Willamette and am thoroughly enjoying it thus far. I am from Rhodes University in an even smaller town than Salem, Grahamstown, which is in one of the most beautiful provinces in South Africa, the Eastern Cape. At the moment it is probably around 90 degrees Fahrenheit back home, so I am definitely missing the weather but Oregon has surprised me with its sunny days. I am a Theatre and Politics major (in South Africa it is necessary to double major) and the courses here at Willamette are proving to be very stimulating and interesting. Read the rest

Why don’t you Americans wear socks and use umbrellas? »

My name is Yichen Fu and I am from Zhuhai, China. Zhuhai is a seaside city in southern China. Compared to other cities in China, for example Beijing, it is considered a small city. Growing up there, I learned to appreciate the beauty of nature and the quietness of life.
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Hello from Sweden! »

My name is Cajsa Nolskog and I’m one of the international students at Willamette this semester. I’m originally from Skövde, Sweden, but have lived in Norrköping the last year and a half before coming to Salem. I take every chance I get to live abroad, so I lived in a couple of places around the world with my first long time stay abroad in Charlottesville, Virginia. There, I went to high school for one year. That’s seven years ago now, and I thought it was time to come back to the US!
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Hello lovely readers of WWN, this is Melody from Australia! »

I have encountered many people who are dismayed that I do not greet them with “G’day”, a salutation you will not hear from anyone under the age of 65 back home. I do apologise for not adhering to this Aussie stereotype, but do not panic, I do use “mate” very abundantly!
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Hey there, or in German: Hallo! »

My name is Jasmin Egger and I am studying at Willamette during the spring semester of 2015. I am from Austria. Austria – in Europe – is close to Germany and Switzerland, so from the stereotypical American point of view, it is close to everywhere else in Europe, too! Austria should also not be mistaken with Australia because, unfortunately, we don’t have kangaroos or koalas (which, by the way, are my favorite animals!) there. Read the rest

Austria and The Sound of Music: Where the Hills Are Alive »

Long before I came to the United States from Graz, a relatively small town in Southern Austria and birth place of, among others, one Arnold Schwarzenegger, I was fully aware that I would get confronted with The Sound of Music. I’ve prepared myself. I’ve been on this side of the world twice before, and it really does seem as if this little movie haunts me and my country. It is, indeed, a difficult relationship we have with it.
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A thing or two about those oh-so-wonderful culture shocks »

When I was eighteen I moved from Finland to the UK. I was about to start my studies in Liverpool and I was so unbelievably excited and happy and excited, which left no room for the fear of the unknown. I arrived in Liverpool one September day and got instantly hit by a sweet and musky smell, which I have since associated with the UK – a scent resembling the combination of Haribos and an uncleaned floor carpet (or if you’re walking through town at night it’s beer and a strong cleaning product). Read the rest

Law Enforcement »


Our first Willamette World News issue of the semester is out! In light of the current controversy and movements against police brutality, we have invited our returning international students to write about the law enforcement in their nations, specifically how they are viewed by society and their interactions with civilians.

Have a good read!

Lara, Hailee, and Jordan

The WWN Editorial Team

/!\Please note: the statement made in these articles do not reflect the view of Willamette University or the countries of the respective contributors./!\

If only Sarlat-La-Canéda PD could compete with Brooklyn nine-nine… »

Of course, it was for the sake of my title. I have nothing against the police of Sarlat-La-Canéda -who could have anything against the policemen of such a charming old French village like this? But sometimes, I find myself thinking of how great it would be if the French law enforcement was half as cool as the one we see in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
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Die Polizei – Dein Freund und Helfer?! (The police – your friend and aid?!) »

The words “Die Polizei – Dein Freund und Helfer” (The police – your friend and aid) is the slogan of the police. These words were first used by Albert Grzesinki, the Prussion secretary of the interior, in 1926 as a preface for a police exhibition. This slogan is still used today and seen by the majority of people as contemporary, which I will elaborate more on in the following.
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“Knock Knock” “Who’s There?” “Police Constable O’Grady” “Sh*t, RUN!” »

Northern Irish law enforcement is a tricky topic and one that is very difficult to write about without presenting bias (something that can be very dangerous in my country), however I will try my best to contextualize my thoughts into a readable format for you guys (as well as hoping to poke fun at everything and everyone around). Also, I encourage you all to comment on mine and the other articles as it boosts our self-confidence and encourages us to write more for you guys. Literally any feedback is welcome 🙂
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“The two sides of the same coin” »

I always remember when I was very little that my mum and my grandma talked about the “policeman on the corner”… A feeling of nostalgia comes to me when I remember those days. Those were the days in which there was no feeling of insecurity where I lived. Read the rest

Modern Family »

Hello Willamette,

In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays, we thought it would be appropriate to center the last issue of the semester around the new family unit. We asked the contributors to not only write about their families, but to also consider gender roles in the typical family structure, how the importance of family has changed over the years, the number of generations generally living together in a household, and the age at which most people move out of their family’s home.

Happy Holidays!

Lara, Hailee, and Jordan

The WWN Editorial Team

/!\Please note: the statements made in these articles do not reflect the view of Willamette University or the countries of the respective contributors./!\

“Ain’t No Party Like My Nana’s Tea Party” »

So December is finally upon us, and with this last article, I will talk to you about my family and how our close-knit values have helped shape who I am as a semi-functional adult today (and I’ll really try my best to pepper in a few fun and hopefully embarrassing memories about my family). Without further ado, let’s jump in! Read the rest

Modern Family in Germany »

The modern family in Germany has kept some traditional values, but some changes have taken place over the last 50 years. First, here is a short historical view to get a better understanding of the changes within German families and the law system.
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Molly & Co. – Perceptions of Family »

You all know the nuclear family structure – Mum (not Mom), Dad and the 2.5 kids. Dad goes out to work and Mum stays at home and… I dunno, bakes a pie or something. You also probably know this model has become rarer and rarer and, luckily for us, society has not completely fallen apart. Read the rest

“Si si la Famille!” »

Hey Willamette! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Before starting this article about my interpretation of the “Modern Family” in France – based on personal experiences, observations and information – I would like to take a few lines to honour what has become another family of mine, as I was abroad for long period the first time in my life: and I’m talking about You, Willamette.
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¡Lo Primero es la Familia! »

“Family is always first!” That is how important family is back at home. In Argentina, we still value family as our Italian ancestors did. The big family reunion every Sunday for lunch with lots of uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents is still typical in these days. Read the rest

Still Among the Most Conservative — the continuance of Confucian Influences on Chinese Family »

Family is a very serious issue in China. So serious, that many people put family values above love, friendship, personal values, and, on extreme occasions, even above life.

Family value is the fundamental value of Chinese and probably all other Asian cultures under the influence of Confucianism. Despite the strong trend of Westernization in modern day Asia, it is still deeply rooted in every Asian’s mindset. The traces of family value can be seen in various aspects of Chinese life.
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When A Soap Opera Doesn’t Seem That Fake »

“Modern Family” … When I first heard the subject of this issue, I immediately thought about the show that you probably all know in the United States. Watching it makes us wonder what a typical family should look like. Can we, nowadays, find in any country something like a family pattern or a norm to follow? I think that nothing could be less sure. And as a French girl, I would even dare to say that there are as many types of families as there are different cheeses in France! Read the rest

No, I’m Not Married »

So you’re going to the philharmonic with your host mom for the first time, and you’re making small talk along the way. She asks you if you’re dating anyone, and you say her, you have a boyfriend. She then jumps to the conclusion that “boyfriend” means “husband” and asks “so how long have you been married?” You have to hurriedly explain that he’s just a boyfriend, and though you’ve been dating for three years, you’re not engaged. She doesn’t believe you, and continues to refer to him as your fiance anyway.

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La familia mexicana »

As in most societies, much depends on the family’s socioeconomic status to categorize a family’s life. It will need to be mentioned that daily life has historically been dictated by the father. This is a patriarchal society we speak about. Read the rest

How Did Females ROCK In Families And Our Society »

In Chinese traditional culture, the concept of family is the basic unit of society. Which is easy to explain if we have a near look at the word “country” in Chinese – “Guo-Jia”. This is not a cold harsh political term, however, it means the “collection of family units”. The reason why the concept of family has been raised to such a priory level is Chinese people consider the measure of a man’s success by looking at the standard of “building a family and achieving a career”. So the family have been of significant importance in Chinese culture. Read the rest

Celebrations in your Nation »

Hello Willamette,

After having just celebrated Halloween, we decided it would be appropriate to ask our contributors how they celebrate in their own countries. We asked them to include which holidays they celebrate—both those familiar and unfamiliar to Americans, what celebratory clothes or food they may enjoy, and what the alcohol/nightlife culture is like for them back home.

We hope you have a good read!

WWN Editors,

Hailee, Lara, and Jordan

/!\Please note: the statements made in these articles do not reflect the view of Willamette University or the countries of the respective contributors./!\

“Functioning Society of Alcoholics”: Celebrations in the UK »

The title above comes once or twice removed from one of my fellow internationals from the UK, who doesn’t drink. While that is definitely an option, it’s not one you come across too often. I wasn’t really sure how to define “holidays” as that back home just means when you have time off – Bank Holiday, Summer Holiday etc. (basically interchangeable with “vacation” over here). So as this is on celebrations, this is how we celebrate in the UK.
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