Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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Why Go Abroad?

I’ve wanted to study abroad in France since I was about 14 years old. I started learning French my freshman year of high school, and continued through high school and college. One of the main reasons that I came to Willamette is because I knew that they had such a great study abroad program and it would be my opportunity to fulfill my dream of going to France. I came to Willamette with the goal of going abroad, so within my first two years I completed all of my MOI’s and most of my major requirements.
Though I was completely excited and ready to go abroad leaving the country was probably one of the hardest things I’ve done in a long time. It was like the first day of scary kindergarten when you didn’t want to let go of your mom’s hand because you didn’t know what was going to happen. It took me a while to first adjust to the time zone, and then to the country, but eventually I found my niche and routine. I won’t say that everything was perfect in fact there were plenty of times when I thought I wanted to jump on the next plane and go home. Each time I had one of those thoughts or feelings I tried to remember why I was there, I wanted to experiences something, to be in a different culture, meet new people and most importantly have fun, these thoughts were the thoughts that kept my in France for nine months.
Being abroad can be hard at times, but those hard times are almost always outweighed by the amazing times that you have in a different country. You get to meet new people, explore new cultures, travel, and most importantly grow in a way that isn’t possible to do in the states. I came back from France the same person, but with different views and more appreciative of somethings (like dryers, and schedules!), I now know more about myself, am more confident and able to see things in a different light. Everything that happened to me while abroad helped me grow a little bit. I will freely admit that studying abroad isn’t going to be the easiest thing that you’ve done, but it will be one of the most rewarding things, and most likely one of the best decisions that you could make.

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