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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Studying abroad in Australia: facts and fantasies

Since returning from Australia, I have been able to reflect a lot on my experiences and myself as well. When I first arrived at Trinity college I was incredibly overwhelmed and confused. We arrived before the other students and no one was available to let us into our rooms for over an hour. This being my first day there, I feared that this would be only the beginning of my problems, but thankfully Trinity turned out to be one of the only things that kept me sane. The facilities were beautiful and the people were very kind and helpful. Contrastingly, I found the university to be very difficult and unhelpful. I will admit that it is likely in part my own fault for taking difficult courses, but I felt that the atmosphere and teaching styles were not only confusing and disorganized but were also difficult to adjust to after attending Willamette. Additionally, the culture of the campus as well as the town in general was extremely different. Never have I experienced the amount of sexual harassment as I did in Australia. Even while walking down the street to class in sweatpants and a sweater, I was honked at, whistled at or other wise made to feel self conscious. Additionally, it was very difficult to understand and cope with the incredible amount of racism that I overheard and observed. I fear that I sound ungrateful from this post, though I hope that you understand that is not the case. I am eternally grateful for the support Willamette offered me while I was abroad, the support from my family and friends, as well as the memories and great friends that I made abroad. I apologize for my inability to eloquently state my experiences and emotions, but I have found that it is impossible to fully describe what happened while I was abroad and how it has changed me today.

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