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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Coming Full Circle

Cliffs of Moher 2011 & 2014

When you study abroad in the spring at University of Leicester, you are fortunate enough to get a full 5 weeks off for Easter break. I didn’t know what to do with myself besides travel! I was able to connect with my Willamette friends and traveled to France, Italy, Hungary, Austria, the Czech Republic, England, and ended my trip in Ireland. This was one of the reasons I had gone abroad. I am a dual citizen with the US and Ireland because my father grew up in Ireland and didn’t move to New York until he was my age, 21. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away in 2008, but my step-grandmother still lives in the same house that he lived in right outside of Dublin. My mission when I went abroad was to meet my grandmother and I did.

It was an amazing experience to be able to hear stories of my grandfather, who I had only met at a young age and have no memory of. She was excited to hear about my travels, sharing her own stories of backpacking around Europe when she was my age. She asked me questions about hostels and how unsanitary they were – and of course I censored my answer after some not-so-nice experiences that were probably my fault. We shared an afternoon together, getting to know each other, and I even got to meet her son.

I also got to visit Cork, where my sister studied abroad in 2011. She gave me a list of places to go see in the area and I even was able to visit her old campus. So this picture is of me at the Cliffs of Moher and on top is a picture of my sister at the Cliffs. I spent a week in Ireland after three weeks of intense traveling and it was my favorite experience. I am happy that I was able to study abroad in Leicester, England because of the great media-oriented classes I took, the energy of the school, the people I met, and the city itself. However, I am glad that I got to spend time in Ireland for that was the real reason I went abroad: to reconnect with my family, my roots, and to come full circle.

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