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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Fulfilling a promise

I’m from a town of about 10,000 people in Oregon, where the tallest building I can think of is 4 stories high. I’ve never been one fond of heights.

After enrolling at Willamette, I had been taught a few years of spanish, but I never really had the chance to speak it. I had lost my passion to study. I decided that in college, I would try something entirely different. On a coin flip, I chose to study Japanese at Willamette. After a few weeks of classes, I was assigned a Japanese language partner, Kohei (Pictured left). We worked together on our language assignments. At the time, He and Natsuki (Pictured Right) were studying abroad at Willamette for a year. We quickly became great friends. I began to see the value in studying language. As time passed, we shared many experiences at Willamette, and Kohei and Natsuki even joined the same fraternity I am a member of. When they had to return home, I promised that I would come to Japan to see them.

I was accepted into a study abroad program, and a year later I was able to leave the country for the first time in my life and go to Japan. Kohei, Natsuki and I picked up right where we left off, and were spending time together almost every day. They showed me around, and I had a lot of new experiences. In doing so, we visited the world’s tallest tower (pictured) and I think I overcame my fear of heights.

Thanks to our study abroad programs, not only were we able to meet, but cement friendships that will far outlast a semester.

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