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.

Author Archive

Coping With Horrible Pasts »

One of the group trips my program sponsored was to Krakow, Poland. During this trip we visited the Auschwitz/Birkenau concentration camps from World War II. This is a picture of one of the signs in the Auschwitz camp. The presence in the camp is heavy, full of sadness and death. No amount of time can […]

On my return from abroad… »

I kept a daily journal about my life in Japan last semester. Thanks to that journal, many details that I might have forgotten have stayed with me; I would recommend the same approach to anyone on their way abroad. But it’s been months since I last wrote about Japan, and my life there–this time and […]

Re-Entry »

Edward McGlone Re-entry blog post This picture was taken at the memorial for the Trojan Horse Massacre, an event that helped turn the tide of international opinion against that Apartheid regime’s increasingly violent suppression of independence movements. The Trojan Horse Massacre happened in the townships of Athlone and Crossroads in 1985 when Apartheid police forces […]

Finding New Zealand »

Sasha Fegan Queenstown, New Zealand I spent my first four weeks in New Zealand cooped up in the city of Dunedin trying to figure out where the natural beauty that all of my guide books promised was hiding. I left the city for Queenstown in the afternoon and arrived there in the middle of the […]

They Call it: Tomate de Arbol »

They Call it: Tomate de Arbol Emily Schmierer: Ecuador, Fall 2009 The first lunch with my host family was about as awkward as you could imagine. There was miscommunication, lack of understanding of accents, (or lack of accent on my part), my slow listening with their fast speaking, and weird pauses in conversation, all of […]

Travels in Ecuador »

One of my favorite parts about my semester in Ecuador was the bus rides. Everyone there rode the bus: teenagers, old people, pregnant women, business people, farmers, families, shoppers, schoolkids, everyone. The buses were crowded and busy, and the drivers weren’t afraid of anything. They played the radio loud on the overhead speakers, and they […]

Feeling Home »

Going abroad was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Like all good things, the initial adjustment was difficult. But after a couple weeks of getting to know my host family and orienting myself with the city I already knew that come December, it was going to be hard to leave. […]

Free Bicycles! »

This is one of the free city bicycles I found in downtown Aalborg, Denmark. You put in a 20 kroner coin (about 4 USD) to unlock the bike from its rack, and then when you lock it back up at any of the racks in downtown you get your coin back. They’re comfortable to ride, […]

Visions of Street Performers »

A less extravagant photo than the title suggests, this was a shot I got from one of the many street performances from the historic center in Quito. The one act detailed a meeting between camera-toting, backpack-wielding westerner and the primitive unchanging native. As most dramatists might hope for, I immediately felt a connection to the […]

The Land of Bare Feet » This is me on the side of a main road in Waihi, selling fruit for a couple I decided to WWOOF with after school finished. We got to eat all the fruit and veg we wanted while we worked!

Out of the Smog; from Pune to Nanegao » I took this photograph of Anishet while climbing a mountain in the Western Ghats in Maharashtra, India. We were visiting an organic farm just an hour from Pune, and if nothing else, the air alone tasted so good. The rumor is, spending one day in Pune India is the equivalent to smoking 1 ½ […]

Morocco » Caption Moroccan Diversity: United, restrained, and homogenized by Islam. The craftsmen, the businessmen, the women, the poor. To be oneself in the world of Islam is to be as one is supposed to be. To seek oneself is to do it secretly, subtly. But if a muslim seeks to express herself, it is evidence […]

Friday afternoon crafts at Raglan Roads »

My semester in South Africa was one of the hardest and most exciting times of my life. I learned so much, but some of the most valuable lessons I learned came from difficult experiences. While many students who have studied abroad talk about their experience as an enjoyable and fun semester, my semester abroad was […]

Alive in Vietnam »

An Hour or so in Limbo. »

There I was, on the border between Zambia and Botswana, with the two best friends I made in South Africa. We had just finished a safari in Botswana and were returning to Livingstone, Zambia where a few days earlier we had seen Victoria Falls. The African sun was beating down on us as we looked […]

Learning to Breathe »

Not only was it literally difficult for me to find my breath living in Quito, Ecuador at 9,000 ft. altitude, but learning to breathe, walk, live, and interact with Ecuadorians was a five month long journey that I will never forget. I can compare this journey to a much shorter one I took during my […]

What Are You Doing? »

I was sneaky, very sneaky, with my photo-taking during an excursion to the Saturday market in Otavalo. Not wanting to draw any more attention to myself than my pale skin and blue eyes already did, I held my camera at the level of my waist, out of view of most everyone around me, and surreptitiously […]

What I Never Expected to Learn Abroad »

When I would tell people, before leaving for Granada, Spain, that I was going abroad, they all told me how lucky I was to be able to have such an exciting and life changing experience. I of course knew how lucky I was, but I could never really imagine how my experience could be life […]

After the road Trip from Hell » This picture was taken at our last road trip destination in Sydney, Australia. Everything that could possibly go wrong, went wrong on this road trip including losing car keys in the ocean, renting 4 separate vans to drive down the entire west coast of Australia, cell phones not working/dying, getting separated at night in […]

Sunrise at 10am »

When I woke up it was still dark, but the lightness of the snow made it seem so much brighter than it was. At this time of year, where I was living, there were only 3 hours of sunlight per day. I gathered my warmest clothing, bundled myself up and walked out to a bridge […]

Montmartre: The best butte on the other side of the Atlantic »

I’ve always loved a city with a nice butte; a place to leave behind the troubles of the city, while looking down on them… reflecting. Or partying… Either way, the best cities of my life have had buttes: Eugene (Skinner’s Butte and Spencer’s Butte), Portland (Mt. Tabor), and of course, ol’ Paris (Montmartre). Since I […]

Las Islas Encantadas »

After the first four days in Quito, Ecuador living with my host family in one of the busiest intersections i have ever seen, i was more than ready to fly to the Galapagos Islands for a week. As an environmental science nerd, I was almost too excited to see the islands that Charles Darwin studied […]

Ecuadorian Bullfight »

It was early December and my five month study abroad experience in Quito, Ecuador was nearing an end but there was still one last celebration in which I needed to partake—Las Fiestas de Quito. A focal point of these festivities are the bullfights, which occur every day for nine days straight. It was very difficult […]

One last look at the Alhambra »

During my semester in Granada, Spain, I became fascinated by the Alhambra, a palace and fortress built there by the Moors centuries ago. It’s an awe-inspiring place; the buildings and patios are filled with intricate Islamic designs, from delicate wooden screens to colorful tilework, and the gardens are filled with the sound of birds and […]

Believe: One Word That Kept My Confidence Abroad »

Studying abroad in Granada, Spain was one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. This is not only because of the knowledge I gained, Spanish I learned, friendships I made, or places I traveled. It was because of the confidence I gained in myself today. During the application process one year ago, I […]