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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Alive in Vietnam »

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Returning from Abroad – Host Family Experiences in Connemara »

This is not a particularly striking photo, I know, but the memories that this photo invokes for me are striking. In late January 2009, along with sixteen other Willamette students who were also spending the semester in Ireland, I spent four days in Connemara, Ireland, which is a gaeltact, or Irish gaelic-speaking region. We were […]

Roadtripping. »

Latvia Encapsulated in Icefishing »

Rīga is bitterly cold in the winter. It was -18° Celsius (just under 0° Fahrenheit) in late January when I got off the plane in Latvia and walked across the tarmac to the gate, still wearing the jeans and T-shirt I had on when I left Seattle. The next three weeks only got colder. On […]

A Real, Live Ibis »

Home Away from Home »

An Evening in Valparaiso, Chile »

I took this picture as a part of my extracurricular photography class with Chilean students. It was a class of about 15 students and there was only one other person from the U.S. taking the course. My Professor can be described as an aristic hippie with a dark sense of humor. He took us to […]

‘Legendary’ »

The City that Changed Everything »

Vienna was not what I was expecting. Although, in hindsight, I don’t know what I was expecting. I knew it would be different and adventurous, but I never expected to come out on the other end of study abroad feeling the way I do now. If there is one piece of advice I could give […]

Encountering History. »

In London, History greets you at every turn. Literally. There are monumental locations galore: Westminster Abbey, in which a myriad of historical figures are buried; the Banqueting House, at which Charles I was beheaded; the British Library, housing manuscripts written by Dickens, Milton, Darwin, and Handel; Churchill’s Cabinet War Rooms; the Tower of London, where […]

Empty Pews »

LegenDerry »

Dia is Muire duit. »

(In Irish, there is no specific word for “hello.” Instead, one greets another person by saying “Dia duit” or “God be with you.” The second person responds by saying “Dia is Muire duit” or “God and Mary be with you.”) While walking through the city of Cork, I noticed this statue of the Virgin Mary […]

The Teahouse »

In the middle of Old Town Shanghai, there is a garden called Yuyuan and on the small lake lies a teahouse only accessible by a bridge of “nine-turnings.” As I walked up the stairs into the tea-rooms, I felt as though I was entering a completely different world. This was not the China I had […]

Easter Sunday »


This photograph was taken mid afternoon of Inishmore, the largest of the Aran Islands of the coast of Galway, Ireland. We were standing in Dun Aengus, a prehistoric fort built right up to a cliff edge with a sudden and severe drop into the ocean. This photo, taken from that cliff edge, demonstrates the unsettling […]

La Sagrada Familia »

War and Peace »

The Secret Garden »

After heading back from exploring an abandoned castle on the Corrib River (in the outskirts of Galway, Ireland), I came across this forgotten shed in someone’s backyard. It really struck me that something so plain and unremarkable could transform into something so beautiful. I loved how the gate had become so tangled with the overgrowth […]

Modern Ireland »

This is one of the many messages written on the Peace Walls of Belfast, Ireland. Graffiti throughout Ireland interested me but the single wall we saw held the most intricate and powerful images by far. For me, our trip to Belfast was unique in that the historical struggles of Ireland were immediately present rather than […]

Imagine Living For Today »

Of all sites in Prague that I went to over and over again due to showing visitors around the city, the Lennon Wall was the one that never, ever got old. This was partially due to the accidental hilarity when we arrived at the Lennon Wall and my visitor would remark that the entire time […]