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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Backpacking in Paradise »

Before studying in New Zealand, I just thought of it as a beautiful mountainous country where you feel like you’re in Lord of the Rings. But, it is so much more than that. This photo is from my trip to Abel Tasman at the northern tip of the South Island. It is significant to my […]

Confessions of an Introvert »

  Let me start out by saying that I do not consider myself to be social. In fact, I often find myself holed up in my dorm room at school, hanging out on YouTube and casually writing short stories. I read for fun and will go out of my way to be by myself. However, […]

Swimming »

This image is significant to me because these were some of the first friends I made while abroad. They were part of a club swimming team that they invited me to join. This was the best part of time abroad because being with the team and competing was so much fun. I was really happy […]

Changing expectations »

When I chose to study abroad in Costa Rica, I was expecting to be welcomed into a “green” country, a country dedicated to conservation efforts with progressive laws and a functional government. I had heard about Costa Rica eliminating a standing army, having a woman president, having incredible environmental protection laws, and eradicating all zoos. […]

London Study Abroad: First Week »

I took this picture during my first week in London. The tube was always an interesting adventure. Someone once told me, “Theatre is a journey. Even if you take the same route to work every single day of your life, the journey is always different”. This is something I finally understood what this meant at the very […]

When in Zurich: Never Judge by First Looks (Especially on Parade Day!) »

My first couple days in Zurich were spent in my apartment, resting from my travels and adapting to the time change. Finally, I decided to venture out into the city – about half an hour from where I lived on the outskirts of town. I was met by quite a shock. The people were dressed […]


Nearing the end of my semester, here I stand at the top of “Parque Güell,” in Barcelona, Spain. I had discovered that my friend from my hometown was living in Madrid. She is a very special friend to me. We have competed together for years running track. She would beat me, I would beat her, […]

That time I went to the driest desert in the world »

I chose this picture because it was one of the best weeks of my life. My best friend from study abroad and I went to the Atacama Desert for spring break and it was amazing!!! The desert goes on for miles and miles and we got to explore a lot it. We went to 3 […]

There and back again »

This is at the beginning of the Camino de Santiago in northern Portugal. While it was a great physical challenge (114k in 4 days!) it was a very memorable and fulfilling experience.

I miss you already »

Coming back from my semester in Japan has been harder than I  expected. I miss my host family very much and I couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling experience. This is us at Mount Fuji in November. If you’re interested in studying abroad in Japan and have questions feel free to contact me. 

An unforgettable trip with unforgettable women »

An unforgettable trip with unforgettable women- I never imagined joining a sorority would help me while I was abroad, but it turned out that through our similar interests I found 5 amazing women abroad that turned into my best friends and travel buddies for 3 months, and helped change my world. This photo was taken […]

10 Days Unplugged and Keyed In »

  During my semester abroad in Chile, I was lucky enough to have time to explore the very long and diverse geographic country. This particular photo was taken during the week we had off of school during “Fiestas Patrias” which is Chile’s independence week celebration. Myself and five other students took off to the Atacama […]

Soccer game in Angers, France »

A Plethora of Foxes in Traditional Japan »

I studied abroad in Kawagoe, Japan this past fall semester. Although there were many frustrating and trying times trying to integrate into a culture so vastly different from what I was accustomed too, it was so incredibly rewarding. I met many friends, both American and Japanese, and made so many great memories that I still […]

Jazz Cafe in Japan »

Older Jazz musicians from my hometown of New Orleans have proclaimed to me that the country to bring the next golden age of Jazz will be Japan. With this prediction in mind, I decided to go to a theme cafe where Jazz is not performed, but consumed. Milestone, a jazz cafe located just blocks away […]

Where East Meets West »

This was taken outside of the Blue Mosque. We went with the entire group of exchange students to all of the touristy locations. Somehow I never made it back. That is one of biggest regrets about my trip. During a trip organized by a group of Turkish grads, we were stopped at a shady beach […]

Firenze! »

Sept 17 Florence! Firenze! Today, Cybelle and I traveled to the beautiful city of Florence. We took the train from Termina to Florence and it took about an hour and a half. The train went really fast a total speed of about 250km/h which is equivalent to one of Andy Roddick’s serve or 150mph. The […]

So you plan to study abroad: »

No matter which country you are planning to go to, studying abroad is an extraordinary experience; however, every experience is different, so as a seasoned study abroad student, I would like to offer three pieces of broad advice that I believe can apply no matter where you choose to go. (1) Before you get caught […]

Ben Meets Ben »

(This blog entry originally appeared on my personal travel blog, Fisch and Chips, on September 15, 2013.): Whew!  Today was quite the adventure in London!  There were plenty of famous landmarks all fairly close to each other, so I got quite a bit of sightseeing in. I’ve been on top of my homework so far, […]

The London Theater-Going Experience »

The London Theater- Going Experience was one full of culture, sights, entertainment, and learning. The two plays I got to see at the Globe were A Mid Summer Night’s Dream, and Macbeth. On the way to Shakespeare’s Globe, I would walk across this bridge to get to the other side of the Thames river. The […]

Kacey’s Blog Post »

This weekend was my first weekend in Angers! I started class on Wednesday, and I was more than ready to have a few days off to explore the town. Thursday night there was a Soirée Française at the Soft Bar, close to the school. Everyone in the program was invited to wear colors of the […]

Sweet Aoteroa Bro »

This first picture is a typical image of what you can expect to see while wandering around New Zealand. Sheep, or animal clouds, are everywhere in New Zealand! In fact, I learned that the sheep to human ratio is 4:1. There are sheep covering farms, hills, roads and they occasionally insert themselves onto college campuses. […]

I Had the Chance to Change My Fate (And I Did) »

We all love to hate a cheesy Disney/Pixar trope or  message (while actually kind of really loving it anyway). Although it wasn’t my first choice, I was really excited by the prospect of studying abroad in Scotland. And though I was offered a spot in Glasgow, far away from the Highland setting of Brave, I have […]


Here are some photos I took from the Diren Gezi Park protests in Taksim Square and some captions with my translations or explanations. Gezi Park 1 “Resistance is everywhere.” from Galatasaray fans. I noticed that while united by a common cause, most of the fans from Turkey’s three main soccer clubs identified themselves in different […]

Fun Q&A About my year in the UAE »

Why did you decide to study abroad with American University of Sharjah? Read about Keith’s study abroad experience in Sharjah! Keith: While deciding upon potential universities, the one aspect of the American University of Sharjah that captivated me was its appearance, gorgeous architecture and a breathtaking campus. The institution was founded by the Ruler of […]