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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Lapland »

So I haven’t been posting as often as I should. I wanted this to be weekly, but it has become biweekly. You can attribute it to weak willpower, or excessive travel and socializing, (certainly not burdensome studies), but for whatever reason I have failed to update for the past two and a half weeks. Of […]

Sometimes it’s like waitin’ on a train… »

Waiting for the train home at the station in El Chorro, Andalucia

Sunset in Morocco »

Backpacking in Scotland – Loch Ness »

Backpacking in the highlands of Scotland during my spring break while studying abroad was one of the highlights of my trip.  My friend and I hiked over 80 miles.  The trip was challenging and  exciting, and completing the journey was one of the most fulfilling things I have done.  We planned very little for the […]

Just Passing Through »

I wonder how they choose where to build monuments, or when to clear forests? It’s as if we believe we are gods, born to carve out the earth, here to shape and reshape the world around us.  Walls. Forts. Gates. Through Pile Gate I enter Dubrovnik. As old stone walls guard the heart of the […]

Adventures in Aoteoroa »

My time spent in New Zealand surpassed all of my expectations leading up to the trip. Immediately, I fell in love with the raw beauty of New Zealand. Dramatic landscapes are found wherever you go, with seemingly every vista worthy of a postcard. And Kiwis truly are some of the friendliest, most genuine people I’ve […]


Some might recognize the gestures of these monkeys as the maxim “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Religious iconography such as these monkeys were easily accessible, and one might wander upon numerous shrines and temples while walking down the street. The shrines and temples blended seamlessly with their industrial neighbors, and the open quality to many religious practices and spaces was an exciting difference from my American experience.

Meditation »

The serenity of meditation



This is something that I saw everyday on my walk to school in Granada, Spain. It is a moorish arch that marked the entrance to the ancient city of Granada before the Catholic Kings conquered it in 1492. I was always astounded by the beauty of buildings and the architecture of Spain especially that of moorish influence. These amazing architectural pieces were spotted throughout Spain and its culture which lent to an amazing cultural environment to study and live in. I believe the thing that resounded the most within me was that we are not and never have been the first ones on this planet, regardless to how much we would like to believe it.

Pressing Start in Turkey »

So it is time to talk about the language barrier. It is actually not that bad, I can mime almost anything now! I have also learned a few words like hello and thank you and sorry/excuse me. But I have noticed a few things 1) Tone here is not as important as it is in english. For […]

Home Really is Where the Heart Is »


During my time in Sweden I traveled to Norway to see some extended family. I stayed for 10 days in Oslo with my third cousins once removed, Marianne and Nils, and their kids (my third cousins) Henrik and Cecilie, who were about my age. I got to go to Holmenkollen and explore downtown, but by […]

The best preparation for my program »

Honestly moving abroad is a big shock. I definitely wasn’t entirely aware of it at the time, because internally everything seems fine, but it really was a crazy time. Luckily, you can prepare yourself for some of the challenges that you are going to face. For me there was one thing that perhaps served as […]

Difficulties Abroad, The Angry Frenchman »

During my stay abroad in Aalborg, Denmark I lived with two french students also studying abroad, however, for longer periods of time. One of them, Jeremy, was the source of many difficulties throughout my stay in northern Europe. It all culminated late on one Tuesday night. It was his birthday, and the two of us […]

Streets of Aalborg, Denmark »

This is a photo of the street that I lived on. It was where I would catch my bus to go to school, the street I would take to go grocery shopping, out to the bars and clubs. This street was my world for almost 6 months. I remember when I took this photo thinking […]

Rebekah Daniel – Ifrane Morocco »

I spent the fall semester in Ifrane, Morocco and it was an amazing experience. Here are a few pictures from the “Blue City” (Chefchaouen) and a tiny town called Akchour which is about 45 minutes away from Chefchaouen which is located in the northern part of Morocco. A group of five girls and I went […]


This photo was taken in Budapest, Hungary towards the beginning of my time abroad. This memorial, which consists of a row of old shoes with candles in them,  is considered one of the hidden treasures of Budapest because there is no plaque describing what it is or its purpose. The story behind it goes back […]


I spent my fall semester in the incredible city of Prague, Czech Republic.  I took thousands of pictures of my time abroad, but I particularly like this one.  It shows the skyline of the historic Old Town district of Prague, with the Zizkov broadcast tower looming over every building in the city.  Erected by the […]


I lived in lovely Kawagoe, Saitama, for the term of my study abroad. I was scheduled to leave Kawagoe the day after Christmas, and my school term had ended on the 21st so that I could spend it with my family. I have never been one to celebrate the mainstream holidays. In the train station, […]

“. . .this majestical roof, fretted with golden fire. . .” »

The beautiful underside of the roof covering the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe, a recreation of the Elizabethan theatre made famous by Shakespeare’s work. As a groundling, I paid £5 (~$8.00) to stand in the Yard within two feet of the front of the stage. Yes, the play was nearly three hours long, and standing for […]

“Don’t lose your cup. It’s your baby, your life.” »

. All of us international students bought blue overalls since it’s tradition at Swedish universities to wear overalls. The first time you are supposed to wear your overalls is at what they call your Overall Premiere. I talked to my Swedish friend about his Premiere and he muttered something about wine and buckets and not […]

Aqueduct in Segovia, Spain »

Mountains of Shoes at Auschwitz-Birkenau »

While studying abroad in Prague our program took a weekend trip to Krakow, Poland. While there we visited Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. This was one of the most harrowing experiences on the trip and this photo I took of the piles of  shoes from the more than a million victims who were murdered there was one […]

Tingo Pucara »

Last Sunday, I had a class field trip for rural sociology. We spent the day in the community of Tingo Pucara, which is located in Guangaje parrish, Pujili county, Cotopaxi province in the Ecuadorian highlands. Tingo Pucara is an indigenous community of 25 kichwa-speaking families in Guangaje parish, Cotopaxi Province, Ecuador. The community is located […]