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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Animal bont »

Never say never!

Tokunoshima, Japan »

This is a picture of me and a few friends on the highest point on Tokunoshima Island Japan. The guy on the right is actually a Willamette alum, who I met by chance during my stay there. It was about an hour long hike to the top in which we had to be weary of […]

Chilangolandia aka Mexico City »

I spent my first semester of my year long study abroad experience in Guanajuato, Mexico. Mexico represented my opportunity to explore my homeland, it was a physical and emotional journey that was critical in learning more about my roots and rethinking my values. I did so by traveling through different regions of my home state, Michoacán and other states. I also built memorable relationships with students all over Mexico. A close friend of mine, Christian, offered me his home in Mexico City. I had to travel there to obtain my visa for Spain for the following semester. My visit to Mexico City was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had. My friend’s family received with such warmth and care that I remember now and smile fondly. I traveled to different historic sites and oftentimes had to do so alone because the family I was staying with had to work. I felt empowered, it was a huge city but I still saw many sights that I had seen only in TV. The above photo is of a “traginera” in Xochimilco. I traveled there with Christian’s mom and sister. We boarded the traginera and shared stories, memories and laughter.

On Top of the World »

During my mid-semester break in Perth, Australia, a group of 14 students, including me, road tripped 14 hours up the coast, to hit Karijini National Park. It is one of the most beautiful places in the middle of the outback, with lots of gorges and hikes. This picture was taken at the top of Mt. […]

Wales »

This image was taken in Snowdonia in Wales and is possibly my favorite picture from my time abroad. Although I studied in Leicester, England, I took a trip out to Wales with some friends and we decided to do a hike in Snowdonia. Winds were blowing furiously and the ground got marshier as we went, […]

Kutna Hora… A creepy history but a beautiful town »

Kunta Hora is famously known for the bone church, Sedlec Ossuary. This ossuary is a small Roman Catholic chapel that contains 40,000-70,000 bones that were placed in a decorative arrangement. The reason for the mass amount of bones was due to the exhuming of skeletons and staking them in a pile in the chapel. Between […]


That’s me eating snails as a tapa in the bar right by my apartment. I was with my host mother and compañera de casa, totally in love with the newness of it all. Studying abroad was all about trying to things, eating new things, going to new places. I think you can tell by my […]

Turkey »

A mid semester excursion from Istanbul to the south of Turkey for some deep water soloing was a highlight of my time abroad. Affordable domestic flights and over night buses made seeing the country easy and practical. Few things rival a week of climbing on the Mediterranean coast.

Hallstatt, Austria »

Dating back to 5500 BC, Hallstatt located in Upper Austria is one of the oldest established cultures thanks to wealth found in the salt mines. It is the most beautiful place I can ever imagine being able to see and I hope to return to Austria and Hallstatt someday in the near future.
-Elizabeth Drake

Argentina 2014 »

The 8 months I spent abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina were phenomenal! Not only did I learn more about myself and how to carry myself through different groups of people, I learned more about the importance of establishing an international civil community. In the first picture, I was fortunate to reunite with one of my […]