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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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 city, it [...]

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 example, [...]

Home Really is Where the Heart Is »