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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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 […]

Tonka Truck crush Car. Tonka win. »

A wonderful thing about running: there is no grammar, pronunciation, or inflection involved! A double tall American female with a bro tank and topknot hair, jogging in silver shiny running shoes demands no need for translation or monetary exchange! While my nationality is still definite, I can exchange glances with fellow runners, assuming a mutual […]

Sanja Matsuri »

A Bumpy Ride »

I took this photo after a very bumpy ride along a pot hole lined road to the backpackers at Bulungula, which is located along the Wild Coast. To get to Bulungula, my friend and I got a ride from the backpackers we were staying at to a small town nearby. Then from the small town […]

Up from the South »

Feria Fishing La Caleta, Valparaíso, Chile Back to the Willamette green and brick, but missing those beautiful colors and intense smells of the fish market!

A Promise for Endless Love »

This photo was taken at Korea’s iconic Seoul Tower, also called Namsan Tower. I waited specifically till after my program ended when my mother and uncle would visit me to go to Seoul Tower.  I wanted to share this experience with my family because of what this tower represents and show them the beautiful view […]

Being Home »

I am ready for my next trip abroad and I have only been back less than a month. I think I will start planning my next adventure. I learned a lot being abroad including how to appreciate the people around me and the places that I come from. It is definitely an eye opener to […]