Main Content RSS FeedRecent Articles

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum – Glasgow, Scotland »

10606190_900686656621125_2407140278550560573_n

For spring break, five of us took advantage of cheap flights and spent some time traveling around Scotland! This was one of our first days in Glasglow after spending almost a week in Edinburgh.

Shakespeare & Castles »

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset

This picture was taken at Kennilworth Castle, one last stop on our way back to London after we had stayed in Stratford-Upon-Avon and seen Much Ado About Nothing at the Royal Shakespeare Company. We enjoyed a windy afternoon of climbing the ruins, enjoying the amazing view of the countryside, and went to the oldest pub in the town for dinner. We learned the story of the castle, why it was in ruins, and its significance in British history. Even in its current state, the castle was still beautiful in the late afternoon winter sun.

My Experiences With Dogs in Italy »

This past semester I studied abroad at Duke University’s Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) program in Rome. We stayed at the Centro, a four-story building in the Monteverde area of Rome that served as our dormitory, classrooms, and dining hall. I had many fantastic experiences while in Italy, but out of all the experiences, some of the ones that have had the greatest effect on me were my experiences with dogs. I had two very negative encounters with dogs in Italy that brought back some of my childhood fears and have changed how I interact with them. While I still love dogs, I tend to be wary around them now and I try to avoid walking too closely to ones that I haven’t met before. Read the rest

Russian Mathematics »

The remnants of my classmates and I working on a problem for Computability and Complexity. The Russian pedagogy of mathematics emphasizes collaboration on problems that are often too difficult to feasibly do alone.

Mathematics is a special discipline in that one’s culture and upbringing rarely affects its content. A historical account can be shaped by your nationality, your interpretation of a novel can be affected by your race, and even the observations you make in a scientific experiment can be affected by your cultures (albeit fields like physics and chemistry don’t suffer that much from this). Read the rest

A Brief Summary of Five Months Abroad »

“Everybody has a backstory. For example, though I am currently living in France and adapting myself to the ways of the French, I still like listening to alt-j and watching Parks and Rec while I get ready to walk the half a mile to school each morning. Read the rest

Accidentally Hiking Up a Mountain »

During my very long winter break, I expressed a desire to my family to go on a hike, like we used to when we went on vacation.  Once in Japan, I decided to act on this desire (just without my family) and had what was probably the single most enjoyable day on my entire trip (almost certainly the most beautiful). Read the rest

A Snapshot From My Life Abroad »

At the end of last month, my friend Mariah and I flew off to London for nine days of seriously, SERIOUSLY jam-packed exploring. We saw Buckingham Palace, celebrated the arrival of a very royal baby (free flags! old men dancing!), ate fish and chips, crossed Abbey Road, investigated (har, har) Baker Street, and did the grand viewing of The London Eye, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben (as well as both Regent’s and Hyde Park) — I’m now confident I can navigate nearly any subway or metro system, regardless of language. Read the rest

Czechmate »

The study abroad experience is often discussed between friends and strangers alike as the epitome of the college adventure. I landed in Prague with two guidebooks, and countless stories from UPCES alum about all the good times that were waiting for me in this post-iron curtain oasis. Though I headed into Prague with detailed instructions about where to find a decent burrito at 2am and a warning about my over friendly nature, I found myself running around Old Town like a chicken with my head cut off. Read the rest

Study Abroad in Ireland »

Screen Shot 2015-09-09 at 2.11.34 PM
I took this photo in Derry, a town in Northern Ireland which is still under British rule. Ireland has been effected by political troubles linked to a conflict between Irish nationalists who want their own free state (the Republic of Ireland) and British loyalists who want to remain under British rule (Northern Ireland). This conflict has persisted since Irish independence in the 1920s, though things have been mostly politically stable since the 1990s. There are still memorials and monuments dedicated to the conflict throughout Ireland, and finding these monuments in the Irish quarter of Derry was really striking. Read the rest

Fun Times in Finland (Study Abroad Experience) »

To feed a Reindeer from my hand is an experience that I will always remember. How many people can say they have taken a selfie with Reindeer?  A experience that can only happen if someone treks up to Lapland.

To feed a Reindeer from my hand is an experience that I will always remember. How many people can say they have taken a selfie with Reindeer? A experience that can only happen if someone treks up to Lapland.

Friends and Mountains »

abroad

This photo was snapped by a fellow Willamette student during my favorite weekend abroad. We had set out on a mission to climb Mt. Cook, however the weather was not in our favor. By the time we drove the five hours to get to the trailhead, the weather at the hut was so bad that no one was going up. We reluctantly decided to give up on Mt. Cook and headed to Wanaka, a small town on the South Island of New Zealand. Even though it was forecasted to pour, we were determined to get out and hike to a hut for the night. We went into the ranger station and asked for any hut that was open and they pointed us in the direction of the Breast Hill Track. It ended up being one of the most beautiful hikes I did during my time abroad. We were alone on the track and got to spend the night in the hut with just our group. Playing cards all night and getting up to watch the sunrise was an absolutely wonderful surprise and showed me that even when literally nothing goes as planned, everything can still work out!

The Fragility of Life »

FullSizeRender
While in Ireland I had the privilege to visit a place called Inishmore, otherwise known as one of the Aran Islands. It is a remote island located near Galway, Ireland and while there I toured a medieval stone fort perched on the edge of a 100 meter high cliff. I took this photo while lying on my stomach, overlooking the edge of the cliff straight down to the water. During our tour of the island our tour guide told us that one year a German exchange student fell off that cliff and died. Read the rest

Study Abroad in France »

This image shows Grenoble, the beautiful Alpine city in the Southeastern part of France, that I spent 5 months living in. This photo was taken about a month after living there, after overcoming all the hardships of the first month abroad. In this photo, I am comfortable and happy. I climbed a mountain for a breathtaking view and the experience abroad made me feel more grateful, confident, and alive.

This image shows Grenoble, the beautiful Alpine city in the Southeastern part of France, that I spent 5 months living in. This photo was taken about a month after living there, after overcoming all the hardships of the first month abroad. In this photo, I am comfortable and happy. I climbed a mountain for a breathtaking view and the experience abroad made me feel more grateful, confident, and alive.

The Fight for Equality in a Deeply Catholic Country »

On May 22, 2015, Ireland became the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.  There are so many stories to tell about this event.

The date for the voting was announced in January or February. Initial polls showed a 74% approval rating for legalizing same sex marriage. If I remember correctly, these polls were of general public opinion, rather than just those registered to vote. This is because, in Ireland, very few people, especially people my age, are registered to vote. Read the rest

A Day in Lincoln, England »

A picture of myself in front of the massive Lincoln Cathedral

Very, very early on a January morning, all the international students and I took a bus to Lincoln for a day trip. Lincoln itself is a very small town, only known for it’s massive cathedral, which happens to be the third largest in all of the United Kingdom. After learning that the cathedral was built in the twelfth century I was particularly amazed by the incredible size of it, as well as the intricate architecture and stained glass that made up the building. For as large as the cathedral is, the inside is quite modest. Read the rest

Changing of the Seasons »

nuuksio2-small

I used to think that when I grew up I would want to live somewhere warm and tropical, near the equator, where it’s sunny all year round and most importantly, the days don’t get shorter in the winter. Given that, I still don’t quite know why I ended up boarding a plane to Finland, in the dead of winter, arriving to days of maybe 5 or 6 hours of sunlight and temperatures which stayed below freezing for a couple of months. But out of all my experiences there, seeing the transformation from winter to spring ended up being one of the most beautiful. I discovered that 20-hour days in May make the 5-hour days in January worth it, and seeing the nature come to life in spring is infinitely more beautiful after such a cold and stark (yet peaceful) winter. Needless to say, I don’t think I want to live anywhere near the equator anymore when I grow up.

I took these photos at the exact same spot in Nuuksio National Park, Espoo, Finland, on January 31 and May 19, 2015, and they represent to me the incredible change in seasons I saw take place over those 4 months. The photos were postprocessed and combined in Photoshop.

Stumbling Across A Painful History »

Holocaust Memorial Tiles in Berlin

It was spring break. After spending two and a half months in Galway, Ireland, I set off to Berlin. I spent four days in the city before I stopped and looked more closely at the metallic stones I glanced dotting the street as I rushed to and from the tourist spots. I was stunned as I read the stones, realizing that all over the city small memorials dotted the streets, markers of those taken from their homes in the Holocaust. I immediately snapped a picture, and found myself taking dozens more as I took the time to stop and read everyone I stumbled across. The memorials were incredibly moving, and taking the moment to stop, to witness the significance of such a seemingly small thing, a cobble stone in the street, gave me an entire new way of seeing the city. Read the rest

Flashback Friday »

Anger, France

A photo of me in Anger, France! :) This photo was taken on top of the castle in Angers and was our first excursion as an AHA group. It was a wonderful experience and a great opportunity to meet new people. I think this is my favorite photo of my entire time. Enjoy!

My Trip to Bali »

Waking up at 2 a.m., climbing a volcano to watch the sunrise over the mountains and ocean in Bali, Indonesia. I will always remember the life long friendships made, the places I'v been and the memories I've made.

Waking up at 2 a.m., climbing a volcano to watch the sunrise over the mountains and ocean in Bali, Indonesia. I will always remember the life long friendships made, the places I’v been and the memories I’ve made.

Wandering around Europe »

Pre-study abroad I’d always considered myself to be a meticulous planner. I like to be able to have a plan before jumping into anything, which can be a good and a bad thing. The travel partners I met in Germany definitely changed that for the better. There were days where I would take the bus to the Hauptbahnhof and jump on a train because I was bored and get off at a stop that looked or sounded interesting and because I could. Read the rest

An International Meal, Angers France »

An international meal with people from 10 different countries!  Studying abroad not only lets you experience the culture of the country you're in, but also the cultures of people from around the world.  Study abroad not only gives you a better perspective of the country you're visiting, it gives you a global perspective.

An international meal with people from 10 different countries! Studying abroad not only lets you experience the culture of the country you’re in, but also the cultures of people from around the world. Study abroad not only gives you a better perspective of the country you’re visiting, it gives you a global perspective.

A New Thanksgiving Tradition »

IMG-20141127-WA0008

This picture is a shot of the food I made with my flat on Thanksgiving while I was in London. One reason this photo is meaningful to me is that, although my flat mates were primarily not American, we all came together and spent the day in the kitchen cooking to prepare an “American” Thanksgiving. I loved how excited they were to contribute, and as this was my first Thanksgiving celebrated away from home, it was nice to have a new family of friends to keep the tradition alive. I also feel it is representative of what made my study abroad experience so meaningful: the relationships I formed with new people. All the new sights and experiences wouldn’t be the same without the people who were there with me. And my flat mates did a perfect job of making it feel like home. We became a little family. And in the same way my other American flatmates and I are shared our culture, we learned about theirs as well. Which was truly special.

 

12 Apostles, Melbourne Australia »

12 Apostles Rock Formation  on the Great Ocean Road in Australia. An unforgettable and amazing site that I'll never forget and am so glad I was able to see it on my experience abroad in Australia.

12 Apostles Rock Formation on the Great Ocean Road in Australia. An unforgettable and amazing site that I’ll never forget and am so glad I was able to see it on my experience abroad in Australia.

Kawagoe Festival »

PHTO0004.JPG

This is a picture of a Japanese festival movable shrine called a Mikoshi. This picture is from the Kawagoe Festival. I had read about Mikoshi before but this was the first time I’d seen one in use. The people on it play music and dance. It was my first Japanese festival and I enjoyed it a lot. The food there was great. It was a lot of the same stuff at a variety of vendors. Food included chocolate covered bananas, okonomiyaki, takoyaki, yakisoba, yakitori, and a lot of other stuff. This took place along a normally busy road and it was shut down for days. I was impressed with the scale of the event. In my opinion, there is not really anything in America that is equivalent to a Japanese festival but the atmosphere of it is a little similar to a county fair, mostly in regards to food and stalls.

Grateful for the Simple Things »

One of my favorite times while abroad in Morocco was when I spent a short vacation in the Pre-Saharan Desert. I went for a few days with friends from school to spend four days in the desert. We spent the days riding through the dunes with our camels, and the nights singing and dancing around the bonfires. Our campsite consisted of ourselves, our camels, and the tents. In the mornings we woke up early, 4am or so, to climb to the top of the highest dune nearby and watch the sunrise over the dunes. In the weeks before my trip to the desert I had been had been struggling a lot. I was having a really hard time abroad, and during this trip and especially in this moment I realized how important it was to take a step back, appreciate the simple things, and realize how lucky you are to have the things you have in your life. I had never seen something so simple and beautiful. My experience as a whole in Morocco was amazing. Although I faced a lot of challenges, I also learned to appreciate a lot of simple things and be grateful.