Where I studied: Telemark, Norway (Fall 2012), Cape Town, South Africa (Spring 2013)
Majors/Minors: Women’s and Gender Studies, English Writing
I tried to center both of my semesters away around questions of equity. In Norway, I was interested in how Norwegian culture related to the country’s ability to equitably manage its wealth.
In Cape Town, I was able to spend a month solely on a research project studying how Sonke Gender Justice’s “One Man Can" Campaign, which is a campaign that attempts to end rape and gender based violence through promoting peaceful and equitable masculinities, addresses racist gendered stereotypes created under Apartheid as well as British and Dutch colonialism.
Both semesters were filled with incredibly rich learning experiences and moments that I feel incredibly lucky to get to keep in my memory, seeing the northern lights in the Lofoten Islands, swimming in the ocean north of the Arctic Circle, backpacking in western Norway, watching the sunrise over the Lysefjord from Priekestolen, seeing the mountains completely lit by the moon on the train from Bergen to Oslo, seeing Desmond Tutu speak and receive the Templeton Prize, getting to shake his hand, meeting Ntsiki Mashalaba who told us about her husband Steve Biko, going to the theatre in Johannesburg, touring Robin Island, standing in Nelson Mandela's cell and so many smaller moments that created a transformative and empowering year.
Where I Studied: Chengdu, China
Majors/Minors: Political Science and Chinese Studies / Global Studies and Philosophy
When I look back on my time studying away in China, I can't help but be impressed with how many new experiences I was able to have. Not only did I leave the United States for the first time, but I also climbed mountains in Tibet, ate scorpions in Beijing, learned to like spicy food in Chengdu (Haozi Mian has the best spicy noodles!), and explored skyscrapers in Shanghai. China was truly a transformative experience for me, and I can't help but thank PLU and the Wang Center for making it all happen.
Where I Studied: Vienna, Austria with IES Abroad
Major: Anthropology Minor: Religion
I chose my location and program in Vienna, Austria because I knew that it was a German speaking country and that the Viennese valued arts and culture. Without knowing a lot about what I was getting myself into I threw myself into a program where I took German classes nearly every day; got the opportunity to intern at the Belvedere Museum, one of Vienna's finest and most famous art museums; and got to live in a beautiful house out in the suburbs with the most amazing and fun group of 6 other girls. I learned to love living in a city of 1.7 million people with fabulous public transportation. It was a lifechanging semester to get to experience three months of snow, huge city parks, five dollar operas, working in an internationally renown museum, and just to meet great people who also valued a semester abroad and had chosen Vienna.
Where I studied: Oaxaca, Mexico and upcoming Uruguay (J-Term) 2014!
Major: Environmental Studies and Hispanic Studies
I knew next to nothing about Mexico’s southern state of Oaxaca before I spent a semester studying there. It was one of the most challenging experiences in college completely immersed in Spanish-speaking environment and constantly reevaluating my space and responsibility in the world. I left Oaxaca a different person – both a wicked tamale maker and more conscious U.S. and global citizen. Study away has been an essential piece of my academic and personal growth, and I am excited to work with others who are curious to explore the world as well!