Home » Study Abroad
Category Archives: Study Abroad
This summer I was excited to be the only Juniata student attending the Leeds International Summer School (LISS) at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. Two planes, two trains, one bus, and a 10-minute Uber ride, and finally I was at Uni. During ice breakers (yes, they happen everywhere), I realized less than a tenth of the program consisted of Americans.(more…)
Last year, bored and antsy, I sat in the cafeteria reading the Juniata announcements. I read one informing students about a class still taking students. It was not a memorable day, but the information I learned led to me emailing a professor, joining a class, and getting an opportunity to learn in a life-changing way. There are some situations that you realize will be forever-memories even as you live them. I lived a forever memory this past May in a traditional kimono. Perhaps I should mention that my forever memory occurred in Kyoto, Japan all thanks to that Juniata class.(more…)
I went into my sophomore year at Juniata with a full schedule. Three jobs, two internships, and a full load of credits. Never in a million years did I think I would have the time or the ability to co-found a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) as an undergrad.
The NGO I cofounded with two of my great friends, Evelyn McCammon and Sarah Borgardt, is called The Gambian Art Coalition. It was an idea brought to us by Professor Nagengast in the Politics department. He’s been travelling to The Gambia for the past 15 years and has made many great friends amongst the Gambians.(more…)
I am writing you from the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador. I am here in the archipelago until May for my study abroad semester.
Through Juniata, I am taking courses in a marine based track in the Galápagos Academic Institute for the Arts and Sciences (GAIAS) program with Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ). I spent my first month living with a family in Quito. During that time, I completed a week-long Spanish intensive course and my first module, which included a 7-day trip to the coast of Ecuador. I also took advantage of being on the mainland and traveled during my free time.(more…)
There are a lot of things if your life that you must learn how to unpack. The hardest will be unpacking your passions. Especially as a high school senior, college student, college graduate, and many times as an adult you are going to have a dark night of the soul when you have to ask yourself what you want to do for the rest of your life. Its normal.
For me, I came to Juniata and I knew that I wanted a career that would allow me to travel the world and get paid for it. However, after my trip out of the U.S. it took me a long time to unpack that experience and understand it in terms of my own passions. And to be honest I still do not fully understand the impact it had upon me as individual.
For a Juniata student, I think that it is even more difficult to admit that my study abroad experience wasn’t one of the best experience of my life, because at a school where most people study abroad, all you hear is “my study abroad experience changed me,” “It taught me who I am and what I want to be”. After a lot of unpacking, I can honestly say that my study abroad experiences were not the best experiences I have had over my college career.
My study abroad experience challenged me, it helped me grow, it broadened my horizons and it did make me understand what I didn’t want to spend my entire life abroad. However, unpacking my last 4 years here at Juniata. I can honestly say my defining moment that helped shape me as the person I wanted to be happened on October 30th, 2014. That was the day my grandfather died.
When he died, it was echo that pushed me outside of the reverberations. For me it was like superman died, and very slowly all I saw were cracks in my foundation. For so long I was convincing myself that traveling was my passion, but it wasn’t. When he died, everything started to crumble and it was in that suffocating mess that I realized the void he left.
Being raised by my grandparents I was raised in a legacy. We were farmers. We raised cows. We gardened. We canned. That was our identity. After his death, I was fighting for that to stay my identity. I grew a horrible garden, but I grew a garden. And in many ways I thought that maybe I could connect the pieces of my life that seemed to fall through the cracks, but it wasn’t enough and it wasn’t good enough. Because gardening wasn’t the only part of my identity I need to unpack.