Mary Doyle '15 Prague, Czech Republic: Fall 2013
Studying abroad in Prague, I was most amazed by how much the country of the Czech Republic was, and is, still rebuilding itself and its foundation after the dissolution of the communist regime, and the split of Czechoslovakia. My eyes were completely opened seeing how the citizens have such a proud love for their country, and ultimately want to fight to make it the place they know it can be. They were constantly fighting for various rights—many rights that seems like a given to us in the United States.
As a very artistic city, the people of Prague would use these talents to put on demonstrations aimed at the government. Whether through large, bold art installations in the most popular parts of the city, through bands performing about life in the Czech Republic post communism, or through graffiti sights throughout the city, the people always find creative ways to voice their opinions to the larger population. It was incredible to see the devotion the citizens have to their country, and what they are willing to do to ensure the country is the best it can be. Not only did this give me a total appreciation for the ways the Czech Republic differs from the US, but the people of the Czech Republic taught me a lot about what it means to have a strong national identity, and how important it is to never lose that.
Noah Potash '15
Manchester, England: Fall 2013
Studying abroad has changed my perspective both on American culture and on the cultures of the places I studied. In Manchester, the spread of American pop culture to all aspects of life was pretty readily apparent, from the music playing in stores and apartments to the ubiquitous presence of American fast food. We tend to think of England as the global empire that it was for most of recent history, but over there, most people are more concerned with apologizing for imperialism than nostalgia for it. The Brits are simultaneously in love with and disdainful towards American culture.
When I took an extended study to Israel, I found out how easy it is to follow an issue in American news media and have no idea what is actually going on. Pundits and politicians tend to boil contentious issues like the situation in Israel down to a series of talking points, but the reality is so much more complicated that the limited information most Americans receive is almost worse than nothing. After learning about the background of the conflict and talking to people who really live there, I realized that it’s not possible to simplify some things without distorting the picture.
Sherry Tran '15 Stone Town, Zanzibar: Spring 2014
Studying abroad in Tanzania and Zanzibar gave me the opportunity to be immersed and integrated in a vibrant culture and community. This experience made me recognize and acknowledge the privilege and access that American culture possesses. We take for granted many opportunities, freedom and facilities that are readily available in our culture that may be limited in others.
Residing in both rural and urban environments in Zanzibar, it was significant to be aware of the access to water, electricity, oil and other utilities. Urban areas tend to have more access towards these facilities than do rural areas, however both environments are limited in its development of these facilities. It was a responsible act to be conscious and conserving of these resources. This was closely related to the program theme of natural resource management, where we learned about conservation in an ecological context as well. I’ve become more aware and mindful of my actions in terms of conserving resources. Realizing that access to certain facilities is not always readily available to others, I attempt to not take for granted the privilege of having these facilities but to be responsible users of them.
Anna Santiago '18 Office Assistant
Anna is a first year student. She is on the Club Equestrian team and part of the Ambassadors Program through the Admissions Office. Anna is planning on majoring in International Relations with a minor in Spanish. She is interested in studying abroad in Latin America to continue to study the Spanish language. She is looking forward to assisting the office as they make foreign study possible.