Tag Archives: Study Abroad
Linfield provides the wonderful opportunity to study abroad and even pays for airfare for those not required to study abroad for their major. But, there are many obstacles that could hinder the decision to study abroad for students, especially those who compete in sports for Linfield.
But many student athletes took advantage of this chance and traveled all over the world. Athletes from baseball, softball, swimming, women’s tennis and track and field all participated in semester and January term trips abroad.
In missing a semester, or even Jan term, athletes miss out on off season training that will prepare them for the season.
Some student athletes who traveled abroad for the fall semester were juniors AJ Wagner, Kelly Watanabe, Erin Erbin, Joe Stevick, and Grace Middlestadt. Several athletes also traveled during Jan term.
For tennis teammates Watanabe and Erbin, practicing was difficult due to their location in Costa Rica.
“When I started thinking about studying abroad a couple of my main concerns were how I was going to practice tennis while abroad and also how I was going to keep in shape as well,” Watanabe said. “I brought my rackets down to Costa Rica with me thinking that I would have the opportunity to play a few times during the semester. I even had [Emily] with me in Costa Rica so it would have been perfect if there were courts close to where we lived. We unfortunately never had the opportunity to since tennis is not a common sport at all in Costa Rica therefore finding a court to play on was pretty difficult.”
For Wagner, practicing for swimming in Costa Rica was difficult and upon his return he was quickly thrown back into his old routine with the help of his teammates.
“It interfered with swimming because I didn’t have a pool, teammates or coaches accessible to me in Costa Rica,” Wagner said. “I trained by running daily for aerobic exercise; however, I didn’t swim laps a single time. I got tossed into training immediately upon returning from Costa Rica. It was difficult after having not swam at all for four months, but having teammates helped me get back into it.”
Despite the difficulties many athletes have due to studying abroad, they wouldn’t give up their experiences for their sports.
“I think it’s important for student-athletes to take the opportunity to study abroad because for most people, they have a few years in college to play their sport but, depending on the program, there’s only a year or a semester to study in a different country out of your fours years at Linfield. It’s also unlikely that there will be another opportunity like this,” Watanabe said.
“I may have missed out on four months of training and practicing for tennis, but right as I got home I made it one of my top priorities and after just a month of practice, I feel that I’m right back into and feel so prepared for this season.”
Kaylyn Peterson/Managing editor
Studying abroad is great! It allows you to get to know yourself, the country you’re in, the United States and your hometown a whole lot better.
I’ve had the opportunity to live and study abroad before coming to Linfield and I absolutely loved it. You get a better understanding of another country, culture and way of life. Even though we all think we have our own ideas of how other people live, it’s completely different than what we could ever imagine,
regardless of how much research we do or how many people we talk to beforehand. Nothing can really prepare you for the new adventure that you will embark on while studying abroad. Each study abroad opportunity is different and you learn so many new things about yourself that you probably did not even know you could know about yourself.
Studying abroad is a lot easier and less stressful if you remain open-minded and go with the flow. The more you resist, the harder it is to enjoy yourself and have fun. You will learn new ways of doing things you would have never thought that may even be better than how you previously performed a task.
You will truly understand how fortunate you are to be able to study abroad or even to be receiving an education. You will realize all of the little things you took advantage of at home because you won’t have them while you are gone, and you will find a newfound appreciation for them.
I lived in New Zealand when I was younger and the experience was a lot different than when I studied abroad in Europe after graduating high school. Life as a kid is much simpler than as an adult. Kids have less to worry about and are much more accepting of strange things compared to when you are an adult.
Now I am so glad I had that experience and I want to go back to New Zealand one day.
I chose to study abroad in Germany as a gap year after high school because the opportunity arose and I knew I wouldn’t ever get one like it again. I went not knowing anything about the German language, but I learned just by being there. I learned so much more from my host family and my friends that I would have never been able to learn in a classroom. I also learned a lot about myself. I am planning on studying abroad here at Linfield and I think that everyone should at least consider it.
Kiera Downs / Staff writer
Alyssa Townsend can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I know everyone says this about their abroad experience, but it honestly was the most incredible, eye-opening experience I’ve had in my life,” senior Emmylu Elliott said about her time spent in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Elliott described the way her abroad experience impacted her during a presentation, “Highlights of Oaxaca,” on March 21 in Jonasson Hall.
Elliott was required to study abroad for a semester in a Spanish-speaking country to fulfill a minor in Spanish. However, her experience meant more than learning a language.
“We take advantage of language here,” Elliott said. “When you get to a place where they speak another language, you make connections only because of speaking that language.”
She said that learning the language gave her deeper interactions with the people of Oaxaca. Her time spent in Oaxaca also allowed her to realize how diverse Mexican culture is.
“I think a lot of people get a false impression of what Mexico is like,” Elliott said.
Elliott and the other students traveled to many cities and historical sights. The trips were incorporated into their classes and helped them gain a better understanding of what they were learning.
“Not only were you learning about the Mexican culture, you were able to actually experience it,” Elliott said. “Not something you get to do every day, obviously.”
These trips took them to pre-Columbian archeological sites, such as Monte Albán, which was founded in 500 B.C. and is one of the oldest cities in Mesoamerica.
Tlahuitoltepec was Elliott’s favorite city that she visited while traveling for her classes. It is a small indigenous city that follows a traditional political system, where men customarily handle government issues.
To Elliott and the other students’ surprise, however, Tlahuitoltepec had a female president. They got to meet her and learn about her life and the city.
They also visited the classrooms of local children. They played games with the children and learned from the teachers why preserving native languages is so important.
Living with a host family taught Elliott many things about Mexican culture. It allowed her to understand what life is like in Oaxaca and gave her an opportunity to use the language to build relationships.
“Using [Spanish] to form a personal relationship was something that was really meaningful to me,” Elliott said.
Before going abroad, Elliott was nervous to step out of her comfort zone.
“I can’t stress nearly enough how glad I am that I pushed myself to do that,” Elliott said. “I wouldn’t be the same person today if I hadn’t. If I was able to overcome this initial fear, I honestly think anyone can.”
She urges any students studying abroad to fulfill a Spanish minor to equally consider the options of countries they can go to.
“It might end up being that Costa Rica is the right program for them, but they should know just how amazing the Oaxaca program is before they rule it out as an option,” Elliott said.
Elliott plans to live and teach in Spain next year.
“After going abroad, I feel like I can’t sit still here. I want to travel as much as I can and find another experience that is exciting and new, just like Oaxaca was.”
She said there is no better time to study abroad than while in college, especially at Linfield, where it is strongly encouraged.
“I feel like I changed both academically and personally from this experience,” Elliott said. “I encourage everyone to study abroad and fall in love with another culture like I did with Mexico.”
Carrie Skuzeski/Culture editor
Carrie Skuzeski can be reached at email@example.com.
Most who have traveled abroad can tell you that learning a language is one of the hardest parts about being in a foreign country. But for those going to study abroad, it is essential to the experience. Traveling to Austria has provided Linfield students the opportunity to improve their German speaking skills, as well as the opportunity to see Europe.
“At Linfield, I would only speak German for an hour or so each day for class, but here it’s nonstop,” junior Addison Wisthoff said. “I can definitely tell my German has improved from this.”
Attending the Austro-American Institute, Wisthoff has been immersed in Austrian culture. While the classes meet the Linfield Curriculum and catalogue, Wisthoff said that they are very different in teaching style.
“I took three classes: Ethnic Diversity, Austrian Cultural History and Austrian Politics. We also take [a German class] at the University of Vienna,” Wisthoff said. “The classes are taught differently than at Linfield.
“I have gone on tours/field trips with all my institute classes. I really enjoy this aspect of school,” Wisthoff said. “We were able to learn about Gothic or baroque architecture one day and the next day we get to go see real baroque and Gothic building or learn about a Habsburg monarch, and then see where they lived and where they were buried. The time spent in class was slightly different from Linfield, in the aspect that it was primarily lecture-based with little discussion.”
Junior Angie Aguilar went to Austria during the fall of 2011 with only one year of German under her belt, which caused some difficulties adjusting to the culture.
“I was able to go through the classes alright because our professors were very patient with us,” Aguilar said. “But when I would try to speak German in stores, the salespeople would switch to English as soon as I made a mistake.
“After that happens so many times, it gets very discouraging,” Aguilar said. “Also, when I would have dinner with my host family and their friends, it was really awkward to be able to understand what they’re saying but simply not have the vocabulary to add to the conversation.”
While school in Austria has provided a more exciting learning environment, the city life has been a little shocking for Wisthoff.
“Since Austria is a strongly Christian state, nearly all the stores are closed on Sundays,” Wisthoff said. “This means that you need to plan ahead when you go grocery shopping, since the stores would be closed. The stores also close around 7:30 p.m., so that was something else to think about.”
Aguilar struggled with the conservative style of Austria in comparison to the brightly colored clothing from America.
“When I went to Austria, I had bleach-blond hair and dressed in skirts, knee high socks and hair bows, usually all in pretty bright colors,” Aguilar said. “This didn’t mesh with Vienna’s fairly conservative fashion of jeans, a button-up shirt, blazer, and scarves in dark or neutral colors.”
During his time in Austria, Wisthoff has gotten the chance to do many things he wouldn’t have expected to have the chance of doing had he not studied abroad.
“I met both the Austrian chancellor and president, I was on an Austrian national TV News Talk twice [as an audience member], and [was] able to go all over central Europe on weekend trips,” Wisthoff said. “I have been to Germany, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Italy and Hungary. I am thankful for all these opportunities that I could have, and I would recommend others to look into the Austrian study abroad program.”
Aguilar’s favorite thing she experienced while in Austria was the connections she made with new people from different places and backgrounds.
This semester, Wisthoff and four other Linfield students are studying in Austria. While Linfield does not normally host Austrian students, they regularly have teaching assistants to help teach German, according to Marie Schmidt, assistant to the International Programs Office.
Three students gave a presentation about their study abroad experiences of the recent earthquakes in Japan and Christchurch, New Zealand. The presentation took place Nov. 3 in Jonasson Hall.
Senior Elizabeth Stenger began the presentation with her experience of the Christchurch earthquake.
“We didn’t have any idea what was going on,” Stenger said. “The power went out, and the ground was shaking. We thought it was an aftershock but it just kept going.”
Junior Jen Boston was also studying abroad in New Zealand when the earthquake hit, although she said she was in Dunedin, a city south of Christchurch.
“I didn’t find out until my host said to go watch the news,” Boston said. “On TV there were pictures of cracked roads and flooding. It was shocking because N.Z. doesn’t censor their news like the U.S. does. You could see bodies lying under rubble and stuff.”
Senior Ariel Lillico experienced the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan while she was studying abroad in Tokyo. Lillico said the earthquake was far away from Tokyo, but they could still feel it.
“I was in my dorm when the earthquake hit,” Lillico said. “The school was near a hospital, so we got power back pretty quickly, but most of the area around didn’t have power.”
Lillico said one of the first things she did after the earthquake ended was get on Facebook and tell everyone that she was okay.
The presenters advised any student who might encounter a natural disaster while studying abroad to keep in contact with their parents and the people at home. Staying in the loop of communication was important during an emergency, they said.
Stenger said that it took two and a half hours for her to get cell phone service so she could call her mother.
“I remember the first message we got was ‘people are hurt,’” Stenger said. “We got a message from the school that they were evacuating the international students. My roommate and I went to spend a week at a friend’s house in Wellington. I think that was a good decision—the parents were wonderful.”
Lillico said that Linfield gave its students in Japan the option to stay or go home, unlike some schools that pulled their students out of Japan.
“I never considered going home,” Lillico said. “I never really felt in danger. A lot of other students were required to go home. Everyone who stayed was really passionate about their opportunity to see Japanese culture, and they didn’t want to have to give that up.”
All in all, the presenters agreed that experiencing disasters while studying abroad was an unforgettable experience, and not necessarily in a bad way.
“The Christchurch earthquake opened up another window into the culture–how they react to disasters,” Boston said. “They pulled through in the most incredible way possible. I learned a lot about myself in that time.”
Sharon Gollery/Cultures editor
Sharon Gollerycan be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.