Students reflect on time spent studying abroad Fall Term

By Rachel Taber

Last term, Lawrence students studied abroad all over the world in order to experience different cultures and explore new things. Through learning new languages and meeting new people, students abroad gained a new perspective of the world.

Junior Lucy Pipkin visited Dana Nature Reserve while staying in Amman, Jordan. While hiking and camping with her roommate she got to meet families from Germany, Italy, Jordan, and France. “Because of that experience,” said Pipkin, “we had another group of friends outside of just hanging out with Americans the whole time”

Junior Tahnee Marquardt joined a local ultimate team while studying in Pune, India. “I went to tournaments and got to see certain places [I] otherwise wouldn’t have seen,” explained Marquardt. “[I] just got a whole different feel of what our generation is like in India right now.”

Junior Sarah Bonoff loved the city of Berlin, especially because of its pedestrian-friendly vibe. “I would usually walk everywhere if I had the opportunity” said Bonoff on her favorite part of studying abroad. “I could be walking through the very heart of Berlin by some of the biggest landmarks, and I was completely alone.”

Junior Sarah Loepfe got to travel while spending time in Granada, Spain. “My favorite city in Spain that I visited was Sevilla,” said Loepfe. “It was a great combination of the old European feel mixed with modern buildings.”

Although Bonoff took double the coursework than at Lawrence, she still was able to explore the city. “The professors also recognize that we’re not just there to study and be in a classroom,” said Bonoff. “We’re there to really experience the culture.”

In Jordan, Pipkin had a similar experience with her professors. “The professors there are very much aware that you are in Jordan to be in Jordan, she explained. “So the expectations are a little different and modified. It was about going out into the city and experiencing it.”

While in Pune, Marquardt was sick a lot and was amazed by her host parents. “They always cared for me,” she explained, “I was like a daughter to them.”

Pipkin stayed with a host family and was surprised by the similarities with her own family. She said, “Well they watch a lot of Arab idol and TV and it was like ‘oh well it sounds like our family.’”

Studying abroad is an experience many students might be wary of, however Bonoff feels everyone should take advantage of these opportunities. “I think studying abroad is the best experience I’ve ever had,” explained Bonoff. “It makes you more independent and it shows you more of the world that you wouldn’t have had the chance to see. It tells you a lot about yourself when you’re put in such a strange context, and I think it’s a good journey of self-discovery.”

“Being able to live in a culture while learning about it was really cool,” explained Loepfe, “and being able to feel less like a tourist and more like I belonged there was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”