SUMMER 2014 – NEW BLOGGERS

Meet our new bloggers for Summer Quarter 2014! 

 

Abramson_1Rachel Abramson (rhabramson)
Asian Languages & Literature Summer Departmental Exchange with Sichuan University (UW Dept. Exchange)
Chengdu, China
Summer Quarter, 2014

About Me
My name is Rachel Hao Abramson (my Chinese name is 郝艾瑞). I will be a junior for the 2014-2015 academic year and I am majoring in Medical Anthropology and Global Health (MAGH). Though I have lived in Seattle most of my life, I did not move to the United States until I was nearly 7 years old. Before that I lived in Beijing, China for three years, and in Vancouver, BC for four. I am half-Chinese (on my mother’s side) and half-Caucasian. Though I spoke Chinese when I was little, I forgot it all when I moved to Vancouver, and I have always wanted to be bilingual again.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
This Summer I will be studying third-year Chinese at Sichuan University (四川大学) in Chengdu (成都), China. I am doing this through a direct exchange with Sichuan University, though the students from China will be studying at UW during the school year rather than during the Summer. The program is for 8 weeks, but I plan to stay in China for a couple weeks after the program ends in order to travel.

What are you most excited about?
I am mostly excited about truly immersing myself–to force myself to use Chinese–and eating Chinese food! Sichuan food is famous for being VERY spicy, and I’m hoping to increase my tolerance for eating spice, I’m pretty wimpy right now.

What do hope readers will gain from following your posts?
I hope that through my posts, readers will be able to feel that they are experiencing China with me, and want to visit themselves one day.

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Alexandra  Baldwin (baldwinalexandra)
French/Comparative Literature in France: Summer in Paris (UW Program)
Paris, France
Summer B-Term, 2014

About Me
I came to the University of Washington as a transfer student in the fall of 2013 after completing my Associate in Arts degree from Clark College in Vancouver, Wa. I am a French major and education, learning, and society minor. It has been my goal to make the most out of my two short years at the UW, and I have found ways to be very active on campus. I am an officer in the UW French Club, a member of the Pipeline Project’s street team, and a member of the 2014-2015 cohort of Community Engaged Leaders. Studying abroad is another way for me to make the most out of my time as a husky!

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
I will be participating in the French/Comparative Literature in France: Summer in Paris program. The four week program will focus on the discovery of the French capital city from a historical and cultural point of view, with language courses accompanying the cultural aspect. The classes will be paired with site visits, and we will visit over a dozen significant monuments/museums with the group.

What are you most excited about?
This will be my third trip to the city of light, but my first visit was for only two and a half days, and the second trip was even shorter, lasting only one afternoon. With four weeks of lectures that correlate to visits of sites, I can look forward to learning about Paris in a more deliberate manner. I am particularly excited about having an extended period of time to take in the sites that I previously had to rush past.

What do hope readers will gain from following your posts?
Educational travel can be very inspiring, and it can permanently change the way you travel. Paris is a city that has so much more than just the Eiffel Tower, and I will aim to show the historical and cultural aspects of the cities important sites. I hope that by learning about the history of Paris, readers will be inspired to learn more about all the places they spend time in, with special emphasis on the time spent studying abroad.

Best_SarahSarah Best (scarletbest)
CIEE Summer Russian Language Program in St. Petersburg, Russia
St. Petersburg, Russia
Summer Quarter, 2014

About Me
I’m a junior at the University of Washington in Seattle and I major in Russian and minor in Dance. I was born and raised in Texas. I have done a good deal of travelling in the United States, but this will be my first time to travel overseas.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
St. Petersburg State University in St. Petersburg Russia (CIEE program) for two months. My primary focus is Russian language (rather than literature or history) and I’ll be studying the language in depth during the two months I will be there.

What are you most excited about?
It’s impossible to pinpoint one thing. I hope to have a lot of exciting adventures and do things that I’d never be able to do at home.

What do hope readers will gain from following your posts?
I hope to give people a practical guide to everyday living in Russia and try to explain cultural differences. Maybe I can encourage others to travel here and discover Russia for themselves.

Blagg_DakotaDakota Blagg (dakotablagg)
Honors The Netherlands: Urban Social Control in Comparative Perspective (UW Program)
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Summer A-Term, 2014

About Me
Hello! I am a junior at the University of Washington majoring in Law, Societies, and Justice and minoring in Political Science. After undergrad, I hope to study international law and social justice. I grew up in a small town about an hour North of Seattle, but I have really fallen in love with Seattle’s urban culture. I am also an avid lover of traveling, dogs, hiking, vegetarian food, and photography.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
I will be going to Amsterdam, the Netherlands for the Law, Societies, and Justice and Honors program “Amsterdam and Seattle: Urban Social Control in Comparative Perspective.” We will be studying social order at the University of Amsterdam with respect to policing, drug law, social custom, and prostitution. The nature of our program is weighted in comparative field research. During our spring quarter prep-seminar, we researched the social controls, social interactions, and built environment of a location in Seattle. When we get to Amsterdam, we will find a similar location to which we can compare and contrast our findings and make connections between Dutch and American cultures.

What are you most excited about?
Being immersed in Dutch culture! That includes the academics, but also the cheese, tulips, canals, bikes, windmills, and everything else.

What do hope readers will gain from following your posts?
I hope that readers will be inspired to study abroad, travel, and see contrasting social order through a positive lens.

Duenkel_WilliamWill Duenkel (dubdunk)
IE3 Global Internships – Munich – Infineon Technologies AG
Munich, Germany
Summer Quarter, 2014

About Me
My name is Will and I am a senior in the Michael G. Fosters School of Business, focusing in Accounting and International Studies in Business (CISB German-track), and am currently working towards CPA exam eligibility. I was born and raised in the Eastside suburbs of Seattle and I’ve been sporting purple and gold my entire life. I am very passionate about traveling and my interests include all kinds of music, graphic design, architecture, and linguistics. An enduring goal of mine is to live a truly international, multi-cultured life.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
I studied abroad in Berlin, Germany two years ago (via CHID) and am very fortunate to say that I am returning to Deutschland this upcoming summer. I’ve accepted an internship position at the headquarters of Infineon Technologies AG in Munich, Germany. In addition, I’ll be conducting two individual research projects under UW supervision that will be leading all over Germany, Luxembourg, and Switzerland.

What are you most excited about?
I am not only excited to explore new countries, but to return to some of my favorite spots in Europe as well. I can’t wait to immerse myself in Bavarian culture and put my German-speaking skills to the test.

What do you hope readers will gain from following your posts?
I hope to provide readers with a completely original “abroad” perspective of living and actually working in Germany. I live spontaneously and enjoy challenging myself, so hopefully I can inspire and get a couple laughs out of my readers.

Fulkerson_TylorTylor Fulkerson (93cardiogans)
CHID Philippines: Made in the USA (UW Program)
Manila, Philippines
Summer A-Term, 2014

About Me
I am double majoring in History and Southeast Asian Studies. I have lived in Washington my whole life, but seeing the world is one of my biggest passions. This will be my second UW study abroad program. I went on the “Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia: One European Future Together?” over the summer of 2012, my freshman year. During High School I went on a trip to the UK and Ireland, which sparked my love of traveling. My most recent travels were to Singapore and Indonesia last summer. Music is a major part of my life. I love the opportunities that travel provides for experiencing live music and seeing the communities that form around it. Going crate digging to add new records to my collection from local artists is one of my favorite activities to do while travelling.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
The Philippines through the CHID program “Made in the USA: Knowledge Construction and Social Action in the Philippines.” This program deals with the legacy of American colonialism in the Philippines. There is an emphasis on the effects of the American Educational Policy on Filipino self-identity. We will be attending local history courses at the University of the Philippines dealing with this period and visiting guest speakers from the region in combination with our readings.

What are you most excited about?
Book learning is only one part of an education. I feel an important part of learning is going out and having a firsthand experience. As a Southeast Asian and History double major the topic to the class has a high relevance to my academic interests. Being able to meet with local experts and learn about these topics while in the Philippines is such an exciting opportunity to be able to have. This will definitely change how I think about my majors.

What do hope readers will gain from following your posts?
I hope they gain an interest in learning more about the Philippines and Southeast Asia in general. I also hope that they become inspired to go on a study abroad program regardless of their major and area of interest because it is such a great learning resource that more people should take advantage of while here at UW.

Johnson_KelseyKelsey Johnson (kelseyjohnsonuw)
Business Italy: International Business & Operations Management in Rome (UW Program)
Rome, Italy
Summer A-Term, 2014

About Me
Hi! My name is Kelsey Johnson and I’m a junior Foster student studying Accounting and Information Systems. I’m also a member of Kappa Delta sorority. I love my friends, my family, discovering new places to eat, and playing & watching soccer.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
I’ll be studying at the UW Rome Center for one month this summer for the Foster Business in Italy program. I will be living with about 20 other UW students and we will be taking Operations Management and International Business courses together.

What are you most excited about?
I am looking forward to our weekend trips where we will be touring three company headquarters– I’m most excited to visit Certified Origins, which is a Tuscany-based olive oil company. Yum! We will also have the opportunity to visit Pompeii, Naples, and several other cities. I can’t wait to get to know my classmates and come away with lifelong memories and friendships. Also, Italy is a soccer (oops– futbol) country, and watching the Italian national team play in world cup games among true Italian fans will be an unforgettable experience.

What do hope readers will gain from following your posts?
I hope that any student readers gain an inspiration to find an abroad program to join–it is an experience that will widen my perspective on the world and help me realize the vast amount of people and places I have yet to see in this lifetime. I also hope to provide any tips for future study abroad students that will help them make the most of their traveling.

Lopaze_ChristopherChristopher Lopaze (clopaze)
Independent Learning
Bangalore, India
Summer Quarter, 2014

About Me
Hello. My name is Christopher, and I’m a senior majoring in Journalism. I grew up in Yakima, WA, a city in the eastern part of the state. I enjoy writing, reading (both literature and comic books), drawing, and entertainment in general (movies, TV, music, etc.,). I hope I get to travel more after I’m finished with school. I’ll be graduating after my study abroad experience is complete.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
I’m studying abroad through the UW Foreign Intrigue Scholarship program. The program is intended to give journalism students an opportunity to work as a journalist in a foreign country in Asia, and be immersed in a different culture. I will be traveling to Bangalore, India, the third most populous city in India. The city is known as the “Silicon Valley of India” because of its status as India’s information technology (IT) hub. I will be writing for Citizen Matters, a local publication that only covers news specifically within Bangalore.

What are you most excited about?
I’ve never traveled outside of the states before, so I’m most excited about the opportunity to be immersed in a completely different culture. It’s going to be interesting navigating, and learning from, cultural differences as they arise.

What do you hope readers will gain from following your posts?
I hope to capture not only my impressions as a foreigner, but also to encapsulate the atmosphere of Bangalore so readers can get a taste of what it’s like to live in India. One of my goals as a journalist is to tell engaging stories, and I hope my blog posts live up to that mantra.

Oster_JeremyJeremy Oster (thejayofoh)
Yonsei University (UW Exchange) – Summer
Seoul, South Korea
Summer Quarter, 2014

About Me
My name is Jeremy and I am a sophomore studying Linguistics and Geography. I grew up (for the most part) in Ohio, but I am here now as a student, and I have been having a blast here at the UW. I love studying languages, traveling, and playing entirely too many video games.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you by studying?
I will be going to Yonsei University (연세대학교) in Seoul, Korea for about 6 weeks as apart of an exchange program. My focus while I’m there is to improve my Korean Language skills as much as possible, though I will also be taking general Korean studies classes as well.

What are you most excited about?
The last time I was in Asia I was only about 4 years old, and I’ve never actually been to Korea before. I’m probably most excited for the culture shock oddly enough, though I can’t wait to be completely immersed in Korean culture, rather than just reading / watching in on-line or in textbooks.

What do you hope readers will gain from following your posts?
While South Korea isn’t exactly outside of my comfort zone of places I would want to travel to, I hope to show people it’s okay to explore outside your own personal comfort zone and have fun and learn a lot while doing it.

Patmore_DevynDevyn Patmore (devynlpatmore)
English England: English Literary Program London (UW Program)
London, UK
Summer A-Term, 2014

About Me
Hey, there! My name is Devyn Patmore, and I’m a senior at the University of Washington (Seattle) double majoring in English and Communications. California born and a Washington resident for 10 years, I’ve lived in and explored so much of the United States, but it wasn’t until last summer that I spent my first time abroad with the UW Creative Writing program in Rome, Italy. Needless to say, the experience was life-changing and taught me so much about European culture, as well as some new things about myself. Other than traveling, I love laughing, music and going to concerts, trying new foods, fashion, writing, meeting new people, yoga, bad puns, and geeking out over literature and history.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
I have been offered the amazing opportunity to live in London, England for six weeks through the UW English Department’s Literary London program. There, I’ll study contemporary theatre and current British culture, as well as explore the rich art, architecture, and history of English society. These next few weeks will be wild for me, as I prepare to go through three graduation ceremonies only to hop on my flight to London the following day to finish up my final credits as an undergraduate. Let the adventure begin!

What are you most excited about?
I think I’m most excited to live with a host family. When I studied abroad in Italy, we stayed in adorable apartments in a section of Rome called Trastevere, a living experience that was both picturesque and great for bonding with my peers. However, I cannot wait to fully immerse myself in daily British life, and what better way than with a host family just outside of the city? I am also thrilled to see live theatre performed at Shakespeare’s Globe, and to finally explore a city I have long idealized in my mind!

What do you hope readers will gain from following your posts?
I love writing in any capacity, and blogging for my trip in Rome last summer was a great way for me to reflect on everything I was experiencing there while sharing insight about the ancient city with people around the world. This summer, I hope my posts can reveal some fun and maybe unconventional aspects about London and other parts of the UK, as well as infect people with a bit of my wanderlust!

Rivera_Ariana2Ariana Rivera (arianacr2)
English England: English Literary Program London (UW Program)
London, UK
Summer A-Term, 2014

About Me
Friends, friends! Hi, I’m Ariana. It’s so cool to meet all of the internet. I’m a baby freshman here at the grand ol’ University of Washington studying Creative Writing and Psychology (it’s the best combination.)
I’m a fan of smiling, laughs, vast amounts of music, writing, and food. Always the food, with a good cup of tea. I love going to new places and meeting new people and seeing where my smile takes me.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
I’m heading my little old self off to London and I could not be more excited. Honestly, I’m going for the accents. That and to see the birthplace of English Literature, but honestly more for the accents.
I’m so stoked to be doing what I do and love best, with some downright awesome people. I’ll be studying English literature, but my classes will focus around theater, architecture, and British history. I’m hoping to bring back Charles Dickens or Shakespeare from the dead and along the way run into Hagrid and take a trip to Hogwarts. It really is no big feat.

What are you most excited about?
This is my first time studying abroad, so I’m honestly just so excited to able to be able to go achieve the dream. I’ve been dreaming about going to London ever since I was a little girl. My lovely mother is someone who always encouraged me to reach hard for what I want, and pushed me going to London. I’m stoked to just experience all there is to experience and share it all with the people I love.

What do you hope readers will gain from your posts?
A laugh of course.
But in all honesty, I want people to see London for really all it is! I’m gonna be taking some sick photos and putting some cool anecdotal stories in there about the number of times I get lost (because we all know that it’s going to happen). Hopefully, people will become interested to travel there for themselves!

Sapienza_HunterHunter Sapienza (sapienzahunter)
Honors Italy: Rome (UW Program)
Rome, Italy
Summer A-Term, 2014

About Me
Hi all! I’m Hunter, a soon-to-be-sophomore studying math and biology (ecology, evolution, and conservation) at the University of Washington! My first year has been a blast and I am so grateful to have the opportunity to study abroad this summer. In my free time, I enjoy running and practicing yoga, reading novels, drinking chai tea lattes, and taking time to appreciate the beauty of the world around us. Walks to Gas Works Park, runs through the Arboretum, and road trips across the Olympic Peninsula are among my favorite pastimes. I think peanut butter is the food of the gods, and you will never, ever catch me eating asparagus. At a local elementary school, I volunteer in a first-grade classroom as part of Pipeline Project and it is always the highlight of my week. I hope to teach high school math someday, or pursue a career in educational policy. At any other given moment during the week, you will probably find me working/studying in the Honors Office (where I spend way too much of my time!) or sunbathing in the Quad while pretending to do my homework.🙂

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
This summer, through the Honors study abroad program Mediterranean Crossings, about fifteen fellow students and I will travel to Rome, Italy, with brief trips to both Venice and Florence as well. Within this spectacular city, we will investigate international issues of migration to Rome and the influence of various historical minorities on the evolution of Roman society through markets and cultural sectors of the city. Additionally, through tours and site presentations of Roman attractions, we will study the history of art in Rome and throughout Italy as a whole. Finally, our program will include a study of Islamic influence in Italian culture, and combined with our other two courses, how such factors appear within both society and art.

What are you most excited about?
I’m most excited about leaving the country for the first time ever, experiencing a culture entirely different from my own, and sharing incredible adventures with a great group of friends! I’m supes dupes jazzed to explore the city and get lost in the sights, smells, and tastes which surround me! Whether it’s early morning runs in the Villa Doria Pamphili, a late night passeggiatta through the city, or studying in a local cafe under the blazing sun, I’m excited for every moment of my study abroad experience and cannot wait to embark on this thrilling adventure!

What do you hope readers will gain from following your posts?
By reading my study abroad posts, I hope readers will gain a sense of the incredible opportunities for growth and development that study abroad programs offer. I hope my blog posts will inspire both fellow students and community members to embark on similar journeys to discover the vast world which surrounds us.

Stenvall_TashajaraTashajara Stenvall (tashajara)
Spanish Spain: Exploring Second Language Teaching and Learning in León, Spain (UW Program)
León, Spain
Summer B-Term, 2014

About Me
I’m Tashajara.
As everyone does, I have a set of values and experiences that are based on my life. Born in California, I’m attracted to the sun. Raised on the Oregon coast, I’ve grown up with coffee, trees in my yard, beards in every direction, and sand perpetually in my car. Living in Portugal, I learned to love the small personal bubble, loud laughter, big meals, language, culture, and bacalhau (begrudgingly). Now located in Seattle, I’m army crawling through school as a junior and linguistics major at UW, doing yoga, making people happy with coffee art, hiking, being in a relationship at 20-something, laughing at every opportunity and trying to understand jean jackets.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
My program will be based in León, Spain. We will be exploring second language teaching and learning. We will compare the observations we make of students learning English with our own learning of Castellan.

What are you most excited about?
This opportunity presents so many things to be excited about. The food, my fellow travelers, wine tasting, actual warmth that Seattle very rarely receives… the list goes on. But out of all of those, I’m most excited to be out of my comfort zone. To learn to be a part of a new culture, city, and language is my deepest addiction.

What do you hope readers will gain from your posts?
I want my posts to make readers wish they were there with me. I want them to taste that meal, to feel the music of a Spanish guitar, to experience homesickness, and to walk on cobblestones. I want my readers to really get the culture I’m in. Because that’s what study aboard is about, sharing a culture. León will share its culture with me, and I will share my mix with my readers.

Tammy_1_1Tammy Tarhini (tamtar12)
University of Sydney (UW Exchange)
Sydney, Australia
Autumn Semester S/A, 2014

About Me
Heyo! After having taken a gap year in Germany, I thought I had satiated my wanderlust. I was wrong. As far as roots go, I’m a Seattlelite to the core and absolutely adore my emerald corner of the globe. The travel bug bites hard though, so I will be beginning my sophomore year abroad again, this time in another hemisphere.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
I will be taking my microbiology and pre-physical therapy interest to the heart of ‘Straya, and completing both PT prerequisites and classes necessary for the major through a direct exchange at the University of Sydney.

What are you most excited about?
The most unique feature of any city is the people populating it. I’m by far the most excited about everyone I am going to be lucky enough to get to know while abroad, and the impending friendships of both Australian and international varieties.

What do hope readers will gain from following your posts?
I want to inspire others [basically, everyone!] to study abroad- especially those who are interested, but doubt their ability to. It may seem daunting being away for months or a year, but time’s a funny thing. It’s all very feasible, and the experience- which lasts far longer than the date on the plane ticket back- is priceless.

Jessie Zhang
English England: English Literary Program London (UW Program)
London, UK
Summer A-Term, 2014

About Me
I’m Jessie Zhang and I’m a rising junior at the University of Washington in Fall 2014. I’m currently undeclared but am interested in art and computer science/technology, so I plan to apply to Informatics and Human-Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE). I’m deaf and I use a Cochlear Implant to hear.

Where in the world are you off to and what will you be studying?
I’ll be going to London, England for the English faculty-led “Literary London” program. For five weeks (a very short time), I will be studying art, history, architecture, theatre, and other aspects of British culture!

What are you most excited about?
I’ve always had wanderlust and I feel that this study abroad program will help satisfy some of that. Even though I’ve flown with families and friends, I’ve never traveled by myself so this will be an exhilarating experience! I’m looking forward to meeting new people, getting to know them, and learning more about the British/European culture. I am so excited for any and all new experiences outside my comfort zone.

What do hope readers will gain from following your posts?
Being deaf comes with its unique challenges. I hope readers will learn more about what it’s like to study abroad as a minority, and how I’m coping with these challenges. I also hope they have fun reading my posts — perhaps so much that they’d want to study abroad themselves!