After 146 days, 50 cities, 21 hostels, 19 plane rides, 10 countries, 8 languages, 3 time zones, 2 continents, I am finally back in the US! Studying abroad in Spain has been one of the craziest, best and most challenging seasons of my life. I intersected with people from all over the world. From Australians backpacking the world for 6 months to old couples traveling around the Greek Islands for 2 weeks, I have learned so much from other people traveling. I’ve had conversations about the difference between Scottish and American politics and the various education systems in Norway, Finland and France. Studying abroad challenged my perspective on a wide range of topics, and has given me a more nuanced and broader outlook on my education at W&M.
I had the opportunity to visit the Sagrada Familia while in Barcelona!
During my freshman year, W&M announced the new COLL curriculum. The objective of the new curriculum is to integrate learning from various knowledge domains. One of my favorite parts of the new curriculum is the COLL 300 course. The COLL 300’s goal is to connect W&M students to people, places and ideas in order to deepen the way students see themselves and the world. Students can fulfill the COLL 300 in many different ways. A student can study abroad (like I did in Spain) or they can participate in a W&M in DC program that focuses on global issues. In addition, students can take COLL 300 classes on campus. The classes on campus bring the world to W&M. This fall, the theme of the class is IN/EXclusion: The processes of inclusion and exclusion involve both human and natural forms of curation. The class includes guest speakers from all over the US and world to speak on the theme with a different perspective.
Studying abroad in Sevilla, I easily fulfilled my COLL 300 requirement. I really love that the university encourages students to engage the world, and to interact with different cultures, peoples and experiences. I have friends who went on a research trip to the Bahamas during spring break for their upper-level geology class. I also know students who have participated in the W&M in DC program to learn about urban education in America and the world.
My undergraduate learning experience has not just been limited to Williamsburg. While I have gone out into the world to learn, the world has also come to W&M. I am so excited to continue to engage in new perspectives and be challenged to think more critically as a global citizen.