With international and off-campus study away programs, as well as Augie choice, given to every student, it’s apparent that Augustana College sees the invaluablity of travel. Students can apply to travel to an impressive amount of places like Jamaica, Rome, East Asia, Australia, and Spain. One of the most popular times to study abroad is Spring Break. Sports teams and student groups, like the Augustana Symphonic Band, have siezed the opportunity to explore and gain appreciation for other cultures. We caught up with a few Augie students to ask for their personal travel highlights and to share their favorite photos from abroad.
Cole Neder, Australia:
“My favorite thing was definitely learning how to surf. We did a surf camp while we were in Sydney, and we camped out near a beach and surfed with instructors the entire weekend. It was really relaxing and tons of fun. Everyone was incredibly laid back and got along really well,” said Neder. “I learned patience and professionalism while I was there. It was not very often that everything would go according to plan, whether it would be for work or other activities, and we had to learn to go with the flow more often than not.”
Neder corageously jumps into the landscape of Queenstown, New Zealand.
Brian Kuntz, Spain:
“My favorite part was the geographical landscape and architecture of Spain–two things we lack diversity of in Illinois. I will remember the town of Segovia the most. It was picturesque because of the mountains in the distance, two thousand-year-old Roman aqueducts, and winding roads,” said Kuntz. “I have learned to think more actively about tourism and the trillion dollar industry it is for both its good and bad aspects. Have fun, but respect the foreign land and its cultural practices when visiting.”
Carli Schwanebeck, India:
“I think the overwhelming love from the people we encountered in India really inspired us to show each other the same. I have learned how much the world has to offer, and how important it is to recognize that your personal experience, is unique to you. There is no “one correct way” to live a human life. No culture, geographical location, or country is the right way,” said Schwanebeck. “People everywhere have so much to offer. It’s a disservice to humanity to write off places as simply undeveloped, third world, poor, etc. The United States has so much to learn from the rest of the world.”
Beaming in India, Schwanebeck stands in front of the Taj Mahal in the city of Agra.
Jake Lewis, Australia:
“My internship was at an Australian digital media company and it taught me a lot about the Australian culture as well as my area of study, which is marketing.I was able to have many cool experiences on this study abroad such as bungee jumping in New Zealand and Surf Camp in Australia, but one thing I will remember the most was the relationships I built during this 7 weeks I was able to develop many friendships within our group and the wonderful experiences I had would not be as memorable if I was not able to share it with them.”
Lewis stands in front of the Sydney Opera House which is one of the most distinctive and famous buildings of the 20th century.
Emma Britta, Australia:
“My favorite part of the Aussie study abroad trip was getting to be on my own with just Augie students in a new country, learn the way of life, and discover new things. I’ll remember most the things I learned from my internship working with dementia patients and also going bungee jumping in New Zealand. I learned that the world has so much to offer and so many ways to make you happy if you take the time to travel!”
Britta’s photo captures her scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, one of the many activities the Australia abroad trip provides.
Alyssa Fröhling, India:
“The India study abroad trip was all about community–and what activism can do for a community. My favorite grassroot organization we visited was The Guild for Service, a NGO in New Delhi dedicated to empowering women and children. We received bangles on the way to our lecture, and at the end were told that being “the one who wears bangles” (meaning effeminate) is an insult in India, and that The Guild for Service hands out bangles in order to counter the narrative of feminine weakness. This lecture will stick with me forever,” said Fröhling. “Studying abroad in India with me the chance to travel across the world while remaining mindful of effects of tourism, consumerism, and colonialism, and challenged me to wrestle with the ethics of all of those concepts.”
Fröhling’s photo (last from left to right) features a dancer in Kalakar Basti which is an intentional artists’ commune in Jaipur. This community keeps tradition alive through forms of dance, textiles, and other means. They allowed visiting Augie students to join in dance, weaving, and other activities used to earn a living.