Fall 2010

Catrina Castro – Florence, Italy

Vitals: Super Senior, Gender and Women Studies with Concentration in Communication Arts

Goals:  A big life goal of mine was to travel around Europe, so studying in Florence is giving me the ability to do so. I’m hoping to travel around Italy, France, Germany and the UK.

Motivation: I’ve always wanted to study abroad but never thought it was possible. I finished my major with still a few electives to go, so studying abroad finally became an option! I’m really looking forward to finishing up my last semester of college in beautiful Florence, Italy. It’s the perfect way to end an awesome chapter in my life. I look forward to also traveling outside of Italy and celebrating Christmas with my family in Europe.

Previous Overseas Travel: South Korea, Philippines, Canada and Mexico

Katrina Gray – Alexandria, Egypt

Weapon of Choice: African Languages & Literature, undecided about picking up a second major.

Mission: Besides wanting to improve my Arabic language skills I hope to experience a new and exciting culture. Be friends with the locals, eat what they eat, go where they go. I want to prove to myself that cultural differences are meant to bring people together, not keep them apart, a sneaking suspicion I’ve always had. I want to, singlehandedly, alleviate cultural stereotypes that Americans may have about Arabs and Muslims, by sharing the experience with my peers and my family. I want to meet people! And connect with them! I want to gain the trust of my newfound classmates, and to keep it. All in four months…. I want my roommate to tire of my favorite folk-punk and/or indie bands.

Psych Profile: Well, it will be an amazing way to improve my Arabic. In general… what’s more important than feeling connected to your species? I want to talk to people. See, that’s what I do, I enjoy communicating. Call me an idealist, or whatever, but how can we aim toward peace if we don’t know anything about our neighbors. The ones down the street as well as on the other side of the world. And the Middle East and Arab world in particular get the short straw, it seems. If you ask anyone what they know about Egypt… you always get the same answers. (lol, like, Pyramids?)

Debriefing: No past experience.

Kate Hokeness – Galway, Ireland

Vitals: Junior, Molecular Biology Major and (hopefully) certificates in African Studies and Global Cultures

Goals: I love getting to know new cultures; that is definitely what I am most excited to experience while abroad.  My goals mostly revolve on living everyday to the fullest and getting the most out of my European travels.  I plan on visiting as many countries as possible and appreciating what they have to offer the world.

Motivation: Traveling has always been one of my passions and I have wanted to study abroad since I can remember!  Although I am not of Irish decent, the Irish culture has always intrigued me so when I was choosing where I wanted to study it seemed like the perfect place to go.  Also, it is a great base to go European country hopping!

Previous overseas travel: France, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, & Mexico

Greta Leemkuil – Wollongong, Australia

Vitals: Double Major Kinesiology and Psychology

Goals: I am most excited that I get to travel outside the United States for the first time and to go on an adventure all on my own.  I am also looking forward to being independent and experiencing culture completely different from my lifelong Midwestern upbringing.  Oh, and my number one goal is to come back with the accent.


Motivation: I have wanted to study abroad for a long time, and when I started looking at places, I decided I did not want to go to a typical place in Europe or Asia.  I chose Wollongong because of its small-town look, renowned university, and proximity to the beach!  Australia was my country of choice because it has a diverse landscape and the people speak English (pretty much).  Plus, I have always wanted to go down under!


Previous Overseas Travel: None, unless you consider Hawaii as overseas.

Stephen Weiss – Prague, Czech Republic

Vitals: Junior History and Economics Major.

Goals: I hope to immerse myself in the local culture and customs and experience the tastes and sounds of the Czech Republic and Eastern Europe while cultivating lasting friendships in an academic setting.

Motivation: Only twenty years since the Velvet Revolution and relatively spared from the terrors of two world wars, Prague possesses a unique view of history. With broad avenues and narrow alleyways ripe for exploration, Prague’s history is wide and varied. The city’s something-for-everyone history as the one time seat of the Holy Roman Empire during the reign of Charles IV, one of the oldest centers of Jewish culture in Europe, a Cold War communist state and a presently still-young democracy means the historian inside of me is flush with angles and perspectives from which to investigate. A veritable Rubik’s cube of a city, every answer is, inevitably, accompanied by at least one question. Prague teems with knowledge and opportunity and I can hardly wait to arrive and begin my studies there. Indeed, I find myself most grateful that facts and conclusions lend themselves more naturally to further inquisition and study than conclusion and contentment, as I am thirsty to drink from the wisdom of such a great city. Cheers!

Previous travel experience: Canada, Costa Rica, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Switzerland, & the Netherlands