University of Wisconsin–Madison

Spring 2013

Riley Beggin – Paris, France (CIEE)

Vitals: History Major, International Studies Major with Global Security concentration.

Goals:  I can’t wait to delve into the French language and culture, and I hope to become fluent during my time abroad. I want to explore the niches of Paris and meet lots of new people, so it will hopefully be quite the adventure.

Motivation:  I have been studying French since I was 12 years old, so I thought it was about time that I actually immerse myself in the culture that I’ve spent so much time poring over. There are conflicting notions of romanticism and big-city intensity Parisian culture, and I hope to explore that in a depth that most tourists don’t get to do on a brief trip.

Previous overseas travel:  Mexico, Guatemala, France, Dutch Antilles, British Virgin Islands, Canada.

Chelsea Bliefernicht – Rome, Italy

Vitals: Communication Arts Major, Digital Studies Certificate

Goals: My main priority while abroad is to break out of my comfort zone – whether I’m trying to order food with my limited knowledge of Italian or traveling to a different country with people I just met, I want to live life with no fears and no regrets.

Motivation: Rome has such a rich, expansive history – I’m still in disbelief that I will live within walking distance of the Colosseum, a building that’s been able to withstand thousands of years (I mean, just put that in perspective – the oldest buildings in Wisconsin are 200 years old at best). Also, my parents are hosting an exchange student from Bari this year, so it will be fantastic to be able to meet her family face to face – and get a home-cooked Italian meal out of it!

Previous overseas travel:  None – my passport is brand new and ready to be marked up!

Jane Chapman – Galway, Ireland

Vitals: Journalism & Mass Communication Major, Political Science Major

Goals:  I look forward to living with Irish roommates and more fully integrating into the Irish culture.  I also love running and travel and have signed up to run the Marathon Rotterdam in April, which I am both excitedly and anxiously anticipating!

Motivation:  I grew up listening to my Grandpa talk about our Irish heritage and have since developed a love for the history and culture and yearned to experience the country myself!  Also, for the most part, my travels have been limited to family road trips to Cleveland to see my Grandma or else to other destinations in America.  I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity the university provides to study abroad and expand my worldview, so I felt it was an essential part of my college experience.

Previous overseas travel:  Italia (I’m part Italian, part Irish and now get to complete the heritage tour!)

Nicole Delaney – Lima, Peru

Vitals: Political Science major, Spanish major, Middle East Studies certificate

Goals: After spending fall semester in Jordan, I excited to head back to South America and work more on my Spanish. My main goal while in Peru is to immerse myself in the culture by meeting new people, traveling around, and trying as much local food as I possibly can. I am hoping to build off my previous overseas experiences and have a great time while doing it!

Motivation: I love to travel. This will be my third time studying abroad and the excitement of living in a different culture and speaking a foreign language does not get old. While I will miss Madison, I can hardly wait to go to Peru. This program is a perfect cap on my study abroad experience since it gives me the opportunity to really be independent and experience the life of a college student in Peru.

Previous overseas travel: Europe, Argentina, Uruguay, Jordan, UAE, Oman
*To read Nicole’s fall blog from her semester in Jordan, click here.

Kaylie Duffy – St. Petersburg, Russia

Vitals: I am a junior studying Environmental Studies, Geography, and Russian.

Goals:  I want to spend hours in the Hermitage, gaze upon the Church of the Savior on Blood, and take a boat tour down the Neva River when the snow begins to thaw. However, most of all, I want to bundle myself up and explore the crooks and crannies of the city. I want to abandon my fear of making mistakes and rather speak the language with confidence and pride.

Motivation:  I’m enthralled with the Russian language and culture. However, I possess a deep infatuation for a variety of different cultures. I hope this is the first of many countries I explore throughout my lifetime. I can only live on history and travel books for so long. It’s time for me to start making my own memories.

Previous overseas travel:  None! I can’t wait for this new adventure!

 Sam Eichner – Aix-en-Provence, France

Vitals: Junior, Journalism Major, English Minor

Goals:  My goals include: eating plenty of bread, drinking lots of wine, sampling a variety of cheeses, exploring the French countryside, Paris, and other major cities in Western Europe, growing a sweet French mustache, becoming more suave, and perhaps enjoying myself so much that I never come back to the states.  Oh, and also improving my French, immersing myself in the culture there, etc.

Motivation: For so long now, I’ve had an irrational fascination with France, and French culture.  I’m really grateful for the opportunity to finally go there and see it all for myself, even if it might dispel the wildly romantic notions I’ve been entertaining myself with for the last ten years.  Basically I chose Aix-en-Provence because it’s a college-like town and relatively unintimidating, and also because I thought the people in Paris might be mean.

Previous overseas travel:  Israel

Christine Fukuda – Legon, Ghana

Vitals: Biology Major with Certificates in Global Health and Leadership

Goals: Much of Africa, as a continent, is vastly unknown to us in the US. Our perceptions of foreign places are often based on crude generalizations and stereotypes. The main focus of my time abroad is to gain a better understanding of both Ghanaian and African culture as a whole. Ghana provides the opportunity to encounter new cultural values, educational system, and social structure and I am overjoyed to have the opportunity to take part and learn from this experience.

Motivation:  Traveling to Africa has been a more recent goal of mine. As a part of the Global Health Certificate, I have learned a lot about developing nations with regards to health. Having the opportunity to travel to one of these developing nations that I have been studying for the past three years is amazing and overwhelming. I look forward to being able to experience first hand the topics and issues that I have heard about from professionals and develop my own opinions and solutions.

Previous overseas travel: ….does Hawaii count?

Haley Henschel – Brisbane, Australia

Vitals: Sophomore majoring in Journalism with certificates in Global Cultures and Studio Art

Goals: Ever since I learned I was accepted to study abroad in Australia, I started compiling a bucket list of everything I want to do in the Land Down Under. As of now it’s more than 20 entries long, and I cannot wait to start crossing items off my agenda. My main goal for this trip is to accomplish as much as possible on this ever-growing list, and also to have experiences that I never even thought were achievable; I want to seek out unfamiliar phenomena and fearlessly immerse myself in them. In the words of writer and actor Neale Donald Walsch, life begins at the end of your comfort zone.

Motivation: Whenever I talk to others about my upcoming Australia trip, I think I probably sound like Russell from Disney-Pixar’s Up—a peppy, chatty ball of enthusiasm with a slight tinge of impatience (“The wilderness must be explored! Caw caw! RAWR”). During most of my college career thus far, I haven’t always known what I wanted to major in but I’ve always been 100% positive that I wanted to study abroad in Australia. It’s hard to find a more extreme location than Australia: It’s on the other side of the globe, it’s filled with rare, exotic flora and fauna, and it’s the home of people who love travelling and exploring just as much as I do. Adventure is out there!

Previous overseas travel: Canada, Mexico, British Virgin Islands

Sara Matasick – Copenhagen, Denmark

Vitals:  Junior Wildlife Ecology Major, Environmental Studies Certificate

Goals:  I really want to get a well-balanced experience while I am abroad. This will involve exploring as many new places, cultures and people as possible. Of course, culture involves food, traditions, language, history and daily life, so basically I plan on being a sponge. Specific to Denmark, I want to talk to the locals and see their country through their eyes. I can’t wait to get to know Denmark intimately (and hopefully pick up some Danish) while learning other peoples’ views on topics I study here at home.

Motivation:  There is a list I carry around titled “Places I Gotta Go Eventually”, which includes countries on every continent. This travel ambition probably stems from the amazing experiences I have had with my family on our many adventures. However, it wasn’t until my big brother studied in Spain when I was just in 5th grade that I discovered study abroad. Since then I have been debating which of the places on my (non-comprehensive) list I should go. I finally settled on Denmark with the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS).

This program allows me to have a well-rounded experience because I can take classes both related to and different from my major and I can travel to many other countries as well (sometimes within a class!). These options really allow me to make the experience my own. Also, Denmark (and Scandinavia) is new to me and I am exited to get to know this region of the world that I hear such wonderful things about! Traveling with my family has taught me many things—to embrace new cultures, to keep an open mind, to explore off the beaten path—but I look forward to learning more about myself and the world throughout the amazing experience that is study abroad.

Previous overseas travel:  Belgium, Holland, Ireland, Spain (twice), Belize, Canada

Quinlyn Mullaney – Seville, Spain

Vitals:  Journalism – Strategic Communications

Goals:  I hope to become connected to the Spanish culture by increasing my language fluency and becoming integrated in daily life in Sevilla.  Essentially, my goal is to at some point be mistaken for a native Sevillana.

Motivation:  Ever since I started learning Spanish in 4th grade, traveling to Spain has always been a dream of mine.  There are so many things about Spanish culture that I look forward to; the music, the food & wine, the history, the scenery…shall I continue?  I cannot wait to become immersed in this fascinating culture and travel the diverse landscape.

Previous overseas travel:  Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico

Grace O’Meara – Bologna, Italy

Vitals: English Literature Honors, Italian Language

Goals:  Become fluent in Italian! Beyond that, I want to experience everything that I can—not as a tourist, but as someone actually living in the city. In Bologna, I hope to meet many new friends, learn more about Italian culture, and eat all the food!!!

Motivation:  I started taking Italian at UW-Madison when I was a senior in high school because I love the language. The Bologna Consortial Studies Program is the most immersive program in Italy. We’ll be living with Italian students, attending Università di Bologna, and speaking Italian all the time because Bologna is less touristy than other Italian cities. Now that I know more about Bologna (it’s not in many travel books) I can’t wait to experience la dotta, la rossa, and la grassa.

Previous overseas travel:  Ireland (when I was very young) and southern Italy

Priya Pathak – Pune, India (Worldwide Internship)

Vitals: Biology major, Global Health minor

Goals:  To have what promises to be an immensely rich and fulfilling internship experience in the field of maternal and child heath. I’ll be rotating at several hospital and clinical sites in urban and rural locations in Pune, India!

Motivation: I’m excited to get away from the routine of lectures, libraries, and homework and explore what it means to have a career in medicine (by watching, of course- at this point, I can barely handle a stethoscope!)  I’m inspired by global health topics and interested in worldwide health disparities and want to learn more first-hand.  And of course, I love being around kids!

Previous overseas travel:  India, Saudi Arabia

 Amanda Recktenwald – Alcala, Spain

Vitals: Majors-Spanish, doubling with either Communication Arts or Community & Non-Profit Leadership

Goals:  1. Learn to speak Spanish like a boss.

2. Meet new people and build strong relationships.

3. Try as many new things as possible… YOSAISO! (It’s like YOLO, except better! You Only Study Abroad In Spain Once!)

Motivation:  Studying abroad has always been a part of my college plans. Even when I had no idea what my major was going to be, I knew that at some point during my college career, I wanted to spend some time in another country. I thought to myself, “Amanda, you have absolutely no idea what you want to do with your life, or what you want to major in. You might as well do something crazy while you are trying to figure it out.” The more I looked into my options abroad, the more I realized that I could actually make this dream of studying abroad a reality. I had always enjoyed going to Spanish class, so that’s where I started. And after looking at all those pictures, how could you not fall in love with Spain?

Previous overseas travel:  None. Absolutely none. I mean, I went to Canada once, but that was before you even needed a passport to go there, so in my mind, it doesn’t count. This is brand new for me!