University of Wisconsin–Madison

Spring 2014

Kaylee Carpenter – Singapore

Carpenter, KayleeVitals: Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Major, Biology in Engineering Certificate

Goals:  I am most excited to experience Singapore’s international culture and to see as much of Asia as possible!

Motivation:  I chose Singapore because it is a melting pot of cultures and a travel hub. I know that I will have experiences far different from what I experience in the States and I really look forward to this.

Previous overseas travel:  Just Mexico!

Paul Davidson – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Davidson, PaulVitals:  Junior double major in Economics and Environmental Studies.

Goals:  I hope to become more proficient in the Portuguese language, which should be easier during my program because I will be living with a host family.  I also want to experience the culture and see first hand how citizens live their daily lives.  Finally, I want to explore environmental and economic issues throughout the country, and also get to a World Cup match at the end of the semester!

Motivation:  I have known for a long time that I wanted to study abroad because I wanted to experience other cultures in a different country for an extended period of time.  I started thinking about Brazil Freshman year when I took a few Environmental Studies and Economics courses, and realized that Brazil combines both of these subject areas very well.  It is also a beautiful country with a lot of different cultures that I want to immerse myself in.

Previous Overseas Travel:  Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, Belize, Honduras, and Israel.

Kate Jensen – London, England

Jensen, KateVitals: I’m a junior majoring in psychology with a minor in criminal justice.

Goals: Like most others studying abroad, I would like to master the language. Just kidding. Although I would enjoy picking up some slang. Mostly, I want to get out of my comfort zone and explore a new place to live. I really want to get to know the city, not as a foreigner, but as a Londoner. I’m excited to learn about a new country and see all the history that’s there. My overall goal is to keep an open mind and take advantage of every opportunity given to me.   

Motivation: For whatever reason, England has always seemed magical to me. To be honest, this probably has a little to do with Harry Potter, but it’s more than that. I’m excited to see what the magic is all about. Plus it’s a great place to travel the rest of Europe from. I’ve read about London, seen it in movies and I can’t wait to finally live there for four months.

Previous Oversea Travels: Beijing, China (yes, not even Canada or Mexico)

Amy Lang – Florence, Italy

Lang, AmyVitals: Psychology Major

Goals: My main personal goal to accomplish during this study abroad is to grow as a person and learn how to be more independent.  Being on a different continent with a group of people I have never met before will require me to learn quickly how to be a more independent and a more mature person because I will have to make every decision completely on my own.  Another personal goal is to become a better artist.  Living in Florence, Italy for a full semester will allow me to immerse myself in the world of art and hopefully learn new techniques and styles, which I can carry over into my own works of art. Florence is an ideal place to study the world of art and grow as an artist by seeing original pieces of artwork from some of the great artists of history.

Motivation: In beginning my study abroad search, I had no idea where I wanted to end up, other than somewhere far away.  I wanted to be able to live as a truly independent woman for a semester, while immersing myself in an entirely different culture.  I narrowed my search to Europe due to its easy transportation systems connecting almost all of the countries of the continent.  This would allow me to travel far distances on a budget.  In 2005, when traveling in Italy, I had fallen in love with the old world feel and truly artistic features of the buildings, the decorations, and even the streets.  This was what helped me to narrow my search even further to staying within Italy.  My love of art is what drove me to chose Santa Reparata International School of Art (SRISA), which I hope will provide me with the thorough art education that I have always dreamed of achieving.  Florence is the ideal location to further my knowledge of the art world because of its title as the city with the most art treasures per square foot than any other city in the world.

Previous overseas travel: Italy, France, Switzerland, Austria, United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Greece, Australia, China, and Costa Rica.

Jordenne McKay – Sesto Fiorentino, Italy

McKay, JordenneVitals:  Political Science Major

Goals: My biggest goal is to become better at responding to people in Italian. I understand a lot more than I can respond to. I want to learn as much as possible about Italian culture and become a wine coinsure. I also want to push myself out of comfort zone and become a less picky eater or at least try new foods. One of my biggest fears is that I’m not going to like the food in Italy (I know I must be crazy!).

Motivation: I chose to study abroad because I felt there was so much more to learn about the world than what the UW-Madison campus can offer me. I choose to go to on the UW in Italy program because when I finally decided that I wanted to study abroad it was the only program still accepting applications. You see I had been planning on studying abroad in France but I talked myself out of that because I told myself I didn’t know enough French. Now I’m off to Italy where I can put my Italian 101 knowledge to good use.

Previous Overseas Travel:  Bahamas, Mexico, Honduras, Belize, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Aruba, Canada, and France

Samantha Moritz – Taipei, Taiwan

Moritz, SamanthaVitals: Junior, Majoring in Chinese and International Studies with emphasis in Political Economy

Goals: My goals while studying abroad include improving my Chinese, integrating into everyday life at NTU, and learning as much as possible about Taiwan and the Taiwanese people. Of course I’m incredibly excited to live in Taipei, but more than this, I am excited to get to know other students at NTU. I hope I get the chance to build truly deep and meaningful friendships, and through these friendships I hope to catch a glimpse of what the world looks like through the eyes of the Taiwanese. In addition to this, if I can by chance see William Wei, 來吧!焙焙!, or Sodagreen in concert, I will be a very happy Badger!

Motivation: Put simply, Taiwan fascinates me. I began studying Chinese my freshman year, and after only a year of study, I decided I loved Chinese so much that I would major in it. Much to the amusement of my Chinese teachers and my language partner, in order to improve my Chinese I often watched movies and listened to music in Mandarin- most of which came from Taiwan. Taiwan’s “soft power” won my heart- my interest in Taiwanese media sparked my interest in Taiwanese culture and history. I knew before I graduated I wanted to study Chinese as an exchange student abroad, and choosing NTU seemed like a no brainer. Taiwan is a beautiful island with incredible natural landscapes and biodiversity, Taipei is a bustling, clean, modern city, and NTU is the best university in Taiwan and one of the best in Asia. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to study at NTU and combine so many of my academic and personal interests on one program.

Previous overseas travel:  Costa Rica, China

Lydia Odegard – Varanasi, India

Odegard, LydiaVitals: Sophomore majoring in Gender & Women’s Studies and Languages & Cultures of Asia

Goals:  Through my independent research project, I plan on studying some aspect of gender relations in Varanasi. I hope that this will help me better connect my two majors and will challenge my current ideas of feminism and gender relations. I also hope to improve my Hindi skills to the point where I can successfully scare off inevitable arranged marriage proposals.

Motivation:  This will be my fifth trip to India! I love the intensities and rich histories and traditions of Indian cultures, and for me coming from an American cultural background, just living in India on a day-to-day basis is both incredibly challenging and deeply rewarding. Despite having been to India 4 times, I have not had a chance to study there. UW’s Varanasi program appealed to me as it offers experiential learning opportunities between the independent research project, Hindi studies, and a tutorial of choice.

Previous overseas travel:  India, France, and Mexico

Michelle Riesenfeld – Tel Aviv, Israel

Riesenfeld, MichelleVitals:  Human Development and Family Studies Major

Goals: I hope to completely immerse myself in the Jewish culture by learning to understand Hebrew, as well as the Israeli people and traditions.

Motivation: I have always wanted to study abroad because I know how enriching and life changing the experience is for anyone that chooses to do it. After spending just 10 days in Israel in May, I knew that it was the perfect place for me to study abroad. I am excited to learn among people who lead a life very different from my own, in a country that possesses so much beauty and history.

Previous Overseas Travel:  France, England, Bermuda & Israel

Cassidy Sandoval – Aix-en-Provence, France

Sandoval, CassidyVitals: Junior Community Service & Nonprofit Management Major, French Major

Goals:  During my semester abroad I’m aiming to push myself as far out of my comfort zone as possible. I want to become a more fluid French speaker which means trying and failing and trying again. I’m ready to be disoriented and out of my element- that’s where I thrive.

Motivation:  I never considered anywhere else. For me, it was always Aix. My high school traveled to the south of France the summer of my sophomore year. Since then I’ve had a long distance romance with this part of the French country. I’m so excited to be reunited and explore new territory.

Previous overseas travel:  Australia, Bahamas, China, Costa Rica, France, Grand Cayman Island, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Tanzania, United Kingdom

Jessica Schwartz – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Schwartz, JessicaVitals:  I’m majoring in Psychology; Zoology; and Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian studies. I’m also applying for medical schools this year.

Goals: I’m most excited for all the new experiences. I can’t wait to meet new people, travel to unfamiliar places across South America, try delicious and exotic foods, and go to my first “real” soccer game. Also I can’t wait for the warm weather!

Motivation: I’ve loved traveling ever since I was little, so I knew studying abroad was the perfect opportunity. I hope to become fluent in Spanish to help in my future plans to become a physician, and I was excited that IFSA-Butler in Buenos Aires offered opportunities to volunteer in rural clinics and other medical settings.

Previous Overseas Travel:  Nicaragua, Spain, Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Canada, and the Grand Cayman Islands.

Chloe Shmays – Cape Town, South Africa

Shmays, ChloeVitals: Rehabilitation Psychology, Education and Educational Services Certificate, Pre-Occupational Therapy

Goals: Self-growth and stepping outside of my comfort zone are the most obvious goals that come to mind. I am planning on traveling to nearby African countries (Victoria Falls, anyone?), but I also want to take the time to really explore every nook and cranny of Cape Town; I’ll be on the hunt for the town’s best coffee shop! Of course the first objective, however, is to make friends with some locals so they can show me the ropes. I refuse to leave the country without first waddling down to a penguin colony, quenching my thirst at the famous Cape Winelands, visiting Robben Island, and eating my way through the entire city, naturally.

Motivation:  Having a step-father as a pilot, I caught the travel bug at a young age. After hosting a foreign exchange student during my senior year of high school, I’ve been craving to have the experience of being immersed in another culture. Originally, my plans were to study abroad in Italy, but I immediately fell in love with the Cape Town program after hearing about it from a friend. Cape Town is rich in diversity and culture, and I have no doubts that I will be able to expand my limits with novel experiences while I’m there.

Previous overseas travel:  Mexico, Curacao, Canada, Spain, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Cayman Islands

Aubrey Van de Wetering – Utrecht, Netherlands

VandeWetering, AubreyVitals: Political Science and Art History Major

Goals:  I hope to come back with a spoken fluency in Dutch, know all about Dutch flowers, cheese and food, and travel to as many countries outside of the Netherlands as I can get to in four months.

Motivation:  As someone who came from a family that intensely values a study abroad experience, I knew I would take a semester in another country, but I hadn’t decided where. I knew I would want to be able to speak the language while I was there, and so when I decided to start taking Dutch language classes, my decision had been made. My entire Dutch family is extremely proud of me and can’t wait to come visit Utrecht.

Previous overseas travel:  India, Japan, Netherlands, Italy, Croatia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Curacao, Bahamas, Greece, England, France, Monte Carlo