United States: Julia Oelke

Photo of Julia Oelke
Julia exploring on the shore of Lake Superior.

Program: UW Exploring Ecology, Culture and Health in the Lake Superior Basin, Summer

Julia’s Majors: Genetics and Genomics

Academic Life: This program was mostly fieldwork and meetings with local experts in the area about different topics (one or two new topics per day). Prior to the course, there were six meetings to discuss background information related to cultural, demographic, and academic topics we learned more about while on our program. The other students were from UW. A field journal and presentation were required as assignments for this course.

Housing: We stayed in hotels on the Bad River and Red Cliff reservations.

Most Memorable Moment: One of the most memorable experiences from my program was being able to meet elders from the Bad River and Red Cliff tribes.

Advice for Someone Considering this Program: This program is great for those who want to learn more about Wisconsin, not about only the agriculture and biology of the state, but about other cultures in the state, too. I have a better appreciation for different cultures and careers now. Also, I have greater knowledge of problems facing those who are of a different socioeconomic status than I am.

Benefits of Study Abroad: I am more equipped to work with people who are of a different culture than I am and have an understanding of how their culture(s) may affect the way they work, the courses of treatment they will accept, and their general outlook. Students should study abroad/away because it broadens your horizons and allows you to experience places you might not otherwise see.

“I learned how to better communicate with others and that I need to ask more questions.”