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Voices from Cornell Abroad

Live from locations around the world


Explore life with our student bloggers through our Blog Journalist postings. Postings from previous bloggers are also available – see where they’ve been on the map on the About page. To learn more about Cornell Abroad, visit our web site.

SP_pic Alekhya Chaparala – Legon, Ghana
“Hello! My name is Alekhya and I am a third-year Biology & Society student with a minor in Global Health. This spring I am studying abroad at the University of Ghana, which is just outside the coastal capital city of Accra. Born in the US to Indian parents, I’ve grown up living in different regions of the country and spending many of my summers with family in India. I love learning about the daily life, culture and history of different parts of the world, and I’m looking forward to doing so through both my coursework at UG and my experiences outside the classroom. Living at UG will also be an opportunity for me to meet contemporaries from all around Ghana and Africa and explore my own identity outside of an American context. Follow along as I reflect on my experiences and adventures over four months in Ghana!” 
SP_pic Veronica LaRotta – Beijing, China
“Hi! My name is Vero and I am a junior studying Industrial and Labor Relations with a minor in China and Asia-Pacific Studies. I will be taking courses at Renmin University in Beijing this semester while working to improve my Mandarin. I spent nine years in Asia, between Japan and Hong Kong, and I’m thrilled to be back in a continent that has played such a big role in my life and hopefully be part of my future. On campus, I am a member of Hearsay A Cappella, The Roosevelt Institute and I am a facilitator for the Intergroup Dialogue Project. Right now I live in Scarsdale, NY but love to visit my family in Buenos Aires and Bogota whenever possible. I am a big fan of the outdoors and like to backpack with my friends over the summer. Can’t wait to travel in China, eat great food and speak some 中文!” 
SP_pic Joey Binder – Kruger National Park, South Africa
“Hi my name is Joey Binder!! I am currently a Junior studying Biology with a concentration in Evolution and Ecology. I am also pre-med. I will be spending my Spring 2017 semester in South Africa, studying the wild life and conservation efforts in Krueger National Park. In my free time, I like to snowboard, skateboard, surf, and mountain bike. I can’t wait for you all to follow my journey!” 
SP_pic Sara Koyama Hwong – Galapagos, Ecuador
“Hi! I’m Sara, a junior studying Environmental and Sustainability Sciences. I’ve never been out of NY State for more than three months at a time, so going abroad to Ecuador for a whole semester will be such a dream. I’ll be spending a month in Quito and three months on San Cristobal Island (Galápagos), learning about how people interact with the natural environment. Hiking, reading novels, exploring street markets, and meeting strangers are some of my favorite pastimes. On campus, I am an Orientation Supervisor, Research Assistant, member of the Cross-Cultural Adoptee Mentorship Program and the Japan-US Association, and a frequent patron of Libe Café. As much as I love Ithaca and Cornell, wow, I am so looking forward to exploring the islands, both their nature and their culture.” 
SP_pic Greta Sloan – Uganda, India & Brazil
“My name is Greta Sloan, and I will be traveling to Kampala, Uganda; New Delhi, India; and Sao Paulo, Brazil this Spring. At Cornell, I have been merging my interests in organizational work with my passion for psychological research and therapeutic programming. My program abroad offers a wonderful opportunity for me to build upon my studies as it focuses on organizations and programs that aim to address social issues. At Cornell, I am majoring in Human Development and minoring in both Global Health and Spanish. I hope to absorb all that I can out of my experience, grow, and reach a deeper understanding of my passions and interests. I hope to share some of this with you on my blog!” 
SP_pic Shaalini Ganesalingham – Nilgiris Field Learning Center, India
“Shaalini Ganesalingam is currently a junior majoring in International Agriculture and Rural Development, concentrating in Economics and minoring in Global Health. She is interested in the intersectionality of race and gender in determining disease vulnerability and global healthcare accessibility. She hopes to develop sustainable, upstream-factor-focused healthcare policies and programs. Shaalini is from the urban melting pot of Queens, New York. She enjoys the diversity found in music; She has taken Caranatic vocal lessons back home and currently is a member of The Chainotes, Cornell’s Jewish acapella group. She loves watching Tamil and Disney movies, listening to spoken word poetry, and writing. If she isn’t doing any of the above, she is probably satisfying her inner adrenaline junkie, learning how to skateboard, box, or walking on fences.” 
SP_pic Sloane Applebaum – London College of Fashion, UK
“Hello. My name is Sloane Applebaum, and I am a junior studying Fiber Science and Apparel Design with a concentration in Management and a minor in Business. This semester, I will be a student at the London College of Fashion. While abroad, I will be taking classes in all different aspects of the fashion industry, from product development and luxury brand management to fashion communications and style theory. Additionally, I am excited to explore some areas in Europe to which I have not previously traveled! I have been an avid blogger since 2013, when I began a personal style and travel blog, and I am thrilled to be sharing my abroad experiences not only on my personal platform but also through Cornell Abroad!” 
SP_pic Christina Xu – Paris, France
“Hello all! My name is Christina Xu and I am a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences majoring in mathematics, economics, and French. On campus when I am not holed up in Olin Library (first floor, window desks), I love to dance, barista, entrepreneur, and attend various office hours. I grew up in the suburbs of Maryland so needless to say, I am thrilled to be spending this semester in the City of Lights at the Université Paris-Didérot through an Emory/Duke/Cornell consortium program (EDUCO). With the impending French elections and the aftermath of Brexit, I believe France will be an incredibly unique place to observe and learn this spring; I am excited more generally to engage in a country that can call itself the birthplace of the Enlightenment, a treasure trove of art and literature, and home to the finest pastries known to mankind. ” 
SP_pic Cassie Blazejeski – Geneva, Switzerland
“Hello! I am so excited to be a contributing voice for the abroad experience, from Geneva Switzerland! To paraphrase UN Ambassador Angelina Jolie, you do not fully understand yourself until you learn who are, apart from everything you know–your relationships, your family and your friends. I’m really glad to be somewhere new to expand my self awareness, learn how to speak French, witness one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, and more. I am originally from upstate New York, and am currently pursuing a major in Industrial & Labor Relations with minors in law & society, and cognitive science. I hope to expand my knowledge in these areas through my abroad program-SIT Multilateral Diplomacy and International Relations.” 
SP_pic Etinosa Obanor – Hong Kong, South Korea & Japan
“Hello! My name is Etinosa Obanor, and I am a junior in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, majoring in Biology & Society with a minor in Nutritional Sciences. I came to Cornell from North Carolina, and will be venturing away from upstate New York to explore East Asia! Specifically, I’ll have the chance to visit Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; and Hong Kong, China. Through my comparative experiences, I will have the chance to both attend classes as well as participate in an 6-week internship, from which I hope to gain insight on the environmental and public health problems in these nations, and the approaches used to address them. In addition to writing, my hobbies include exercise, acting, baking, and making others laugh! Join me in my blog to keep up with my experiences as I embrace full-heartedly new places, people, cultures and more!” 
SP_pic Allegra Hanlon – Edinburgh, Scotland
“Hi!! I’m Allegra Hanlon. Half Colombian, Half Irish American, born in California, raised in Miami, and over the spring semester of 2017, I’ll be studying at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. I’m an English major with a business minor, so I’ll be learning anything and everything about the beauty of narrative writing and literature in the U.K. Last summer, I worked as an editorial intern for Billboard Magazine, and I know that the experiences I’ll have in Europe will help add to my list of crazy writing stories- the more people I meet, the better! I cannot wait to get my journey started.” 
SP_pic Ashley Stappenbeck – Galway, Ireland
“Hello Everyone! My name is Ashley Stappenbeck, I am a junior in the College of Engineering studying Environmental Engineering. I will be spending the semester on the western coast of Ireland at the National University of Ireland in Galway. There I will be taking a variety of classes in engineering, sciences, and history meanwhile experiencing a new culture and life abroad. I am so excited to share my experience with you all, the adventures as well as the mishaps. I am looking forward to a semester full of learning, in both the academic and cultural sense, as well as making new friends and seeing new places, and I hope that you’ll join me to hear all about it!” 
SP_pic Kate Coppa- Edinburgh, Scotland
“Awrite! My name is Kate Coppa and I’m a Junior in the College of Engineering. If you couldn’t tell from my Scottish greeting, I’ll be studying at the University of Edinburgh next semester. After two and a half years of studying stochastic processes and optimization methods, I am thrilled to spend one semester focusing on the Humanities. At Edinburgh’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, I will take courses such as Drawn from the City, an art course allowing me to capture Scotland’s beauty through photography. The theme for my semester is exploration. I want to experience everything on my ever-expanding bucket list. I want to view the city from atop Edinburgh Castle, hike up Arthur’s Seat, and sample every pub in Old Town. And, of course, I’ll recall each adventure right here. Enjoy!” 
SP_pic Sarah Zumba- London, UK
“Sarah Zumba is a junior in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in English and minoring in Latino/a Studies. Born and raised in Chicago, IL, Sarah has always had a fascination with story telling and is an aspiring journalist. She has a passion for the arts, including writing and photography, which she always tries to incorporate into her work. She will be spending her spring semester in London, England continuing towards her degree in English. She is looking forward to experiencing everything the city has to offer and recounting it all on this blog.” 
SP_pic Madeleine Day – London, UK
“Hey all! My name is Madeline Day and I’m a junior majoring in English Literature & Psychology and minoring in Law & Society. During my time abroad I’m looking to explore literature in London from Shakespeare’s Globe Theater to Sherlock Holmes’ 221B Baker Street. Back on campus I write for the Cornell Daily Sun and Slope Media Magazine and am on the staff for Cornell’s own Marginalia Review as well as the the national publication, The Blueshift Journal. To sum me up, I love looking out the windows of long car rides, getting runner’s highs, and kicking back to enjoy a good grilled cheese. ” 
SP_pic Ming Khan – Canterbury, New Zealand
“Hello! My name is Ming. I am a third year Science of Earth Systems student from Bangladesh in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, concentrating in Geology. I will be studying in New Zealand for almost six months, during which I will be participating in field work and a research project in addition to a full semester of classes. I will have spotty internet access for a month, which is rather exciting – maybe I’ll get over my addiction to my phone! My family of five is split over three countries and starting very soon it will be three continents. In my spare time I read children’s books, lead the Science of Earth Systems Student Association, work at Uris Library and the Paleontological Research Institution, and debate with the Cornell Speech and Debate Society. ” 
SP_pic Michael Mauer – Kyoto, Japan
“Michael Mauer is a Junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Computer Science and Asian Studies. At Cornell, Michael is a member of the fencing club, and a blogger for the Cornell Daily Sun. In his spare time, Michael enjoys running, writing poetry, and watching anime. This summer, he’ll be blogging about his experiences in Hikone, Japan as a parcipant in the Critical Language Scholarship program. Then, in the fall, he’ll be studying abroad (and continuing to blog) at the Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies. Feel free to get in touch with him via your social media of choice (email, Facebook, Google+, etc).” 
SP_pic Rebecca Lester – Rome, Italy
“My name is Rebecca Lester and I am a communication major with a law minor at Cornell University. I was born and raised in Miami, FL. Exposed to many languages as a child I became fascinated with them and the cultures to which they belonged. As I became older my fascination motivated me to learn Spanish and French in addition to speaking Portuguese and English at home. As a child I was also fascinated by photography and after suffering a concussion in high school turned to photography to express myself. Due to the concussion I had difficulty using words to express myself and through this learned just how important communication and learning are for me. Every day I aim to learn more about myself and the world. This fall I will get a once in a lifetime learning experience to study abroad in Italy on the banks of the Tiber.” 
SP_pic Sarah DeMoully – Copenhagen, Denmark
“Haj! I originally hail from Denver, Colorado, I love adventuring and being outdoors. I am super excited to explore all Copenhagen, Denmark has to offer this coming fall. I am majoring in Global and Public Health Sciences and minoring in Health Policy in the College of Human Ecology. In Copenhagen, I will be studying health care delivery and prioritization in a universal health care system and taking additional courses regarding the intersection of urban and regional planning with public health. On campus, I am a research assistant for the Seguin Research Group’s Strong Hearts, Healthy Communities Project and I am also tour guide for Cornell’s Visitor Relations. I look forward to being my own tour guide this fall and I hope to soak up some amazing cultural experiences at art galleries, street vendors and concerts across Europe! ” 
SP_pic Amelia Brackett – Copenhagen, Denmark
“Hey! My name is Amelia Brackett, and I am a junior here at Cornell. I am majoring in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality studies and minoring in both Education and Psychology. My dream is to become a teacher, and over the summer I taught 7th grade writing to high-achieving, low-income students. I am currently studying abroad in Denmark in order to continue studying women’s inequality issues. Specifically, I am studying Prostitution and the Sex Trade, and I am particularly interested in how this topic helps shape constructions of gender in Denmark. In my spare time, I enjoy partaking in community service. In fact, over spring break, I completed a service trip in Lake Placid, NY, in which I mentored at-risk adolescent males. I am SO excited to begin blogging!” 
SP_pic Olivia Hoffman – Dakar, Senegal
“Hello! My name is Olivia Hoffmann and I am a junior majoring in International Agriculture and Rural Development, with minors in French and Development Sociology. During the spring of 2016, I will participating in a program called MSID Senegal: International Development. While in Senegal, I will live with a host family in the nation’s capital, Dakar, take courses, and complete an internship with a local nongovernmental organization. I’m looking forward to improving language skills (the Senegalese mainly speak French and Wolof), immersing myself in the country’s culture, and sharing my experiences with you on this blog!” 
SP_pic Gloria Majule – Madrid, Spain
“Hola! My name is Gloria Majule. I am an international student from Tanzania double majoring in Performing and Media Arts and Spanish at Cornell University. For Spring ’16, I will be in Madrid with the BU Madrid program studying Spanish film, theater, literature and politics. I am passionate about writing and acting as well as learning about new cultures. I hope you enjoy reading about my study abroad experience in Spain!” 
SP_pic Gail Fletcher – Istanbul, Turkey
“Hi Everyone! My name is Gail Fletcher and I am a junior studying History and Government. This spring semester, I will be in Istanbul, Turkey studying at Boğaziçi University. During my time in Turkey, I hope to strengthen my Turkish, consume a distressingly large amount of Turkish coffee, and to visit sites that are among the most beautiful in the world. I am excited to engage with the new communities I encounter, to take advantage of the unique opportunities that study abroad provides, and to share my experiences every step of the way. ” 
SP_pic Kelsey Sklar – Buenos Aires, Argentina
“Hi everyone! My name is Kelsey Sklar and I am a junior Human Biology, Health and Society major with a Global Health minor. This Spring I will be studying abroad in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, the national capital of the Argentine Republic, through the SIT program “Public Health in Urban Environments.” I am excited to share my journey with you as I piece together broken Spanish, learn how to tango, and live off of red meat and red vino in this cosmopolitan metropolis. Since I will be fulfilling my Global Health minor field experience requirement, I will keep you posted on the development of my public health research project in the context of Argentina. Check out my blog to read about conquering el subte (the extensive subway system) and adapting to the Argentine dialect!” 
SP_pic Isabella Delgado – Budapest, Hungary
“Hi All, my name is Isabella. I am a junior at the School of Hotel Administration. I will be trading in a semester in Ithaca to travel across the Atlantic, and along the Danube River to Budapest, Hungary. I’ll be studying Nationalism and Government at Central European University. I want this semester abroad to be different than what I study at Cornell, yet compliment my hospitality background. I am incredibly excited to ring in the new year in a different country with such a vibrant culture. Please join me as I go on this exciting journey! I cannot wait to discover new parts of the world (and myself), to learn from an eclectic group of people, to eat my way through, and to embrace the many cultural differences. Hope you enjoy–cheers!” 
SP_pic Holly Deng – Geneva, Switzerland
“Hi there! My name is Holly and I’m a junior studying Biology & Society. This spring in Geneva, Switzerland, I hope to see the challenges and success of working in international health through BU’s Public Health Internship Program. Let’s explore from the Alps to Zurich — learning to love the little things about Suisse culture, exploring what it means to call a place “home,” and of course, posing for touristy photographs along the way.” 
SP_pic Katie Schmidt – Edinburgh, UK
“Hi! My name is Katie Schmidt and I am an Information Science major here at Cornell. I will be spending the spring of my junior year abroad at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and I cannot wait to experience how Info Sci (or, as they call it, “Informatics”) is taught in a foreign country. I also love to read, go hiking, and nap, and I look forward to experiencing those things abroad as well. Check out my blog to see what I’m up to! (And whether I ever work up the nerve to try haggis…)” 
SP_pic Sarah Palmer – Edinburgh, UK
“Hello, my name is Sarah Palmer. I am a junior History and English double major in the College of Arts and Sciences. I will be spending the spring semester at the beautiful Edinburgh University, Scotland. My paternal family emigrated from Scotland in the 20th Century. My great grandmother, a proud member of the Macdonald clan, exchanged the rolling hills of Scotland for the rocky coast of Maine. Even with this strong blood tie to the old city, I have never gotten a chance to visit. Now, I am excited to become a part of Edinburgh, the city my ancestors called home. Study abroad allows for total immersion in a different culture. I will, in turn, share all my new discoveries and experiences with you.” 
SP_pic Tamar Law – Fort Dauphin, Madagascar
“Hiya folks–I’m Tamar and this semester I’ll be writing from the eighth continent, Madagascar! Through my majors in College Scholar and FGSS and my minors I have been able to cultivate my interests within the intersection of gender politics and conservation biology. This spring I’m eager to apply my interests within the SIT field based program on biodiversity and natural resource management. Living in the southern most tip of Madagascar, in the city of Tôlanaro, I’ll be traveling around the Island before settling down to do my own research for the final 6 weeks of my stay. Join me as I encounter lemurs, try to learn Malagasy while speaking french and call a tent my home for a bit!” 
SP_pic Alexandra Burton – Paris, France
“My name is Alexandra Burton, and I’m a junior double majoring in Biology & Society and English, with a minor in French. I’ll be spending the spring semester in Paris, France with a program called EDUCO. Though my classes will be all in French at the universities in Paris, which is admittedly daunting, I am very excited to expand my education in the humanities from a different perspective. I am passionate about literature and philosophy, and I think Paris will be an exciting new setting in which to study. I also love the outdoors, and in my free time I enjoy running, hiking, and rock climbing. I hope you enjoy my blog!” ” 
SP_pic Tyler Keegan – Paris in Spring . (After Brazil, S. Africa, India in Fall)
“Hello all! My name is Tyler Keegan and I am a Junior in the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning majoring in Urban & Regional Studies and minoring in Inequality Studies. I am so excited to be spending the whole 2015-2016 academic year studying abroad! During the Fall, I’ll be traveling to São Paulo, Brazil, Cape Town, South Africa, and Ahmedabad, India as part of SIT’s “Cities in the 21st Century” International Honors Program. Then, I’ll be back home in Atlanta, Georgia for a short winter break before spending Spring semester with Cornell In Paris, France. It will be an amazing year of personal growth, challenges, and learning – and I can’t wait to share it with all of you on my blog!” 
SP_pic Lena Li – Berlin, Germany
“I am Lena Li, a German and Government double major, who is spending an academic year in Berlin as an exchange student at the Freie Universität through the BCGS study abroad program. I adapted the title of this blog, “Ein Koffer in Berlin” (A suitcase in Berlin) from the song “Ich habe noch einen Koffer in Berlin” (I still have a suitcase in Berlin) by German-American singer and actress Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992). Though unlike Dietrich, I have only a suitcase in Berlin: I have no roots in Berlin. I was born in China, grew up in the USA, and this trip is my first time on European soil. Nevertheless, I share Dietrich’s longing for Berlin; and with my suitcase in Berlin and my feet on the ground, I plan to make acquaintance with German culture, people, and society, and recount my adventures to readers here.” 
SP_pic Yixuan Zhang – Oxford, UK
“Hi! My name is Yixuan Zhang, and I’m studying Philosophy and Economics at Cornell University. I will be spending my junior year 2015-2016 in Pembroke College, University of Oxford, studying Philosophy, Politics & Economics (PPE). Growing up in Beijing, China and going to college in the U.S., I have always been stimulated by the two types of cultural and educational experiences. Now I couldn’t be more excited for another new culture and another completely different academic experience ahead! I look forward to sharing my stories and reflections with you all.” 


One thought on “Welcome!

  1. Taking oral exams is so different from taking written exams. It’s remarkable that the U.S. and European educational systems continue on their separate trajectories. When I studied overseas, I found the requirement to make oral presentations to be among the most helpful things that I learned in college.

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