London, Senegal, Madagascar, and Switzerland

Off-Campus Program Past Participant Contacts

Feel free to contact any of the students listed below to learn about their experiences in their Off-Campus Study programs. If you are interested in a program but you don't see it listed on this page, please email us!

Also, if you have studied off-campus and would like to be listed on this page as a contact for students interested in your program, please contact Rebecca Schachtman at or Laura Zuege at

Leif Olsen

Program: Bard-Smolny, Russia

Majors: Russian and English

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How my world view changed: Study abroad was an incredible experience, because it teaches you just how self-sufficient you can be. But it also teaches you how to celebrate the small things, like buying groceries for the first time in Russian.

I thought Russia was a dangerous place because that is what I saw on mainstream media news outlets. But I soon found out that the city is safe and the culture is vibrant.

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Krizhalyn Velasquez

Student at the equatorProgram: IES Quito Ecuador

Majors: Psychology and Spanish

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My study abroad experience: What I loved most about my experience was learning about the history and culture of Ecuador, as well as building wonderful relationships with some people such as my host parents and siblings. I think that learning from the people and building those relationships would have been so much harder without speaking Spanish, and that’s really what I miss the most. I miss speaking the language every single day without even thinking about it. My Ecuador experience definitely helped me learn more and improve my Spanish speaking skills. Of course there were people who didn’t have patience during conversations, which made it harder for me to speak, but most of the people I met and became close with were really patient and understanding, which boosted my confidence in speaking.

What I miss the most: My favorite memories were mostly with my second host family because they just really made me like I was part of their family and made me feel at home. My most favorite memory with them would be going on little road trips with the whole family and just spending time and joking around with each other.


Luke Graham

Student in RomeProgram: ISA Rome

Major: History

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What I loved the most: The best part about being in Rome was that as someone who studies Roman history, I got to interact with all the ancient sights of Rome in a meaningful. Learning about the significance of the Roman Forum and then getting to visit the sigh enhanced my experience in a remarkable way.


Shana Pike

Student by canal in AmsterdamProgram: IES Amsterdam

Majors: Psychology and Gender Studies

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What I loved the most: I loved the biking culture, learning the Dutch language, and being in a beautiful, multicultural city.
My favorite memory: I would often invite friends I made through the International Student Network over to cook their favorite food from home to get to know them. Together we made Spanish Tortilla, Turkish-style green beans, tomato paste, and zucchini, and Japanese Sushi.
How did study abroad expand my world view? I've always had a travel bug, but being thrown out of the States for the first time really changed how I question my surroundings and where I fit into them. I've also become fascinated with the intricacies of how language and food fits into a culture. I'm counting the moments until I can live abroad again (hopefully for Graduate school!).


Anna Vogel

Student in Rome

Program: Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies- Rome

Majors: Classics and Art History

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My study abroad experience: My favorite part of studying abroad was getting to see and experience so many things that I had only heard about or seen pictures of throughout my study of Classics and Art History. Being able to physically engage with the material helped me to grasp so much more thoroughly the concepts and make them feel much more relevant.

How has my worldview changed? Studying abroad introduced me to so many new people and places that changed the way I look at the world. I think being able to get out of my comfort zone in every sense of the phrase was a life changing experience.



Breanna Wydra

Student on SEA semester

Program: SEA Semester

Major: Biochemistry 

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My abroad experience: I studied oceanography, marine science, and maritime history in Woods Hole, MA before meeting the SSV Corwith Cramer in Barcelona, Spain.  From there we sailed 2,000 miles to the Canary Islands, which was the most difficult, exhausting, and intensely transformative experience of my life.

My favorite memory: One of my favorite days was at the very end of the program when were sailing on the Atlantic towards Gran Canaria.  We hadn't seen dolphins since we left the Mediterranean Sea, but that afternoon we were followed for almost an hour by a superpod of over 250 strong.  They came right up to the sides of the ship and showed off until we couldn't cheer any longer (show-offs).


Rebecca Schachtman

Student by canal in AmsterdamProgram: IES Amsterdam

Major: Psychology

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My favorite memory:  Apart from the food, I loved biking around the city. Everyone in Amsterdam bikes, so it was an easy way to feel more a part of the culture. I did not have to wait for public transportation and could be on my own schedule as I explored the city independently or with friends. Even though it was terrifying at times (other bikers could be very aggressive and impatient!), with my bike I really got to know the city and appreciate all its beautiful old buildings and canals.

How my worldview changed:  Over the course of 4 months I became well acquainted with not only Dutch culture, but the culture of my other international classmates who had come to Amsterdam to study as well.  Studying abroad expanded my world view immensely, allowing me to approach my studies at Lawrence in new ways.  What I learned in and out of the classroom while in Amsterdam has been invaluable in making me a more confident, engaged, and globally aware person and Lawrentian.


Ben Meunier

Student in the desert of JordanProgram: Middle East and Arabic Language Studies in Amman Jordan

Major: Anthropology

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My study abroad experience:  Being abroad was one of the best decisions of my life because I was able to go to another side of the world to experience a new people, culture, and language. I am more than grateful to have gone to the Middle-East, to see a people so like us yet so colorful within themselves.

My favorite memory:  Amman was the first large city I had ever lived in, and this was a monumental element of my study abroad experience. Coming from a small town and farmland community, I never understood what residency was like in a larger city, and I firmly believe that Amman was the perfect location to acquaint myself to municipal living. An old city, Amman's run-down and hilly streets of beige buildings captured an unmatched homey quality that effectively represented the Arab character; colorful, traditional, and welcoming. The city was unquestionably alive with its inhabitants, and ever changing. Because it is not as developed as Western cities, I felt this was the ideal fit for adjusting to the rigors of living as one in a million people. I particularly enjoyed the night scene in Amman, when hookah bars playing music, mosques announcing the call-to-prayer, and festivities hosting concerts filled the narrow, street-art ridden passageways with pleasant noises. I will forever miss this irreplaceable atmosphere.


Katie Singer

Student under water in EcuadorProgram: IES Abroad Quito, Area Studies and Language

Majors: History Major, Government and Spanish Minor

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What I loved most: I loved being immersed in the Spanish language and having the opportunity to live in a completely different culture. I was lucky enough to travel to many different parts of Ecuador and learned so much about how the culture varies from the Andes to the coast to the Amazon rainforest, which really helped to increase my understanding of the country.

How has my worldview changed? I am definitely more empathetic towards others now, especially people who I don't initially have a lot in common with. Also, I am much more confident in myself and my abilities--If I can navigate a foreign culture in a different language, I can do anything!


Karina Grady

Student by ocean in GreeceProgram: College Year in Athens
Majors: Art History Major, Museum Studies IA

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What I loved most: the food!
How has my worldview changed: Getting the chance to study abroad is the best experience of my life. In the five months I spent in Athens, Greece, I grew so much. I have never been happier than I was when I was there and that will stay with me for the rest of my life.



Alanna Rieser

Student in Metro station, ParisProgram: IES Paris
Majors: English/French

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What I loved most: I loved the European culture. Everything takes more time because they like to savor every minute. Eating with friends would take hours, and I learned how to honestly sit alone and take in my surroundings. The days just felt longer and richer.
How has my worldview changed? Especially with the refugee crisis happening when I was abroad, I have become altogether more aware of what's happening in the world. I've started reading the paper everyday, one French and one English, so I can stay updated on the worldly issues plaguing us today.


Ryan Aiello

Student in Costa Rica

Program: ACM Costa Rica

Majors: Psychology and Spanish

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What I loved the most: I loved getting myself lost while wandering around and walking into random restaurants and shops with no clue as to where I would go next. It was during these experiences that I truly pushed my Spanish skills to their limit as I befriended numerous locals who didn’t speak a word of English and in the process made life long friends.

What I miss the most: I miss my host mother in San Jose. Together, we had fantastic dinner conversations over fried plantains and tea that would last hours after our plates had been cleared.

How had my world view changed? After participating in this program I have really come to understand the cultural and political dominance of the United States and western civilization over smaller, developing countries.


Olivia Gregorich

Student in Ireland

Program: Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin, Ireland

Majors/Minors: Theatre Arts major, Creative Writing minor

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My study abroad experience and what I miss: I miss the sound of voices from Ireland.  It's not as simple as accents--the movement in their speaking has a different sound.  While on a trip to Galway, I took a day to visit one of the Aran Islands where they still speak Irish fluently.  I miss the hiking--one of the most interesting things I heard in one of my classes at the Gaiety School of Acting was that accents reflect their landscapes: wide open land creates speakers of wide open sounds, lots of snow and wind makes people clench their teeth to keep out the weather.  Language truly lives and breathes the stories, geography, and music of the people and their place, and I was more than happy to listen for a while.

How has my world view changed? It was an interesting time to be outside of the United States, during one of the most controversial Presidential elections perhaps ever.  I loved learning more about the history of Ireland, but I think in global terms it really showed me how closely the rest of the world does watch us, and how myopic we are (or can be) in return.  I know next to nothing about French or British politics, let alone those of countries on other continents.  If anything, the experience has thrown down the gauntlet for me to push myself even farther outside my comfort zone in the interest of broadening my understanding and appreciation of how complicated the connections between us and our differences are.


Michelle Jimenez

Program: ISA Granada

Major/Minor: Government major, Spanish minor

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My study abroad experience: I was immersed in a city that was so diverse and full of life. Granada is a city full of different people from different places all studying at the University of Granada making it an open environment for a variety of cultures.

What I miss the most: I miss being able to stand back and take a minute to think about how long the architecture in Spain has been around. I miss being able to go hiking in the Sierra Nevada to exploring the virgin beaches in southern Spain in a matter of a few hours.

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Margaret Koss

Student in York, England

Program: University of York

Major: English

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My study abroad experience: My study abroad experience was very immersive, because I was essentially dropped into an English university and given the same opportunities/experiences as any other student there. I became very close with the people I lived in a dorm on campus with, I made friends from the area, I joined clubs, I took challenging courses that counted toward my major, and I just became very comfortable at the university, in the city of York, and in England in general.

My favorite memory: One of the very cool English things I did was go on this long hike with the outdoor club through the Yorkshire moors. That was just very breathtaking and something I had always wanted to do. But it was also really exhausting because it was like 10 miles and I didn't bring enough food and it was super muddy, and I got through it by telling myself that the next day I would go get these bacon-blueberry pancakes I'd been eyeing on the menu at one of my favorite cafes in York. Those were probably the best pancakes I've ever eaten.


Maria Mankin

Student by canal in AmsterdamProgram: IES Amsterdam

Major/Minor: Psychology major, Government minor

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What I miss the most: It's hard to pick my favorite thing about Amsterdam, because it was filled with so much beauty and adventure. However, what I loved most about the city was how cozy it felt. Walking around the cobblestone roads felt almost like a fairytale. While Amsterdam is full of excitement and life, it also has a quaint and comforting nature. The dutch have a word for this feeling: Gezellig. It's the feeling you get when you come home after a long trip, or when you take a warm bath. Amsterdam embodies this word perfectly, and I miss it every day.

How has my world view changed? Studying abroad transformed me into a more confident and independent person. Living on my own was something I had never experienced before. It was tough at times, but it ultimately was an experience that I needed in order to enter into adult life. I would recommend it to everyone, even if it scares you a little. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone was one of the most valuable things I could have ever done.


Katharine Kollman

Student with her host familyProgram: Francophone Seminar in Dakar, Senegal

Major: Biology and French

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My study abroad experience: I studied abroad at the Francophone Seminar in Dakar, Senegal, which was focused on improving both our French and Wolof - the national language.  We stayed with host families, went to a small international school with students from around the world, had lectures from local professors, and were given the enormous privilege of experiencing a really beautiful culture.

My favorite memory: My favorite memory of my term in Senegal is when my host brother invited me to the home where he grew up, a few hours south of Dakar.  Mbour wasn't nearly as busy as Dakar, so everything seemed more quiet and comfortable.  We spent two weekends with his mom's cooking, playing soccer on the beach with his childhood friends, and going to night festivals.


Taylor Gardner

Student in ChileProgram: IES Santiago

Major: Spanish

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My study abroad experience:  During my five months in Santiago, every day was an adventure where language and culture constantly collided, forcing me to step outside of my comfort zone. I gained professional experience, met the most incredible individuals, and learned so much about myself in this beautiful city that I made my second home.

My favorite memory: It's very hard to pick just one, but a favorite memory I have is one of the many days I spent traveling with my friends. One trip we did was to the Atacama Desert in the northern part of the country; it's the driest desert in the world and known for it's incredible view of the stars. We hiked around lagoons in the mountains and it is the most beautiful place I've ever seen, and we also spent time at the salt flats with the flamingos, as well as in the valleys of the dessert that make you feel like you're on the moon.


Bailey Reiners

Student rowing at sunset in GermanyProgram: Berlin Language and Areas Studies

Majors: Psychology & Art History

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What I loved most: Each Tuesday after classes, I would commute over an hour to a suburb of Berlin called Grunau by train, tram, and bus. The boat house was a few minute walk from the last bus stop and located in a beautiful neighborhood along the Langer See. The boat house itself was huge, equipped with a boat storage room, repair workshops, hostel style sleeping quarters, and even a restaurant and bar on the second floor.

The boats we rowed were large, hollow, wooden boats that were built sometime in the 30s or 40s and were very different from the thin, fiberglass race shells that we use at Lawrence. We also rowed with two small oars, one in each hand, a technique called sculling, which is also unlike sweep rowing technique that we use at Lawrence where each person only has one larger oar.

My team consisted of mostly older men in their 60s and 70s, and they all really welcomed me as a member of their family. Even when I was really terrible at sculling and would mess up the whole boat, they would tease me and try to teach me. Sometimes I had no idea what they were saying and they would realize this, so we would just mutually smile and hope that I would figure it out one way or another.

After every practice, we would bring the boats in and head up to the restaurant for dinner and drinks. They would always tease me about drinking because they knew that I was not yet legal to drink in the States but could in Germany. Dinner was my favorite because it gave me the opportunity to really practice my German - especially colloquialisms and funny sayings that only people of their generation would say.

After dinner someone always volunteered to drive me to the train stop, which made my commute quite a bit shorter, and it gave the opportunity to have time to chat one-on-one with a different member of the team.

I still stay in touch with my favorite team members today, and I know that if I ever go back to Berlin, I will have a second family who will be happy to welcome me back!

How has my worldview changed? I became much more conscious of  international politics, as well as how different cultures view the United States. In particular, I became very aware of the refugee crisis and interested in the political ideologies of different European countries regarding the crisis.

Because Germany, and Berlin in particular, was a major focal point in Europe for much of the politics, information was easily accessible in the news and even directly from refugees themselves. I was also able to speak with my host family and other locals about their opinions and concerns from a local perspective.

While researching different facets of the crisis, I was trying to find ways to interact with refugees directly because the news was entirely from a German's perspective. I discovered a tour given by refugees that took people around different refugee holding centers and historical sites. The tour guides provided their personal stories and were able to talk openly about personal struggles in gaining asylum, including the discouraging culture barriers and xenophobic stereotypes that made their integration more difficult.

It was an incredible opportunity to be surrounded by a major international event and have access to a multiplicity of resources beyond the news reporters. I focused a few of my final projects on the crisis and hope to continue with those studies in my cap stones and post graduation.


Sarah Diamond

Students on camels in IndiaProgram: ACM India

Major: International Relations

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My study abroad experience:  I studied abroad in Pune, India in the fall of 2015. It was the most amazing experience of my life. I lived with an Indian family, adventured all over the country, learned so much, and met incredible people.

My favorite memory:  For Diwali break towards the end of the semester, I went trekking with a group in the Himalayas in Ladakh. It was surreal. We rode camels, slept under the stars, and experienced a culture that is completely its own. I miss it every single day.


Morgan Edwards

Student exploring ChileProgram: IES Santiago (U. Católica Santiago)

Majors: Biology and Spanish

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What I loved most: I loved hearing and learning to speak a new (to me) dialect of Spanish, and having my language skills challenged in an academic setting! Living in a big city and making friends without the scaffolding of a tiny campus was a great experience as well.

How has my worldview changed? Although I always felt welcomed by new friends and classmates while I was abroad, there were frequent moments in which I really felt just how much of a cultural outsider I was. Now that I'm back, memories of that feeling help me to empathize more with people who might be feeling uncomfortable, out of place, or excluded in a variety of situations.



Maddie Scanlan

Student in ItalyProgram: Lawrence University London Centre

Majors: History major with a minor in Theatre

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What I loved most: What I enjoyed most about studying in London was the opportunity to be independent. I traveled, worked, studied and explored on my own and I learned so much about myself and the culture I was immersed in.

How has my worldview changed? I returned from studying abroad with a wider cultural perspective as well as a plan for my future at and beyond Lawrence.


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