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A Glimpse of Adventures That Await Students Abroad

For The Heights

Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01


Want to stun your friends with your radical summer plans? Kellie Barnum did that by participating in the ACC’s "Coach for College" program, where athletes from the Atlantic Coast Conference schools go to Thuang Hung, Vietnam, to coach and teach at a summer camp. "You do everything outdoors, and there are no luxuries anywhere. We usually washed our clothes in wash bins in our rooms, and showered in cold water," Barnum said. American coaches come to coach and teach, and they bring in Vietnamese college students studying English to act as translators.

"My Vietnamese counterpart was my best friend on the trip besides my roommate. I learned so much in using body language and signals to get across my meaning," said Barnum. Out in the sweltering heat of the Mekong Delta without air conditioning, what drove these students to dedicate themselves to this program? "The kids. They are unlike any kids I know from home. They adore school, and come hours early to camp every day since it’s the most exciting thing going on in their lives. They’re tough, and get up laughing after a fall that would cause most American kids to cry. The way we were all sobbing at the end of the camp is one of the most powerful memories I will hold onto."


Attention all overworked pre-med students and stressed out nurses-to-be: there is a program out there for you that does indeed allow you to leave the refines of your study corner, yet still be immersed in the ever-fascinating world of medicine. Centered in Quito, Ecuador, the seminar "Global Health Perspectives" does an overview of healthcare systems around the world with a focus on policy, current issues, and the legal and ethical problems accompanying this hot topic. As a biology major among mostly nursing students, the faux-nurse Ellen Keenan explained how the people on the trip each stayed with a different host family living in the city. So did this require much Spanish experience? "Not at all," she answered, "There were some people on the trip who spoke excellent Spanish, and others, like me, requested to be put in a family where at least one person spoke English." The travelers were not restricted to the city limits, either, spending one of their weekends out in the countryside to get a better feel for the rural life in Ecuador. "My favorite part of the class was when we had a doctor from Quito come to explain to us what the local healthcare was like," she said. Finally, what was the craziest thing that happened abroad? "Definitely eating guinea pigs. They roast them on spits there like we would with a pig!"


or all of the English nerds who grew up on Harry Potter, fell in love with Jane Austen, and laughed out loud at Oscar Wilde, Boston College offers the trip of a lifetime. Traveling to the city of London, the group reads works by English authors around the city where they are centered. The students who went on this trip expressed the unreality of the whole experience of reading works that took place in the city they were staying in. The class spent a lot of their time getting a feel for the city where the novels themselves were set.

Apart from living in the midst of the city, the group took weekend trips to Chaucer’s house and to Bath, where Jane Austen lived. Being able to experience the city first hand, and travel to the very places the writers wrote about, enriched the experience for many BC students on the trip. So for anyone who was born in the wrong century, loves fish and chips, and can correctly place the phrase "any man ... must be in want of a wife," literary London is calling your name.




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