One student hopes to add new color to childhood memories. One plans to trace his family history, another follows in the footsteps of her sister and two have never experienced the world beyond the U.S. borders. One hundred twenty-five Bucknell University students chose to study abroad in 21 countries this semester, each for different reasons, but seven will share their experiences with the world as Bucknell study abroad Instagrammers.
"I lived in Japan for two years when I was a child, and I've always wanted to return," said Greg Wolf '17 (@bucknellgregory), an East Asian studies major and theatre minor.
"I've wanted to go to England since my sister, Michelle, studied abroad in London when she was in college," said accounting & financial management major Mona Cheng '17 (@bucknellmona). "All she could talk about was the amazing experiences she had, the places that she traveled and the friends she made. She even considered moving there! That's the experience I knew that I want."
"I'm really excited about getting out of the country for the first time," said Tom Bonan '17 (@bucknelltommy), an interdisciplinary studies major in economics and math who will study in Cork, Ireland. "I have always had a fascination with Ireland. It seemed like a perfect fit."
Sharmen Heppitola '17 (@bucknellsharmen) shares Bonan's Irish dreams. "I've always wanted to go to Ireland," she said. "As an economics major, I find the various ways economic policies shape a country fascinating. Ireland has a unique economic history, as do many of the surrounding countries, and it will be interesting to compare their history with ours."
Mark Merino '17 (@bucknellmark) is also making his first trip out of the U.S. this semester. The Spanish and political science major is in Granada, Spain, with the Bucknell en España program.
I am very much looking forward to being in a new country," said Merino. "This is such a personal journey for me. I have roots in Spain, and to be able to reconnect with those roots will be incredibly meaningful."
Another Spanish and political science major, Elizabeth Wilkey '17 (@bucknellelizabeth), has ventured to the land of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail. "I choose Peru because I wanted to learn more about Latin American culture," she explained. "I plan to study the effects of globalization on indigenous populations. The world is ever-changing, but it seems as though it is getting smaller. I will be learning about the changes indigenous groups of the Andes face in our modern world."
Morgan Gisholt Minard '17 (@bucknellmorgz) offered a succinct explanation of why she chose Switzerland as her study abroad destination: "Who doesn't love cheese, chocolate and neutrality?
"Being in Switzerland will allow me to practice my French and be exposed to the diplomatic international hub that is Geneva," said the international relations major. "Through my program I will have an eight-week internship with an international organization that will give me experience using my French in a professional setting, as well as learning the ropes from a group of people who have devoted their lives to what I have chosen to study in college. You can't get that kind of experience from a classroom!"
Most of the study abroad Instagrammers have already begun sharing their adventures abroad on Instagram. "This is such a personal journey for me," said Marino. "It will be awesome to be able to share it with people who are interested in seeing me realize my dream."