Poets travel the world: Jan Term Faculty Led Abroad Trips

Poets travel the world:  Jan Term Faculty Led Abroad Trips

BRAZIL 

 COURTESY OF ANDRIANNA NEGUS

COURTESY OF ANDRIANNA NEGUS

Andrianna Negus

Third-Year

Why did you choose to travel to Brazil over Jan Term?

 

I love to travel, and when I am in school, one of the cheapest ways to do this is with faculty-led trips. Another big reason I picked this trip was because of Lecturer of Anthropology Professor Teresa Delfin. I wanted a chance to have a class with her before she left Whittier because she has such an amazing reputation.

 

What is one of your favorite memories from being abroad?

 

This is honestly such a hard question to answer because the whole trip was so amazing, but if I had to choose one memory it would be the night we all fled to Professor Delfin’s apartment. The hostel we were staying in had turned out to not be what we thought it was, and after one too many uncomfortable situations, everyone ended up fleeing to the safety of Professor Delfin’s Airbnb. We had 24 people in a two-bedroom apartment. Everyone still ended up with a place to sleep thanks to Professor Delfin’s ingenuity, and we bonded so much that night. Dealing with a stressful situation by laughing with and supporting each other truly made us feel like a family that night.

 

What is one of the most interesting things you learned about Brazil?

 

Our class was about Afro-Brazilian culture, and one thing I did not know before this trip is that Bahia, a state in Brazil, is extremely proud and in touch with their African roots and culture. This is not the case in many parts of the world where slavery contributed to the African diaspora. Many slaves were forced to abandon their cultures and traditions and are left disconnected and disenfranchised. However, in Brazil, they have managed to stay true to their heritage.

 

How as learning in a new country different than studying in a classroom?

 

I did much of my reading on the beach, and got to have discussions over bowls of delicious acai. Despite the more laid-back atmosphere, we still had extremely fruitful and meaningful conversations about the state of not only Afro-Brazilian culture but also how we can relate it back to the United States.

  

Would you recommend other students study abroad?

 

Absolutely, yes! Traveling is the best way to broaden your mind and worldview. It’s a chance to challenge yourself and grow in so many ways, and you always end up meeting amazing people.

FRANCE 

 COURTESY OF ALYSSA HAYNE

COURTESY OF ALYSSA HAYNE

Alyssa Hayne

Second-Year

Why did you choose to travel to France over Jan Term? 

 

I am a French minor, and I decided to go to France during Jan Term to put my knowledge of the language to the test and to improve myself on the language.

 

What is one thing that is different in France than in the U.S.? 

 

The people in Paris take the time to sit down and socialize with their friends and family. In America, it is very rare to see a family eating dinner without phones or other electronics at the table.

 

How was class material integrated into your trip abroad? 

 

We took a course during the Fall semester where we learned about the history of Paris and how it has transformed over the years. While in Paris, Professor of French and Associate Dean of Academic Planning Dr. Andy Wallis and Associate Professor of History Dr. Elizabeth Sage gave us opportunities that would help us visualize what we had learned during the previous semester.

 

Would you recommend other students study abroad? 

 

Yes! I am so grateful to Whittier for providing me with this experience and I would highly recommend to study abroad if you get the chance. It provides you with exposure to another country’s way of life!

 

LONDON

 COURTESY OF NIKKI KNUPP

COURTESY OF NIKKI KNUPP

Nikki Knupp

Fourth-Year

Why did you choose to travel to London over Jan Term?

 

I chose to travel to London because this specific course was geared towards theatre and the arts overall, and those are my passions! Also, Professor of Theatre and Communication Arts Dr. Jennifer Holmes is an incredible professor. I wanted to travel with familiar faces from the Theatre Department and make new friends with people who took this as one of their first theatre courses. There were many different perspectives, and it taught me so much more about theatre, art, and life.

 

What is one thing that is different in London than in the U.S.?

 

I suppose it was something I learned through osmosis, but it felt like London, or the area we were in of London, was more willing to admit their faults in their histories. Bookstores and even museums seemed to tell more than the mainstream perspectives of things. I even found some transgender history and children books, which was both a nice and unexpected surprise. (There was even a portrait of a trans woman in one of the museums.)

 

How was class material integrated into your trip abroad?

 

We were assigned three books to read and prompts to be mindful of and to write about throughout each day. It made me more present in my learning experience, and I kept an eye out for the culture and art that was at every turn. We also were granted the chance to take workshops with different theatre companies, one of which was actually at the famous Shakespeare Globe, [held] before we watched a performance of All’s Well That Ends Well, one of our assigned readings.

CUBA

 COURTESY OF TIM HILLMAN

COURTESY OF TIM HILLMAN

Tim Hillman

Fourth-Year

Why did you choose to travel to Cuba over Jan Term? 

 

I chose to travel to Cuba to immerse myself in a diverse culture and experience the connection of baseball as a religion in their society. 

 

What is one of your favorite memories from being abroad?

 

My favorite memory is going to a playoff baseball game for the Cuban National Series. It was the greatest sports game I have ever experienced. Before the game there were live music performances, people hitting bongos and drums, and lots of chanting and synchronized dancing in the stands. The players were super passionate: throwing their helmets after getting a hit, flamboyant bat flips after crushing a home run. It was much different than American baseball games. 

 

What is one thing that is different in Cuba than in the U.S.? 

 

Lots of visual poverty. Even though people do not have the best economic situations, they are very resourceful. They reuse a lot of old items and mix and match them together. I saw one guy repairing his 1950s Chevrolet with a lawnmower engine. 

 

Would you recommend other students study abroad? 

 

Anyone and everyone should study abroad if they have the opportunity. I believe there is nothing but good things that comes from seeing the world and experiencing different cultures. It allows us to be more understanding of other humans. 

 

SOUTH AFRICA

 COURTESY OF KEELIN BETTRIDGE

COURTESY OF KEELIN BETTRIDGE

Keelin Bettridge

Third-Year

Why did you choose to travel to South Africa over Jan Term? 

 

I had Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Sara Angevine’s Women and Leadership class my first year at Whittier College and listening to her talk about her time in South Africa really piqued a lot of interest for me. When I found out that Professor Angevine was leading a Jan Term to South Africa, I knew that I had to go. 

 

What is one of your favorite memories from being abroad?

 

One of my favorite memories from South Africa was visiting Women on Farms, an organization that advocates for workers’ rights on farms across South Africa. They were truly an inspirational set of women and sparked a lot of conversation for my class. 

 

What is one of the most interesting things you learned about South Africa? 

 

One of the things that we talked a great deal about while being in South Africa was the water crisis. Cape Town is rapidly approaching “Day Zero” and are already on strict water restrictions. Cape Town will be the world’s first major city to go dry, so it will be interesting to see how it is handled. 

 

How was class material integrated into your trip abroad? 

 

Essentially every place that we visited while in South Africa was class. We spoke to some very influential women, writers, professors, etc. We visited museums, libraries, and different organizations. We also journaled every day about our readings and experiences.