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What in the World’s Going on Out There?

Published: October 10, 2017

What in the World’s Going on Out There?

Biking, museums, and stroopwafels in Amsterdam. The Ganpati Festival, independent study projects, and the Ajanta and Ellora caves in India. Vervet monkeys, Swahili lessons, and Masala tea in Tanzania.

Wherever they are studying, students on ACM programs are always on the move. One of the best ways to keep up with all the activity is on the ACM Off-Campus Study Programs Blog, a collection of dispatches from student correspondents around the world.

From the (definitely) monumental to the (seemingly) mundane, student bloggers write about whatever catches their interest. You can read about a trip to see a pair of World Heritage sites in India, followed a couple of clicks later by an ode to the pleasures of doing laundry by hand in Botswana.

Do some browsing and you’ll find your own favorites, but here’s a sample to get started.

Jessica Ramos begins her post on Monday morning at a beach in Rio de Janiero where she starts most days with a run, followed by fresh papaya at her homestay (“so much better than papaya in the United States”). By Saturday, she wrote, the weekday whirlwind of classes and long, full days had subsided.

“Later that afternoon, I met my friend Amatullah for a slow jog along the beach of Copacabana. We then ventured over to Ipanema beach where we found a really cool hidden path with a great view. After this we went to Arpoador (huge rocky area between Copa and Ipanema), where we ate our tapioca (popular street-food here) while watching the sunset.”

Students in Tanzania

On the Tanzania program, students helped start the fire during their visit to the village of Engikaret.

“Upon arrival to Engikaret, the first thing we heard was the beautiful blend of singing voices in Maa (the language of the Maasai), welcoming us to their home,” Jessica Zhou wrote. She went on to describe the program’s weekend visit to a Maasai village, where students expanded their vocabulary and learned about greetings, hiked to collect firewood and medicinal herbs, practiced beading techniques, helped prepare a goat stew, and danced with their Maasai hosts under the stars.

When Will Hansen, the Newberry's Director of Reader Services and Curator of Americana, brought some items from the library’s Ayer and Graf Collections for the students to examine, it was an introduction to the type of primary source materials they will use in their independent research projects.

The session was also “another realization for me that the Newberry Seminar is an experience of a lifetime,” Charlotte Wall noted. “Every day, we get to see the originals of images, letters, and manuscripts that are quoted and published in history books we have read since elementary school.”

Students visit Territorio de Zaguates in Costa Rica and pore over centuries-old books at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

“I am 110% sure that something like their park could never happen in the U.S, but I am still pretty excited about the fact that I had the opportunity to visit (especially since I woke up at 5am to go),” wrote Gabby Rudolph. The students spent a perfect (and perfectly photogenic) day out in the gorgeous countryside taking a walking tour with the staff and dogs — lots and lots of dogs — at Territorio de Zaguates, a dog park and shelter. Did we mention that there are about 700 dogs there?

 

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