Hope College students are encouraged by staff and friends to take on the world and gain a global perspective. As we’ve learned, the best way to see through the eyes of a culture other than our own is to live among its people. Every semester, and even throughout the summer months, Hope students take the initiative to travel abroad and explore other places unlike our small town of Holland. Here’s a short recap of the adventures some of our students went on through the study abroad program.
Born in South Korea and raised in India, SinWoo Lee chose to go to her roots and study abroad in South Korea during the Spring Semester 2016.
“I never studied in South Korea and wanted to learn more about my culture by physically experiencing it through daily life. Also, I wanted to study about Korea-Japan relations and the Korean peninsula relations, which Hope does not offer. Whenever people asked me where I am from, I could not answer because I am from both South Korea and India. Hence, South Korea has been one of my homes. However, I still keep reminding myself that I am Korean.”
After taking a stop in Japan on her way back to Hope, SinWoo wishes to study abroad in Japan sometime in the future.
Wesley Wright is from Chelsea, Michigan, and chose to travel all the way to Nepal.
“I chose to study abroad in Nepal because I was very unfamiliar with the culture and history. Also, my good friend Shubham Sapkota, who graduated from Hope in 2015, encouraged me to go. Nepal is an extraordinary part of the world. Although it is a very small country, it is extremely diverse both culturally and geographically. People were always very gracious and helpful, and without their support, my time there would have been much more difficult.”
After graduation, Wesley plans to travel to India.
As an American ex-patriot residing in Canada, Leigh Wynveen explains, “As a political science and international studies major, I learned so much about not only European and French politics, but also Parisian culture and how it shapes politics and society. There is never a dull moment; there is always another cobblestone street to wander, another
festival to attend, another museum to explore. I lived in the Catholic International House and loved living in the very residential 15th arrondissement with its weekly markets
and its feeling of neighborliness and home. It is a little farther from the city center, but that also means that it is not touristy and you feel as though you experience the true feeling of living in Paris.”
If possible, Leigh dreams to travel to Australia and New Zealand in order to experience part of her roots.