Tales from Abroad: Leipzig...

Summer 2016: Kylie Wilson With a father in the Air Force, I grew up with a world map on our dinner table. Every night, Dad would quiz my siblings and I on far off cities and countries. We’d have a mad dash to move bowls of food and be the first one to find the obscure place he named. However, it wasn’t until college that I had the opportunity to visit international places – Budapest, Hungary; London, England; Berlin, Germany… the list goes on. When I heard about study abroad at ACU, I was both elated and discouraged. While I desperately wanted to participate in one of the programs, I was sure that my biochemistry, pre-med schedule would never allow a semester off. Luckily, I found a middle-ground: ACU sponsors a pre-health summer study abroad every two years. It gave me both class credit and a chance to see parts of the world I had only dreamed about. It seemed perfect. I was in Europe a total of eight weeks; simultaneously, they seemed to go by so quickly and yet so slowly. We were based out of Leipzig, Germany, but many weekends were spent traveling: during those two months, I traveled to seven different countries and countless cities. Each weekend was a new region or country. For some reason, many of my favorite memories center around the different meals we ate. No stew will ever rival the goulash we had the first night in Budapest; if I ever travel back to London, bangers and mash is a definite must at Mother Mash in Oxford Circus. Even the odd plates (for example, raw meat in the Netherlands, or beef drowning in a brown sauce in the Czech Republic) still easily bring back the memories. While...

Fall 16 Labor Day Cookout! Sep09

Fall 16 Labor Day Cookout!...

We had a great time this year celebrating Labor Day with a cookout! About 100 students came out to eat hot dogs, play games, and take a break from the school...

Tales From Abroad: U.K. and Oxford Adventures Sep05

Tales From Abroad: U.K. and Oxford Adventures...

I once heard someone say “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” I have adopted this as a foundational truth in my life. While there are obviously price tags on plane tickets, hostels, and gelato, there is no price tag on the perspective and richness that is added to your life when you travel. The lessons I learned on my month-long study abroad trip to Oxford, England, are lessons I could not have learned any other way than to immerse myself in a new setting and embrace a culture that (although still speaks English) is not quite the same as my own. Throughout my month in the Europe, there were many highs and lows. From having my phone pick-pocketed right out of my purse in Paris, to road tripping through the unbelievable alps of Switzerland, this experience was unforgettable.   FRANCE: Our day started at 4 a.m. in Oxford. Our group of 36 headed out to catch a train to Paris out of London. It was the opening day of the Eurocup, which was hosted by Paris this year. Needless to say, the city was pretty chaotic. Security was unbelievably tight—I even had to let security guards look through my bag in order to go inside McDonald’s. We spent the afternoon exploring Paris and then took a group bike tour in the evening. As we were getting closer to the bike shop at the end of our tour, the streets were less crowded and we ended up driving right through the middle of the road as a group of close to 40 bicycles. All of the sudden, people sitting out on the patios of café’s that lined the road started shouting and cheering for us. It was as if we...

Tales From Abroad: The Ginger Pilgrim Jul29

Tales From Abroad: The Ginger Pilgrim...

Check out Mckinley Terry’s blog, “The Ginger Pilgrim“. We are proud of all of the work this student has put into designing this blog!

Tales From Abroad: Just Exploring Not Lost Jul28

Tales From Abroad: Just Exploring Not Lost...

Please visit Just Exploring Not Lost to view Tad Kile’s blog discussing his study abroad adventures! We are proud to share this fantastic site.

Tales From Abroad: Germany Jul27

Tales From Abroad: Germany...

I’ve spent a lot of time lately thinking about Study Abroad. Not just my experience, but the entire purpose behind Study Abroad and what I was told coming into the program.  I was bombarded by fliers and social media posts to apply for Study Abroad before I even fully committed to my college. I had a professor give a lecture every Friday my Freshman year about all the reasons you should Study Abroad, things like “making life-long best friends” and “Seeing cool history”. By the time I was convinced this was something I wanted to do, I had signed up for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to travel, vacation, and be social. Former abroad-ers said things to me like, “best experience ever!”, “most fun you’ll ever have”, “chance of the lifetime” and “you won’t regret it!”. While I think all of those things came true, this is the best semester and I have traveled and been social, along the way I discovered that there is so much more to Study Abroad than the memories and the fun. I’ve had more fun this semester than I have in a long time and I think I have enough memories to last a lifetime. I’ve played Mafia in hostels all over Europe with my peers and our professor. I’ve sprinted through a train station to catch a train we inevitably ended up missing by mere seconds, only to laugh about it for the next two weeks. I’ve struggled to learn the German language alongside my classmates, poking fun all semester at each other’s attempts to order food. I’ve walked to the top of Dresden, Lisbon,Prague, Barcelona, and Vienna and looked out over each beautiful city. I’ve climbed mountains in eastern Germany. I’ve seen the sun set in seven different countries by now, and the sun...

Tales From Abroad: Midnights in Paris Jul26

Tales From Abroad: Midnights in Paris...

Coming into study abroad I did not know a single person in my study abroad group. I would be spending the next four months in Oxford, England, with thirty people I had just met. The first couple weeks in Oxford were frustrating at times because everyone seemed to be forming relationships without me. Being an introvert it was stressful for me to get involved because I felt like I was intruding. About 2 weeks in, I decided to put myself out there, and I am glad I did. I ended up forming relationships with people I now consider some of my best friends. From family dinners to 3am talks to late night kebab runs, I will never forget the awesome memories I made with these people. Some of my fondest memories are of the nights spent in Paris on our class trip to France. One evening in particular sticks out to me out of all the others on that trip. That night we were scheduled to go on a 30 person bike tour. Thirty Americans riding bikes through the streets of Paris. At night. It sounded like a disaster to me. It had been raining all day, and I definitely wasn’t looking forward to this ride. I had been complaining about it all day and even contemplated skipping it altogether. As we started the tour, the skies cleared up, and I decided to try and be optimistic. Soon, I was laughing with friends and racing through yellow traffic lights. These were the nights and memories that I would remember forever. This is what study abroad was supposed to be all about. Riding through the streets of Paris and experiencing the city with my best friends. At one point along the ride we stopped to...

Tales From Abroad: Leipzig Jul20

Tales From Abroad: Leipzig...

I would say I lead a pretty comfortable, normal life. I have an awesome family and the best of friends. And my years spent in college at ACU have been some of the best yet. However, I also found myself craving something different, a challenge, an adventure. And that’s where this trip comes in. Early Freshman year I came across a brochure for studying abroad and applied immediately — I didn’t know the details of this trip. I didn’t know who I would be going with, or where exactly I would be going, but I knew it was something I had to do. And I did it After months of counting-down and probably an annoying amount of giddy anticipation and excitement, I boarded a plane with a handful of semi-acquaintances leaving all my friends and my “normal life behind” — expecting everything and nothing. Culture-shocked and jet-lagged, the first week was hard as I learned to adapt to my new normal. But I did adapt, and I found myself falling in in love with my new home and rarely thinking my life back in Texas. Yes, I missed the mundane things like Sonic runs with my roommate, and my heart hurt a little bit every time I got a snapchat or a text from friends telling me to come home, but I was too busy investing in my life here. I knew I couldn’t waste my time thinking about all I was missing back home. If you know me at all, you know how extroverted I am. I need people. At school, I surround myself with constant activity and social interaction. As you can imagine, moving to a foreign country with only 14 other people was a bit of an adjustment for me. For the...

Tales From Abroad: England Adventures Jul19

Tales From Abroad: England Adventures...

After a week or so of being in England, one of my friends, Jonathan, came up to me and Garrett, my roommate, saying he had found 20 pound tickets to a town in Germany called Dusseldorf. As we were all big soccer fans, we looked for a game that would be happening in that vicinity. We located a game between Bayer Leverkusen and Hannover 96 in the nearby town of Leverkusen and bought tickets to the game. Finally, Garrett booked an Airbnb in what he thought was Leverkusen. Yet the trip did not go as smoothly as we had planned it at first. This was due to it being the first trip any of us had actually planned in another country. For some reason, we decided to wait until the night before we left to look up the directions from the airport to the center of Dusseldorf. We were shocked to realize that the airport was a two hour drive from Dusseldorf. The airport was almost in the Netherlands. Recovering from our shock, we packed our bags and headed out the next day. Upon arriving in the airport we found the bus to Dusseldorf city center and thought we were good to go. When we arrived, however, we realized we had forgotten to look up directions to our Airbnb. Thankfully, there was a tourist information shop nearby, so we walked in there to find directions. We were in for another surprise as it turned out. The worker described out Airbnb as being in a “remote, little village outside of Leverkusen.” Upon hearing this, I immediately picture a village made up of stone house and thatched roofs surrounded by a forest out in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully, the guide was able to give us...

Tales From Abroad: South America Jul18

Tales From Abroad: South America...

While in South America, we visited many different places but one of my favorites was Peru. As we traveled all over the country using planes, trains, and busses, we were able to go to many historic sites including cathedrals, plazas, and ruins, including, of course, Machu Picchu. In all of this though, one of the things that stuck out to me the most was the roadside petting zoo. I don’t know what the official name of it was but it stuck out because it was the most random thing out of the entire trip. It was toward the end of our travel week and we were all exhausted. We had been on a bus all day traveling up and down mountains and all across the country in order to see different areas of ruins and it was starting to take its toll. I don’t know about the whole group but, to me, all the ruins were starting to look the same and the excitement was wearing off. I was exhausted and carsick and a little people sick. We were on our way to our last set of ruins and Wimon Walker, our guide/teacher/organizer, had just announced that we were going to skip the last ruin. It sounds bad but I was a little happy. My appreciation for the ruins was decreasing and my appreciation for quiet and alone time was increasing and I was ready to be back in the hotel for some much needed rest and recovery. As we were driving down the road, some of us nodding off, our bus slowly came to a halt and Wimon stood up and asked if we wanted to see some animals. We kind of blearily looked at him like, “Seriously? Really? It is cold and...

Tales From Abroad: Oxford and Vienna May31

Tales From Abroad: Oxford and Vienna...

You travel out of control and that’s OK I am addicted to planning, and I have had some really memorable experiences that went just as planned. Incredible museums were visited across Europe, hikes were plotted out along Dover’s white cliffs for awe-inspiring views, and research led to delicious meals at restaurants. But things have gone unexpectedly, or sometimes flat-out wrong and turned out really well. When you commit to traveling hundreds of miles to visit a new place where you don’t really know anything about the city, despite reading a Lonely Planet summary about it, there is plenty that can happen. In Vienna, I wanted to make it to a hill overlooking the city for what was supposed to be a great view. The morning that I planned on heading up there, it was raining in the city, so when the weather improved a bit, I seized my opportunity, hoping the precipitation would hold off. What I did not expect was for the elevation change and leaving the city where the temperature had been higher to result in that rain turning into snow. It also turned out that you had to hike through a very slick, muddy path to get to a point where you could take advantage of the view. A grand vista turned into hiking through snowy Austrian forest in the most powder this Texan had ever seen in his life. On a day trip to the south-west coast of England, my traveling companions both fell ill overnight, so I was on my own. When I finally finished my journey by train and went to catch the bus to the coastline, the destination proved more popular than I thought and my planned method of transport considerably smaller. With all the seats on...

Honors Students Represent ACU at Regional and National Conferences Apr19

Honors Students Represent ACU at Regional and National Conferences...

The Honors College would like to acknowledge all Honors students who participated and received awards in recent conferences: At the Alpha Chi Convention in Washington, D.C.: Hailey Hendricks Amanda Stephens Tina Johnson Angela Fogle Andrew Brown Julia Taylor Jeffrey Wooliscroft received a regional scholarship Kristen Brehm won Best Presentation   At the Phi Alpha Theta Convention in Orlando, FL: Savannah Weeks Abigail Fransen won Best Undergraduate Paper   At the Pacific Sociological Association in Oakland, CA: Tessa Cave                    Barrett Corey                  Wes Robbins Samone Smith             Courtney Tee At ACU’s Undergraduate Research Festival: The award for Outstanding Oral Presentation in the Social Sciences was given to: Courtney Tee                    Barrett Corey                 Wesley Robbins Brie Heinrich The award for Outstanding Oral Presentation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics was given to: David Marolf           Jeffrey Wooliscroft       Tina Johnson Kayla Holcomb The award for Outstanding Poster Presentation in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences was given to: Claire Tyrrell The award for Outstanding Oral Presentation in the Arts and Humanities was given to: James Churchill Other participants include: Annie Bailey                    Maggie Mcalister          Michelle Weidenaar Savannah Weeks            Kylie Wilson                   Soo Hun Yoon Kristen Brehm                Paul Carsten                   Hannah Hamilton Lauren Selensky             Andrew Brown               Samone...