Student Stories

Words That Don’t Translate: Flâner (French)—Brittany Wong

Pictured is a family rowing along the Lac Inférieur in Bois de Boulogne, one of the best of more than 400 parks and gardens throughout Paris. Although there are countless monuments and museums to see, I think one of the best aspects of the city is the abundance of green spaces. Originally a royal hunting ground before reinvention under Napoleon III in the 1850s, Bois de Boulogne remains one of Parisians’ favorite spots for a bucolic retreat without having to leave the limits of the metro system.

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A Bird’s Eye View of San Jose: Anna Balas

One of the highlights of my time in Costa Rica was receiving a bird’s eye view of the city of San Jose. This picture highlights the differences between my view of Costa Rica and the view out the window of my dorm at Duke.

At the beginning of the trip, I attempted to minimize the cultural differences in Costa Rica. Through my interactions with my host family, I became aware of the less obvious differences which shape culture and sense of belonging. Music, art, and food are obvious parts of culture, but so are interactions between families, moral viewpoints, and social classes. 

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A Typical Day Attending the Oldest University in Europe: Sarah Perrin

Pictured here is the beautiful Piazza Maggiore, which I was lucky enough to walk through each day on my way to class. After passing through the Piazza, we would make our way through narrow streets lined with vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables and people gracefully tipping down their first espresso of the day. And right before entering classes, we made a pit stop in an inconspicuous little cafe, grabbing a chocolate croissant and a cappuccino to go. 

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Las Hogueras: Festival of San Juan

By Sam Sadler

How incredible is this statue made entirely of paper and wood? During our last week in Alicante, these gigantic hogueras (Spanish for “bonfires”) appeared in the streets almost overnight, blocking major roadways and decorating the city. After a tense competition to name the best statue, firemen proceed to systematically ignite each hoguera, and the entire city rushes to watch beautiful sculptures turn to mute ashes. 

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How I Got to Know the People on the Duke in Greece Program: Kayla Speidel

This picture was taken on the port of Folegandros, from the bathroom window of my boat cabin. Twenty-six people and I lived on this boat for a week, traveling nearly every day to a new island. 

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Midnight Cruise: A New Perspective on the Familiar—Noah Burrell

Studying abroad in St. Petersburg was an unforgettable experience. The classes themselves were interesting and informative, but the city itself became a teacher of incomparable value. 

Each day of exploration led to new discoveries and adventures. St. Petersburg, a city that is in every way a union of European and Russian culture, invites you to look at both worlds from which it draws influence with a different perspective. 

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Solidifying My Interests in Policy, History, and Culture: Alicia Pak

Here you can behold the beauty of Montmorency Falls—a natural wonder located just outside Quebec City, the provincial capital. The Montmorency and St. Lawrence rivers shaped Quebec’s trade and economy, serving as waterway transport for wood, one of Canada’s natural resources. 

Through Duke in Montreal, I spent part of July in Quebec City studying economic and cultural development of the region and meeting with such figures as the Minister of International Relations and the U.S. Consul General.

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A Summer of Becoming Madrileñas

By Mathilde Ooi

In the short six weeks with Duke in Spain, I know that I have made some of the best memories I will have throughout Duke. From cities to grand cathedrals, Mallorcan beaches, the Picos de Europa mountain range, and not to mention the best gazpacho I will ever taste prepared by my host family, I experienced Spain like I have never experienced any country.

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A Spanish Excursion: Brandon Dalla Rosa

The time I spent studying abroad in Spain includes some of the best memories that I have made to this day. 

One notable example of these is when we were visiting Asturias and a couple of us saw a mountain in the distance which looked fun to climb. We then proceeded to run to the mountain and climb through what seemed like miles of prickly plants in order to reach one of the most incredible views I have ever seen. Of course, we also almost missed lunch, but small details. 

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Surprise, You’re Being Live Streamed!

By Samuel Slack

Let me tell you about that time I spoke useful Chinese for two continuous hours to an audience of 30 … no, wait, I mean 5,000.

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