Student Stories

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. Four weeks into my summer classes on Duke in China, a Beijing-based study abroad company asked me to speak at their information session for Chinese students intending on applying to American universities. 

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How Much 'Pura Vida' Can I Fit in My Suitcase?

By Spencer Flynn

The one-two punch of the tranquil beauty of Costa Rica's rain forests combined with the 'pura vida' lifestyle of the Costa Ricans has shown me just how much life there is to be had when you can quiet yourself and just be present with family, friends, and yourself. 

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Duke in Berlin Hosts Pop-Up Photography Exhibition

Duke in Berlin students in Chris Sims’ Documentary Photography course hosted a pop-up art exhibition of their work. The exhibition will travel back to Duke with the students and will be on view in October at the Center for Documentary Studies.

Duke in Berlin, Summer 2016

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Smashing Watermelons, Smashing Politics

By Joshua Curtis

When I was still in the States, the two most common responses I got after telling people about my upcoming trip to Morocco were 1) that I would love the food or 2) that I would need to be careful not to talk about anything political lest someone find out that I am American or Jewish or both and somehow try to kill me. I excitedly received the first response, while rolling my eyes at the second. I was still surprised to find out just how vastly unbalanced the aforementioned view of Morocco is.

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Study Abroad in Paris Inspired My Senior Thesis and Plans for a Ph.D.

By Daniel Lam

I studied abroad during a year marked with several major moments in French history, including two violent attacks in the capital and one in Bataclan. 

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Gaining Fluency in a Second Foreign Language

By Anna Mukamal

Aix-en-Provence is the ideal locale for six weeks of immersing yourself in French culture and living with a host family. French is my second foreign language (I’m an English and Spanish double major) and this intensive course has been exactly what I need—the highlight of my experience has been gaining confidence in understanding, speaking, reading, and writing French!

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