Dec 102014
 

Do you want to see the world but don’t have the means to? If you’re like me then the answer is yes.

Luckily, The William Jewett Tucker Foundation at Dartmouth (AKA The Tucker Foundation) provides loads of opportunities for undergrads to travel for little to no cost through their service trips.

The Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program allows students to lead and attend service-learning trips, both international and domestic, over spring break (in mid-March). On these trips, students conduct short-term projects for communities to help and learn about social justice issues such as poverty, homelessness, health disparities, and the environment.

This year, students will be traveling to Denver, the Dominican Republic, Florida, Washington DC, and West Virginia. I participated on the Dominican Republic trip in 2012 which focused on development in Batey Libertad, a Haitian migrant community in the western part of the country. ASBs typically cost students $200, which covers transportation, food, and housing. Luckily, financial aid is available for those who cannot afford the $200.

The Tucker Foundation also sponsors the Nicaragua Cross Cultural Education and Service Program (CCESP) to Siuna, Nicaragua for two weeks during winter break. This trip consists of two teams: Community Health & Community Development. The Community Health team is comprised of mostly undergrads and a handful of Geisel medical students and Dartmouth-affiliated doctors. They set-up a temporary health clinic and see patients from various communities of the area, as well as work with health promoters from each community to explore and address prevalent public health concerns. The Community Development team is made up of all undergrads who help with infrastructural development in the area. When I went on this trip in 2012, the Development team aided in a clean-water project.

Both the ASB and CCESP require a seminar during the entirety of the term before the trips to learn relevant cultural and political background of the countries and specific areas of travel/service.

View of Siuna, Nicaragua from above

View of Siuna, Nicaragua from above

To learn more about the Tucker Foundation, visit their website here: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~tucker/

I hope you consider participating in one of these programs if you come to Dartmouth! They were very rewarding experiences for me.

Apr 212014
 

Hey all,
So it’s been a while since my last post and it’s all because of how busy this term has been, but also because of how much fun the Spring that everyone is always outside enjoying the warmth on the Green and in town!

A few weekends ago, I got to attend a bioethics bowl in Chicago, along with three other Dartmouth students. We had prepared for this conference for a few weeks, over spring break, and then headed to Chicago with our cases prepared and ready for debate. Bioethics is an event that happens under the Ethics Institute, which also organizes a lot of cool events and offers an ethics minor (http://www.dartmouth.edu/~ethics/). It was a very great learning experience, and being there with many other students from other schools was great fun, too. It’s definitely nice to represent D away at a conference and to get to know fellow students. Finally, a picture of the team in the Windy City is attached.

Happy Spring!

bioethics1

Apr 072014
 

I never went abroad.  I never really got around to filling out the application and engineering takes a lot of time anyway.  I was ok with it though; I like it here.  (It’s like I’m an admissions blogger or something.)  I can deal with the winter, my friends are usually back at Dartmouth, and I don’t speak any foreign languages particularly well.

Sometimes I feel like I missed out.  My friends got to do some pretty incredible stuff.  They’ve gone to France and Argentina and Thailand and South Africa and all over the world.    I have some pretty nice postcards.

That said, postcards have always confused me a bit.  They’re a bit small to say anything besides “Hey!  I’m somewhere unusual right now.  How’s home?  Wish you were here!”  And if the purpose of a postcard is just to advertise that you are somewhere unusual, that just seems unnecessary.  You should probably know the person that you’re sending a postcard to, and they should probably know where you are when you don’t show up to classes for ten weeks.

Then again, maybe postcards are more of a symbol than anything.  Maybe they’re more a way to show your friends that you’re thinking about them than a way to make them be jealous of you.  Maybe they’re a way to commemorate a friendship that endured across distance and time.  Maybe they’re a way to say “I care enough about this person to wish they were here.”

I don’t send a lot of postcards, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t travelled.  I’ve been to the poorest neighborhoods in San Francisco through an Alternative Spring Break program and a swanky hotel in Silicon Valley through the Thayer School.  I’ve interned in a cubicle farm in Chicago and danced at a nightclub in Montreal.  Just last weekend I went to Philadelphia for a club track meet. 

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have so many opportunities to travel even without a formal study-abroad program.  I’ve brought back hats and t-shirts and little hotel shampoo bottles and more than a few scars.  Of course, they’re just stand-ins for the memories I’ve made while acquiring them.  And those are a lot more than you can fit on a postcard