Hanover’s Winter Wonderland

Many students complain about winter, I am definitely one of those students. However, there is always that magical time when the first snow of Winter Term falls. I was lucky enough to be on campus the Sunday before classes began. I woke up early, grabbed my camera, and set off towards the Point. The air was brisk but not too cold. I was bundled up to my nose in a giant coat and scarves. My fingers bare so I could handle the camera easily.

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The Point, I think, has the most serene beauty on our campus. It’s wide open and overlooks the river. When the snow falls, everything is silent. It’s like you’re walking in your own winter wonderland. No one else was out and the sun was barely shining. If you ever get the chance, I suggest bringing your camera with you during the winter. The scenes which unfold around you seem surreal; it’s like you walked right into a fairytale. I would never give up the beauty of our campus. It’s something I wish more people appreciated.

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The Apostle Islands

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Over the summer I decided to join Global Treks and Adventures. It is a company which promotes travel while also educating interns. The education ranges from biological wildlife studies to art history to history and everything else you could think of. The company allows you to join a team of other researchers and create the ideal study for you. For me, I joined their Apostle Islands internship and decided to study wildlife on the islands. I focused on Black bears and let me tell you, I was not disappointed.

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There is so much I could tell you about this experience. It was exciting. I was always on my toes, looking around at the beautiful clear waters of Lake Superior. The team was amazing. Everyone had their own ideas and past experiences to share. It was beautiful. The islands were other-worldly. For the trip, we lived on a sail boat together. It was a tight squeeze, but we made it work. Our research leaders were Jen and Kyle, a marvelous couple who have sailed their whole lives. They provided us with valuable information and a lot of food. We always had a sit down meal for dinner in order to chat and go over our notes for the day.

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It would take me forever to tell you everything we did, so I will focus on one experience that I will keep with me forever. Another team member, Mallory, and I set off on our own to tour the island of Stockton. It was our first island and the one rangers said bears were more likely to be seen. (They basically live on the islands.) I was excited and determined to see a bear, even though it was rare to get photos or see one while hiking as a tourist. We took a random path and hiked off into the unknown. Through the thick trees and biting mosquitoes, we found an opening onto the rocks by the water. We, of course, climbed out onto the boulders and had a photo session.

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After a while out under the sun and crisp air, we headed back onto the trail and towards the boat for dinner. However, on our way we ran into the rest of the team hiking the opposite directions. Carmen, one of our friends, told us of bear scat further up the trail. We went our separate ways and I took a few photos of the bear scat (for research reasons, obviously.) A few minutes up the trail and Mallory stopped dead before me. I laughed mid conversation as she turned to me and said, “There’s a bear.” I didn’t believe her and told her to get behind me as I pulled my camera out. I saw nothing. She pointed to the tree line and wouldn’t you know, a large male Black bear steps out before us on the path. I was so excited and before he ran off too far I got a few photos.

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I would recommend this trip to any and everyone. The school even gave me a grant (for English majors) that paid for the whole thing. Weigh your options, and if you can take a week or two out of your summer to travel with Global Treks then I say do it! You won’t regret it! Plus, you will be a published name in their field guide in the end. Happy interning!

The Magic of Studying Abroad

Hanover College is an incredible school with amazing opportunities.  In my opinion, we have one opportunity given to us that stands above the rest: the ability to study abroad. Now, most schools offer study abroad programs.  What makes Hanover’s so amazing is how easy it is for us to travel the world and experience so many different cultures.

Last May, I saw this first hand.  To Hanover students, Spring Term is many different things.  To the men of Lambda Chi Alpha, it can be the excitement of the Whiffle Ball tournament every weeknight for hours on end.  To a KIP student, it can be taking the notorious Nutrition class that pays off immensely in the end.  And for a large majority of these aforementioned students as well as so many others, it’s studying abroad.

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend the entire month in France.  My class was called “Off-campus French conversation.”  What better place off-campus to do so than France itself, right?  While many spring term classes involve daily schedules of traveling around with the professor based on an itinerary, mine was very different.  We all lived with separate host families and went to a French Language school in the small town of Tours, France.

I cannot begin to describe how incredible this was.  To be fully immersed in a culture that is not your own is a truly enlightening experience.  Living with a family whose English consisted of colors and numbers up to ten, I was able to join the French entirely.  As a student, my favorite part of the day would be leaving school and getting to explore the adorable town of Tours and everything she had to offer.  Meeting up with friends at a café for a glass of rosé or walking two miles to the centre commercial to window shop were the times I learned the most about the french language and the way these people know how to  live their life to the fullest.

An evening wine tasting on the roof of our Language School, Clé.

An evening wine tasting on the roof of our Language School, Clé.

In conclusion, if you are given the opportunity to travel while you are here at Hanover: do it.  If you are studying a language, pick a class where you will be pushed to better understand the language, culture, and everyday living of the country where you are traveling.  The memories and knowledge you gain will stay with you forever. Trust me, you won’t regret it.