A Journey of 8,000 Miles

During J-Term 2018, 286 students and 29 program leaders will participate in one of Luther's 17 courses around the globe. Although it's impossible to keep up with everyone, these blogs are designed to provide glimpses into our students' adventures.

Take a look at the course descriptions, itineraries, and leaders to learn the details of each exciting trip. Most importantly, read the blogs to experience life alongside our traveling students.

J-Term Highlights

Check out these highlighted posts about unforgettable moments, lessons learned, and life-changing experiences!

Jambo (Hello in Swahili)!

Our names are Thomas, Emily, Annika, and Alexis, and we will be your blog coordinators for Paideia 450 in Tanzania! In case you were wondering, Tanzania is a little more than 8,000 miles away from our base in Decorah. Since we will be journeying such a long way together, we thought it would be good to talk a little about our program and ourselves as the blog coordinators before we got started. The four of us, along with the rest of our classmates, are incredibly excited to venture into this part of the world and dig into the issues facing the Maasai people and the national parks. Throughout the course of our program, we will be visiting many different locations in Tanzania, including Arusha, Monduli, Eluwai, and the Ngorongoro Crater to allow us to come into contact with many different facets of these issues.  We are also incredibly excited to be able to share our new experiences with you via this blog. However, due to the nature of many of these locations, we will have limited access to internet for much of the program, so although we will do our best to keep you up to date, communications will likely be limited for much of the month. But now, we would like to introduce ourselves to you!


My name is Thomas Twiton and I am a junior studying math and computer science. When I am not on campus in Decorah I call Mount Horeb, Wisconsin my home. At Luther, I am co-chair of Write-On, a creative writing club, and participant in L.A.G. nights, which is a board game club. I am excited for the immersive experience this course will provide, and fascinated by the complex question at the heart of our studies this J-term as we explore the interplay between national parks and the Maasai people.


Hi, I’m Emily Fuller, and I am a junior chemistry major from Bettendorf, Iowa. At Luther, I sing in choir, take piano lessons, do chemistry research, and act as the treasurer of the Chem Club. During J-term, I am most excited to gain greater understanding of the complex relationship between the local people and the national parks. When I was a kid, my family visited many U.S. national parks. It will be interesting to examine the role of Tanzanian national parks. 


Hello! My name is Annika Sandford, and I am originally from Minnetonka, Minnesota. I am a sophomore nursing major, who aspires to one day become a neonatal nurse practitioner. At Luther, my major keeps me very busy, but in my free time, I am involved with LSNA, which is the student nurse group and Outreach, as well as exploring the great outdoors of Decorah. One of my passions in life is indeed exploring the world, and I am excited to have the opportunity to experience somewhere so different from my own home.


Hi there! My name is Alexis and I hail from East Bethel, Minnesota. I am a sophomore studying exercise physiology with the hopes of becoming a pediatric physical therapist. While avoiding classwork, I keep myself occupied by working in the costume shop for the theatre department, dabbling in music through band and Luther Ringers, teaching sewing classes for kids at the quilt shop in town, or finding any excuse to get outdoors. I have never left North America, so I have been trying to prepare myself for the great big dose of culture shock headed my way! I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in this program and excited to share our experiences with you!

We will update you upon our arrival, but until then, Baadaye! (Later in Swahili)

Maasai cattle grazing in a national park.