Into a Larger World

This year, US News and World Report ranked Luther number two in the nation for the percentage of students who study abroad. In 2021, 82 percent of Luther seniors reported studying abroad. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, last year, Luther students received more than $200,000 in donor-funded study-away scholarships. Enjoy a peek into their transformational experiences!

Music major Britta Elsbernd ’25 (center) spent January on Symphony Orchestra’s Vienna Residency. In between music practice and performing in world-class venues, she found time to sightsee with Lily McGohan ’24 (left) and Rob Clower ’23. Here, they stand in front of Belvedere Palace, once the summer residence of Prince Eugene of Savoy. It now functions as an art museum and houses the most famous work of Gustav Klimt, whom the group studied.

Rose Sieve ’23, a mathematics/statistics and Spanish double major, studied in Salamanca, Spain, last spring. It was her first time outside the US. She says, “It was amazing to step out of my comfort zone and learn about a completely new culture.” She took this photo in the gardens of the Alcazár of Sevilla, an ancient palace combining Moorish and Christian architecture. “There was so much history in the palace,” she says, “reflecting the variety of people who lived there.”

Grace McIlrath ’25, an anthropology and Nordic studies double major, spent J-Term on Luther’s English Monsters course. She says, “The ruins of Rievaulx Abbey are situated up north in Yorkshire. This photo came to be after a week of city life, a train ride, and too long of a bus ride. We were given a moment to explore the ruins of the historical abbey, which did wonders for our constitution. No wonder doctors of the past prescribed country air for ailments.”

International studies major Hannah Hoffmann ’23 studied in Malta last spring. She took the opportunity to travel widely, from Amsterdam to Greece to Italy, France, and Spain. She took this photo of the river from Stari Most in Mostar, Bosnia. “Studying abroad changed the way I see the world,” she says. “It opened my eyes to the beauty of being the new face at the table and taking a humble posture when learning from others about their cultures, lives, and traditions.”

Abigail Slininger ’24, an allied health sciences/exercise science major, participated in Luther’s Religion 220 course, Experiencing Mahayana Buddhism in Japan, where she took this photo of the Great Buddha of Kamakura.

Visual communication major Lauren Schroeder ’23 took this photo of colorful Norwegian buildings in Trondheim, Norway. She spent J-Term on a brand-new Paideia 450 course, Building Ethical Futures through Architecture, Design, and Narrative in Norway.

Psychology major Ethan Bellendier ’23 spent J-Term on Luther’s English Monsters course. He took this photo from Millenium Bridge in London. “During my time in England,” he says, “I felt I was able to learn more than I ever have. Being able to experience a place with such a deep history really helped me to understand more about the world. Traveling abroad, even for just J-Term, helped me to grow a lot as a person.”

Global health major Lexi Hastings ’23 participated in Luther’s Honduran course, Ethical Engagement in Postcolonial Roatan. The nursing and global health students on the course interned at Clinica Esperanza and also found time for recreation, like hiking and ziplining.

Nick Greseth ’23, a visual communication and sociology double major—and top-notch Luther Photo Bureau photographer—spent last spring on Luther’s Malta Semester. He took this shot of Grace Whiting ’23 in Ronda, Spain. His experience in Malta and the many other countries he visited during his time abroad, he says, “prompted me to challenge and reflect on my own identity in the context of different cultures and places.”

Sociology major John Hottinger ’23 spent J-Term in Tanzania on the Paideia 450 course People and Parks: Pastoralism and Conservation in East Africa, where he took this photo of a Maasai goat herd. He says, “The biggest takeaway from my time in Tanzania was the intercultural dialogue—having conversations with people whose lives have been radically different from my own was a powerful experience, and I’m incredibly grateful for the unique opportunities that came as a result of Luther’s long-standing friendships with the communities that we visited.”

Biology and art double major Rachel Heinrich ’24 spent J-Term on the Paideia 450 course Islam in Europe, which traveled to Berlin, Amsterdam, London, and Nottingham. “This is an image of me having one of the best days of my life!” she says. “I am feeding a flock of pigeons in a London plaza. I wanted to remember this moment when I was surrounded by wild birds—I felt like a real-life Snow White!”

Visual communication major Navia-Ayauna Erbst ’23 spent J-Term on Luther’s Tourism Ethnography in Hawai’i course. She took this photo from the summit of Pu’u Kalepeamua, an elevation of 9,487 feet. She says, “Up here the wind was strong enough that my classmates could feel themselves being held up by it, an interesting notion and enough reason for me to take this photo!”