Written by

After a pandemic-provoked hiatus, the Off-Campus Studies program resumed in Fall 2021. Around 45% of students participate in Off-Campus Studies, including semester-long international and U.S.-based programs and summer study abroad opportunities, during their Whitman College career.

Read on to learn about about some students’ far-flung adventures—and get more firsthand intel on Whitties’ off-campus experiences from past and present by reading the OCS blog, Student Voices from around the World.

Ella Veljovich, junior

Biology major
Mercer Island, Washington
Participated in IES Nantes French Language Immersion and Area Studies

Ella oudoorsWhy study abroad?

I chose to study abroad to improve my French language skills, explore French culture, and experience life in the country my grandmother is from. All of my courses—language, sociology, art history, translation and drawing—were taught in French, and I earned credits for my French minor. 

What did you learn from the experience? 

Living in another country can be hard but also exhilarating—and both sides of the experience can lead to immense personal growth.

Read Ella’s Blog


Delaney Talovic, senior

Biology-Environmental Studies major
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Participated in the DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia Copenhagen Semester

Delaney taking a selfieWhy Denmark?

Scandinavian countries are known for their commitment to sustainability and green technology, so most of their universities incorporate this into their curriculum. Also, many of the world’s leading grad schools in environmental science are located outside the U.S., so I wanted to know if I’d be able to acclimate to a new country where English is not the primary language.

What did you study?

My core class was “Climate, Glaciers, and Human Impact.” Other classes included the biology of marine mammals; environmental philosophy; Danish design; and Danish language and culture.


Natalie Ritter, junior

Biology major
American Canyon, California
Participated in the School for Field Studies Marine Resource Studies program in Turks and Caicos

Natalie swimmingWhy did you choose this program?

Studying abroad gave me the opportunity to explore different cultures, meet people who shared in my interests, and gain hands-on experience in a new environment.

What did you study?

My program focused on three key topics; tropical marine ecology, resource management and environmental politics. There was also a direct research component toward the end of the semester.

How did you benefit from this experience? 

I learned how to conduct field research as well as how best to relay information to the public. One of the key takeaways from this program, for me at least, was looking at the political side of marine studies and how everything is a double-ended blade, in the metaphorical sense. As a result, my values and opinions on matters concerning our environment have changed for the better.

Read Natalie’s Blog


Irene Tsai, junior

Psychology and Japanese major
Snohomish, Washington
Participated in the DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia Stockholm Semester

Irene inside an ice barWhat did you study in Stockholm?

My core course was forensic psychology. Other courses I took while I was abroad were: Medical Ethics, Psychology of Performance, Swedish, and Human Trafficking and the Sex Trade. I went abroad trying to narrow down what field in psychology I wanted to focus on and instead I found a new interest I want to pursue: combatting human trafficking.

What surprised you about Swedish culture?

I learned a lot about Swedish culture, their daily life and routines. Living with a host family, I got to experience the traditions Swedish families usually have right before Christmas, and eat plenty of authentic Swedish cuisine. The biggest culture shock for me was the approach to education. Their children are very independent, due to the efficient and easy access to public transportation, and in schools, they have specific focuses starting from the end of middle school. The education system also does not put much emphasis on getting good grades in the first five to six years at school, instead allowing children to explore their genuine interests early on. I wish America would incorporate more of their academic style.


Aidan Schutter, junior

Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology major
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Participated in the DIS Study Abroad in Scandinavia Copenhagen Semester

Aidan driving a boatWhat was your coursework like in Denmark?

I studied within the Human Health and Disease: A Clinical Approach program at DIS Copenhagen. This program was taught by two Danish doctors and encompassed everything from basic human anatomy and pathology to clinical treatments of diseases to the structure of socialized medicine within Denmark. Outside of my core program, I served as a research assistant at Copenhagen University and took classes in ethics and politics. 

What did this experience teach you? 

The biggest thing I learned was how much a person can grow when they take risks and do the uncomfortable. Due to the pandemic, studying abroad was a bit daunting. Not only were we dealing with COVID-19, but suddenly I was at a school where I knew no one. It felt like being a first-year all over again. But, after taking initiative and forcing myself out of my shell, I got to meet and develop close connections with wonderful people and travel Europe for the first time in my life. These connections I made are some of the strongest in my life, and I am so thankful I got to spend four months in Europe with my best friends. Looking back, I see the importance of being present and living life one moment at a time. 

Read Aidan’s Blog


Liam Failor-Wass, junior

Politics major
Santa Cruz, California
Participated in the School for International Training Morocco Migration and Transnational Identity program

Liam sitting at a dinner tableWhy did you choose the Morocco program and what did you study?

I was looking for an immersive study abroad experience in a non-European setting. I studied migration, cultural identity in a transnational context, Moroccan Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic.

What was the highlight of this experience?

The greatest and most impactful part of the program were the field trips. We met with NGOs working with migrant communities (both documented and undocumented), we also got to visit one of the Spanish enclaves and see European border policies in action, and most importantly, we were also able to meet with migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa to engage in great conversation and share a meal.