Chandler Jacks ’20 — Kassel, Germany

Chandler Jacks ’20 —  This summer, I was awarded the Rudolph Scholarship to attend the International Summer Universität in Kassel, Germany. This was an absolutely incredible experience. I took three classes over the summer, studying the German language, history, and politics. I was paired with a host family, of which my host father was the director of the annual Brother’s Grimm festival, as the Grimm Brothers (the ones that wrote the fairy tales we grew up on) were originally from Kassel. I attended many museums and landmarks in Kassel, Marburg, Freiburg, and Berlin on excursions with the class. I also got the marvelous experience of meeting people from all over the world, as my classmates consisted of fellow American students from the east coast, as well as Italian, Chinese, Indian, Australian, and Russian students. Between the experiences of classes, exploring the various cities, entertaining guests at my host family’s house, and going on nature hikes with the Teacher’s Assistants, this has to be the absolute best summer experience of my life, and the Rudolph Scholarship was immensely helpful in making this dream of a trip a reality!

Chandler Jacks ’20 and host father, Peter Zypries.

(Right photo) This is my host father from the trip, Peter Zypries. He is the director of the Brothers Grimm Festival in Kassel, as well as the director of a contemporary play that features classic Grimm fairy tale stories juxtaposed with classic rock to make a more engaging experience. He is the mastermind behind replacing the lyrics to hits from AC/DC and Queen with exposition for a theater production.

Chandler Jacks ’20 and Kai Söther.

(Left photo) This is Kai Söther, head coach for the Kassel Herkules independent baseball club. Before I left for my summer class, I discovered that Kassel had a baseball team and sent him an email explaining that I was a pitcher from the United States and would be interested in coming to watch a game or practice to see how German baseball compares to American, but he responded that because I was American, he wanted me to play some weekend double-headers with the team. Playing baseball abroad was an incredible experience, the guys were very friendly and inviting, and we even got beer and brats after the game on the house! I would definitely recommend other athletes try to play their sport abroad for the story and experience alone.

Class trip to Berlin

(Right photo) This picture is from my class trip to Berlin. Although not every student is not pictured (the trip cost extra so not everyone in the program could come), this is a great representation of some of the experiences gained with the International Summer University Kassel. Most of the students pictured are from all over the world: Italy, China, Russia, Ukraine, Singapore, Australia, and Portugal are present here.

Chandler Jacks ’20 and Giorgio Cardani, at opening night of the Brothers Grimm play.

(Left photo) This picture was taken the opening night of the Brothers Grimm play. After the production, my host father let us on stage to get a picture with the set. The student pictured here is Giorgio Cardani, an Italian student living in Switzerland. Giorgio was the only student in the program who was not yet a college student at the time, and as he was the same age as my little brother, I sort of took him under my wing so he wouldn’t feel left out from the group. He told me that the night of this picture was the first time he’d ever been on stage and was very grateful that my host father let him attend the play.


Rogeno Malone ’20 — Paris, France

The Chateau de Chenonceau which was originally gifted to Catherine de ’Medici but she forced Diane to exchange for Chaumont

Rogeno Malone ’20 — This summer I was able to study French language, art, and architecture in Paris. Perhaps the biggest lessons I’ve learned studying at a liberal arts college is that one must make the uncomfortable – comfortable, thrive in diversity, and not be afraid to take risks or fail. I preface with those teachings because intentionally, or unintentionally, I experienced each of those lessons during my time in Paris.  Paris is diverse and depending on where one stays can feel uncomfortable. That’s not to say that everything in the city is flawed, no instead I found the true charm of the city in these faults. Earlier in the year during spring break, I visited Paris briefly with a Wabash group consisting of two courses (FRE-302 and FRE-202) but I did not get to experience ‘authentic Paris’ as the group stuck to many tourist attractions. Thus, returning for the summer, I was determined to traverse the city as a true Parisian. The distinct qualities of the city that usually deter tourist became charms I learned to embrace – need it be rush hour in the metro, street busking early in the morning, or the nonstop sounds of city life.

Swimming around the Black Forest with Chris Barker ’20 and Pia Schübel

Making the uncomfortable – comfortable. The biggest obstacle I faced occurred in the first week of my program, but I believe it positively impacted the remainder of my study.  After landing in Paris, I learned that my host family could no longer host me, so I was reassigned to an apartment. I rationalized that although I wouldn’t be experiencing French home dynamics, I could still practice my French and traverse the city with my roommate. However, this idea wasn’t realized as my roommate did not show up. At this point in my study I realized two things – I was alone and uncomfortable in Paris, and that if I wanted to increase my language skills, I would have to take risks and not be afraid of failure. I failed many times, speaking, asking confusing questions at street markets, or having someone respond to me in English instead of French. But, by continually engaging in these conversations and asking for help, I eventually interacted with the city personally instead of as an outsider.

Meeting with another Wabash teaching assistant, Adèle Bacogne, in Paris’s first arrondissement

In addition to these interactions, I took an intensive language course at the Catholic University of Paris, as well as an arts and architecture course through my host program. The arts and architecture course was described as an experience where “students would see more of Paris in the course than most Parisians have seen in their lifetime,” and to this day I believe the validity of that claim. Each day the course had a different meeting location, allowing us to discover various museums, structures, or architectural anomalies in Paris.  Some of the sites I visited included: The Opera, Montmartre, Centre Pompidou, La Villette, and Jardin d’Acclimatation.

Historic 17th century church inside the Chateau de Vincennes

My favorite site was the Musee d’Orsay, more specifically an art exhibit focusing on the contributions of black models in Parisian art history. In this exhibit, I learned of Gericault’s involvement with abolitionism as he worked extensively with a Haitian model, Joseph, and even featured him in The Raft of The Medusa, evoking solidarity with this marginalized group and providing abolitionist with a symbol of hope.

I also experienced excursions to Claude Monet’s house in Giverny and saw the renowned water lilies, learned about two Châteaux, Chaumont and Chenonceau, and their attachments to the wife and mistress of Henry II, and toured Europe where I met Chris Barker ’20 and former German teaching assistant Pia Schübel in Titisee-Neustadt.  I am incredibly thankful for the Rudolph Family for providing me with this opportunity as well as the various faculty and staff who assisted me throughout this process.

Nicholas Fox ’20 — Harlaxon College, England

Arthur’s Seat (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Nicholas Fox ’20 — As a student pursuing a pre-medical degree, many individuals find it difficult to study abroad and assume they are unable to due to rigid course requirements and a general lack of course fulfilling programs.  Despite these assumptions, I have been able to participate in an immersive global health program in Lima, Peru and most recently spent my summer at the Harlaxton Manor in Grantham, England. Both of these opportunities have been provided to me by Wabash College and more recently through the Rudolph Scholarship. The Rudolph Scholarship alleviated the financial burden that originally was hindering my ability to study in a foreign country. Because of this scholarship I was able to study abroad and take a Public Health and Virus course with Professor Bost, a Biology Professor here at Wabash College.

Through this class, I visited the pub that Watston and Crick would meet at while they were experimenting with and constructing the 3D model for DNA. Additionally, I was able to visit numerous museums in London allowing me to physically see Watson and Crick’s model of the DNA double helix as well as the Natural History Museum, home to a large collection of Darwin’s specimens. While attending class at Harlaxton, during the week there were field trips to different cities in England. Because of these trips I was able to visit places like Leicester, Empingham, London, Nottingham and Cambridge. In each city I could visit local museums, famous pubs, and experience the local culture. As an example, my classmates and I punted on the canals that surround the famous universities of Cambridge and Oxford. Similarly, while in Nottingham, or the “City of Caves”, I went into the caves that expand under the city. The sandstone caves were used as a place to tan leather in medieval times, as a place for secret meetings in times of rebellion, as air raid shelters during the Second World War, and for a variety of other uses since they were built in the 17th century.

Harlaxton Manor (Granthum, England)

When I decided to go abroad, I knew I would be stepping out of my comfort zone. With things ranging from not knowing anybody at the university to traveling to countries where I do not know the native language or being exposed to new and foreign cultures, these were all new to me. However, they were the exact obstacles that I wanted to confront while I was abroad. In doing so, I grew as a person, educated myself in new ways and prepared for my future.

The close proximity of the countries in Europe allowed me to get everything I could out of my six weeks abroad. I traveled to Hungary, Spain, France, Scotland, and Italy. Each country offered unique excursions and historical monuments and locations to visit. While in Spain I spent time at the Basílica de la Sagrada Família, a massive unfinished Roman Catholic church that has been under construction for almost 140 years. Afterward, I saw other famous landmarks designed by Antoni Gaudí such as the Casa Milà La Pedrerà and Park Güell. Scotland, however, was one of my favorite places that I was able to visit while I was in Europe. The landscape was beautiful and the food was delicious. While I was there I visited the Edinburgh Castle, an important stronghold in the struggle for power in the United Kingdom during the 15th century, I went to the coast to

Colosseum (Rome, Italy)

see the retired Royal Yacht Britannia, but my favorite place was Arthur’s Seat. Arthur’s Seat is atop an 800-foot hill right outside the city of Edinburgh. The panoramic view of the city was breathtaking and watching the sun set over the city is an image I will never forget.

My last week abroad was spent in the historical city of Rome. I was able to tour around the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, II Vittoriano, the Trevi fountain, the Colosseum and St. Peter’s Basilica. The most memorable part of my time in Italy was seeing the Pope talk on Sunday morning while I was in Vatican City. With all these experiences behind me, my appreciation for Wabash College has deepened as it has expanded my global perspective, enhanced my cultural appreciation, and allowed me to see the world.

Ethan Kanzler ’20 — Germany

Ethan Kanzler ’20 — We’re not all that different

Ethan Kanzler ’20

This summer I was able to spend two months in Germany. I was able to travel to some of the most important cities in the country. I was also able to see many international landmarks that I have wanted to see for many years. All the while I was able to work on my German language skills and be immersed in the culture. I spent the first two weeks in Heidelberg on a class trip with Professor Redding and then I spent a week traveling to Munich, Berlin, and Salzburg. I spent the most time in Freiburg studying with the Goethe Institute. It is a beautiful city and being so close to the Black Forest I was able to see so many incredible views.

Ethan Kanzler ’20

The most interesting thing about studying at the Goethe Institute is how International it is. Not only are the students from all over the world but they were also anywhere from 17-45 years old. I was in class with a few students from America but there was also a girl from Ukraine who DJ’s, a guy from Mexico who just wanted to learn German, a guy from New Zealand who wants to work in Germany, and another guy from Slovenia. Those are just a few of the countries but there were many more. I was a little concerned about making friends, but I was surprised at just how quickly we all bonded. Before I knew it, we were all sharing things with one another that usually takes people months, if not years, of friendship to divulge. You can see from the picture of some of my friends that we are close, and this picture was taken three days after we had all met and we were already going on trips together. We did everything together and it never really mattered what our background was or where we came from, we were all instantly friends. We talked about everything from politics in your home country, to movies and music that we liked, to the things we loved about Germany and what we wanted to do with our lives. It was an incredible experience that I would recommend to everyone if you have the chance.

Ethan Kanzler ’20

Another short story I have about how we are not all that different from one another is a conversation I overheard between a mother and her child in a shopping area. The son was begging his mom to buy him the new Nintendo Switch and his reasoning was that he would play less on her phone and she just shook her head, chuckled, and said it’s not that simple. I laughed so hard because, 1) that conversation was in German and I understood it and, 2) that is an exact conversation I had with my mom as a kid. Germany is a fantastic country and without the help of the Rudolph family I would not have been able to have this experience, so I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to the Rudolph family for their generosity. In a time of such turmoil and division world wide I am grateful for this experience and what it taught me. Being so far from one another it is easy to forget that we all have the same fundamentals of being human with the only difference being the way that we talk. I think it’s important for us to remember that as we move forward.