Noah Rapp ’22 — When I was deciding where to go to college, I can remember recruiters telling me about all the fantastic opportunities that Wabash College offers its students like a valuable internship or a chance to travel to another country. Little did I know then that I would have the opportunity to live out these recruitment promises a year later after my freshmen year at Wabash. For six weeks this summer, I have had the chance as a pre-med student to study abroad at Harlaxton Manor in Lincolnshire England. My professor Dr. Bost has taught an interesting and insightful course on virology and public health. Not only is the course exciting but also studying this topic in England has added to the impact of this course. Our class has taken field trips: to the science museum in London to see Watson and Crick’s original DNA model – the beginning of modern genetics, to Cambridge to walk the same streets as many brilliant scientists, such as Darwin, Newton, and Hawking to name a few, not to mention exploring, London’s National History Museum. While these experiences have enriched my education and this course, being allowed to observe and interact with different cultures has added to my understanding of public health in a way that cannot be replicated in a classroom. Walking through the crowded London streets, unsanitary Paris metro, and traveling all around Europe by plane, boat, and train, has allowed me to understand the threat of antiviral resistance better, new viruses appearing, and bioterrorism. It can be difficult to comprehend just how easily a virus can become an epidemic until you’ve had the opportunity to travel from country to country in a matter of hours, in densely populated cities full of people from all over the world just waiting to possibly bring an unexpected and deadly souvenir back home such as a virus. Not only has this educational venture been an opportunity to expand my knowledge in the classroom, but this has been a priceless, life altering-experience.
The opportunity to immerse myself in Europe for six weeks as a 19-year-old is truly special. I have had the time of my life exploring London, Cambridge, Paris, Loire Valley, Edinburgh, and next week I’ll be off to Rome and Florence. Personally, some highlights from each of these cities include: the jaw-dropping St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, experiencing a service inside Westminster Abbey, traveling to the mysterious Stonehenge; viewing hundreds of masterpieces in the Louvre, Rodin, and Orsay museums; walking through the Catacombs in Paris, exploring the Chambord and Chateau in the Loire Valley, sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower while it lights up at night eating macarons with new-found friends, and waking up bright and early to see the unforgettable sunrise from Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland. These are only a handful of the priceless, life-long memories I have had the opportunity to make thanks to the Wabash Dill Fund. I am incredibly grateful and appreciative to have been given this opportunity, and my life has been changed forever thanks to the generous donations. I am humbled and proud to be a part of a college with such strong Alumni support, which sees the value in making educational experiences abroad possible.