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The Benton Scholars Abroad: 2018

By Emily Weaver on January 31, 2018

Infusing leadership and global themes into the Colgate University experience, the Benton Scholars program creates an educational environment that asks students to adopt an informed and critical view of emerging political, cultural, environmental, and economic issues. Just as importantly, scholars are expected to be outwardly focused: to share their insights with people on campus and throughout the global community.

Like many Colgate students, Benton Scholars often choose to study off-campus during their junior year. Unlike others, however, they are expected to stay connected to the program and each other while abroad–sharing their insights, collaborating from different points on the globe–with the goal of bringing different cultural and geo-political perspectives to bear on shared problems.

The Benton Scholars: Abroad blog functions as the locus for this collaboration. Each Monday during the spring semester, students will be sent a brief topic, idea, or problem, one that has resonance throughout the world. Students are then asked to submit a response–preferably a picture, video, or brief essay–which will then be published on this site. Responses need not be obvious: they can be creative, insightful, even clever interpretations of each week’s theme.

Entering its third year, we hope The Benton Scholars: Abroad blog will provide unique insight into topics of discussion and issues of concern that we all share in common.

This year’s contributors are immersed in different countries around the world, from Nepal to Switzerland to Scotland. Their profiles below:


Micah Dirkers

Micah is a Benton from Montana who is majoring in media and communication, with a minor in psychology! During the fall of 2017, he studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh, and now he is back at Colgate with renewed passion. He looks forward to engaging with the TBS: Abroad topics from an innovative and novel perspective!

Jenny Lundt

Jenny Lundt is a junior Peace and Conflict and Middle Eastern Studies double major from Boise, Idaho. However she now lives in Santa Barbara, Southern California where she enjoys long days on the beach, chess, and spending time with her four brothers. She is an avid traveler having been to 71 countries on 6 continents, and is trying to hit all of them before she turns 35. Fall 2017, her travels took her to Nepal with the SIT program where she completed a semester with classes on Tibetan politics and religious change in the Himalayas. During her 3.5 months, she was able to travel to a number of incredible, life changing places that she looks forward to sharing with you! When the semester ended, she put a cherry on top of visiting Delhi, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh. This series will most definitely involve a helicopter ride to the Tibetan border, an extravagant Bengali wedding, a Justin Bieber loving host brother named Tenzin, a communist rally, and significant allusions to squat toilets.

Oneida Shushe

Oneida is a junior Molecular Biology major from Albany, NY. She grew up in Albania and loves returning to see the rest of her family there whenever she gets the chance. She wants to become a dentist and promote oral health in the United States and Albania. This spring semester, she will be studying international relations and interning in Geneva, Switzerland. She looks forward to reflecting on her study abroad experiences in this blog!

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