Money and College

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

We recently asked David Bakke, financial columnist for Money Crashers Personal Finance for his thoughts about how to make the best use of good financial strategies in college.  Here are his thoughts. He writes on topics like college and careers, getting out of debt, and smart money management.

5 Ways NOT to Save Money While in College

When I was in college, money seemed like air to me: free, abundant, and to be taken for granted. I chose to ignore the fact that all the student loans I took out would someday have to be paid back. Besides, I figured I'd be rolling in dough with a high-paying job as soon as I stepped foot off campus.

Had I been financially savvy, I would have realized that saving more and spending less would have a huge effect on my life after graduation. But savvy I was not, and as a result, I graduated with more than $30,000 of debt. The high paying job didn't come as expected, and I spent years digging myself out.

Don't let yourself arrive in this unenviable position. There are a number of things you must avoid to keep yourself in a comfortable financial position. Here are the top five money mistakes to stay away from in college:

1. Pay for College With Credit Cards
Whenever you use a credit card to pay for something that you can't pay off by the end of the month, you are setting yourself up for financial disaster. Forget about enticing credit card rewards or low APRs - paying your college tuition with a credit card will drive up your debt and likely damage your credit score. Those low APRs may escalate, and the rewards will not make up for the massive interest payments you'll be making.

When it comes to using credit cards, there is one simple rule: If you can't afford to pay it off by the end of the month, put the credit card away.

2. Abuse Credit Cards
Card issuers specifically target college students for one reason: They view you as a money-making opportunity. However, by educating yourself now, you can avoid falling into their traps.

Avoid carrying a balance, and never go over your limit or pay a bill late. The fees and interest payments will eat you up financially, and late payments can destroy your credit. If you don't manage credit well during your college years, it could become a lifelong habit with irreversible consequences.

3. Use Student Loans Irresponsibly
While it's great that help is available to finance your education, there are few limitations as to what you can spend this money on. Taking a mature, responsible approach to your finances is especially invaluable when it comes to managing your student loans - you must commit to utilizing these funds for school-related expenses only.

It may seem enticing to go out and purchase electronic gadgets or new clothes, but you will be doing yourself a serious disservice. Student loans should only be used for paying tuition, textbooks, housing expenses, and anything else directly related to college. If you don't end up spending it all, pay it back immediately. Better yet, look into ways you can pay for and afford college without student loan debt.

4. Pay Full Price for Textbooks
When I attended college, I did what many college students do: I grabbed the syllabus for each of my classes, trudged to the college bookstore, and shelled out a ton of cash for the books I needed. But times have changed, and there's no reason to take this dated and expensive route.

With a little research, you can save as much as 97% off what you would pay buying brand new textbooks from the campus bookstore. You can purchase used textbooks via the Internet (and resell them when your course is finished), purchase e-Books at websites like CourseSmart, and rent textbooks at websites like BookRenter to save money.

5. Don't Generate Income
If you have time to watch television or party, you definitely have time for some paid employment. You can start by getting a part-time job or participating in a work-study program. If you're up for the challenge, you can even start your own side business - you never know where it might take you. I started a reselling business several years ago with my wife's unused textbooks, and it ultimately blossomed into a full-time venture.

Final Thoughts
Of course, it's important that you enjoy your college years, but you can have fun and be smart at the same time. Never allow your youthful exuberance to negatively affect your financial future. Remember, once you get out of college, all the debt you racked up will become your responsibility to pay off. While you can certainly investigate student loan deferment options, you will be better off finding ways to pay down your debts before interest fees and balances rack up further. This can cause your credit - and your quality of life - to seriously suffer.

What other money mistakes should college students be careful to avoid?

Winter Term 2014 - China & Hong Kong: Tradition and Change

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

For a number of years, Professor Yung-chen Chiang and Professor Li-feng Chiang have led a Winter Term class of students to China to explore the paradox of the country: 

"It boasts an ancient culture of traditions and yet goes all the way out to jettison the old to embrace the new; it holds on to communism and yet latches on to a capitalistic economic regime; it garners the reputation as a rising economic superpower and yet delivers low living standards to the majority of its people.  Its transformation in thirty years from a third-world economy to a superpower is unprecedented in history.  Its economy surpassed Japan's in 2010 and is projected to overtake the United States by 2030.  The success is phenomenal, but the cost—human as well as environmental—has been staggering.  China is at a crossroads.  Might Hong Kong, which is twenty years ahead of China in development and which will remain a special administrative region for 50 years after its return to China in 1997, hold clues to solve some of these paradoxes?"

Meredith Langenheim '13, an East Asian Studies major and Chinese minor, studied abroad on the Winter Term 2013 class and has this to say of her experience.

The DePauw Winter Term trip to China and Hong Kong was especially meaningful to me because I am an East Asian Studies major.  Having the chance to go with two of my Asian Studies professors on this trip was unforgettable. As an East Asian Studies major, I got the opportunity to apply what I had been learning about at DePauw to the six cities we visited throughout the course of the trip.  Ending the trip in Hong Kong was probably one of the most rewarding parts.  Because Honk Kong was just given back to China in 1997, it was very interesting to be able to compare the cities we visited in Mainland China to Hong Kong.  Hong Kong is very different than many cities in Mainland China. It has a different currency, different architecture and different culture, yet is now considered a part of China.  If I had chosen to go on any other trip to China I would definitely not have gotten this wonderful opportunity to explore Hong Kong along with Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an, Guilin and Henan. 


Current students are applying for Winter Term 2014 courses now (due April 17th), while first year students may begin applying for off-campus courses this summer.  Winter Term is a hallmark part of a DePauw education, giving students an opportunity to explore a new topic of interest. Often, as in the case of Meredith, Winter Term leads into a semester long experience and provides students with greater focus and clarity on their interests and goals.  Learn more by visiting the Center for Student Engagement website.

Nursing Careers

Tuesday, April 2, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

DePauw University has a long history with nursing.  If you have considered continuing your education with an accelerated nursing degree,  here is a perfect opportunity to explore your options!

Marian University for St.Vincent Health invites you to consider a career in nursing.  With no current wait list, GPA requirement of 2.8 (or 3.0 in last 60), and classes offered May, August and January, now may be the perfect time to look at your options!

This is a new program and four DePauw alumni have graduated with two alumni currently enrolled. 

Grant '09 participated in panel designed to provide firsthand Q&A with others who chose nursing as a second career.  He enjoys a successful career in ICU, and looking at obtaining his masters towards a career as a nurse practitioner.

Questions about nursing?  Contact:

Kris Shallenberger
Outreach Coordinator
Marian University for St.Vincent Health

Have you considered a career in health care?

The Center for Student Engagement helps students craft careers in health care. 

MCAT Prep Program and Pre-Health Advising

Monday, March 11, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

What does winter term, on campus, and medical school have in common? A highly intensive medical school and MCAT Preparation course. 

After three years as a class of 2014 student senator, I took the reigns of a DePauw student government senate committee on pre-professional school planning.  We were charged with brainstorming and researching ways in which DePauw students could better prepare themselves for professional schools and entrance exams.  An idea to bring an on campus Kaplan course to DePauw, along with my inability to afford winter term a trip abroad this year, left me with a thought.  What if we made a winter term course?
After meeting with the Dean of Experiential Learning, Raj Bellani, and the Director of Career Development, Steve Langerud, an idea became formalized into a course.  Kaplan was able to provide a group discount upwards of $400 off their course as well as train a DePauw student to be a Kaplan employee and the courses instructor.  Steve and CGPops, were able to coordinate a strength finder seminar, a lesson on personal statements, and organization to the course.  In all, we created a highly intensive and hopefully largely effective winter term course. We met a minimum of three days a week each meeting for 3 hours of intense instruction, ranging from reviewing an entire semester of physics in a single day to learning the intricacies of bodily systems.  Outside of the instruction, we had a Kaplan outline with homework that included access to over 40,000 MCAT questions, a multitude of practice tests, and review materials for every subject.
We worked in the classroom, outside of the classroom, and with each other in order to make it through a winter term course that was spanned two semesters of physics, two semesters of organic chemistry, two semesters of inorganic chemistry, four semesters of biology, and not to mention verbal reasoning.  Although winter term is over, the course meets weekly until its completion in April. With the preparation this course delivered, the MCAT isn’t so daunting, but rather another challenge that an eager student will face.

Have you considered a career in health care? 

Pre-Health advisor Ken Kirkpatrick and The Center for Student Engagement can help you plan you professional school. 


Looking Back, Looking Ahead: Winter Term 2013

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Winter Term Student Leaders gather their teams one month after re-entering the DePauw culture at the Winter Term Global Fair.  They talk about the experiences they shared, how their perspectives may have shifted since being thrown back in to the busy life of the DePauw student.  At this fair they also re-live the memories as they tell stories to peers passing by and are re-energized about the ideas they had as WT participants.  They will continue to grapple over how this 3-week experience will shape them as they move ahead.. Next week they will try to offer greater reflection and, of course, enthusiasm for their WT programs... 

Global Week March 4-7
Come share in the celebration of global perspectives, service, and adventure during this week's variety of events put on by Winter Term Student Leaders.  This a great opportunity to hear and see your peers’ stories and experiences from living and learning sustainably in Hawai’i, to deep encounters with global health initiatives in Ecuador, to marking a 20 year anniversary of WTIS in El Salvador, to adventures of land and sea in Cozumel... Come check it out! Ask about being a WT Student Leader in 2014!
  • Sustainability in Hawai’i Film, Peeler Mar 5, 7-8:00
  • Timmy Talk, Watson Mar 6, 7-8:00
  • 20 Year Celebration WTIS El Salvador, Peeler Mar 7, 4-6:00
  • Cozumel Movie Premier, Watson Mar 7, 7-8:00


How have you shared a meaningful experience with your peers?

The staff of the Center for Student Engagement work with students to encourage reflection and sharing on Winter Term and all experiential education opportunities.

Winter Term In Service-Timmy Foundation in Ecuador

Wednesday, February 27, 2013 by Katherine Hill

DePauw is known for their off campus experiences.  About 60% of students spend either a semester, a summer, or a Winter Term abroad.  DePauw's unique Winter Term experiences have allowed me to travel for three years during the 3 week period between Winter Break and the beginning of second semester.  This January, I traveled to Ecuador where I spent almost two weeks doing one of the Winter Term In Service projects.  These courses are based around service and have different focuses depending on student interest.  As someone interested in the medical field, spending two weeks with the Timmy Foundation setting up medical clinics along the Amazon Basin and providing medical care with doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals sounded like an amazing experience!

Riding to clinic!!

There were about 15 students on our trip with two faculty members, one Chemistry professor and a Sociology professor.  When we got to Quito, Ecuador, we met up with many of the medical professionals who came from all over the country (one was even a DePauw grad)!! One of my favorite memories was talking with these health care providers and hearing their stories.  I got some great perspective on different health care fields and why medical service is so important to many of them. 

myself, a PA and a translator waiting for our first patient

Personally, I have never done a service trip with DePauw before, so this was an entirely new experience.  It was very grounding-the basic medical care most of us take fore granted was blatantly obvious as we treated patients for malnutrition caused by parasites.  Albendazole, an anti parasitic medication was our most popular medication.  Even the pharmacists said they never have to prescribe this in the US, but we all became very familiar with it in Ecuador. 

myself with two doctors from Indy and a PA from Seattle

Each day at clinic, DePauw students would split up and do different jobs.  We all worked at some point in the pharmacy, at check in, patient history, lab, vitals, fluoride, and doctor scribing.  It was such a neat procedure to come into a schoolhouse or community meeting room with nothing and in 20 minutes, we would have an entire pharmacy, vitals station, lab station, check in station and doctor exam rooms set up and ready to go.  Recently, Timmy started using a computer system so we even had generators to help us get internet to make patient records easy to keep track of from visit to visit. 

Painting teeth with fluoride

This Winter Term experience was definitely influential for me because I reaffirmed my interest in the medical field and I cannot wait to get my Masters of Physician Assistant Studies so I can come back to Ecuador or go someplace else and do more medical service work.  DePauw's partnership with Timmy is a great way for students to get involved in something beyond campus and I am so appreciative of the opportunity to be part of an organization that does such amazing work!

Check out this video about the Timmy Foundation made by some of the students who traveled with me!



If you could travel anywhere to do service work, where would you go and what would you want to do??

The Impact of a Year Studying Abroad

Saturday, February 23, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Why study abroad for longer? 

While back on campus, my conversation with alum Chris Granger '11 (East Asian Studies major, Philosophy minor) turned to the impact of his year year-long study abroad experience at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China on his professional growth and development.  Chris worked for Americorps after graduation and now is the Assistant Director of Admission and International Student Advisor at the Art Institute of Indianapolis.  Here's what he had to say:

There's a certain amount of time you need in a foreign culture before you can even experience immersion, where the culture and place sets in and becomes part of you.  It's great to see a new place and have cool experiences, but what studying abroad really is about is helping you develop confidence, adaptability, and the ability to respong to where other people are coming from.  These are things you encounter in the real world - people will have different ways in reacting to you and the world around them.  Studying abroad is the best"extreme training ground to help prepare you to be comfortable with this.

My current employer tells us they want and need us to be extremely adaptable. As an admission advisor, I have to work with students and families from different socioeconomic, cultural, religious, and educational backgrounds.  Being abroad for a year, I had to adjust to a culture that values different things than I do and a culture that responds differently to input and advice.  A year in China, completely outside of my comfort zone, allowed me to increase my competency in this skill that I now use regularly in my work. As a result of my study abroad experience, I know I can effectively serve the people in the communities I'm working in.  

When you challenge yourself in the most extreme scenarios, you're going to be that much more prepared to do so in other situations throughout your life.  Being in China for a year, I needed more than a semester of time to get to this point.  A semester abroad gives you time to learn the lesson, but longer is needed to really live the lesson.

The Center for Student Engagement supports students in the pursuit of a professional and personal life that is filled with purpose and accomplishment. Through study abroad, internships, and civic engagement, students become better equipped to find meanfingful employment upon graduation.

DePauw Alumni Teaching in Taiwan

Tuesday, February 12, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

DePauw alumni are teaching English at the Tam Kang School in Taiwan.  The relationship founded by Professor Sherry Mou has blossomed into a vibrant post-graduate opportunity for DePauw graduates.  This year students will be working as interns at the school.

Every morning, Danielle R. Strohmeyer ’10 heads to a job where she can’t speak the native language. It isn’t a lack of knowledge or practice – she studied Chinese for four years as an undergrad, including a semester abroad in Beijing. She’s paid to speak English.

Strohmeyer is one of nine DePauw alumni teaching at Tam Kang, a private school just outside of the Taiwanese capital, Taipei. More than 23 million people occupy Taiwan, an island one-third the size of Indiana, but you’d be hard-pressed to find many other blonde, blue-eyed people there. That’s not such a bad thing in her line of work – as far as English teachers from America go, she certainly looks authentic. To her students, she brings something new and exciting to the classroom. From Strohmeyer’s point of view, so do they.

“The students can be so entertaining,” Strohmeyer says. “One little boy told me he wants to go to America because he wants to have a cheeseburger. Another one wants to go because he heard we have ‘advanced science and mathematical programs.’ He’s 10.”

Those comments sum up life at Tam Kang. Kids are still kids, but at a private school in the capital of a powerful Asian economy, cheeseburgers aren’t the only difference between here and there.

Strohmeyer’s elementary classroom at Tam Kang has two full-time teachers – one English speaker and one Taiwanese. They support each other during the day, splitting their time between teaching and grading, and sometimes stirring a student from an unscheduled nap. At the high school level, English teachers act more like tutors, helping students brush up their language skills before leaving for college.

“It’s a good job,” Strohmeyer says. “We’re paid well and our housing is provided along with insurance. And it’s a job where you feel like you’re doing meaningful work. I’m in love with the kids.”

Where would you love to live and work?  

The Center for Student Engagement works with students seeking post-graduate opportunities like teaching at Tam Kang.  



That's a wrap! Winter Term 2013 comes to a close

Saturday, February 2, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Winter Term 2013 has come to a close.  Students and faculty from across campus and across the world shared what they learned.  Check it out!

A fascinating tour of China brought students to explore the Terra Cotta Warriors and the Qin Dynasty.  You can read more about this group's travels and learning by visiting one of the leaders' blog here.

Students in The Rock n Roll Experience gave a performance in The Duck at the Inn at DePauw.  A standing-room-only crowd turned out to see the the eight bands in the class perform. During the class, students had to form their own band, write an original song, learn how to play together and, for many, perform in front of a crowd, all while learning what it is that makes rock n roll what it is.  Read more in this article in local paper, The Banner Graphic.
The Boulder is the student newspaper during Winter Term. Stemming from an on-campus class led by Dave Bohmer and students who have experience working on The DePauw, the campus newspaper, students learn to write articles, take photographs, experiment with newspaper design and even sales.  News was published online throughout Winter Term, culminating in a print version.  Check it out - The Boulder. Students in New Zealand explored the geology of the country.  It was a hands on exploration of the volcanoes, glaciers and outcrops that make up the country's diverse geological and environmental history.  Read more on the DePauwRocks blog for more of their experience.
Students in YouTube Physics explored the many physics videos on YouTube, learning what makes an accurate, effective and interesting physics demonstration video.  In groups, they designed, constructed and presented their own online video. Students Craig Hadley and Pauline Ota's class, Introduction to Museums and Galleries, worked on the Asian Gallery in Emison, the Admissions building.  They enhanced the gallery with new labels and an audio tour.  They also created a website to visit.  Feel free to come to Emison any time to see this gallery and others.

Believe it or not, staff members in the Center for Student Engagement are already working with faculty and students to plan what they will do next January.  Possibilities include another course traveling to Cuba, exploring geology of the western US, service in El Salvador, and more!  

What would you like to learn during Winter Term 2014?

Terra Cotta Warriors and the Qin Dynasty; Xi'an, China

Thursday, January 24, 2013 by Mandy Brookins Blinn

It's been a whirlwind 16 days in China. Our travel schedule was so packed that this is the first time I've had an opportunity to post since we left! Once back in the US, I'll submit posts with details from the course, but in the meantime, I'll share a few highlights with our student travelers. 

One of the most impactful moments on the course was our visit to the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi'an. The Terra Cotta Warriors gaurd the tomb of the First Emperor of China, Emperor Qin.  They were discovered by accident when a local farmer was digging a well, and discovered broken pieces of terra cotta pottery.  The initial excavation of the grounds revield an army worthy of protecting the Emperor in the afterlife. 

This is only 1 of 4 pits! Archeologist anticipate there are over 6000 soldiers, all of differing rank and purpose, buried under ground protecting the Emperor from invadors. 

What's even more amazing, the Qin Dynasty only ruled from 221 - 206 BCE. The First Emperor Qin only held power for 10 years, and yet his subjects were able to create over 6000 individual soldiers to gaurd his tomb.  At the Terra Cotta Warrior factory, they explained that each warrior takes more than 1 month to complete.  What an incredible amount of work went into preparing Emperor Qin's tomb in just a short amount of time. 

Chris becoming one with the warriors.

Here is Chris becoming one with the Terra Cotta Warriors. 

These soldiers are infantry men. You can tell by their hair style (right-side knot) and the type of armor.  Inside the pits, archeologists have discovered soldiers, officers, generals, and calvary. Each one with an individual face. The historians speculate the faces are modeled after Emperor Qin's actual army.

A shifting world view

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement

Andrew Miller, class of 2013 studied abroad at Koҫ University in Istanbul, Turkey during the spring 2012 semester.  This is what he had to say of his experience:

"During my time in Turkey, almost every day brought a new and exciting experience which contributed to my personal development; each one of these experiences was life-changing in its own way. However, there is a single moment which captures the essence of my time abroad. Over the centuries Turks have made drinking tea into an art form, so it is no surprise that much of my time was spent in Istanbul’s cafés. One day I had gone down to a café which sat right on the Bosporus, and chose a table only a few feet from the water. Because I was alone, it wasn’t long before I was lost in thought as I sipped my tea and watched the fishermen sorting their catch on the nearby docks. After a few minutes I was shaken from my daydream by the mid-day call to prayer echoing from the mosque a few blocks away.

I was suddenly struck by the normalcy of my surroundings. When I first arrived, the call to prayer was a reminder of how far from home I was, but in only a few short months, it had become as much a part of my life as the sound of the clock tower which sits a few blocks from my life-long home in Indiana. Only a few months before, this very café and the docks surrounding it had seemed a totally foreign world to me. For quite a while I had been too nervous to venture outside my university walls alone. Now, the city not only seemed a more hospitable place, but it’s ‘foreignness’ had vanished. While I still understood very little of the language, and much of Turkish culture remained a mystery to me, I no longer felt like an outsider. I looked down the Bosporus to the ancient heart of the city – to the massive minarets of the imperial mosques and the medieval towers and fortifications which lined the shore – and was amazed to realize how familiar it had all become. The city hadn’t changed, but my perception of it did. Indeed, in a matter of months my entire world view had changed. Suddenly the world had become a smaller and more familiar place and I realized how much a person can grow if they have the courage to venture beyond their comfort zone and embrace the unfamiliar."

How has your time traveling or studying in other parts of the world changed your perspective on the world?

450 students are returning from a faculty-led course off-campus in the US and abroad during Winter Term while another 80 are returning from a semester in the US or abroad.  The Center for Student Engagement is your place to learn more and get guidance about about off-campus study, in addition to internships, career exploration and planning, and community service and civic engagement.

It's Winter Term!

Sunday, January 13, 2013 by Center for Student Engagement


It's Winter Term 2013 and you know what that means!  Students and faculty are around the world doing some amazing things.

Nearly 450 students and 40 faculty members are exploring other parts of the US and studying abroad.  

Students and faculty are exploring China's Triple Bottom Line

Students and faculty are exploring the geology of New Zealand (DePauw Rocks!)

Students and faculty are exploring the evolition and implementation of ideas about sustainability on the island of Hawaii.

Over 250 students are doing internships across the US and in a number of other countries.

A student is doing an internship with the Afghanistan Embassy in Tokyo.

A student is doing an internship with Barley and Birch, an organic children's clothing line started by DePauw alum Kyle Smitley.

A student is doing an internship at the Indiana Orthopaedic Hospital.

Nearly 100 students are exploring topics independently with the guidance of a faculty member.

A student is writing her own children's book, which will contribute to her desire to have a career writing children's books.

A student is working on an ongoing documentary project focusing on those affected by breast cancer.

A student is exploring nutrition and global health in Uganda.

And around 900 students are on-campus engaged in an academic, intensive course.

First-Year Bonner Scholars are taking a class to explore their commitment to service, while also spending a week in Chicago engaged in a direct service project.

Students are learning to "become their own career expert" in a class led by career counselor and DePauw alum Erin Mahoney. 

Students are learning the techniques of cooking, but also the science behind it.

If you had three weeks to focus on an interest or passion, what would it be and where would you go?

You can learn more about Winter Term, as well as other ways students can engage in their own learning throughout the year by visiting the Center for Student Engagement.



Celebrating Te Pō

Sunday, January 13, 2013 by Margaret Distler

Upon arriving in New Zealand, I've definitely noticed the presence of the Māori, the indigenous Polynesian people who arrived in New Zealand by 1300 A.D. As reflected in the current day names of most cities and streets, the Māori language is also the national language of New Zealand.


While our Winter Term trip focuses more on the country's geological history than its political history, we embraced our Liberal Arts roots and spent Tuesday night learning about the Māori culture at Te Pō, an indigenous evening experience at the Te Puia Māori Cultural Center, in Rotorua, New Zealand. The experience included a traditional pōwhiri (Māori welcoming ceremony), a kapa haka (Māori concert), a Māori feast as well as a trip to the Te Whakarewarewa Geothermal Valley. During the kapa haka, several students volunteered to learn some of the traditional dance moves, as shown in the video below.




Have you ever participated in a ceremony of a different culture before? If so, what did you take away from the international experience?

Good things happen to geology students who wait

Friday, January 11, 2013 by Margaret Distler

While we initially planned on visiting White Island on Tuesday morning, dicey weather conditions forced us to reschedule our tour for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. After driving about 70 miles from Rotorua (where our hostel was located) to Whakatane (where the White Island boat tours launch from), we were ecstatic to find pristine conditions -- blue skies, no wind, and unlimited visibility. 

After a two hour boat ride in the Pacific Ocean, we arrived at White Island, New Zealand's only live marine volcano. With the help of our tour guide, we hiked around the island, stopping every now and then for explanations of what we were seeing.

Students examine sulphur crystals on White Island, New Zealand's only live marine volcano.During our walk, we were able to see the crater and its spike dome, which is the cooled magma. Jim likened the spike dome to a cork on a champagne bottle, holding the magma back until the pressure is too much and it explodes. As geology students, our tour was particularly important because it provided us with a chance to stand inside an active volcano, which are generally not accessible to the public.

On our boat ride back, we ran across a pod of over 50 dolphins. Immediately, everyone moved to the sides of the boats, cameras in hand. Instead of swimming away from us, the dolphins dove, jumped, and did tricks around our boat for a solid 15 minutes. I don't know who was enjoying it more -- the dolphins or us. Shortly after the dolphin encounter, our tour guide spotted a blue penguin, the smallest penguin in the world, floating nearby. 

We'll get there... eventually

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 by Margaret Distler



While we all eventually made it to New Zealand, over half of the group was stuck at the Indianapolis airport after our first flight on Thursday morning was significantly delayed. As a result, my part of the group missed our connections and spent the next several hours trying to reroute to Auckland, New Zealand. After spending the night in California, we were able to catch a New Zealand bound flight early Friday morning.
Since I already knew why Tim and Jim were stoked to go to New Zealand, I was curious to know why my fellow students were particularly excited for the Winter Term trip. 
Hopefully the answers they provided during our "bonus" hours at the airport will get you excited to hear about all of the activities we have planned for the next three weeks.
As for me, I can't wait to see the scenery for myself. After hearing Jim describe how the scenery becomes more breathtaking with every day, I'm anxious to create my own New Zealand screensavers.





After watching the video, do you have any questions about the trip or New Zealand that you'd eventually like the students to "sound off" on?

Winter Term China's Triple Bottom Line

Friday, January 4, 2013 by Mandy Brookins Blinn

Today was our first class meeting for the short term study abroad Winter Term course to China: China's Triple Bottom Line: People, Planet & Profit, led by Professor Sherry Mou and myself.

We will be traveling abroad with 24 students, visiting the modern and ancient cities of Beijing, Xi'an, Guilin, Suzhou and Shanghai.

We had a quick Chinese language lesson, and then dove right into the changing China. The title of our class was highlighted immediately by the film we watched this afternoon: Up the Yangtze by Yung Chang.

The film documents the changes to the Chinese landscape, people and economy as the Three Gorges Dam is finished.

2 million people displaced for the advancement of the nation.

While it may provide jobs and electricity to remote areas, individual ways of life and the environment are changed forever.

It’s easier to see the environmental impact, as it’s more immediate. The individual, depending on their access to resources, may see an improved quality of life, or they’ll be swallowed up like the hundreds of ancient cities now at the bottom of the Yangtze River.

4 more days until travel to China!

Top 10 reasons why Tim & Jim are excited for Winter Term

Thursday, January 3, 2013 by Margaret Distler

While there are a variety of reasons why students are looking forward to the Geology of New Zealand trip, Tim and Jim went ahead and created their own "Top 10" list of reasons why they're particularly excited for their international Winter Term course.
1. Returning to New Zealand. (between Tim and Jim, they've spent about 100 total days there)
2. Seeing active geologic processes.
3. Potentially witnessing a (small) volcanic eruption.
4. Hiking across Tangiroro. (Note that numbers 3 & 4 are mutually exclusive because if something blows up, it's going to be Tangiriro)
5. Taking in the scenery. According to Tim, "It ain't all Lord of the Rings. But it is pretty beautiful and that scenery is real."
6. Seeing the volcanoes, especially White Island.
7. Seeing and touching plate boundaries, which are where two crustal plates come together. (Students will have the chance to put their fingers on the contact)
8. Getting to see, touch, and stand on glaciers.
9. Tubing through dark caves and seeing glow worms.
10. Exposing students to New Zealand.
What are you most excited about learning from this New Zealand-inspired blog?

Jennifer Egan, Sundance Reunion, and Senior Dinner

Monday, May 2, 2011 by DePauw student

Three pretty great things happened this week that were not related to seminar writing, which is going really well by the way.  Thanks for asking.  The first was seeing Jennifer Egan speak.  Jennifer Egan is an author who recently won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for her book "A Visit from the Goon Squad."  I read the book for my seminar class, and it's very good; a tricky read, something that is best read twice, but a good read.  Furthermore, Time Magazine selected her as one of the world's hundred most influential people.   Listening to her read was a privilege, but even more special was meeting her and speaking with her at an after party for senior English writing majors.  She was so friendly and normal, for lack of a better word.  We talked mostly about writing, but one unrelated thing she said that sticks out in my mind is that she is torn between going around the country to read and staying home with her children.  A part of her feel obligated to go speak, but she feels a stronger obligation to be a mother to her children.  I guess I just never thought of Pulitzer Prize winners as people with families.  Needless to say, it was eyeopening to talk with her and motivating to work hard at writing.

The next day, Thursday, I attended a partial reunion party for those who went on the 2011 Sundance Winter Term trip.  We pretty much just sat around and told jokes and reminisced.  It was a really fun night, and I'm so glad to see that our bonds of friendship outlasted the three week trip.  It sounds really cheesy, but that's what's most important.

On Friday, my fraternity had a senior dinner for our senior class, myself included.  It was a bittersweet event for several reasons.  On the one hand, it was great to see all of Fiji together, laughing at good times shared, and eating good food.  On the other hand, it was humbling to relive some embarrassing stories and sad to think that all this, the good and the bad, will soon be gone.  One particularly sad moment for me was willing down several items of clothing that I love but wish to see remain in the house.  Pictured below is my most treasure item, a pair of purple pants.  I rocked many a DePauw University party with these pants, and it's saddening to part with them.  I think it'd be really cool, however, to see these pants floating around Fiji in twenty years from now should I come back to visit.


Back from Zimbabwe

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 by Henry Dambanemuya


My winter term in Zimbabwe came to a nice close. I finished my Independent Study Project in the nick of time. I had the oportunity to develop a computer program for a rural hospital in my hometown. My goal was to prototype an application that keeps track of patient records. My Computer Science adviser was very supportive and even though I was thousands of miles away from him, we always communicated every week via email.

I also had a wonderful time at home, re-connecting with family and friends. Returning home after more than a year was obviously refreshing. It was nice to see how things have changed, re-uniting with old friends and celebrating Christmas with my family. As I returned to campus, I was welcomed by DePauwcalypse, a snow storm that culminated in 2 snow days. I used this free time to decorate my new room since I have just started working as a First Year Resident Assistant for Bishop Roberts Hall. It is a great experience. I get to meet new people, take up a lot of responsibilities, and help maintain DePauw's community standards and university policies.

Last weekend, the The World Association of Music Instruments and Dance (WAMIDAN) hosted a "World Jamz" party aimed at promoting the appreciation of world music and culture. They played music from around the world and there was a variety of cultural food from all over the world. As spring semester begins, I'm looking forward to a wonderful semester filled with new opportunities and more fun times at DePauw University. If you were to go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Winter Term and Recruitment 2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 by DePauw student

Wow. It feels like years since last semester ended here at DePauw University.  It is crazy to think that it was less than two months ago! 
So much has happened!
1. Winter Term!-- I went on a trip to China with a faculty-led trip through our Private Liberal Arts College.  We went to five different cities: Beijing, Xi'an, Suzhou, Guilin, and Shanghai.  Let me tell you it was an experience of a lifetime! We visited so many different places that the days started to blur, and it was well-worth the 14 hour plane ride! 

Great Hall of the PeopleHere is our group in front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing! 

Terracotta Warriors!

Xi'an is known for the Terracotta soldiers.. here we are in front of one in a glass case.  It was insane to see the thousands of soldiers each unique. And to think they were all made to "protect" the tomb of an emperor! 

2.  After winter term, recruitment began! As a Rho Gamma, it was my job to lead a floor of freshmen women around to the different chapters.  This past Sunday was Bid Day, so the ladies got to find out which chapter they were going to be pledges for! It was so exciting, and I was especially excited because I got to unveil that I am a KKG here at DePauw University! 

Here is a picture of the room where the KKG seniors came to meet the new pledges! We have an amazing new pledge-class of gorgeous women!! 


After the extreme dance party back at Kappa Kappa Gamma, we all sat around while each of the new members were introduced!

Bid Day is definitely one of my favorite days of the year, and honestly I cannot wait until Bid Day next year!