Through my History major I have taken classes that have explored histories of regions all over the globe. I have always had a deep interest in exploring and learning about histories and societies outside of North America. My fall 2009 semester abroad in Prague led me to pursue a European Studies minor. While in the Czech Republic I witnessed a society still emerging from the tight grip of the past communist government. My classes focused on the societies and cultures under communism, as well as communist revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe. Prague is beautifully preserved, with a rich and dark history. I was lucky enough to be in Prague for the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia. On the weekends I did a lot of traveling to various locations in Europe, witnessing diverse groups of cultures and societies, from the Catalonian region in northeast Spain to Krakow in southern Poland. My favorite trip was to Krakow, which is a small beautiful city with a unique culture and history. From Krakow I traveled to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration/ death camp for an experience I will never forget.
My interest in Czech society and its modern history has led me to do an independent study SYE with Dr. Elun Gabriel to complete my European Studies minor. My semester-long project focuses on the transformation of Czech society, from when communism ended in Czechoslovakia in 1989 to the present. This project is enabling me to utilize my abroad experience here at St. Lawrence to further my knowledge of this fascinating period of transformation.