Wander, a magazine of student experiences abroad, makes its debut at the Study Abroad Fair

The results of the work Brandeis students engage in while away manifest themselves in a multitude of ways back in Waltham, addressing issues of social inequality, development, history, or immigration. Some of the most profound moments of living, working, and studying abroad -- the intimate moments of daily life -- have escaped the attention of the larger Brandeis community until now.

Wander, a new magazine founded by Jake Laband ’12 and others with support from the Office of Study Abroad and the Office of Global Affairs, seeks to highlight the process of exploration, adventure, and discovery that happens while students aren’t at Brandeis. The first issue boasts a collection of essays, poetry, photography and paintings created by students recently returned from locales as distant and different as Cameroon, China and Copenhagen.

In one of Wander’s essays, Jesse Appell writes of appreciating and learning from Chinese culture. “In Chinese,” he writes, “there is an expression that translates to ‘something is worthy of our study.’” Appell applied this saying to clear his mind and examine aspects of his host culture that he once found to be disagreeable.

Pieces in this semester’s Wander also address issues of identity, home, and miscommunication that occur when studying someone else’s system.

“My new home has become a place where instances of miscommunication are almost a daily occurrence,” wrote Jessica Schulman while in Istanbul, Turkey. “But I guess that’s part of the fun,” she added, for moments of misunderstanding led her to new meals, new places, new friends and even a new home.

Some contributors chose to reflect on their travels through poetry or visual art. Carrie Watkins, a rising senior who spent fall 2010 in Nepal, publishes a series of Nepali haiku in the inaugural issue -- with English translations, of course. Kelsey Grab, another rising senior, contributed a painting of a mother and child elephant, entitled “The Conversation.” Inspired by her time spent at a nature reserve in Bangalore, she says her piece is “a representation of the energy and beauty of relationships of all kinds.” The painting has been important to Grab as a way of consolidating her experiences abroad. She feels the piece “part of the healing process of reconciling my new relationships home and abroad upon coming home.”

Wander debuts at the Study Abroad fair Sept. 15. Copies of the journal will be available, and contributors will be present to comment on their work and experiences abroad.

Categories: International Affairs, Student Life

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