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Photo by Celia Mitchell (2015/16 Semester Photo Contest Entry), Indonesia Semester.

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Welcome to our forum for courses in the field. The Yak Board is a digital group journal where students and staff share photos, stories, reflections and group updates while on course. Check out our Featured Posts below or explore Yaks by program by clicking on the icons above.

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Not Always But Sometimes

Yasmeen Haider, Participant

Yak of the Week

Not Always But Sometimes: Views from a Non White American Abroad Not always but sometimes I see myself as different from the rest of our group. It’s hard not to; in our herd of white, I am a speck of coffee brown. Onlookers furrow their eyebrows......Read More

Pre-2017 Selected Yaks

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Remembering Nacion Q’eros

Cindy Liu, Participant

Yak of the Week

Yachay(Quechua): to learn, to know and to remember. I remember the first time I heard the sound of Fabien, our local guide, playing his flute, and the image that immediately came to my mind of a lonely herder in the mountains. I remember my homestay......Read More

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The Economics of it All

Yasmeen Haider, Participant

Yak of the Week

In economics, scarcity is vital to the soul of the subject. Scarcity leaves consumers hungry for more, creating the demand that keeps the market alive. That is precisely what this trip has done. Three months are but an inhale and exhale in the......Read More

Pre-2017 Selected Yaks

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An Ode to My Homestay Family

Danielle Strasburger, Participant

Yak of the Week

Our Mid-Course Yak assignment is to write something about our homestay experience. When I first found out that was our prompt, I was relieved. It´s so simple. There aren´t any hard hitting questions to ask myself or deep thinking to do. All I need......Read More

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Getting Water in the Sea

Marka Ellertson, Participant

Yak of the Week

Sometimes at home I hear stories about how hard it is for people in “other places,” vaguely desert-y hot “other places,” to get water to drink. I hear stories about how women and young girls will have to spend half the day going to a water......Read More

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A NEW FAMILY IN THIES

Lilith Yu, Participant

Yak of the Week

“Your homestay families have arrived to pick you up!” My stomach twisted and my palms became sticky with sweat as the group tightly cuddeled in a circle, trying but failing to imagine our first night in a home stay. On Monday, we had left Dene......Read More

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Transference

Nicolette Gordillo-LaRiviere, Participant

Yak of the Week

It was finally over. I’d been in China a month, and my life had turned upside-down. My perspective, my experiences, and how I saw myself and others.  They’d all changed. It was one of the best things I’d ever done, but I was also ready to be......Read More

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HOMESTAYS DAY 2 AND 3

Gigi Crouch, Participant

Yak of the Week

July 5th: I had never set foot in a car like the one that took me into the mountains, but it took me to a place that felt like home. The air ran cool through the cranked down windows and helped subside the otherwise uncomfortably warm air that was......Read More

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How I Have Changed

Rebecca Strull, Participant

Yak of the Week

I now see myself as part of the bigger picture. Before these six weeks of travel and exploration, I knew that there was a world out there, but did not really understand what that meant. Now, I am part of a world of seven billion, all of different......Read More

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In The City of Life

Stephen Chao, Dragons Admin

Yak of the Week

Death came at 4:30 on a dark Monday morning. I had been lying in my host parents’ room, waiting for them to return from the hospital. My host nieces, Pari and Khushi, were peacefully sleeping in the room next door. We had returned from the......Read More

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A New View on Service

Caroline Fenelon, Participant

Yak of the Week

Choosing to defer from college and take a gap year is a major abnormality from where I come from – I was the sole graduate from my high school who was not to immediately enroll in a university the coming September. Clearly, this situation was just......Read More

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A Letter Home

Larkin Barron, Participant

Yak of the Week

Dear Home: Dear Door – I remember so well the way your handle pressed in my palm, the precise weight against my arm, the exactly pitched creak of your melodious hinges. In my mind you open to a world of sights and smells; the familiar flowers,......Read More

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THERE IS A SONG THAT WANTS TO BE SUNG THROUGH US

North India 6 Week, Instructor

Yak of the Week

Dear Friends and Family, We are writing this from the airport in Leh, Ladakh where we’re waiting for our flight to Delhi. Patience is perhaps one of the most important traits a traveler can possess. Flights and trains get delayed, and especially......Read More