Honors Student Profile: Sam Lim

Ad-Hoc Study Abroad: Berlin

Emerging Europe: The New American Dream

For my ad-hoc study abroad project as part of the 2007 Berlin Exploration Seminar, I explored the subject of how young Europeans - ranging from high school to college level - see for themselves in today's Europe and how that influences their educational opportunities (as opposed to their parents' opportunities). I met and talked with young students as well as older folks who shared stories and experiences of how they see today's Europe and what it means for them. My interest in this subject was inspired by my active involvement in the UW Dram Project, an outreach program that partners UW students with first-generation and low-income high school seniors to help them with college admissions, scholarships, and financial aid. I wanted to see the difference in education systems between America and Europe and learn how programs from both sides could benefit each other (study abroad programs, foreign language studies, etc.).

Because the course topic was "Elusive Europe: Tracking European identities in contemporary and historical Berlin," I sat down with my program director and gave him my proposal, specifically explaining my interest in how young Europeans view Europe. He was very excited about my project and provided me with some helpful contacts before we even left for Berlin. Once I was there, the opportunity to pursue my interests for this project was phenomenal as I got to travel around Berlin to meet these people, hear their stories, and learn more about a topic I'm passionate about. Without a doubt, my ad-hoc study abroad project made my experience in Berlin greater than it would've been otherwise.