The worldwide Augustana College experience

Hey! My name is Angela Baumgartner, and I am beginning my senior year at Augustana. I am majoring in biology with an emphasis on molecular biology, with hopes to pursue biomedical research in graduate school. I just spent my summer in Houston, Texas participating in a wonderful internship with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center researching breast cancer. During my study abroad term I will be traveling to Ecuador, Peru, and Mexico, and I will be tackling the challenge of learning Spanish for the first time! I am very excited for this once in a lifetime experience and to tell you all about it!


Change is unavoidable. It can be good, it can be bad, it can be both. The key to change is whether you resist it or welcome it. I know I have welcomed changed on this trip, but how? I can do my best to answer now, but at this moment I don’t feel I can […]

¡Bienvenido a México!

We finally made it to Mexico, marking the last few weeks of our trip here in Latin America. I am already really excited to get back to the U.S. because I miss home and the people I love, but at the same time I am still enjoying my time here, so I think I’m in […]

Toto…I have a feeling we’re back in Kansas?

We’ve been traveling around South America for about a month and a half and so far everything had been vastly different from the United States. None of the major stores, products, restaurants, or fast food places have been spotted, except for the occasional McDonalds, Coca-cola, Doritos, and Oreos. Whenever we would see something familiar we […]

The top of the world has butterflies.

Wow. I was just on top of the world. Literally. It was so amazing that I am still a little awestruck. It’s so hard to describe something that you have to feel and experience for yourself to understand the magnitude of it, but I am going to try. One of the things I was looking […]

The Rain Forest.

Although I have been traveling around South America for about 7 weeks now, I still feel like this isn’t my life. It seems so surreal to be telling people back home about all my experiences. This is the kind of thing you only hear about…one of my recent captivating mind-blowing experiences was the time I […]

Getting Sick in a Foreign Country.

Last spring Dr. Bertsche said that ALL of us were going to get sick at some point in time while on this trip—foreign travel has not only risks, but some inevitability. I didn’t believe him because I rarely get sick and was convinced that I have a super-human immune system. Whelp, with my foot in […]

The Family Concept.

My Ecuadorian host family taught me a great deal about the meaning of family from the perspective of another culture. My experience not only altered my view of Ecuadorian culture, but it also gave me a new perspective on what family is to people of the United States.

I’m still here!!

My last couple days in Ecuador are filled with mixed feelings. Initially I feel like I can’t wait to leave, but I know when we finally go I will wish to have a bit more time. I want to leave Ecuador not because of the country itself, because this is a great country, but because […]

Top 10.

Top 10 Things I Miss About Living in the United States 10.  American football: Some of my friends went to a sports bar to try and watch the Bears play the Packers, but the game wasn’t on any of the channels. I’m sort of glad I didn’t see it, though, because it sounded painful for […]

A Shower for the Soul.

I have recently discovered that there are some types of body cleansing that may require one to take a shower afterward. Sound like a confusing form of logic? Keep reading and you’ll understand. Recently, some of the Augie students here in Ecuador went on a weekend trip to Saraguro, a smaller town that has an […]