Author Allison Hoerler

Davidson College
Dean Rusk tiananmen square

The beaded Mao tassel swung rhythmically from the rearview mirror as we came to a stop in the Beijing traffic. The air conditioning was too cold, but I savored the goosebumps. Even in the airport, it was obvious that Chinese people preferred the heat over the cost of comfort. The…

Dean Rusk Great Wall of China

With my backpack in my lap and the air conditioning angled just perfectly at my face, I enjoyed an hour long ride to the Great Wall. When we arrived, students clambered out of the bus into the wet air. It was one of those days where the humidity felt like…

Study Abroad Drawing of cathedral with actual cathedral in background

As I walked through the terminal, what I knew of the Czech language came rushing back to give me some confidence heading into my solo effort. Navigating the trams and the metro to get to my apartment was a breeze. At dinner, ordering that beef goulash with potato dumplings and…

Study Abroad Students working on computers in Tanzania

Plans have a very high mortality rate in Africa. Our plan was to teach basic computer skills to secondary school students in rural Tanzania. As we sat across from Mzee, the “Old Man” and head of our Tanzanian partner organization, we learned that our primary job would not be to…

Study Abroad Person walking on colorful street in Morocco

For just less than half the month of Ramadan I fasted in solidarity with my co-workers at the Solidarity Center-Rabat Office, my Muslim friends around the world, and the cultural mores of this beautiful country. Whenever I tell Moroccans that I’m fasting, they ask the logical follow up: “wash inta…

Study Abroad Jordan desert

Nervous and exhausted, I was welcomed with open arms by my host mother, Um Muhammad, at the door of her beautiful home. Anxious about sleeping in a new bed, new home, and in a country foreign to me, it suddenly hit me that I was actually there—in Amman, about to…