Sonja NelsonSonja Nelson, is a junior at St. Olaf College hailing from Minnetonka. She majors in English and Studio Art and is currently studying abroad with St. Olaf's Global Semester. Over the course of fall semester and January interim, she will be traveling through Switzerland, Greece, Turkey, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, China and South Korea.


Gretchen BrownGretchen Brown is originally from Elk River, Minn., and a junior at the College of Saint Benedict. Sheis a communication major and history minor, and will be spending the fall semester in Rome, Italy, and Athens, Greece. She's studying abroad because she wants to be uncomfortable. "I'm trying to break out of my shell and do things that aren't natural or familiar, in hope of becoming stronger and more culturally aware," she said.


Katelin HarnedKatelin Harned is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, originally from Mahtomedi. As an International Business and Accounting major, she is studying in Lausanne, Switzerland, with hopes to improve her French and learn about business from a European perspective. Aside from studying, she plans to spend her time traveling and trying every type of Swiss chocolate.


Catherine EarlyCatherine Earley is a junior attending the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She's originally from Fridley, Minn. This spring, she will be studying Professional and Organizational Communication in Florence, Italy. While abroad, she plans to expand her knowledge on human interaction and how it differs all over the world. She also hopes to explore as much of Italy, and Europe in general, as she can.


Andrew MorrisonAndrew Morrison attends the University of Minnesota and is spending the year studying natural resources in Brazil. From the tropical rain forests of the Amazon, to the wildlife rich wetlands of the Pantanal to Carnival, he plans to explore as much of the country and culture as he can outside of his studies. He is originally from Scandia, Minn.


Emily AtmoreEmily Atmore is a junior at the University of St. Thomas studying business. In July she will begin a semester of study in Queensland, Australia, where she will attend Griffith University. She is excited to learn about business and politics from an Australian and international perspective and will be writing about her unique experiences in the land down under. Emily is originally from Minnetonka, Minn.


Rachel FohrmanRachel Fohrman is a senior International Affairs and Philosophy double major at Northeastern University. This summer, she will be traveling to Lusaka, Zambia, on a field study to work with local organizations on community initiatives. While abroad, she hopes to learn more about Zambian culture and, hopefully, see some elephants. Although originally from St. Paul, Rachel hopes to move somewhere with copious amounts of sunshine upon graduation.


Paul LundbergPaul Lundberg is currently a junior at Saint John’s University studying Natural Science and Biology. It is his hope to become a high school science teacher. While studying abroad he hopes to further his cultural understandings of our world. He is from Ramsey, Minn., and attended high school in, Elk River.


Emily WalzBorn and raised in southwest Minnesota, Emily Walz holds a bachelor's degree in International Relations from Carleton College. She is currently enrolled in the Asian Languages & Literatures program at the University of Minnesota, focusing on Chinese media and culture. Her research interests include the political implications of resistance art and the ethics of intercultural travel writing.


Meredith KeelerMeredith Keeler is a junior at Iowa State University, studying journalism and Spanish. This semester she is studying in Cáceres, Spain, where she is living with a host family and taking Spanish courses at the University of Extremadura. While abroad, she hopes to further her written and oral communication skills in Spanish and travel throughout Europe. Meredith is originally from Chanhassen, Minn., and is an aspiring news reporter.


If you're interested in joining the blog group, e-mail Travel Editor Kerri Westenberg at