Iceland

the capstone maymester

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This is a few pictures from students that were their favorite or felt like summed up the trip!

Pic 1: Betty Kay Rosenbaum

Pic 2: Erin Guderian

Pic 3: Gina Perrotto

Pic 4: Grace Ann Roberts

Pic 5: Harry Smith

Pic 6: John Kirby

Pic 7: Julie Thiesfeldt

Pic 8: Rob Kraft

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Final Reflections from all 30 students

Prompt: A few sentences somehow addressing:

How has Iceland changed or impacted you? What have you learned? What will you take away from this experience?

Note: Some students sent in pictures, which will be posted following this blog.

Iceland has had a profound impact on the way I see the world. This trip has changed not only the way I see culture, but the way I see myself. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world; I love the experiences I had, the people I met, and the friends I made. I’m truly blessed.

- MaKensie Beliakoff-Schumaker

I’m so glad I had this opportunity to travel to Iceland! The country is beautiful and I learned so much, both about myself and about studying abroad.

- Carly Blumenstein

Iceland has been a wonderful experience. Each day was an adventure that far exceeded my expectations. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring caves, mountains, and volcanos with the greatest professors and students. Visiting Iceland is a once in a lifetime experience and I hope to return someday.

- Lauren Yarberough

It is difficult to describe my Iceland experience without sounding terribly generic or cliché. That being said, I could not have asked for a more pleasant study abroad experience. I think it is safe to say that these past ten days have been the most enjoyable ten, consecutive days of my life. I genuinely feel that I succeeded in accomplishing all that I hoped to accomplish while in Iceland. In addition to my success, I was accompanied by a fantastic group of students, leaders and tour guides along the way, making each excursion that much better. I will cherish these memories forever and hope to return to Iceland in the future.

- Victoria Ferrara

"Just look at how the mountains

So very mighty be

Sharp as razors at the top they span the land and sea But don’t forget that though Majestic spires capped with snow…

From each and every single grain of sand they grow”

My experience in Iceland could not have been better! I absolutely loved the opportunities we had to be outside and see the landscape, not to mention all of the AMAZING art we saw. I can’t imagine doing it without the other students I met, too; I’m so thankful to Capstone for giving me the chance to finally go abroad!

- Grace Ann Roberts

My experience has been unforgettable to say the least. From eating horse, to being thrown off a horse, and scaring the entire group (all in one day) is just one of the many memories that will last forever. I have made many new friends and done things not even imaginable. I can not wait to tell my family and friends back home about this once in a lifetime experience. Thank you so much for letting me go on this trip and I hope you enjoy your summer.

-Duncan Berry

It was an amazing trip:)! I met some amazing people. One word to describe Iceland Capstone Maymester: Unforgettable -Amy Stonecipher

Iceland has been a truly unique adventure because there is no other place in the world where I will be able to experience natural wonders like glaciers, geysers, waterfalls and lava fields. But more importantly I am leaving Iceland with a better understanding of how to sustainably use these natural resources and how to respect nature in the Icelandic way.

-Chandler Green

I had a wonderful time in Iceland! It was well-worth it. This is the most photogenic place I’ve seen in my life; the waterfalls, glaciers, etc. were beautifully picture-esqe. My experience was amazing and I can’t wait to convince many of my friends and family to come here too!

-Marissa Sherman

Iceland has been a chance for me to connect with nature and really get a good look at a society that is a huge contrast to the one I experience every day. Everything here is in some way connected to the landscape of the island and the harmony of the Icelandic people is amazing.

-Kaylah Crepps

Iceland was an adventure and challenge of all sorts. It’s the first time I left the country, and I did it with no family; so I was definitely a bit nervous at first. But seeing this beautiful country and learning about the culture was so amazing. I fell in love instantly and can’t wait to come back.

-Kelsey Thompson

Iceland has been an unbelievably cleansing and eye opening experience. I will always remember the strikingly blue ocean surrounded by majestic, ice capped mountains; a landscape comparable to nothing I’ve ever seen before. I will always carry these sights and memories with me as I continue to travel and learn about the world.

-Gina Perrotto

My thoughts on Reykjavik is that it’s a perfect mix of city life and nature with the beautiful skyline and the mountains in the background.

-Erica Finney

Breathtaking scenery, amazing city, and fantastic people. Honestly couldn’t ask for more from my first study abroad experience

-Claire O’Bryan

These past ten days have been some of the most memorable of my life.  Not only have I seen the incredible city of Reykjavik, but we also were able to tour the Golden Circle, the Snaefellsness Peninsula, and the Southern Coast.  Everything is so beautiful and everyone is so nice, it has been such an incredible experience.  There is nowhere else in the world like Iceland, and I will keep the friends and memories I have made for my entire life.

- Betty Kay Rosenbaum

To sum up my Iceland experience, I have three words: people, nature, and culture. I enjoyed becoming friends with the people on the trip an setting to know everyone. I’ve made some amazing friends. For nature, I would just like to say how in awe I am of the landscape an it’s beauty. Finally, for culture, I’d have to say that’s enjoyed staying here longer because I got to experience the culture more fully. This trip has been fantastic!

- Madison McFarland

Iceland is one of the few places on this earth where everywhere you go you can’t help but feel peaceful. It’s shown me just how great the world is outside of America and how some of life’s greatest experiences come in the simplest of forms.

-Harry Smith

I don’t really know how to sum this trip up in a few sentences other than this is truly an experience unlike any other and I will never forget it. I will constantly remember the beautiful landscape of the snow capped mountains and crystal clear ocean right in front of them. I took amazing pictures and made amazing memories with one of my best friends, something I will take with me forever. This trip has pushed me to realize how much I have left to see and how to make the most of everything and anything I do. I’ll miss ya Iceland, hope I can come back again, xoxo.

-Julie Thiesfeldt

Iceland was a fantastic way to start a life that I hope will be full of traveling to different countries, and I wouldn’t change anything about my experience.

- Kari Berg

The days I have spent in Iceland are some I shall never forget. Although I will always cherish the friends I met and the beautiful things I saw, what I will remember most is the way you could lose yourself in the island. How you could just sit here and forget every worry you had. And that is exactly what I needed. So thank you Iceland.  

-Maggie Bellone

Iceland is the place where we decided that it was a time for living and for nothing else.

-Robert Kraft

My Iceland experience consisted of breathtaking scenery, mild culture shock, and the kindling of lifelong friendships. I will never forget our adventure, or my Iceland family that made the journey with me.

-Chris Haycook

Iceland was much different than I expected and completely different from anywhere I have ever been before.  The people and the landscape made me fall in love with the country and I will most definitely be returning soon!

-Carlisle Sheridan

Iceland  was a fantastic experience!  I learned so about their accepting and nature based  culture.

- Hannah Stasenko

Iceland was such an amazing country, unreal in its beauty and culture. I loved to see how close people lived with the land. They have waterfalls in their backyards with glaciers as views from their kitchen windows. I love it!

- Victoria Jacks

I was incredibly excited for this trip but I can easily say that it greatly exceeded my expectations. Not only did I see amazing sites like the waterfalls and volcanoes but I also met such wonderful people. I became very close with the other students on the trip and we bonded like a family. I also immersed myself in the Icelandic culture which gave me so many opportunities to grow individually and develope my cultural tolerance. This trip really showed me the doors that can open when you study abraload which I definitely plan to do more of in the future!

- Erin Guderian

This experience has been so amazing and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I loved everything about Iceland. From the city of Reykjavik to the beautiful landscapes, it is a trip I will remember for a lifetime, with memories of friends who grew to be a family.

- Caitlyn Gilbert

I cannot put into words how incredible this trip has been. The beauty of the nature, the kindness of the people, and the passion of the new friends truly made this experience what it was.

- Katie Broussard

 I learned so much in iceland ranging from what I can do with my major in life to how diverse in personality a homogenous culture can really be. I loved iceland. It is the island of adventure for a good reason and an incredible place for self discovery. Such an isolated island makes everyone feel lost in the culture but never unwelcome.

- Alec Courtright

Traveling to Iceland has been an amazing experience to say the least. The beautiful scenery, the slower Icelandic lifestyle, and the friends I’ve made have made this trip all the more worth it.

- John Kirby

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We’re back safe and sound!

Hello everyone! I just wanted to let you know that we all made it back to our varying destinations safe and sound! I will be posting a final summary of thoughts from all the students in a bit!

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Day 9 late addition: Puffin Tour

What is black and white, stocky, with a large black and yellow and so very cute? Iceland Puffins! On Saturday a group of us went to Puffin Island to see this bird in person. It was a cold morning but we were determined to see these small and powerful birds in their natural habitat. Puffins mate for life and can live up to 35 years. As we approached Puffin Island we started to see the birds flying around the island and darting in and out of the water. Puffins are active fishermen and can hold up to 60 small fish under their tongues at one time. The island was covered with bird and we enjoyed watching them as we were tossed about by the high waves in our boat. The only challenge now is to figure out how to get one home!

Jeannie Weingarth

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Day 10: Farewell Dinner

Today was a very bittersweet day, as we had our last full day in Iceland. After the healing waters of the blue lagoon and our faces were all silky smooth, we relaxed for the afternoon and then had our final dinner at Solon just down the street from the hostel. As I type, people are packing and writing their final journal entry. We are definitely winding down and getting ready to come home.

At our farewell dinner, not only was our food delicious, but it was a very memorable night as Emily from CIS Abroad announced the photo contest winners. There were 4 different categories, and celebrity Iceland Judges poured over the pictures for 2 hours yesterday! There were over 120 pictures, so everyone really took the contest seriously!

We shared our final words and everyone bonded together, but it really is hard to describe how magical this trip has been. Instead of me trying to describe it, I will let the students share their perspective in a few sentences each, which will be shared tomorrow or Tuesday in a final entry.

We are all so blessed to have had this amazing experience, and we all leave changed in many different ways. We even wrote ourselves a postcard with what we are taking away from this experience that will be mailed to us in a few weeks to remind us of our experience.

See you in a day or two!

-Natalie