Katie Hauser ’11 of New Orleans, La.
- What was your favorite experience on this trip?
“Each day we sang, whether planned or spontaneous, we touched our audiences through our music. Having an audience that receptive warmed my heart and made it all worth it. Through music, we broke down barriers created by language, experience and perception, and we were able to connect on a higher and deeper level. Music, a language of itself, speaks to people and creates connections that transcend the walls placed on us by the world we live in.”
- How has your perspective changed on this trip?
“As human beings, we make assumptions based on stereotypes or what we have heard from others. Often these assumptions are incorrect. My perspective has changed in that I have made a conscious choice to keep my mind open to the possibilities, opportunities, and to the perspectives of others. Human nature is universal and transcends language barriers and cultural differences. My perspective has widened over the past 10 days and I will make a concerted effort to open myself up to new experiences. I can only hope to be as generous, loving and kind as the people who have opened their homes and hearts to us.”
- What have you learned through your experiences?
“The width and breadth of history found in Europe astounds me. Every day, our heads were filled with so many interesting facts about architecture, art, people and places. I loved every minute of it, but the most invaluable thing I learned could not be taught. Giving and creating life experiences became my goal for this trip. Random strangers became my teachers; cities and towns transformed my thinking; the beauty of nature shaped my mind. I have learned to soak in any and all new information; not to do so defeats the purpose of this trip. You only live once, and taking this time to appreciate all the beauty around us becomes vitally important. I am also glad I’ve had this time to experience these things with my fellow students and friends. Family can be a hard thing to define and I truly believe that this trip has solidified our familial bonds. Sharing life experiences brings people closer together and by living and learning together for the past 10 days created long-lasting relationships that will stand the test of time.”