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Paynesville Press - July 14, 2004

College junior studies abroad

By Kayla Welle

Being pick-pocketed in Italy, getting lost in France, and drinking non-refrigerated milk were just some of Lindsey Savage's lifelong memories from her two-month study abroad in Europe.

Savage was one of the 30 students from Bemidji State University to take a two-month trip to Europe this spring.

Savage, the daughter of Jeff and Debbie Savage, spent time in England, Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, and Germany.

During their trip, the students spent four weeks attending classes at Oxford University in England. The lecturing was not a lot different than here, Savage explained, but the professor always dressed his best everyday in a bowtie and suit. During her time at Oxford, Savage stayed in a dorm and studied European history.

lindsey savage "It was a great experience," Savage said. "I would recommend it to every college student."

Savage, who is a junior at BSU, found things a lot different in Europe compared to the United States. According to Savage, in Europe, they don't refrigerate anything, not even milk. Also, the streets, she explained, were very dirty.

Lindsey Savage (right) studied abroad in Europe for two months this spring. Above, Savage is shown visiting Stonehenge in England.

In Italy, Savage said she expected everything to be beautiful and peaceful, but what she found were a lot of homeless children, graffiti, and pick-pocketers. While riding a subway, Savage was pick-pocketed herself. While parts of Italy were absolutely beautiful, Savage said, she was was a little disappointed by its overall appearance.

Savage's favorite part of her trip was Paris, despite the fact that she did get lost while wandering alone. "It was so unbelieveable," she said. "Everything was beautiful." The French people were very friendly, most of the time, she explained. All of the landmarks were so amazing, she felt.

Savage also enjoyed seeing Stonehenge in England. Some of the great architectural structures that she saw on her trip included the Colliseum in Rome, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and London Bridge.

Savage said the most emotional part of the trip was touring a concentration camp in Austria. "We walked in and they showed us a video," she explained, "that showed the door to heaven, which was the door leading out, and the door to hell, which lead to the gas chamber." After the video, Savage said, they got to walk the pathway to "hell."

When they got to the gas chamber, Savage remembers seeing nail marks on the wall, probably from people trying to escape the horror, she explained. "I'll never forget it. Things like that just make a lasting impression," Savage said.

While Savage misses Europe, she is glad to be home. A lot of Europeans, she said, are rude to Americans because they think we live like movie stars. Savage said she never understood why they thought that until she went to their country. Their homes, she explained, aren't near as nice and their rights are more restricted. "They can't just go and build a house," she said, for example. According to Savage, in comparison to a lot of Europeans, Americans do live like movie stars. You never know how lucky you are until you experience something totally different, she said.

All in all, Savage feels that her experience was "once in a lifetime," and she is very glad that she made the trip. "There's so much you learn in two months and so many people you meet. I got to know a lot of people from my school that I hadn't gotten to know before. I definitely plan to go back," she said. "It's just a matter of time."

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