Student Leader: Carmen Valenzuela-Burger
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As a student leader, my contribution to the success of this year’s Expedition Fellows is the “Postcard Project.” My goal was to have the fellows write down their thoughts onto postcards and mail them from the Netherlands to the Office of International Programs here on campus, where they would later be displayed. I gave the fellows two prompts to choose from: they could either describe cultural differences and intercultural interactions that they had experienced, or reflect on the ideas that were presented in the program’s curriculum, urban tourism.
I waited until the students were fully immersed in the Dutch culture and its profound tourism industry to do the project. Knowing the students were in the midst of a new cultural experience, I chose a specific time to have the fellows write down their perceptions in the moment. When the postcards were finished, I mailed them from Amsterdam to UW Tacoma. I had them laminated and then placed them inside a photo album among photographs of our time on the program. Side by side, the photographs are the external moments we experienced and the postcards are our internal reflections.