íshellan var mjög köld

After settling down, eating, and fully absorbing that we truly were spending the night in Iceland, there was a big decision to be made. Is it most sensible to stay put and rest up in preparation of the next day of travel? Is life telling us to seize the day and explore, even though we’re […]


Before I left for Thailand, I had a few friends who studied abroad give me some advice on weekend travel. They told me that weekends were valuable, and they could either be used to spend time getting to know your city or traveling around to new ones. So far, I have had a healthy mix […]

Homestay Family, Bella Vista, and Corn Tortillas

For three of the four weeks I’m in Chile, I get to live with my host mom, Claudia, and her twelve year old son, Lucas. My host mom is an incredibly talented photographer, and her house is full of her photos and different types of artwork. She’s completed many projects and books capturing human rights […]

Can you believe??

My journey was *supposed to be* a fairly simple one: drive to the Chicago airport, get on a plane headed to Iceland, get on a plane headed to Manchester, join my study abroad gang and drive to Liverpool Hope University. To be fair, I had done/am doing what my plan calls for, just in a […]

Good Morning, Vietnam!

Traveling around Southeast Asia is relatively cheap, and quite easy. Taking advantage of this, my friends and I flew to Da Nang, Vietnam, last weekend. After dropping our bags at the Airbnb, we made a beeline to the beach. I didn’t realize how much sitting at the beach would remind me of Lake Michigan. All […]

Vibrant Beginning

First Stop: New York A little over two weeks ago, I landed in New York for the first day of my Human Rights Program. I was quickly bombarded with the typical bumper to bumper traffic, a montage of smells, and loud noises. I was also welcomed with rich diversity, vibrant street art, food trucks, and […]

Of Travels and Airports

I feel like half of the fear of studying abroad comes from the getting there bit. Airports are kind of intimidating. There are so many things to remember, especially when you’re traveling alone! You have to go through security, find the right gate, and double check that you’re at the right gate because there’s a […]

Why Liverpool? (again)

Last summer, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Liverpool for 10 days with a group of Hope College delegates to participate in The Big Hope 2. This young leaders’ congress was an amazing experience. Young people all over the word came together to discuss freedom, conflict, equality and change, in a way I had […]

What it’s like to Start Study Abroad

So I’m really probably not qualified to write this seeing that I just got to Quito this week, but I guess that’s why it’s called a beginner’s guide and not an expert’s guide. Anyway – here’s a little bit of my experience in the first week of being here! I’m going to start out by […]

As they say in Les Miserables: Who am I?

Who am I, you ask? Well, to make a long story short, my name is Katie Joachim and I am a rising senior at Hope College, studying Theatre and Creative Writing. Some of you may have seen me as the Baker’s Wife in Hope’s production of Into the Woods last fall. Currently, I am an […]