"St. Olaf has equipped me with both the habits of mind and the scientific expertise to be a successful researcher. It's extraordinary to be in a place that offers so many formative opportunities."
Colin is no stranger to scientific success. He was part of a research team that made international headlines for discovering a new dwarf planet. He was named a Rossing Physics Scholar. And he earned a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship that will support his doctoral work in physics at the University of Chicago. In true St. Olaf style, he's done it all while pursuing other interests on campus: singing with the Cantorei Choir, playing bassoon in the St. Olaf Band, and participating in the Great Conversation program.
"St. Olaf's Music Department has provided me with countless opportunities to perform, compete, and collaborate. I feel so lucky to be studying music at a school where I also have the option to study abroad and travel."
An accomplished violinist, Hannie is passionate about music performance. Yet she's equally passionate about exploring the world outside her practice room. That's why she chose St. Olaf — which offers ample study abroad opportunities in addition to a strong music program — over a music conservatory. She's already studied French in Morocco and toured Argentina and Uruguay with the St. Olaf Orchestra, and this year she will study music in Vienna, Austria. As the winner of the Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota String Competition, she will also travel to Bergen, Norway, this fall to perform.
"People talk about the connections you'll make here with professors — and it's true. In almost every class I've had, the professor gets to know not just who you are, but how you work and what your interests are. They really want you to succeed. It's nice to have that sense of community."
Although he's a vocal music education major, Andrew has studied subjects like Spanish, religion, psychology, and dance during his time at St. Olaf. The ability to take a variety of courses that interest him — even when they're outside the Music Department — is important to Andrew. These classes have given him different perspectives and taught him to approach issues with a broader interdisciplinary understanding. The professors in these classes have also challenged him to think in new ways.
“I took a couple of classes here at St. Olaf that gave me some background about Middle Eastern politics; that knowledge definitely prepared me for the classes I took through Amideast in Jordan. I truly appreciated my classes in Jordan because they pushed me to be more critical and to take a historical approach in order to understand the complexity of the Middle East/North Africa region.”
Karla has spent much of her life traveling. After growing up in Piura, Peru, Karla attended high school in Singapore at UWC South East Asia, and then decided to pursue political science at St. Olaf. She spent fall semester of her junior year in Amman, Jordan, where she applied the knowledge she had gained as a political science major.
St. Catherine University – Communication Studies and Journalism
Hometown: River Falls, Wis.
“I’ve always been passionate about social advocacy, especially for disability rights, since middle school when I would write letters to the school board arguing for desegregation of special education. St. Kate’s has given me invaluable opportunities to explore that passion and act on it. I’ve grown more assertive and empowered as a Katie — and I look forward to future opportunities to expand my advocacy skills.”
“I’ve learned to communicate more effectively and make professional connections with others through St. Kate’s student-faculty research opportunities, including the Summer Scholars program. I’m also more confident in presenting and speaking in public, especially to an audience that doesn’t have a background or has very little background in chemistry.”
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota – Secondary Education
Hometown: Kasson-Mantorville, Minn.
"Professors at Saint Mary’s are very personable and they really encourage and push you to be sure you are prepared for your career and your future. You’re not just a number here. You get to know everyone at Saint Mary’s and there is a real sense of community on this beautiful campus."
I love CSB/SJU because of the small class sizes, the collaboration and interaction that occur inside and outside of the classroom, the helpful and enthusiastic professors, and the close-knit campus community that the institutions have to offer. I also love the curriculum which helps to produce more well-rounded students. I think the CSB/SJU partnership allows students to meet and interact with other individuals from many different walks of life. Additionally, having two campuses gives each student access to double the resources and facilities. Attending CSB/SJU has helped me become better at promoting intercultural competency -- recognizing that no two cultures are alike and every culture is special in its own way. With the international student population growing each year at CSB/SJU, students are encouraged to interact with each other and immerse themselves in each other’s culture, views, and opinions. This is a key quality that is needed in today's workforce.
Minneapolis College of Art and Design – Entrepreneurial Studies Major
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wis.
“I really wanted to go to art school more than anything. I also needed a change—I'm originally from Milwaukee, so I really wanted to move to a city that cared for their arts more than Milwaukee did, and a school that both had good connections to help me after I graduate and would help me craft my skills before I graduate. MCAD is perfect for this.”
Minneapolis College of Art and Design – Graphic Design
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
“I decided to transfer to MCAD because I really liked the quality of work I saw coming out of the graphic design major and the school in general. The faculty here, especially the design faculty, they really care about students’ work and they really like our stuff to get better and for us actually succeed. They really, really care.”
Minneapolis College of Art and Design – Print Paper Book
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
“I'm enjoying my time at MCAD because it has opened up a lot of opportunity through my classes and professors and networking in the Twin Cities. The more you invest in MCAD, the more they invest in you.”
"Gustavus provided me with a solid, challenging, and broad liberal arts education that left me feeling prepared for the next stage of my academic pursuits. Not only did Gustavus provide me with superior academics, but the friendships I developed through music, soccer, volunteering, and study abroad are ones that will last a lifetime. In Gustavus I didn't just find a college, I found a home."
"Studying abroad as well as the speech and debate program were things I was considering for college. I found Concordia, which had both, and when I came to visit the campus something just clicked. All of my speech coaches have profoundly shaped my experience at Concordia and the person I have become during my time here. They are endlessly driven, their enthusiasm is infectious, and they are a genuine, caring support system for their students."
"My advice to other international students would be that you should be involved in as many programs as you can. That is how you make friends and connections. For me it was basketball, but there are plenty of other areas where you can be involved and that definitely will change your experience here."
College of Saint Benedict – Biology with a Pre-Med Focus
Hometown: Little Falls, Minn.
"I love CSB/SJU because of the supportive community. Even in a competitive program (pre-med), there is still such a strong network of students, faculty, and alums who want to see you succeed. I have built amazing relationships with my professors thanks to the small class sizes. I will be completing research projects with two professors my senior year. I feel very comfortable approaching any professor and know they would all go the extra mile to help me. Being located in our own little corner of central Minnesota, CSB/SJU has a close-knit, small town vibe while still packing the punch of nationally-ranked academics and athletics."
The CSB/SJU partnership benefits students in so many ways! We have double of everything. There are two libraries, so it is nice to get a change of scenery when you have been cooped up studying in one for too long. It is nice to switch up study spots, work out facilities, fields, academic atmospheres, churches, coffee shops, and more. It also never hurts to have extra options for food and coffee! Additionally, I love having co-ed classes and activities, but then returning to all-female residence halls and forming really close relationships with the Bennies. All the resources available on campus are helping me reach my career goals. Academic Advising helped guide me toward my major based on my needs and interests. I am so thankful because Communication is a perfect fit for me and I would have never taken an introductory class if it weren't for their help. Career Services has networking data bases, resume critiques, and practice interviews. Career Services has been really helpful when applying for jobs and preparing for the workforce after graduation. My professors and classmates have helped shape me into an overall better, more well-rounded, and culturally-aware person."
"I love CSB/SJU because of all the opportunities I have to explore my interests and try new things through academics, clubs, and campus events. I did not grow up in an “outdoorsy” family, but I get to explore nature by visiting the arboretum and volunteering at events like the Saint John’s Maple Syrup Festival. CSB/SJU helped me realize that I want to be an art teacher by placing me in a ceramics class and having me volunteer at an after-school program through my education class during my first semester."
"Are you really invested in what other people are saying? That’s big at Carleton. It really comes down to valuing differences and recognizing your own limitations while trying to understand other perspectives."
Bethany Lutheran College – Business Administration
Hometown: Coon Rapids, Minn.
“I’ve been a part of so many situations at Bethany that allowed me to explore any possibility that I’ve considered, whether it be related to my career, academically, socially, and even athletically. It turns out that Bethany’s size was actually a strength because at Bethany I’m not a number, but rather a name. All of my professors help me with both expert knowledge and useful resources. They have become immediate references for me, and they have helped not just in the classroom, but also outside of the classroom. You’re important at Bethany. And when you are at a school where you feel important—where the professors want to be there for you—you can do some pretty special things.”
“The friendships I have formed at Bethel will follow me for the rest of my life, both with my peers and my professors. I have developed a wide appreciation and ability through my liberal arts education to learn and adapt quickly, which may be the most valuable academic skill out there.”
“Augsburg has helped me to become somebody who’s passionate and interested in helping and connecting with people. I’m more aware of my skills artistically. I didn’t have that epiphany until I came to Augsburg. I’m Lauren amplified now. Lauren before was cool. I knew that, but now I know more about communication, design, photography, social justice, and about being good to people.”