ThuyAnh Astbury-Nguyen is a journalism student at the University of Denver where she is in her third year. She was born in Denver and raised in the Westminster/Arvada area. ThuyAnh studied abroad in Rome in Fall 2011. This is where she was introduced to the world of storytelling, specifically creative non fiction. She hopes to pursue a career where she can tell everyone else's story.

Decreasing plastic water bottle use

On average the University of Denver uses almost 100,000 plastic water bottles each year. In response, DU’s Environmental Committee is working with an initiative called Take Back the Tap.

This campaign encourages students to use tap water and drink out of reusable water bottles. Additionally, Take Back the Tap wants to eventually ban plastic water bottles on campus.

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Expression and positivity through graffiti

For my slideshow, I focused on graffiti art. Rather than interviewing various graffiti artists, I decided to concentrate on one artist and asked him his thoughts about graffiti and the future of it. I felt as if my topic was slightly unconventional in the sense that I could not take literal pictures of what my interviewee said. Also it was difficult to take pictures of the artist’s work because he was kind of secretive about it or it did not exist anymore. The artist stated that in graffiti, artist always face the challenge of keeping their work up because often times it gets painted

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Making life choices too young?

Deciding one’s major can be a difficult choice.  It can also be an intimidating one.  But what happens when one

The entrance to the Career Center, located in Driscoll Center South

changes their mind about their major after committing to it?  In a survey conducted by Northwestern University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, one of the biggest regrets deals with education.  Specifically, many adults wished that they had studied something different in college or followed their passions.  This wish is shared among the college students who participated in this survey.

Often times when students realize that their major is not the one for them, it is too late.  This brings up the question:  Are students too young to decide their majors?

Changing minds
At the beginning of her freshmen year at DU, Meaghan Connor was set on a pre-medical major.  However, near the end of the year, she changed her mind.

“I originally wanted to be pre-med but after a year of taking the courses, I realized that was not what I wanted to do with my life,” Connor said.

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Through the eyes of study abroad students

Reverse culture shock

For the slideshow of my story, I took pictures that gave my article a visual aspect.  I did not take many pictures that added more information to my article, but I took photos that acted out what I said in my story.  The way I had my article organized was the same way I organized my photos.  I felt as if my article was able to tell a story about reverse culture shock well so I did the same for my slideshow.

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The Effects of Coming Home

Elise Elder is a junior who studied abroad in Paris

Studying abroad provides students with the opportunity of cultural enrichment and exposure to a new country.  On the University of Denver’s study abroad site, they state “the best way to understand another culture is to experience it.”

Consequently, many study abroad students feel as if they have changed from their time away. So when they return home, it can be a bit strange for them.  Returnees must re-acclimate themselves to their home life and become accustomed to the norms.  However, along the way, these students may find certain aspects completely different from their life while abroad.

This is something that is called reverse culture shock.

Educational Differences

The moment Elise Elder’s, junior studied abroad in Paris, airplane landed in Charlotte, North Carolina, she went through culture shock.

On Elder’s flight, there were two girls who asked their flight attendant where she was from because of her accent.  The flight attendant replied that she was from Prague.

“But these girls were completely confused.  They had no idea where Prague was… they hadn’t even heard of it.  They just laughed.” Elder said.

She said she was embarrassed by the girls’ ignorance.  As a result, Elder said she pretended that she was Parisian for the rest of the flight.

Elder stated that in Europe, the “education system is better and people are more politically involved.”  She also said she thinks people in America don’t care as much about politics or school.

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