Emma Cutler '13

  • Major: Math and Environmental Studies
  • Study Abroad Program: ISLE, Sri Lanka 

Emma CutlerWhy did you decide to study abroad and why did you decide to spend your semester in Sri Lanka specifically?

I always knew I wanted to study abroad and was open to going pretty much anywhere. I chose ISLE because I liked that I would get to live with a host family and the courses covered a variety of subjects instead of focusing on one topic.

Tell us about your study abroad experience in and outside the classroom. 

Adjusting to a new country was challenging and living with a host family was hard at first, but by the end of the semester, I enjoyed walking around Kandy (the city I was living in) on my own and got very close to my family.

How did you connect your off-campus study with your Bowdoin academics and extracurriculars, both before leaving and upon your return?

As part of my program, I did an independent study project on agriculture and land use in the hill country of Sri Lanka. Although I didn't take any classes that focused on Sri Lanka or South Asia at Bowdoin, I did incorporate some of the issues I researched for my independent study into to projects I did for a few of my environmental studies classes after I returned. 

What do you believe was the value of study abroad for you academically and personally? 

Spending a semester away from Bowdoin made me realize how much more there is to the world than academics. 

Does international travel or work figure into any of your future plans?

Next year, I'm going back to Sri Lanka on a Fulbright to build off of my independent study project from when I was abroad.