Sunday, June 27, 2010

Meet Natalie Hogg

My name is Natalie Hogg and I am a student at Valdosta State University majoring in intercultural communication and in 9 days I will be on the other side of the world. I have been blessed with the opportunity to study abroad to Paris. I have been there once before, but only for a day on my way to Istanbul, Turkey. That trip was an experience of a lifetime, but I suspect this one will be something else entirely.

I will be taking two classes: Cross-cultural Communication and Digital Photography. I am thrilled to take both — which usually isn't the case when it comes to my feelings of school. However, not only will these classes be in Paris, the topics of courses are going to be super interesting. I bought my first digital camera a month ago for the photography class and I was immediately hooked. I have hardly been able to put the camera down since! I've always been able to look at the world and see what was beautiful, but now I can look through a lens and capture the moment with something other than a cheap camera phone.

I will be in Paris for 5 weeks, July 1 – Aug. 5, spending every Monday and Wednesday in class, each Tuesday and Thursday on field trips, and three day weekends traveling and experiencing the surrounding culture. I have already signed up to go to Germany, Switzerland and Normandy. I was told not too long ago that a cousin of mine died in the Normandy Invasion at age 22, so I look forward to seeing his grave when I go on the tour there. It will be really crazy seeing my family's name on a tombstone on the other side of the world.

It seems like everyday for the past six months I've been planning this trip and I can hardly believe I will be on the plane next Thursday! I want to travel when I “grow up." I want to meet people of all different cultures and help to ease the differences in order to help two cultures work together for a common goal — something like that anyway — and I think that the Cross-Cultural Communication course will help push me towards that. Art is a beautiful visual experience that I enjoy. It is amazing how a person can take what they have in their brain and transfer it to canvas, paper, clay, bronze, film, sculpture, architecture and so on. I’ve been interested in photography for a while now. I have a small collection of film and Polaroid cameras. I have less experience with digital, however, I’ve taken a lot of time to become more familiar with the camera I will be taking with me abroad. I can’t wait to take pictures and create a story with them.

I am really excited about this trip! I can't wait to travel and meet new people, learn about another culture and enjoy the nightlife as well. This will be an amazing experience and I can't wait to share my journey through this blog.

Paris… here I come!!