Global Citizens Blog

Stories from the Xperitas community

Xperitas cultural and language immersion programs open minds, connect people and transform lives. Here you will find stories from leaders, teachers, alumni and staff -- all of the diverse voices that make up our interconnected global community.

We also invite you to share your Xperitas story.

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Participant Spotlight | Erica Besser

Participant in Xiloxochico, Mexico January 2019

My name is Erica Besser and I attend Carroll University in Waukesha, WI. I will be a senior this upcoming year and start my first year in the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program. I went on my trip in January of 2019 and had an amazing time....

Our Path Forward

Our Path Forward

It has been almost a year since COVID-19 changed everything for virtually everyone on the planet. It really is incredible how the human drive to survive and thrive despite...

Interview with Sylvia Martin, Family Stay Coordinator

Kirchberg, Germany

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background

My name is Sylvia Martin and I am 47 years old. Together with my son and my boyfriend we live in a rather small town and enjoy the quiet atmosphere and the proximity to bigger cities and a...

Virtual Cross-Cultural Connections

Virtual Cross-Cultural Connections

On a July afternoon, a group of high school Juniors from Samueli Academy in California huddled around their laptops to meet Lisa Brunner, a member of the White Earth Ojibwe Nation and a long-term community partner of Xperitas. Lisa has worked in...

Team Leader Spotlight: Siri Dusek

Siri Dusek

Program location & year(s): La Push, Washington, June 2019 and January 2020

Siri recently graduated from St. Catherine University with a master's degree in Occupational Therapy. Throughout college and graduate school,...

Leader-in-Training Spotlight: Chelsea Dresen

Chelsea Dresen

Program location and year: La Push, Washington, January 2020

Chelsea lives in Baraboo, Wisconsin, and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in the Educational Sustainability program....

The New Normal

Creating the New "Normal"

It seems an eternity ago since we first heard about COVID-19 back in January. The events of the past six months have been a whirlwind for the world, and Xperitas is no exception. In mid-March, as the U.S. State Department issued its historic...

Chinese Noodle Culture

Chinese Hand-pulled Noodles

This unique and entertaining method of making noodles by hand originated in China. The earliest written record of Chinese noodle culture is dated to the Eastern Han period (25–220 CE). The earliest description of the method to make lamian (pulled...

Spanish Cultural Heritage

Video Blog

Flamenco is a genuine Spanish art, originating in Andalusia around the 18th century. It is comprised of three things: "Cante", the song, "Baile", the dance, and "Toque", the playing of the guitar. Each form lends its own artistic expression and...

Looking Back on White Earth, Minnesota

Reflections on Cultural Immersion

My father saw gnomes as he neared death. They started with their backs against the paneled walls of his living room, moving closer and closer to him each day. He wasn’t scared though. Rather, he appeared to be comforted by them. After Dad died, a...

TAPAS España

Video Blog | Spanish Food Culture

 La Receta | Pan con Tomate

Emily, Xperitas Program Manager for Spain and Puerto Rico, shares one of her favorite Spanish breakfast treats. Learn a little about Spanish food culture and how to make this simple, yet delicious recipe....

Guatemala Revealed

Video Blog

Reflect with Team Leader, Tyrel Nelson about his trip to Guatemala in this stunning video journal. See the culture and the people of Guatemala come alive through colorful imagery and artful storytelling.



2019 Alumni Scholarship Winner

Madisen Bell

Madisen Bell, the Xperitas Alumni Scholarship winner for the 2019 program year is currently a first-year student studying to be a French language teacher at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She traveled to France with her classmates and her...

An Afternoon in Antigua

Cherished memories of Guatemala

The temp was mild, but my desire definitely wasn’t. My camera was in hand, and I had learned from previous travels that second looks weren’t guaranteed. There were too many things that could happen from that point forward. Plans could change, I...

Interview with Julie Rogers Bascom

Service-learning & Student Development

Julie Rogers Bascom is a service-learning leader from Minneapolis, MN who has been supporting youth workers, teachers and young people to use service-learning as a strategy...