Laural M.

Senior - Criminology & Geography (Urban Geography)
Albuquerque, N.M.

Study Abroad Location: Chambery, France

Interests: Drawing, writing short stories and poetry, hiking, working out, playing football, playing tabletop RPG games with my friends, baking…really it depends on my mood

Extra Curricular Activities: I help out at my church a lot

Red or Green? green

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
— Joshua 1:9b

Favorite Class: I can’t choose, I’d have to say any subject that deals with crime and location of crime in cities. So a variety of Criminology and Geography classes.

Favorite Bands: Skillet

Why did you choose to study abroad?
I have been wanting to study abroad for years, I have been wanting to go out of country and travel for years. I grew up moving around my entire life. I lived in Germany when I was five and my first memories are of Germany and France. I can never feel settled in one place for too long and the study abroad program gave me a safe way to travel so far away with my daughter without having to worry to much.

Why do you think it is important to study abroad?
I think it is good to get our of your own world for a while and see how other countries function. See how other cultures deal with things. Americans can be very opinionated and biased because we believe we are the best nation in the world but how do you we know what works and what doesn’t if we don’t go out and experience those things ourselves. The more you travel and study abroad the more informed you will be and the better people we become.

Do you plan on visiting other countries, cities during your exchange?
I am hoping to travel as much as I can. Since I will be within an hours distance from Switzerland and Italy those will be the easiest to visit. I am hoping to visit the UK before the whole Brexit thing gets messier than it already is, and hope to travel around France. I will be going North for Christmas to reconnect with family for the first time in over 20 years so that will also be nice.

What have you learned in your time in college?
I have learned that I love to learn. I have learned that I am good at learning and that I can connect with the subjects of the class and connect them with the other classes I have taken. I can cross disciplines and pull subject matter from one school of thought into another which allows for a greater dynamic of thinking. I have also learned that I still have so much I don’t understand. My perspectives have been challenged and I have been forced to reevaluate my world views significantly in the last couple of years. I was a very black and white person and sure I was always right. Now I am more cautious and open minded to other perspectives.

Meet Laural M.

Let’s Get Real

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So I am going to get real in this post, I try to be real all around, anyway… Here… we GO… We have now been in France for a little over two months. Evangeline has been in school for Two months and though she doesn’t speak much, she knows quite a bit. I am sure […]

After a month

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Well, it has been over a month now since Evangeline and I have been in France. She has been in school for a month and I will be starting school next Monday. Evangeline has taken to school pretty easily despite not knowing the language but she is resisting actually learning French. Reluctant to use French […]

When the Rubber Meets the Road

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So, we have officially been in France for two weeks and what a ride it has been so far. Evangeline started school this week (I will be posting a blog about that after she gets out of school on Friday). There is going to be some real talk in this post because it’s been a […]

First Week in France…with a toddler

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August 28th (shout out to my brother whose birthday is today HAPPY BIRTHDAY JARED) Well as I write this, it is 7 pm Monday evening. We have been in France for almost a week. I was incredibly unprepared for several things on our flight to France. One which was the fact that I was taking […]


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Well, it is our last night in Albuquerque. Packing is all done, just loading up the car for our early morning start. The thunder is rolling in and I have to admit I love that sound. I still need to do a bit of cleaning that I’ve been putting off all week and I am […]