Who Am I? I’m the Luckiest Girl in the World
My name is Emily Unger and I am an ’11 from Dartmouth College. I grew up in rural vermont with my wonderful parents Kerstin and Paul, my sister Isabelle, and my brother Peter. I should have graduated with the rest of my class last spring but did not graduate until march of 2012 because I took time off to direct DOC First Year Trips 2011. I majored in Biology and Anthropology modified with Global Health, as well as finished all the pre-med requirements as I plan to apply to medical school in the fall of 2013 (after I’ve had some fun). After having a show of photographs hung in the Dickey Center, I was invited to take a trip this spring to film, photograph, and share the stories of Dartmouth Students living abroad. How could I say no? Over the next two months I will travel to China, India, France and Peru to meet with Dartmouth students and alums and to hear their stories, and then share them with you! Like I said, I’m the luckiest girl in the world.
Through out my time at Dartmouth I got to go on some wonderful adventures that have shaped who I am today. I believe in the importance of traveling to places that challenge who you are, what you believe, and everything you think is normal. Through Dartmouth I’ve gotten to travel to Ecuador to work with a mobile surgical team, to rural Ghana to volunteer in a maternity ward, and to Costa Rica and the Cayman Islands with the Biology Foreign Study Program. My trip to Ghana, funded generously by the Dickey Center, was the most difficult and the most rewarding because I was alone and entirely immersed in a culture that was a true unknown. I watched hundreds of new lives begin, some young and old lives come to an end, met countless fascinating people, had run-ins with baboons, made endless mistakes, tried food I didn’t realize was food, sweated a whole lot, and in the end came out a different person. No term at Dartmouth has ever transformed me the way a term in West Africa did.
Dartmouth sends hundreds of students abroad every year and my job is to go and find some of them to tell their stories. Why are they there? What are they doing? What have they learned about themselves and others? What is their impact on the place they are visiting and what is its impact on them? This journey is to search out other Dartmouth students, who like me, are going through unimaginable transformations that may not always be apparent but are nonetheless inevitable. I hope to show the importance of these journeys and what they add to the education of a Dartmouth student, and to the world.
The Dickey Center, the Tucker Foundation, Off-Campus Programs, and other generous sources of funding make many students dreams of living abroad a reality at Dartmouth. Dartmouth is not just a small college on a hill in Hanoverit is a network of students around the world. I’m going out into the world to tell the story of the Dartmouth College that is not in Hanover.
Finally, I would like to thank The Dickey Center for making this journey possible, I expect I will not only hear the stories of many amazing Dartmouth students and alums, but also make many of my own stories. I’m sure I will learn a tremendous amount over the next two months and without the Dickey Center none of this would be possible.