Category Archives: Guest Blogger

Meet Guest Blogger Mary Russell!

Meet Mary Russell, a Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies senior, who will be serving as a guest blogger on her upcoming trip to Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania! The upcoming trip, which will take place from January 2nd to the 18th, features a weeklong trip where students will summit Mt. Kilimanjaro. Dr. Connie Magnuson, Director of the Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies program, will lead the trip. 

Mary, who is involved in women’s rugby and Cru, is one of fifteen students who will be attending the Tanzania trip over winter break. Russell is a seasoned veteran at traveling abroad, having also studied abroad in Belize with Dr. Mangunson last winter break. To get to know Mary a bit better, we asked her a few questions about her study abroad experience and what she is expecting for her upcoming trip. 

What was your favorite part of the Belize trip?

I’m a certified diver, so getting underwater again was pretty magical. Also, the hikes were a lot of fun!

What made you decide to participate in another study abroad session?

Partly because I caught the travel bug, partly because I needed the next “big thing,” partly because I’ve never been to Africa.

What are you most looking forward to on your Tanzania trip?


What advice do you have for students who are thinking about studying abroad, but worried about the cost or fitting it in their schedules?

DO IT!!! DO IT WHILE YOU CAN!!!! There aren’t enough exclamation points in the world to relay the message I’m trying to convey… apply for scholarships, take on extra shifts at work, beg parents for early Christmas money. Make it work!

If you could travel anywhere, where would it be and why?

Antarctica! It’s on my to-do list, and although it’s high on the list, I have a feeling it’s the least accessible and won’t be crossed off for many, many years.

Photos from Russell’s Belize Trip  MaryRussell

We are wishing Mary and the rest of the CEHD community a great time on all of their study abroad adventures over winter break! We can’t wait to hear more about Mary’s trip next semester.

If you have a study abroad experience of your own that you’d like to feature on the CEHD Undergrad Experience blog, please email us at or get in touch with us on Twitter!

For more information on study abroad opportunities, check out the UMN Learning Abroad Center website!