The University of Iowa

Student Reflections on First-Generation Abroad: Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima

December 21st, 2011

Reflections from First-Generation Students

My name is Danielle Caldwell and during my sophomore year of being an undergraduate student at the University of Iowa I participated in a study abroad program called “Pearl Harbor to Hiroshima”. This was a three week program during winter break. We spent one week in Hawaii and two weeks in Japan. This trip was such a wonderful cultural experience for me. Having this opportunity as a first generation student was one of the best since I started here at the university in 2008. Besides my oldest brother being in the military and traveling the world, I am the only one in my family that has been able so far to travel outside the country. This was something I thought I would never get the chance to do until I was long out of college, but the study abroad office made this dream become a reality when I was accepted to be a part of the program. Traveling to Japan has always been a dream of mine as well as visiting Hawaii. Not only did I get to travel and visit these places but traveling and learning at the same time was an awesome experience. It was not easy trying to move around as much as we did with our entire luggage going from train to train in Japan. We still made time to do the readings and assignments that were required for us to do. Going to the different peace museums in Hiroshima and Nagasaki was one of the most interesting things I have ever been able to do. To see and hear the stories about what took place at Pearl Harbor and the atomic bomb was a great experience.  Most people, especially minorities don’t think that trips like this are in their reach. Money is always an issue so they just give up on the idea.  They just need to be told and motivated that there are ways to make things happen.

Danielle Caldwell