Experiencing the beauty and history of Greece

Tell us a little bit about yourself! What are you involved in on campus?
My name is Jacy Werning, and I am a senior this year. I graduated from Cedar Rapids Prairie High School. I’m double majoring in graphic design and journalism and communication with a concentration in public relations. I am the president of Wartburg Ambassadors, which assists our Admissions Office. I’m one of our orientation leaders on campus, and I’m in the Symphonic Band, as well as a couple of other smaller organizations.

What/who compelled you to study abroad?
I knew that I wanted to study abroad, but that got thrown off by COVID. I had accepted that it might not happen, but in my third year, my adviser, Penni Pier, was talking about the Greece May Term course with another student and it was with Dr. (Joyce) Boss, who’s one of my favorite professors on campus. I didn’t have any crazy interest in Greece or the class specifically, I just really wanted to spend time in other cultures. I spent a lot of time in the Midwest and a lot of time in Colorado, so it was exciting for me to get to do that with the college.

How was your May Term experience overall?
I had to take GM124, which is Greek Mythology (as a prerequisite). The way that Dr. Boss had her class was that you would study the material all of Winter Term and take a class on Sunday nights to prepare. We had the opportunity to make a personal presentation to the class about an aspect that we’re really excited about and how it ties into what we had learned and the culture. Also, I think that having the opportunity to explore on that intimate level from my own point of view, and not having a ton of guidance was really powerful and was what made me excited to experience the culture. I think my favorite part of the May Term was experiencing European culture; it is so much different than here and so much slower. You get to spend more quality time, and that’s coming from a person who really values quality time and going to dinners and sitting there for four hours – I loved that.

How can others learn more about your experience?
I made a blog as part of my PR practicum while I was in Greece. On my way back to Iowa, I read through all of my posts and pictures, and it was really rewarding to be able to see what I documented and rewind through that journey.

Jacy Werning holding Wartburg pennant on boat in Greece

What are your plans after Wartburg?
Because of my experience with studying away, I have been looking into work-away programs, but I don’t really have any specific plans as of yet.