Student Writer: Corinne Goudreault

Corinne GoudreaultName: Corinne Goudreault
Home University: University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill
Summer Courses at DIS: Human Trafficking in a Global Context, Sustainable Food Systems: Ecology, Economy, and Ethics

I’m writing this week from a train – and where is the train? On a ferry from Germany! Being abroad in Denmark offers limitless opportunities for traveling. As session one comes to a close, my classmates and I are all amazed as how quickly the time has flown. My experience this weekend offers a great example of the opportunities for learning and experience that DIS offers. One of my classmates was planning to visit her friend who lives in Germany, so I agreed last week to travel to Hamburg with her this weekend. The spontaneity of this trip itself is the kind of thing you can only really experience studying abroad in Europe, and we had an amazing weekend seeing the beautiful city of Hamburg.

Claire_Geary_BuildingsBut, to back up a day, on Friday in my class at DIS (Human Trafficking in a Global Context) we had a debate about the merits of legalizing and/or criminalizing prostitution, as we had spent  a few days learning about the different ways governments tackle this issue in order to combat human trafficking. Denmark, Sweden, and Germany all have different systems concerning prostitution, so we saw on our tour of the red light district of Copenhagen legal prostitutes. In Germany, however, legal prostitution is brothelized, so it takes an utterly different form – which we got first hand when walking through Hamburg’s most popular clubbing area this weekend. There are sex shops and strip clubs mixed in with all the bars and dance clubs in Hamburg, offering an overwhelming neon horizon:

Claire Geary_neonWalking through the street there was an experience different than any I’ve ever had, and it really played into everything we learned in class about prostitution, the sex trade, and human trafficking – giving us an understanding of the scene I would never have had without all the things I learned in the three weeks I spent in class. An experience like this is the only way I know how to describe what it is like to study at DIS – a wealth of knowledge gained in class, opportunities to travel and see things I’ve only ever dreamed of, and the opportunity to constantly apply our learning through firsthand experience. I am so grateful for everything I’ve seen, done, and learned in Europe so far, and I can’t wait to see what kind of experiences I have during the next three weeks at DIS!

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