Lincoln seniors: Going to college outside of the US


Camilla Correani

Senior Sofia Crespo will be attending the University of Amsterdam and is excited for the opportunity. “Amsterdam, that’s a very big international city so I could get a wide range of perspectives and experiences,” said Crespo.

While most students decide to stay in the United States for college, some have chosen to go international. Cardinal Times reporters Camilla Correani and Isabella Hartman sat down with these students to learn about their future plans. 

Owen Stalnaker: Tokyo, Japan

Senior Owen Stalnaker will be attending Temple University’s Japan Campus (TJ) in Tokyo, Japan. As of right now, Stalnaker’s major is undecided, but he’s looking into something related to economics. Stalnaker has always wanted to live in Japan and he thinks attending college there will be an amazing opportunity. 

“Throughout my life I have always been interested in media from Japan,” said Stalnaker, “The culture has always been really interesting to me.” 

Stalnaker said he looked more at the location when looking at colleges, rather than the schools themselves. 

“I don’t think TJ is the greatest school academically, but I think it’s the best school for me,” Stalnaker said. 

Growing up in Portland his whole life, Stalnaker is excited to make a change and challenge himself. 

“I think there is going to be a great amount of perspectives I’ll be able to take in and also just getting outside of my comfort zone, that’s a big thing,” said Stalnaker. 

Stalnaker is also looking forward to experiencing the culture and surroundings of Tokyo. He is especially excited for the day trips he will have the opportunity to take. 

“I’m really excited about being able to be in Japan as a student,” Stalnaker said. “The school offers plenty of excursions, and things like that are really exciting to me.”

Stalnaker did not pursue the full IB diploma at Lincoln and said that since the TJ is an extension of an American school, he didn’t need it to get in. He does think taking IB classes or pursuing the diploma would be beneficial for students looking to go to an international school not attached to an American university. 

“I think that everyone has different goals from college, and for me that’s definitely to learn more about myself and what I’m interested in. I think that’s the goal I’m entering with, and I hope to find a path while I’m there.”


Sofia Crespo: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Senior Sofia Crespo will be attending the University of Amsterdam in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She plans on majoring in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology and is considering a minor in either Dutch or Spanish. 

Crespo found that going to school in the Netherlands would be cheaper than going to school in Oregon, where she has lived most of her life. 

“​​I have citizenship in the Netherlands so one, the price was really good, and two, I could get out of Oregon and have a new, more international experience than if I stayed in the US,” Crespo said. 

Crespo, who pursued the full IB diploma, believes that it makes applying to international colleges easier. She’s hoping that having taken multiple IB classes at Lincoln will help her prepare for the challenging workload at the university. 

“Using the diploma […] for something that I’ve been passionate about is going to be really helpful,” said Crespo. “Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have done full IB.”

During Crespo’s college search, it was important to her that the university would have an international community where the transition to Amsterdam would be easier. Along those lines, having the campus in a big city was an important factor in her decision. 

“I’m not fluent in Dutch by any means,” said Crespo. “I need to be able to converse in English, so looking at a big city was definitely a priority.” 

Crespo hopes to gain a few things from her upcoming experience at the University of Amsterdam but specifically a wider range of perspectives. 

“Since it’s a very international school, and there’s not just Dutch people there but people coming from all over the world, I can get a bunch of different perspectives,” said Crespo. 

Her advice to future seniors is that it’s worth it to apply to international schools. 

“The process can be a little bit daunting just because there are different websites and requirements that you need to have,” said Crespo. “Even if you don’t have EU citizenship, it’s pretty cheap, so just apply.” 


Kaya Phillips: Rotterdam, Netherlands

Senior Kaya Phillips will be attending Erasmus University Rotterdam in Rotterdam, Netherlands. She will be pursuing an International Bachelor of Arts and Culture. She has always loved traveling to Europe.

“I have family from Europe, so I’ve traveled a lot ever since I was really little,” said Phillips. “Additionally, international schools are pretty inexpensive if you have EU citizenship, and they offer a lot of really good programs.” 

Colleges in the Netherlands are what drew Phillips there, despite having never been. She looked at both the location, and the schools themselves in her application and decision process. 

“I think that my surroundings were really important to consider when making a decision for what college to choose. I prefer more urban cities in comparison to less populated areas and Rotterdam is a pretty decently-sized, very international city,” Phillips said. “I also looked at the schools’ campuses’ and the areas surrounding to get an idea of what kind of place I would be living in.”

The close proximity of other European countries drives Phillips’ hope to travel often. She is also hoping to have no student debt. 

“I think I’m most looking forward to being able to explore a new country and find an apartment to live on my own,” said Phillips.

Phillips shared her opinions on how the IB program can be beneficial when applying to international universities. 

“I did not do full IB, although I wish I had. International schools really value the IB diploma, and if you aren’t taking full IB then you have to be enrolled in at least a good amount of IB classes,” said Phillips. “My school required that I test in four IB subjects, I think that the other schools in the Netherlands follow the same criteria.” 

Phillips also compared colleges in Amsterdam to those in the US. 

“The colleges, at least in the Netherlands, are very cheap compared to going to college in the US (The tuition at Erasmus is about 3,000 a year) but they do not offer dorms and student housing, so you have to try and find an apartment to stay in on your own.”


Shail Weesner: Vancouver, Canada 

Senior Shail Weesner is attending the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. He’s currently planning on majoring in applied biology. He’s a Canadian citizen and found that going to a university in Canada was more affordable than going to one in the U.S.

“UBC has good academics, classes that seemed interesting to me, as well as a very nice campus.” Weesner said. “As far as the city of Vancouver it seems like a great place to be. It is one of the warmer cities in Canada, and in fact the weather is pretty similar to Portland. There is a good public transportation system there, and a lot to do in the city.” 

Weesner looked more at the location than the school when making his decision. He wanted to attend school in a city where he would be happy working and living. 

“Vancouver is only a couple of hours by car away from Portland, and in my experience a lot of things are similar between the two cities. The major difference is that I hopefully will graduate with a bit more money/less debt than I otherwise would have.”

Weesner also recommends doing full IB for people wanting to apply to international universities. 

“I did do full IB and I definitely think it is a good idea for those thinking of applying abroad,” he said. “A big thing that UBC, and a lot of other schools abroad take into consideration, are predicted IB scores because those are some of the few academic scores that are standardized internationally.”