From the Purple Valley to the World

The three of us are student journalists at Williams College, a tiny liberal arts college in the northeastern United States. While we came to Williams from different places and backgrounds, our paths crossed when we each joined The Williams Record, our student newspaper, in 2017. We soon realized that we shared a lot in common: most importantly, a penchant for good times and good people.


Williamstown, Massachusetts, is a one-street town. Encircled by the Berkshire mountains of western New England, Williams students are often said to live inside a “purple bubble.” But the three of us were fortunate enough to get the opportunity to spend the fall semester (and for Li, the entire 2018-19 academic year) abroad, journeying to such places as Cairo, Egypt; Granada, Spain; and Cambridge, England. There, we’ll get the chance to learn – outside the classroom – through the people we meet, the sights we see and the adventures we take. Here, in this blog, we’ll be sharing the stories we encounter across the pond.


“Come, my friends,

’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die

…That which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”


–Alfred Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses”


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