My name is Bailey Cole. I’m from the greater Akron area. I just finished my sophomore year at Ohio State majoring in History.
As a History major I love stories, and I love knowing why and how things
happen the way they do. I love to read, and books can provide you with a great deal of insight, but there is something so special about being able to
physically immerse yourself in history. The opportunities this program
provides to do just that are incredible. I am so fortunate and thankful to have the support of my family and the awesome OSU faculty.
I can’t put into words how excited I am to leave for the program. This will be my second time across the Atlantic, and my first time in a country where the primary language is not English. I came across the WWII program almost by accident. My freshman roommate saw a notice about it in the Honors&Scholars newsletter, but she had class during the info session. She asked me to go for her and take notes. A year and a half later I’m the one
printing out a boarding pass. Thanks for that, Cassidy. I owe you one.
I was first introduced to WWII in my 8th grade English class. My teacher, Mrs. Painter, assigned Night by Elie Wiesel. We watched a series of documentaries to supplement the reading, and from then on I was hooked. How could something as horrible as the Holocaust happen, and on such a massive scale? World War II, especially the actions on the German end, became the ultimate “Why/How” for me as I continued my education. I am most excited about the Polish and German legs of the trip for this reason. I am really looking forward to being able to just BE in these places, especially Auschwitz-Birkenau, and let the histories speak for themselves. I will stand where so many lost their lives, and I hope this will be an experience I carry with me for the rest of my life.
I am lucky to have the opportunity to travel outside of the program dates. On Friday I will leave for Dublin, where I will meet up with 11 other WWII students. After we end the program in Berlin I will travel to the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, and Ireland. My family is German and Irish, so I am very excited to have the opportunity to return to the countries my great-great-great grandparents emigrated from.
This trip is going to be a once in a lifetime experience, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with everyone back home!