Expanded reporting from the Castle with new Kasteel Well vertical

By Katie Redefer and Lara Hill

WELL, NETHERLANDS—Acceptance into the Kasteel Well program can kickstart an insurmountable wave of emotions for students. First, a rush of excitement hits—the opportunity to study abroad in a restored medieval Castle for a semester is not to be taken for granted.

As the departure date approaches, this excitement quickly transforms into anxiety. The Office of Student Affairs provides students with brief information on how to plan for the trip through periodic emails starting a few weeks before departure. Yet for many students, this does not answer their most dire questions, such as which phone plan to buy, what type of food the Castle serves, and the many other inquiries that come to mind when moving to another continent.

As prospective students, we had to seek out answers to our questions through friends who previously attended or the information group on Facebook. Even with this help, we learned many lessons the hard way upon arriving in the Netherlands. We wished there was a platform with more information about not only studying in the Castle but living in Europe as a whole—so we decided to create one.

The Beacon has published stories written at the Castle in the past, but we believe there is a lot more room for helpful and innovative Castle reporting. We figured there is no better platform for Castle-related inquiries than The Beacon, Emerson’s most read source for hyper-local content about the college. Emersonians attending the Castle deserve a reliable source to turn to for help for all of their questions—created by students, for students.

Additionally, we felt that students interested in writing and photography deserve an additional place to have their work published during their semester abroad. The Castle has only one publication, Black Swan, a student-run literary magazine that publishes once at the end of the semester. Although Black Swan is a great resource for students interested in creative writing and photography, we felt the Castle students deserve more than one publication to dedicate their time to while abroad. For this reason, we are establishing a vertical dedicated to providing the most pertinent information for students attending the Castle published on a regular schedule.

We choose information accessibility

News and the truth are under constant attack in our current moment, just when they are needed the most. The Beacon’s quality, fact-based accounting of historic events has never mattered more, and our editorial independence is of paramount importance. We believe journalism is a public good that should be available to all regardless of one’s ability to pay for it. But we can not continue to do this without you. Every little bit, whether big or small, helps fund our vital work — now and in the future.

Our goal for this project is to create a platform for students to give travel advice based on their experience. We also seek to inform all of Emerson’s campuses about events at the Castle and dispel confusion about the Castle’s programs. We also want this vertical to be an outlet for students to share their opinion-based experiences in Europe. We hope establishing this vertical will provide a platform for many future semesters of Castle students.

The Castle is a life-changing experience in which students can discover a lot about themselves, different cultures, and traveling. This vertical will serve as a forum where students can record their experiences while simultaneously aiding prospective Castle students for years to come. We hope you will follow our journey in reporting on the Kasteel Well program.