Together in Rome

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.


IOWA CITY, Iowa — For a six-week stretch this summer, three University of Iowa soccer student-athletes experienced Europe together.

Juniors Katherine Woodruff and Abbey Toureene and redshirt sophomore Aubree Larson studied abroad at John Cabot University in Rome, Italy. Woodruff and Larson took classes in engineering; Toureene in English.

“It was cool to see how things are different from the way we live our day-to-day lives,” said Larson, a midfielder from Ankeny, Iowa, who took a class in statics. “We were in Rome on Monday through Thursday and then we traveled around Europe on the weekends.

“We got a chance to see a lot of different cultures and experienced a lot of things we never would have had the opportunity to if we hadn’t taken this class abroad. It was eye-opening to see how things are different in different parts of the world.”

The Hawkeye trio traveled to parts of Croatia, Berlin, Barcelona, and visited the Vatican during their stay. The highlight of Larson’s trip came in week three during their trip to Croatia.

“We went to Krka National Park — a park featuring waterfalls and forests,” said Larson. “We swam in the water falls for one day, which was amazing. It was the highlight of the experience.”

The sight-seeing included a trip to the East Side Gallery in Berlin, Germany, which is the largest standing portion of the Berlin Wall. The stop in Barcelona included a detour to Park Guell.

“It’s the artsy part of Barcelona,” explained Larson. “You can see the entire city from there.”

The experience was grand as a whole, but being able to take in Europe with teammates and friends took it to another level.

“It enhanced the experience more than I could have enjoyed it on my own,” said Larson. “Abbey, Katherine, and I were close before we left, and we’re going to talk about this trip for the rest of our lives. I’ll be able to say not only did I travel across Europe, but I did it with two of my best friends.

“We met so many people and did so many things that I know I enjoyed more knowing I did it with them.”

“The entire experience was awesome,” said Woodruff, a forward from Ames, Iowa. “I enjoyed visiting Croatia and Barcelona and really enjoyed my class; it enhanced the whole experience.”

Larson, Toureene, and Woodruff report to fall camp Aug. 2 with the training beginning Aug. 3. Iowa faces Northern Iowa in an exhibition contest Aug. 12 before opening the regular season at Creighton on Aug. 19.