All posts by Ashley O'Keefe

Is it your chance to travel?


Have you ever wanted to not only travel but also emerge yourself in a completely different culture? Then you may want to check out the study abroad program! Through the Office for International Engagement, students have the opportunity to study in places such as Thailand to Italy to France. The timeframe could range from a yearlong program to a semester or even just a summer internship! These programs allow students to see and experience the culture of a country unlike your own first-hand.

Studying abroad can give an individual an experience like they have never had before and can open up so many new opportunities. Many universities and colleges abroad integrate their international programs with local students allowing the international student to be able to experience the culture to the fullest. Below are the top five most popular places that students have chosen to study at within the last few years.

1.) Italy: Italy, as many people know, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and has now become a country visited by many young travelers. For some, it is the breathtaking views, delicious food, and homemade wine that sells them. And for others it is the rich history of the Catholic Church and home of the Pope that makes this location a popular pilgrimage and study abroad destination.

2.) Spain: Spain, a place where travelers always have something to do! Whether it is going to fiestas or large gatherings in the square, the culture is something that draws many travelers in (and some even to stay).

3.) France: Whether it is to eat legendary French pastries or experience the thrill of the Eiffel Tower, France is a well-known international travel destination. This country is home to some of the best international universities and is one of the fashion industry’s capitals of the world.

4.) Ireland: The natural beauty and warm welcome of Ireland makes this country an amazing place to study abroad and you may never want to come back! Its rich culture, food, and history makes it feel like you have never left home.

5.) Budapest, Hungary: Although a place many people would not plan on traveling to, Budapest has recently become a popular location among the younger generation. With amazing views, and popular attractions and nightlife, the capital of Hungary (Budapest) is very appealing to students studying abroad.

Among these five popular locations, there are many more countries that host international programs for study abroad students here at Nichols College. If you are interested in studying abroad contact Susan Wayman, Director of the Office for International Engagement or visit for more information. Will you be a part of the next journey? Fortunately, I will be studying abroad next year in Krakow, Poland at Jagiellonian University. I am looking forward to this amazing experience! Stay tuned to find out the destinations and places that I will be visiting!

May the Best Chef Win


Every year the Nichols Hospitality Club hosts ‘Battle of the Chefs’ in Lombard dining hall. This year’s event consisted of three nights and four teams battling against each other. There are two semi-final rounds and then a final round in which the winner will receive a trophy and their meal served at Chef Bob’s station! The rules are that every team must use the “secret ingredient” of the night and prepare a meal that will be shown and tasted by the judges. Each team gets an hour to do this and for every minute more one point will be deducted from their score.

Tuesday, February 24, was the first night of the cook-off. The night’s secret ingredient was a spicy sausage. The two different dishes made looked delicious! Team one was Ryan and Nick and team two was Chase and Jon. The first team made a spicy sausage and rice jambalaya and the second team made a tossed vinaigrette salad and served the sausage with rice as their main dish. The winner of round one was Chase and Jon. They were then to compete against the winner of round two, which took place on Wednesday night.

Wednesday night, February 25, I along with my friend Katie were the chefs for the night! Our competition were Laura and Jack. I have to say that it is more stressful than it looks! On top of only getting an hour to cook, Katie and I were nervous that our fish was not cooked all the way through and kept putting it back onto the stove—but we managed to finish on time. We made bruschetta with honey fish and asparagus, while the other team made a pineapple, lemon fish with potatoes. Katie and I ended up losing by half of a point (which we are still pretty upset about)! However, the other team also did a great job and created a delicious dish.

Food Photo copy

On Thursday, February 26, Laura and Jack competed in the championship round against Chase and Jon. For this round, the two teams had 75 minutes to make a meal. Again, the scoring came to only by half of a point difference with Chase and Jon prevailing! Chase and Jon received a trophy and their winning meal will be featured at Chef Bob’s station in Lombard. Keep an eye out for their delicious beef meal at Chefs Bob’s station! And don’t forget there is always next year for you to be the winning chef.

Upcoming Events You Don’t Want to Miss


As everyone arrives back from spring break, the second half of the semester is beginning. The year has flown by and aside from all of the studying, there are also a lot of events and activities happening around campus throughout the month of April!

One event that is well known around campus is the elevator speech competition. This is a competition where students stand up in front of a panel of judges and recite their prepared elevator speech. An elevator speech itself is a short and clear pitch about you and is typically around thirty seconds to one minute. The first, second and third place winners receive cash prizes. Last year’s winner was Zack Pena, class of 2019—he won $400. The date of this year’s competition is April 10! Come out to support your fellow Bison, or maybe even enter the competition yourself!

On April 11, a campus wide event will be taking place—Bison Give Back Day. This is a day in which the Nichols community gives back to the surrounding community. Students, faculty and staff all take part in this activity as they go to different locations around Dudley and surrounding areas and serve the community. We recommend that students take this opportunity as a chance to participate in community service. For more information about volunteering at this event, contact the Student Government Association (located on the third floor of Fels)!

Lastly, a time of year that Every student looks forward to is spring week(end), now known as BisonFest! This is a weekend that is very popular among the student body. It is a time in which the students come together and celebrate being a Bison! Classes compete in class games to earn points. There are so many types of games and events to earn points as different events occur throughout the entire week. Last year the seniors won the games, so stay tuned to see who the winners are for this year, and get involved in some of the games to help your class win!

The three events I mentioned are among the many events that happen here on campus every single day! For more information on when and what events are taking place, keep a look out for the weekly Bison Beat or check out the Nichols student portal!