Hannah Exler

I wanted to be at a school where the students were eager to go to class and learn, and I really gravitated toward the small, conversational classrooms.

Hannah Exler '18



Degree and Class Year

BA ’18


West Lake Village, California




Co-president of Hillel

What three words would you use to describe L&C?

Academic, Motivating, Quirky

What’s your favorite class? How has it expanded your knowledge?

This is such a hard question to answer! I took Modern German History with Maureen Healy my first year, and that was the class that made me want to major in history. I remember reading a book called Ordinary Men that explored how ordinary German men were transformed into Nazi soldiers, and ultimately, murderers. It was a whole new perspective that I had never learned about. The most moving class that I have taken was Education in a Complex World with Alejandra Favela. We got to spend part of the class at a high school in Portland and were able to work in classrooms, which was a fantastic experience for me as I hope to become a teacher. I learned so much about interacting with students, and overall it was an incredible experience.

What made you want to come to Lewis & Clark?

I was initially attracted to Lewis & Clark for many of the reasons most people are: it is a small liberal arts college located in a beautiful place. My visit to campus was really what made the decision for me. I sat in on a gender studies class, and I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, everyone here is so intelligent and has so many interesting things to say.” I wanted to be at a school where the students were eager to go to class and learn, and I really gravitated toward the small, conversational classrooms.

What did your time in Spain add to your L&C experience?

I honestly did not plan on studying abroad—the idea intimidated me too much. As a sophomore, though, I heard many of my friends talking about their plans to go abroad, so I tagged along to the overseas meeting. If I went abroad, I knew I wanted to be on an English-speaking program because I felt unprepared to use the Spanish I had learned in high school and college. I went to the Ireland station first, and wasn’t super impressed (the program just didn’t seem like it was for me). I walked toward the Sevilla station out of curiosity, and when I got there, the former trip leader could not stop talking about how amazing the program was. I can’t quite describe why, but I was immediately excited about this program—even though I wasn’t planning on going to a Spanish-speaking country. I grew SO much from my time in Spain. Not only did my Spanish improve immensely, but I learned a lot about myself. I saw so many incredible places and met some truly wonderful people. Going abroad (regardless of where you go) is always such a learning experience. Going as a student is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and one I wouldn’t change for anything.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Get to know your professors! Seriously—this is one of the best things about academics at Lewis & Clark. Forming a relationship with your professors is not only beneficial for your grades, but it makes your classes so much more enjoyable. Graduating from Lewis & Clark this semester and knowing that I have a few professors that have gotten to know me as a student and a person feels really nice. As for another piece of advice, I would tell prospective students to not be afraid to reach out in various places for friends, hobbies, and extracurriculars. I have found that the places on campus that I am most happy are places that I did not initially see myself.