Different people have different reasons to study internationally. Some want to travel. Others want to put their new language skills to the test. Still others want to experience any new culture they can. Paul Salley has a more personal reason for his international opportunity.
“I’m studying abroad in England and the reason I chose England,” expresses Salley, “is because it is a country that I’ve always wanted to visit ever since I got into the Beatles back in seventh grade.”
Salley, the 24-year-old son of Patti and David Salley, graduated from Centerville High School in 2006 before going to Indian Hills Community College. He earned his AA in May 2010 and then transferred to the University of Missouri-St. Louis that fall. His current plan is to graduate in August 2012 with his Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies.
“The decision to choose to study abroad was an easy one for me because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. The process was a bit difficult because I had to apply for the program as I just barely missed the required GPA,” explains Salley. “I had to go through an appeal process, which meant extra work was involved, but eventually I was accepted. I talked to my Study Abroad coordinator before choosing England, although I knew England was the only country I wanted to go to.”
Unlike most college students, Paul is not studying at a university in England, but rather through a program his home university is partnered with overseas called the Missouri London Program. Through CAPA International Education, Salley current classes are Understanding Modern Britain, Shakespeare in London, Theatre Appreciation, and British Broadcasting Today.
“The classes here, as opposed to back home, are much more interactive and there are less tests than in the States. I’m getting to use London as a classroom and that only enhances my learning experience.”
While in the UK, Salley has had the opportunity to do some travelling as well. He visited Stonehenge, Bath, Newcastle, Liverpool and Retford.
“The deciding favor for me in choosing England,” continues Paul, “was like I said before, some place where I always wanted to visit because of my interest in the Beatles, and it has allowed me to meet many people whom I’ve been in touch with for an independent project I’ve been working on over the past four years on Wings guitarist Jimmy McCulloch…I saw Stonehenge at Stonehenge and the Roman baths at Bath, which was really neat. Bath is an absolutely gorgeous city, very different from London. I travelled up to Newcastle to visit my friend for the weekend and saw the Tyne Bridge and explored a street market in the rain. Being a huge Beatles fan, I had to make the trip to Liverpool and that was fantastic. I went on a Beatles tour around the city and ended up spending the evening listening to a John Lennon tribute act at the Cavern Club who looked and sounded exactly like him. Retford is where Jimmy’s brother and his family live so I spent the weekend with them and there are really no words that could explain how much that meant to me. I’m seeing them the weekend before I go back to the states so that’ll be great.
“I am very happy with the decision because I’ve had the experience of a lifetime and it’s something I’ll never forget.”
Currently studying internationally in Italy is Adam Steinbach, the son of Mike and Connie Steinbach. Adam, 20, graduated from Centerville High School in 2010 and is currently attending the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he plans to graduate in 2015 with a degree in Architectural Engineering.
“I chose this program,” explains Steinbach, “due to the emphasis on architecture and some of the engineering aspects of the beautiful Italian buildings.”
Adam will be in Italy until May 28, and is studying there with a program through UNO’s College of Engineering.
“Unfortunately,” says Adam, “due to the start date of my other summer classes, which start the day after the program ends, I will not be able to travel to other cities abroad. I have a layover in Zurich, Switzerland. That is the only other city I will visit. While I’m abroad I want to see all of the most notable sites in Italy, including Venice, Florence and Milan. The part of the program I am most looking forward to is spending time at an Agriturismo in southern Italy.”
Elizabeth Bauman, 18, will soon be studying in Grenada, Spain. The daughter of Mike and Tina Bauman and sister of Brett, 15, and Mason, 9, Elizabeth graduated from Centerville High School in 2011 and is attending Central College in Pella.
“I am wanting to get my minor in Spanish and I want to learn the culture of Spain,” explains Bauman, who plans to graduate from Central College in 2015. “I think Spain will be a great place to visit because it is so beautiful and it’s one of the top places where Central students go to study abroad.”
Bauman is majoring in Business Management. She is part of the work-study program where she works for the Central Catering Department and is involved in Symphonic Wind Ensemble and College-Community Choir.
“I will be there [in Grenada] for the whole semester next spring. I haven’t started the process yet, but I intend to begin this summer and start getting myself ready for my study abroad experience. I am very excited to be in a different country for the food, the different experiences I am sure to have, and the people I will meet,” says Bauman excitedly. “I am also excited because I will be living with a host family, so I will get an inside look at Grenada life, not just the touristy view. I will be in Europe, so I will be able to take excursions to other places outside of Spain. A few of my friends will be studying abroad in Wales next spring, so I am hoping to be able to visit them! It should be a learning experience as well as a lot of fun. It will definitely be something I remember for the rest of my life!”
Chelsea Daniels also had the chance to study abroad in England. The 23-year-old daughter of Bryan and Laura Daniels graduated from Centerville High School in 2007 before going to Simpson College where she majored in Elementary Education. Chelsea spent a semester in London, England.
“I remember getting emails about the opportunity and had a revelation: I just had to go learn more about the world and see new places. I grew up in Centerville and had not traveled much even in the U.S. I believe that having an appreciation and respect for others is something we should all be held accountable for, and what better way to learn and understand others than immersing yourself into the culture!” exclaims Daniels.
The 2011 Simpson graduate studied abroad with a program through her alma mater. She lived in a flat in London with several other students from Simpson. In the garden there was a small building where she and others would meet for classes. The program required a professor to accompany the students abroad and teach the classes. There were four classes the students took, including an art history course. Just like Paul Salley, Daniels and her classmates would learn about their surroundings and histories by reading literature, discussing what they read, and then traveling around London visiting places that related to what they read. They went to several museums, art galleries, and historical homes.
“The real life experiences that were connected to our learning made it much more meaningful,” explains Chelsea. “When you know the story behind places you are visiting, it makes the experience fascinating, even surreal. I am not a history gal, but I ate up every bit of history that was offered!”
The most noticeable difference for Daniels was how people had more concern about their appearance in England compared to the U.S. Another difference she noticed was how many different races and ethnicities there were in just the one city.
“I also really liked the dining experience,” says Daniels. “Sharing a meal with someone was more than just eating, it was a time to have genuine conversation and have a great time with the people you were with…Most people who came in would sit down and talk for awhile, maybe over a few drinks, order food, then spend some more time after their meal was over to continue talking. It was a very prolonged experience, but one I enjoyed!”
While abroad, Daniels had the opportunity to do some traveling along with her studying. She was able to travel England, where she saw the “White Cliffs of Dover,” she visited Dublin, the Connemara countryside and Cashel Bay in Ireland, stepped over the border into Scotland, and flew to Paris, France, and Rome, Italy.
“One of my favorite parts of my stay there was meeting such great people. Many of the people there are traveling as well, so it was great to talk with people who could share in our excitement and experiences. Long nights were spent talking and playing card games with people we met at our hostels,” gushes Daniels. “If you have the opportunity [to study abroad], do it! Colleges will work with you to help make it happen. Tuition will always be there, but just a little more and you could be learning in some far-away place where more learning is happening outside the classroom. Besides, your college years are a great time to travel: you are still getting your education, you get to become immersed into a culture, and most of us have few strings attached that would hinder months away from home. I wish everyone could do it! If I had to, I would choose to do it all over again! I am so thankful I stepped out of my comfort zone to create such cherished experiences and memories.”