Beyond the walls of Simpson

Beyond the walls of Simpson

by Tyler LarsonStaff Writer

Simpson College offers its students many national and international study options, allowing them to learn from countries such as Thailand, France and Spain.

“We are always interested in looking for other international programs,” International Education Coordinator Jay Wilkinson said. “It gives students other possibilities to travel rather than just staying here at Simpson.”

Simpson has several exchange programs intact with schools from across the world. One exchange is with PWSZ, a university in Krosno, Poland.

“We have two students from Poland here at Simpson,” Wilkinson said. “Now we just need to fill our end of the deal and send two students there. No one has stepped up yet though.”

Bartlomiej Nowak, one of the Polish students from the exchange, is in his first and only semester here at Simpson.

“I was afraid at first to study abroad because I thought I would stand out, and I didn’t think I was at the same level as American students in the English area,” Nowak said. “I found out though that I fit in really well, and I became more confident as time went on.”

Nowak said this study abroad program is a great experience for students to try.

“I have had a great experience here at Simpson,” Nowak said. “I have met some wonderful people from my time here.”

Nowak also hopes that some students will consider signing up for the exhcange and study in Poland.

“I want to encourage our students to go,” Nowak said. “It is a very beautiful country, and you will learn a lot from your experience there.”

Along with Poland, Simpson has other study programs with countries around the world.

Simpson is moving towards an agreement with a college in Murcia, Spain and also a college in Rosario, Argentina. Both would be direct student and faculty exchanges. With the Rosario exchange, college officials are hoping for a semester program, but are sticking with a May Term trip for now.

Another program Simpson has is with Christian University of Thailand.

“We now have a semester program in Thailand where we have 16 students expecting to attend in the spring,” Wilkinson said. “Also, while we are down there we will be looking at another school who is interested in creating an exchange program with us.”

Simpson also offers its students a national internship opportunity as well. The Capitol Hill Internship Program (CHIP) is shared with nine other United Methodist colleges.

“It is an internship where you work with government non-profit organizations,” John Epperson, professor of political science, said. “You get to take courses and have the opportunity to work for places like a senator’s office and special interest groups in the government.”

This internship has risen in popularity over the past few years.

“We have had an average of three or four students per spring semester, and they always come back praising their assignments,” Epperson said. “This year we increased in size to six students and hope that students keep gaining interest.”

Senior Josie Rundlett was part of the CHIP program last fall and encourages students to spend a semester away from Simpson.

“Everyone should have a semester away from Simpson because it shows you the broader world,” Rundlett said. “It also allows you to come back to school and appreciate everything.”