A program started by late Chaplain Gordon Shea, will benefit two students who plan on studying abroad in Northern Ireland next year.
“There are two Northern Ireland initiatives here,” said Professor of Management Marilyn Mueller. “One is where we receive an Irish student each year. Also, we apply to have one or two of our students study there.”
Sophomore Kayla Schmidt will stay for the entire year, while sophomore Kelly Sander will only stay for the first semester.
“Finals there are the week classes start here,” said Sander. “I’ll be a week behind when I return.”
The two students going will be at different schools and are going for different reasons.
“I’m looking forward to experiencing another culture and another perspective,” said Schmidt. “I have never been to Europe, so I am really looking forward to traveling there.”
Sander wants to interact with different people.
“I want to work in a pub, visit other families and tour other countries while I am over there,” said Sander.
Neither student is overly worried about financial aid for this trip.
“We get financial aid, but we pay room and board to our respective universities,” said Sander. “Tuition goes to Simpson.”
Sander is hoping to make extra money while in Northern Ireland.
“I want to get a job while I am over there,” said Sander. “I hope the custom’s officials will let me work in a pub.”
Sander will be studying along the eastern coast at the University of Ulster in Jordanstown, Ireland while Schmidt will be at the University of Queens in Belfast, Ireland.
“I am going to finish up my cornerstones,” said Sander.
Both women are not looking forward to being far from home for so long.
“It’ll be hard to be away from home on the holidays, but it will also give me three weeks to travel,” said Sander. “My mom can come and visit during that time.”
Schmidt is still unsure of coming home during the winter break.
“It depends on the prices of airfare,” said Schmidt. “That could be changing dramatically in response to the current crazy world situation.”
The application process was quite rigorous.
“We had to have a 3.2 grade point to apply,” said Sander. “As well as two references and a transcript.”
Their hard work will pay off as they leave for Ireland in the fall. The opportunities they face made this trip irresistible.
“How could we not go?” said Sander. “It’s a chance of a lifetime.”