Lynzi Knudtson, Molly Brion and Emily Minniecheske were able to start the summer off with an adventure.
Knudtson, Brion and Minniecheske were part of the Global Perspectives in Education program sponsored by the UW-Stout Office of International Education. The trio, along with several other UW-Stout student-athletes as well as members of the UW-Stout general student body, traveled to Scotland and Ireland. Students had the option to travel to Paris or visit the Scottish Highlands for part of the trip.
The tour’s first stop was Scotland and the group stayed at Dalkeith Castle, traveling to nearby Edinburgh.
“In Scotland, we had the opportunity to go to the schools for a week and see how their classrooms are different from American classrooms,” Minniecheske, an early childhood education major who is a member of the UW-Stout track and field team, said. “I really enjoyed this because the kids were so curious about America and were really fun to interact with.”
“We were able to work in the classrooms with the teachers and interact with the students,” Brion, an early childhood major and a member of the volleyball and track teams, said. “I got to work with kids of all ages and it was so cool to see all the similarities and differences of our educational systems.”
“We received credits from going on the trip and one cool thing we got to do that no other school gets to do is actually student teach in a Scottish classroom for a week,” said Knudtson, a vocational rehabilitation-special education major and a member of the softball team. “I was at a Roman Catholic primary school named St. Luke’s.”
The students were in Scotland for the first 10 days of the trip, then could opt for a visit to the Scottish Highlands or to Paris. Knudtson visited the Highlands, while Minniecheske and Brion traveled to Paris.
While in Scotland, Knudtson ran her first 10-kilometer race.
“That was a lot of fun and a great place to run my first one,” Knudtson said.
Brion and Minniecheske, along with former soccer player Jamie Whittlinger, former basketball player Trent Thompson and Emily Porosky ventured across the English Channel to tour Paris.
The Eiffel Tower was a hit with all of the students.
“I loved the Eiffel Tower,” Minniecheske said. “It was so beautiful, especially when it would sparkle at night.”
“I got to climb the Eiffel Tower with my fellow athletes,” Brion said. “The Eiffel Tower at night was one of the prettiest things I have ever encountered. It shimmers every hour at night and looks like fireworks. Truly breathtaking.”
The tour included the Louvre and a visit to the Mona Lisa painting exhibit. A visit to Arc de Triomphe proved to be memorable for more than one reason, Brion said.
“While we were walking by the Arc de Triomphe, (motion picture star) Tom Cruise was only 10 feet from us,” Brion said. “His new movie had just come out and he was getting bombarded by paparazzi. That was really awesome.”
The tour, which also included current Blue Devil student-athletes Courtney Smith (softball) and Sara Rosewitz (cross country/track) concluded the tour in Ireland.
Staying in the city of Cork, the group toured community centers, day centers for the elderly, homeless shelters and an alternative school, in addition to playing tourist.
“I thought Ireland was the most gorgeous and a place I for sure would like to visit again,” said Brion. “It’s landscapes were so green and beautiful.”
All three were enamored with the Cliffs of Moher, a five mile stretch of cliffs along the Atlantic shoreline on Ireland’s west side.
“These cliffs were huge and had the ocean right up next to them, making for some beautiful pictures,” Brion said.
Brion summed up the entire experience.
“The accents over there were so fun and the people were extremely friendly and always willing to talk and help you out,” Brion said. “I really enjoyed the trip because I got to experience so much within such a short amount of time.”