|Coming to America: Centre hosts exchange student
RELEASED: June 19, 2003
DANVILLE, KYCentre College has welcomed many foreign students throughout the years. They live, learn and contribute to campus life.
Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Ghana, Vietnam, Nepal, Japan and Ireland are just some of the countries foreign students represent at Centre.
Christopher McConnell is an exchange student from Ireland, and he's making the most of his time at Centre and in the United States.
McConnell is attending Centre on a Business Education Initiative scholarship, a joint venture between the Northern Irish government and the private colleges of the U.S.
Program coordinators assigned McConnell, a management and French major at Queen's University Belfast, to Centre.
Centre was a big change for McConnell. But he quickly learned the advantages Centre has to offer.
"My home college has around 30,000 students, which contrasts a lot with Centre. I really like the way when you walk around campus everyone says 'Hey,' even if they just know you as the Irish kid. Also, the teachers here are awesome. They actually care about your work."
While at Centre, McConnell has toured America with friends he's made here. He went to Miami for Christmas, Times Square for New Year's Eve, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Florida for spring breaknot to mention the world-famous Kentucky Derby.
"These trips have given me insight into American culture as I got to see different parts of America. I think Centre has taught me things outside my major by instilling an awareness of environmental and social issues. It was particularly interesting to be here during the war on Iraq to see how much difference there was in people's reactions."
They say 'when in Rome, do as the Romans do' and McConnell has adapted that adage to the "Greek experience."
He became a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and his experience there will always be etched in his memory.
"I definitely won't be able to forget joining a fraternity, which was a completely crazy experiencethere is nothing like this at home," he said. "But what I'll remember most is just hanging out with my friends, whether it was eating dinner, partying at the frats or just messing about. Those are the things that made me enjoy Centre and will make me come back to visit."
McConnell will spend the next year as a teaching assistant in France starting in September. His long-term goal is to have a career in ecological development working in either Africa or Asia.
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