||Global citizenship: eight 2009 grads living, working in Garmisch, Germany
RELEASED: September 24, 2009
By Leigh Ivey
DANVILLE, KY— Centre College has long been committed to transforming its students into global citizens, and eight 2009 graduates are illustrating success in this goal.
Currently living in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, the Centre alumni are working as civilian employees for the United States Department of Defense at the Edelweiss Lodge and Resort.
Though not an exclusive U.S. Army resort, Edelweiss is sponsored by the Army and provides active and retired soldiers with the opportunity to relax with their families.
"A lot of the guests who stay are on their leave from wherever they were deployed, such as Iraq or Afghanistan," Allie Page '09 explains. "They use this time to reunite with their families, and it's nice to know we're helping them enjoy that time."
Garmisch is an ideal location for such a resort. "It honestly looks like a postcard," Page says. "It's surrounded by the German Alps—there's a mountain called the Kramer right behind our dorm that people often climb. And the people in Garmisch are friendly and helpful."
Joining Page in Garmisch are 2009 Centre graduates James Tatgenhorst, Morgan Griffin, Tyler Hinkel, Farley Stephenson, Ben Schodowski, Lindsay Smith and Dayna Wood. Like Page, they agree that supporting the U.S. troops while abroad is immensely rewarding.
"One of the reasons I took the job was to give back to the troops," Stephenson says. "It makes me happy to make this opportunity possible to the troops who volunteer their lives to ensure the freedom of the United States."
Tatgenhorst says that he chose to work at Edelweiss for the same reason. "I really felt an obligation to the United States and our troops," he says. "I'm just doing my part, however little that may be."
Another reason many of the alums chose to spend the year in Germany was to continue growing as global citizens.
And because most were able to take advantage of Centre's extraordinary study abroad programs during their college careers, they felt prepared for the challenges of living abroad.
"I studied abroad five times while at Centre, and I wasn't ready to stop," Wood says. "I wanted to know what it would be like to actually live in Europe for a year. My time in Strasbourg with Centre's program allowed me to experience life in France for three months, but I was ready for an entire year."
While a student at Centre, Wood was able to participate in study abroad programs not only Strasbourg but in Poland, Moscow, Central Europe and Australia.
Like Wood, Hinkel developed a love of international travel during his Centre-in-London term. "I had such an unbelievable and life-enhancing experience studying abroad," he says. "When I returned home, I told my parents that I'd love to spend more time in Europe experiencing and immersing myself in other cultures. You can learn a lot about yourself and others doing that."
Although Schodowski spent only a CentreTerm overseas in Paris, he believes this experience "gave me a sense of bearings as far as learning the layout of Western Europe." And because he was away from Centre's campus during a Congressional internship in Washington, D.C., he had the opportunity "to live on my own in a big city and prepare for a job in the real world."
It's not only the College's study abroad program, Tatgenhorst says, but the entire Centre experience that prepares students for life after college.
"Centre really helped me grow and mature as a person," he says. "That's what is coming in handy more than anything else."
And while they are able to spend much time traveling across Europe, the alumni are also busy planning for their return to the U.S and either the work force or graduate school.
"Most of the Centre students here are either doing what I've done—deferring for a year for grad school— or using this year in Garmisch to figure out their next step," Page says.
"It's my goal to work for the government, specifically the State Department or the Department of Defense," Wood says. "This job gives me a foot in the door."
Tatgenhort says that he's thinking about a career in the Foreign Service, "but I'm nervous about spending so much time away from the States. I figured a year away would give me an indication if I could do it."
Whether they return to the States to for graduate study or new jobs, the alums feel grateful that their years at Centre helped prepare them for future adventures around the world.
Have comments, suggestions, or story ideas? E-mail email@example.com with your feedback.
- end -
Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
600 W. Walnut Street
Danville, KY 40422