ADA – East Central University junior biology student Catherine Phipps is ready to broaden her horizon by spending a semester at Swansea University in Swansea, Wales.
Phipps, part of ECU’s Global Education Program, heads out Sept. 7 and will spend three months in the United Kingdom by virtue of receiving the 2013 Brad Henry International Scholarship.
“I was excited. I know there were a lot of good students who applied for this and it was competitive,” Phipps said.
An honor student at ECU, Phipps was one of 10 recipients of the award through the Regional University System of Oklahoma. Recipients were selected by virtue of their excellent academic qualifications, outstanding writing and communication skills, exemplary character, and demonstrated leadership qualities. Included was a 350-word essay on how important it is to be a global citizen.
“I don’t know what classes I will be taking, but this is a chance to meet a lot of people, international people, and promote East Central University,” said Phipps, who resides in Moore and attended Southmoore High School.
“Swansea University is in southern Wales and is next to the seashore. I’ve been to the ocean but never lived anywhere near it,” Phipps said. “I’m excited a grateful to be able to study abroad and definitely appreciate it.”
In addition to her studies, Phipps hopes to have the opportunity to see the Shakespeare Globe Theatre and Big Bend, along with venturing over to France to see the Eiffel Tower.
By making the trip, Phipps will satisfy ECU engagement hours, which include service learning, research or studying abroad. Of course she’s using the opportunity for a broadening horizon.
“I want to get deeper into what it’s like to be over there. I want to meet a lot of people from different countries. I think it’s a gateway to other countries because they have a lot of international students who attend there,” said Phipps.
Phipps, who is a Russian Studies and chemistry minor, has been on a previous Global Education trip to Ukraine and Russia.
“There are definitely some preconceived ideas of what some things are like, but most are different,” she said. “There’s an opinion that they are hostile toward Americans. But a lot of people were hospitable and sensitive toward us. We discovered they like to have fun just as we do.”