The Global Experience: The Hull Fellowship Abroad

Support from the Cordell W. Hull International Fellows Fund has helped UD Honors students reach academic, career and personal goals across the globe. Trips to Liberia aimed at understanding the important role of women in international peacekeeping efforts, language immersion trips in Spain, and service learning trips to Africa and other developing regions meant to understand, address, and become involved in a variety of issues facing the world.

Below are some recent experiences students have had and their thoughts about them.

Kathryn Grenfell, England

Kathryn Grenfell was able to take part in the University of Dayton’s summer interdisciplinary trip to London. This was her first trip outside of North America and allowed her not only to understand more about British culture but to meet people from around the world in her daily life, whether it was on the tube, on campus or in their apartment complex.  The classes Grenfell took were unrelated to science courses she has taken and included cultural classes related to music, history and British culture. She was also able to learn about the health care system of Great Britain. “This is an experience that I will look back on as one of the highlights of my life.” 

David Gross, Florence, Italy

David Gross spent a month as a part of the University of Dayton’s summer Engineering in Florence program. He was one of 30 students who participated in the program and completed three classes. The classes, however, were combined into one broader course with three primary assignments: the first was to work on a project in which Florence’s resources could be conserved without negatively affecting the culture or quality of life; the second assignment was to read an individual leadership book and to present on it towards the end of the program; the last assignment was to journal one’s experience in Florence through the eyes of an engineer. “Overall I had a great time in Florence, as well as the other cities we visited: Rome, Pisa, Assisi and Vinci.”  

Paige Ingram, Ireland

Paige Ingram fulfilled her lifelong dream of studying abroad in Ireland as a part of a University of Dayton interdisciplinary summer program. She was able to develop a multitude of skills that allowed her to grow professionally and personally. Through her sociology class, Ingram was exposed to various ways in which social distinction develops and how that affects the population. Ireland’s history with the Troubles and its own social inequality helped her reflect on the social environment back in the United States. “My experience abroad pushed me outside my comfort zone and taught me that the greatest adventures are those that push you across your boundaries.”

Sarah McGrath, Guatemala

Sarah McGrath spent five weeks in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, with the University of Dayton Center for Social Concern. The trip allowed her to combine her desire to study abroad with her desire to do service within another community by assisting teachers of a group of about 30 second graders. This allowed McGrath to develop her teaching abilities since the experience required her to constantly think on her feet and adapt to the culture, the language, and most importantly, the children. One of the cultural differences that Sarah found beautiful was how all host family meals were together, something she would like to implement in her own family. “Most importantly, I learned to just enjoy the time I had with the people who were directly in front of me.”

Kristen Ney, Zambia

Kristen Ney spent the second half of a summer taking part in the University of Dayton Zambia cultural immersion trip, beginning in the capital of Lusaka. The group then moved on to the city of Lubwe, where they served the community in a multitude of ways--they visited the nine local schools and established a scholarship ceremony, and served at the hospital by including music therapy and assisting in the labor ward. “I formed relationships with people through words and music, and these relationships were so deep that it was incredibly painful to say goodbye.”

Ben Steinhart, India and Ghana

Ben Steinhart took part in two different study abroad programs in one summer. He first traveled to India for five weeks as a part of a University of Dayton cultural immersion trip and involved working with the Marianists to serve the impoverished. Steinhart spent a week at Kalighat, Mother Teresa’s first home for the destitute and the dying. The second program took him to Gbi-Wegbe, Ghana, for six weeks with the Happy Kids Foundation, a charity home for children from broken families with a primary and secondary school. There he helped with teaching, evaluated teaching methods and worked with the children. “It was a joy that I could not possibly ever describe in words.”

Kim Steinhebel, Chile

Kim Steinhebel traveled to Chile as a part of the University of Dayton's Chile: Food, Dialogue, Politics program. This program included classes and taking part in a number of excursions that highlighted various aspects of Chilean life and culture. One of Steinhebel's favorite activities occurred weekly when her group would have a cultural trip with four Chilean students her age. Along with the programs during the week, there were service opportunities on Sundays--for instance, Steinhebel took part in constructing a temple for the Baha’I faith. In her spare time, Steinhebel and her group took part in numerous excursions, including visiting the Atacama Desert.