Student Study Abroad Stories
Matt Eisold completes coursework, experiences Spanish culture
July 17, 2009 (from wlcsports.com)
Matt Eisold, a senior student-athlete at Wisconsin Lutheran College, returned to Wisconsin Thursday, July 16 after completing a pair of three-credit courses towards his Spanish major while studying abroad in Spain.
"My experience in Spain was amazing," says Eisold. "The culture and of course the soccer are something I'll never forget. To see the game played in a different style and on a whole new level was eye-opening."
Eisold, a two-year starter at goalkeeper on the Warriors men's soccer team, departed from the United States for Barcelona, Spain on May 26. Through International Studies Abroad (ISA), Eisold completed courses entitled Spanish Language and Culture and International Business at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the second largest public university in Barcelona while enrolls over 50,000 students each year. Each course, which required 45 hours of classroom instruction, consisted of on-going evaluations, mid-terms and a final exam.
During his time in Spain, Eisold stayed with a host family in Barcelona. Some of the traditional foods that he tasted include gazpacho, a cold Spanish tomato-based raw vegetable soup, and paella, a rice dish that many non-Spaniards view as Spain's national dish, as well as a wide array of seafood. Eisold toured attractions such as the Museo del Prado, a museum and art gallery in Madrid which features one of the world's finest collections of European art, and Dalí Museum, a museum of the artist Salvador Dalí.
Eisold also visited the Bernabéu, the home stadium of the Real Madrid football club, and Nou Camp, the home stadium of FC Barcelona. He also attended an international World Cup qualifier between England and Andorra.
"Soccer there is very different than in the United States," says Eisold. "It's a part of life. If you combined the fan bases of MLB, NBA and NFL it would be close to what soccer is like in Spain. Everyone has knowledge about it."
Eisold and the Warriors open their 2009 season September 1 at Beloit.
Laura Konop completes six-credit course in Costa Rica
June 26, 2009 (from wlcsports.com)
Wisconsin Lutheran College junior student-athlete Laura Konop returned home to Wisconsin on June 25 after completing a six-credit Spanish grammar course studying abroad in Costa Rica.
Konop, a two-sport athlete in cross country and softball at WLC, departed for Costa Rica on May 24 to complete Espanol Intermedio II through Modern Language Studies Abroad (MLSA). The class, which met for five hours each weekday at the University of Costa Rica in San Jose, consisted of weekly written and oral tests as well as a final exam.
One of only a few independent students in the program, Konop stayed with a Costa Rican family. Costa Ricans, or "Ticos" as they are referred to, are among the friendliest people in the world, very polite and social.
"Living with a family forces you to use Spanish all day so that when you go to bed your brain is just throbbing from working so hard," Konop says. "Everyday led to a new, unique experience. From eating gallo pinto, the traditional Costa Rica cuisine, at every meal, to not having a hot shower, and to the pouring rain almost every afternoon are just some of the unique things I have experienced."
Konop made use of her weekends by visiting many attractions throughout Costa Rica which included the Irazú Volcano, Tortuga Island, Hermosa Beach and Manuel Antonio National Park.
"While I have enjoyed experiencing this different, more laid-back, simple lifestyle, I am anxious to return to the comforts of the American lifestyle that I grew up in."