MPCC students travel to Ireland

McKenna Crews Ireland
Friday, July 1, 2022

Seven students from Mid-Plains Community College campuses in McCook and North Platte had the experience of a lifetime this summer.

They visited Ireland May 22-June 1 as part of a study abroad program offered by the Nebraska Community College Global Leadership Task Force that included students from five community colleges across the state.

“The trip was actually planned for 2020, but Covid shut it down,” said Lisa Duwe, faculty sponsor. “The purpose behind it was to provide students with an opportunity to gain cultural knowledge, think about diversity and develop personally by learning independence and some cross-cultural communication skills.”

The itinerary, tour guides and educational aspects were provided through the Institute of Study Abroad Ireland in Bundoran, Donegal.

The students flew into and out of Dublin but remained in the northern and northwest portions of the country for the rest of their trip.

Their mornings were spent listening to an expert of Irish studies. In the afternoons, the students took field trips to places that pertained to the morning presentation, and the evenings were free for sight-seeing and other tourist-type activities.

Among many other things, they learned about ancient Ireland, the Troubles that plagued the island for three decades and the Celtic culture. They saw castles and 5,000-year-old stone structures, hiked in a national park, went surfing and horseback riding on a beach and took in the local restaurants and attractions.

“Most of the students hadn’t been out of the U.S. before,” Duwe said. “To have such an immersive experience full of culture and learning was life-changing for so many of them. The friendships they made along the way were touching to see. I think it was really worthwhile.”

As an added bonus, the MPCC students earned three credit hours for their travels.

The students participating from Mid-Plains were: Brandon Hiserote, Darcey Lindsey, Bailey Oetken and Maci Sorge, all of North Platte; Lanie Overton and Maria Schaben, of McCook and McKenna Crews, of Loveland, Colo.