Getting lost in a private garden for two hours, visiting St. Andrew's Cathedral, and exploring the Highlands were just a few of the things Ali Kardatzke did during her summer in Scotland. Kardatzke, an Anderson University senior majoring in history with a complementary major in psychology, spent one month in Scotland studying Scottish history.
"I knew I wanted to study abroad, so I began researching programs that would let me do just that," said Kardatzke. She found a program through Arcadia University's College of Global Studies, a study abroad program endorsed by Anderson University. The program allowed her to study, explore, and live in Scotland for the time she was there. During that month, Kardatzke attended class three days each week at the University of Edinburgh and traveled throughout Scotland the other days.
[Photo: Ali Kardatzke spent time at the Edinburgh Castle while in Scotland.]
Dr. Joel Shrock, associate professor of history, said Kardatzke has been an excellent student, and her diligence is what made the Scotland opportunity possible. "We encourage students to move their experiences outside of the AU classrooms. For Ali, studying abroad is the perfect way to prepare herself for graduate school because she studied in-depth the subject that she will focus on in her Ph.D.," said Shrock.
The additional encouragement from the AU history professors added the level of support Kardatzke needed. "I remember my professors encouraging me to pursue this opportunity. They were very supportive whenever I had questions. All of the professors know me and know my capabilities, and because of that, I knew I would be able to succeed this summer," said Kardatzke.
Due to the encouragement to pursue this opportunity, Kardatzke's time in Scotland brought new levels of self-confidence and independence as she was expanding her horizons. Kardatzke wishes to attend graduate school after graduation in hopes of becoming a history professor. Shrock believes her experience in Scotland will only aid her in her journey. "These new experiences will separate Ali from other successful applicants when she is applying for graduate school," said Shrock.
Shrock is also the director of AU's Center for Public Service. The program provides students economic aid to complete various internships, carry out research, study abroad, join professional associations, and purchase professional journals. "CPS was able to provide payment for most of my housing this summer. That was a nice surprise when I returned from Scotland," said Kardatzke.
Kristen Hobbins, a senior nursing major at AU and one of Kardatzke's closest friends, has listened to stories about Kardatzke's journey and believes she gained experience that she could not have gained at home. "Ali went out of her comfort zone and thrived in it," Hobbins said. "She was able to adapt to new challenges and respond in ways that taught her about herself. She was able to submerge herself in the culture, which can be the best way to learn.
Kardatzke is thankful for her journey this summer, and she believes it was a valuable experience she will cherish for a lifetime. "My time in Scotland challenged me to move past boundaries," said Kardatzke. "The professors at AU were very encouraging in helping me achieve my goals."
— Allison Kohl is a senior from Springfield, Ohio, majoring in communications arts. Kohl is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of about 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.