The ability of a Marquette education to transcend borders was never more apparent than Wednesday afternoon. A pair of Global Studies capstone project presentations were delivered in the lobby of the main building on W. 10th Street in Michigan City, but the work occurred thousands of miles away.
Seniors Kaitlyn Sakich and Scout Steinhiser regaled the tales of their transatlantic travels to Spain and France, respectively, before parents, siblings, and Marquette administration.
These weren't your run-of-the-mill, tropical getaways with disorderly DJs and slender fire dancers. The duo immersed themselves in the cultures of their second countries, from food to language to customs.
Steinhiser spoke glowingly of her journey through France. She toured centuries-old castles and attended festivals, all while experiencing a more rigorous school-day than what she was accustomed to in the States. (Classes run from 8 am local time until around 5 pm.)
For her capstone project, Steinhiser penned a short story "Parlez Vous?" - translated in English to "Do You Speak?" - energized by the many sights and sounds that served as the backdrop for her stay in and around Loches. She reminisced about a simple yet elegant sandwich she purchased from a street vendor. She reported that Nutella is, in fact, as popular abroad as here in America.
Sakich has tallied three trips over her tenure at Marquette: two to Spain, one to France. While she adored France, something about Barcelona's culture, energy, and spirit left a lasting impression. That something was the works of renowned architect Antoni Gaudi.
Gaudi's influence swept through the Catalonian region in the late 19th century and early 20th century. La Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell, and Casa Mile are just a sampling of his deep resume. Marquette Catholic University High School's inaugural class can attest to the beauty and attention to detail captured in La Sagrada Familia. A group of 12 MQTT-U students toured the popular cathedral last year on a separate excursion.
Sakich showcased her own versions of Gaudi's masterpieces. Sakich's artistic talent was accentuated with a tribute to his prevalent use of color, light, and nature.
The ease with which both students spoke their adopted languages was impressive. The appreciation for their host families was evident. And while both Steinhiser and Sakich visited different countries, one theme persisted: there's so much out there to explore beyond the borders of our city, our state, and even our nation.