Foundation study experience includes class with WHO director

Published 11:59 pm Friday, August 12, 2016


Editor’s note: Caitlyn Wiley was among the three students who studied in England this summer on scholarship from the Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation (formerly Class of ’48 Foundation). A requirement for participation is writing an essay to be published in The Star-News.

By Caitlyn Wiley

July 2016 was a month that I will never forget, thanks to the Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation that awarded me the 2016 Mary Godwin International Study Fellowship. I was blessed with the opportunity to spend the month of July in England studying at one of the world’s top universities, the University of Cambridge. I chose to enroll in the Cambridge summer science program. My classes included Social Psychology; Celestial Physics; Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases; and–one last class–Codes, Ciphers, and Secrets.

Wiley, Ricks and Meredith.

Wiley, Ricks and Meredith.

Along with these classes, I participated in a series of “practicals,” which involved trips to local museums and various science research departments at the university. My favorite part of the science program was definitely my class on infectious diseases. Not only was the class topic what I what I want to pursue in my career, but the lecturer was a director of the World Health Organization. It was such an incredible experience, and one that has reassured me about my future career.

While the educational experiences at Cambridge were amazing, the city itself was as well! Whether it was walking around, looking at all the colleges and churches, or punting down the River Cam, there was never a dull moment! Cambridge classes and residential life also gave me an opportunity to meet some amazing people from all over the world! I met people at Cambridge whom I now consider to be really good friends, and I already have plans to visit some of them next summer!

Along with exploring Cambridge, my Andalusia classmates (Maia Meredith and Savannah Ricks) and I visited London multiple times. London is such an amazing city with so much history. During these visits we saw Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and my favorite, St. Paul’s Cathedral. Maia and I even climbed (many, many steps) to its top of St. Paul’s! In addition to visiting many historical sites, I rode the London Eye and got an airborne perspective of this beautiful city. Did I mention that we ran into some celebrities? Well, only if you count their wax replicas! Madame Tussauds Wax Museum was also one of our stops.

Last but not least, one of my favorite memories is of my weekend trip to Paris. I decided to venture to Paris by myself and it was one of the best decisions. I had so much fun exploring the city! It was absolutely beautiful. The Louvre and the Eiffel Tower were my favorite sites.

I wish I could go back again next summer. I am already jealous of the Andalusia High School graduates who will be selected for this amazing international study experience next summer. I want to again thank the Andalusia High School Scholarship Foundation and my fellowship sponsor, Mrs. Mary Godwin for this WONDERFUL opportunity. I feel truly blessed to have been a part of this program!