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Sunday, May 1, 2016

New food, scenery all part of English college exchange

Friday, April 1, 2011

Louise Sharp, an administrator from North Lindsey College in England, tours the Wrightstone Art Gallery with McCook Community College Area Dean of Student Life, Michele Gill on Thursday.
(Justin Bass/McCook Daily Gazette)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Mid-Plains Community College is hosting students, faculty and an administrator from their sister school, North Lindsey College of England, as a part of their shared exchange program.

The students are spending their time at North Platte Community College during their visit. They will also visit the University of Nebraska-Lincoln sports complex as well as various other locations.

Besides the difference in scenery, students are also getting new food experiences as well.

Although it may look like they are practicing to be Ninjas, North Lindsey College sports/exercise students Luke Pritchard, Alexander Seymour, Thomas Smith, Daniel Tuxworth, Kieran Watson and Abigail Ward and faculty member Adam Barker were getting a lesson in fitness Thursday morning courtesy of Sherry Stickelman, owner of Stick 2 Fitness in North Platte. Thirteen representatives from the college in Scunthorpe, England, are spending time at Mid-Plains Community College, as well as visiting other areas in Nebraska, from March 28 through April 10.
(MPCC photo)
"Cereal is our big breakfast meal, but here we have had hot breakfast and they always ask if we want hashbrowns or cheese with [our food]," said school official Louise Sharp of their morning breakfasts since being at NPCC. "We don't have burritos and there is less fried food." Students did have the option for cereal, fruits, and other options, but chose to try the "local" cuisine.

The visiting entourage travelled from Denver to North Platte via van and most hadn't spent that much time in a vehicle ever or without crossing into a new country.

"We knew about the distances [driven to get between towns], but until you experience it for yourself you really don't know," said Sharp.

The visiting automotive students also noted the difference in size of the engines being worked on at the NPCC shop. "There were engines bigger than our [gas] tanks," said Sharp. "We have one liter engines and at 1.4 pounds per liter, it's more expensive than in the U.S." That is an equivalent price of $8.483 per gallon in the U.S.

Sharp, the administrator traveling with the students and faculty, visited McCook Community College to tour the campus and talk with faculty and administrators about how MCC runs its campus and classes.

"We are building some new classrooms and are very interested in how [MCC] has designed some of their classes," said Sharp during her tour of the campus.

NLC is building new classrooms and redesigning others as part of a renovation project.

"Our classrooms are set up in a U-shape so that the teacher can see all of the students at once," said Sharp. She later equated traditional American classrooms with rows of school desks as what the English use for the national exam classrooms.

"[American] science labs are very interesting because they are in pods," said Sharp. The MCC science labs are set up so that students sit in groups around a central work station allowing for direct participation for all students.

Other locations visited on campus were Weeth Theatre, Wrightstone Art Gallery, and von Riesen Library. "We don't have a black box theatre nor an art gallery [at NLC]," said Sharp.

Sharp has a unique job description as she is in charge of eight different areas of NLC; exams, registration, scheduling, quality control, the school gym, the children's nursery, learning resources and information technology.

"I mostly wanted to see what things [MPCC] might be doing that could help me," said Sharp.

"We are seeing the [exchange] students bonding with students here and that is great," said Sharp. "In fact some of the [exchange] students went to Walmart with the local students to see if they could find a cricket bat. They didn't find one, so a local student who is in woodworking said she would build them one."

Other exchange students are sharing their customs by having tea with local students. "Some were making tea with the softball team," said Sharp.

Not only have the exchange students been sharing their customs, but local students have been showing their hospitality.

"Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, it's fantastic," said Sharp.

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