The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

May 31, 2012

Former Centerville students studying overseas

CENTERVILLE — Different people have different reasons to study internationally. Some want to travel. Others want to put their new language skills to the test. Still others want to experience any new culture they can. Paul Salley has a more personal reason for his international opportunity.

“I’m studying abroad in England and the reason I chose England,” expresses Salley, “is because it is a country that I’ve always wanted to visit ever since I got into the Beatles back in seventh grade.”

Salley, the 24-year-old son of Patti and David Salley, graduated from Centerville High School in 2006 before going to Indian Hills Community College. He earned his AA in May 2010 and then transferred to the University of Missouri-St. Louis that fall. His current plan is to graduate in August 2012 with his Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies.

“The decision to choose to study abroad was an easy one for me because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. The process was a bit difficult because I had to apply for the program as I just barely missed the required GPA,” explains Salley. “I had to go through an appeal process, which meant extra work was involved, but eventually I was accepted. I talked to my Study Abroad coordinator before choosing England, although I knew England was the only country I wanted to go to.”

Unlike most college students, Paul is not studying at a university in England, but rather through a program his home university is partnered with overseas called the Missouri London Program. Through CAPA International Education, Salley current classes are Understanding Modern Britain, Shakespeare in London, Theatre Appreciation, and British Broadcasting Today.

“The classes here, as opposed to back home, are much more interactive and there are less tests than in the States. I’m getting to use London as a classroom and that only enhances my learning experience.”

While in the UK, Salley has had the opportunity to do some travelling as well. He visited Stonehenge, Bath, Newcastle, Liverpool and Retford.

“The deciding favor for me in choosing England,” continues Paul, “was like I said before, some place where I always wanted to visit because of my interest in the Beatles, and it has allowed me to meet many people whom I’ve been in touch with for an independent project I’ve been working on over the past four years on Wings guitarist Jimmy McCulloch…I saw Stonehenge at Stonehenge and the Roman baths at Bath, which was really neat. Bath is an absolutely gorgeous city, very different from London. I travelled up to Newcastle to visit my friend for the weekend and saw the Tyne Bridge and explored a street market in the rain. Being a huge Beatles fan, I had to make the trip to Liverpool and that was fantastic. I went on a Beatles tour around the city and ended up spending the evening listening to a John Lennon tribute act at the Cavern Club who looked and sounded exactly like him. Retford is where Jimmy’s brother and his family live so I spent the weekend with them and there are really no words that could explain how much that meant to me. I’m seeing them the weekend before I go back to the states so that’ll be great.

“I am very happy with the decision because I’ve had the experience of a lifetime and it’s something I’ll never forget.”

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