KU Student Heads To Europe

With three months away from her graduation date, KU senior Sarah Menke is eager to jump into her next educational adventure; studying abroad in Belgium.

As president of Key Club, talented musician in both Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, National Honor Society and gifted dancer, Sarah has successfully balanced her education with several leadership positions and extracurricular activities throughout her high school career.

Sarah Menke

The extracurricular activities she has participated including being President of Key Club and annually volunteering at Camp Evergreen, have gotten her ready for the trip of a lifetime. “I really wanted to learn a foreign language before I went to college, because my career goal is to become a foreign language teacher one day.”

Searching for many different educational organizations that grant select students the opportunity to study abroad, Sarah and her mom both decided that the Rotary Foundation was the best fit. The Rotary Club admissions process includes a lengthy personal application, and two different individual interviews, for the Rotary members to decide which students are best qualified to participate in the study abroad opportunity. As the Rotary Club is one of the few organizations that offers a 5th year option for students to still participate in a study abroad opportunity even after they graduate high school.

Sarah who finally got the notification in December that she was one of the students chosen to study abroad this year, is elated. “I’m really happy. It’s important to me to travel abroad to not only make connections but to learn about other culture who are not quite the same as us.”

Valeria Menke, Success Navigator at Klamath Union, and Sarah’s mother also added “I’m excited for her. Travel and cultural exploration expand not only her world but also the world she comes back to influencing all the programs and people she will continue to be involved with.” As Sarah graduates and leaves home to study abroad for 10 months, Valeria is sure Sarah will learn and grow vastly from this experience. “The nice aspect about doing a 5th year exchange is that it allows students to mature and gain experience so that when they do return, they are more committed to their educational endeavours, which in Sarah’s case is Language education.”

Sarah who leaves for Belgium in August this year, looks forward to making friends and connections that will last her for years to come. Additionally, she is excited to strengthen her French speaking abilities, as the area she is going to in Belgium has a high French speaking population.

We congratulate Sarah on this amazing opportunity and wish her the best as she prepares for graduation in June and her study abroad opportunity in August.

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