Juniors play each other in ultimate frisbee while studying abroad in Ireland
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Despite studying miles apart, several Keene State College study abroad students let fate step in as they were brought together by the game of Ultimate Frisbee.
KSC juniors Annie White and Melissa Adam, as well as senior Elise Bolster were among some of the students who traveled to Ireland and decided to play Ultimate Frisbee together.
White and Adam were roommates here in Keene both their freshman and sophomore years.
However, they chose to travel to separate parts of Ireland.
Adam studied at the University of Limerick in Limerick City, Ireland. White, along with Bolster, who she did not know at the time, studied approximately 65 miles away from Adam at National University of Ireland in Galway.
It was not until they arrived at NUIG that White and Bolster decided to room together with two other KSC students.
According to White, she decided to start playing Ultimate Frisbee her freshman year here at KSC.
“It’s one of the biggest team sports,” White said.
According to White, it is “mostly a guy sport” but there are a few girls on the KSC club team.
The Galway Ultimate Frisbee team consisted of approximately 15 to 20 students, where the KSC team includes approximately 30 members, White said.
According to White, she knew she wanted to meet up with Adam at some point during their stay in Ireland. Coincidentally, Galway and Limerick played each other in a few games.
The first time the two played against each other was in a regular game against Limerick.
According to White, she stayed with Adam while she was playing in Limerick. The two also were able to meet up for a second time.
This time they were playing each other in a large Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Dublin, Ireland. According to White, there were “a lot of teams.” Besides playing each other in tournaments or games, White and Adam kept in touch like most study abroad students do.
According to White, they used Skype and Facebook to keep in touch. They did not text each other because White said it was “a little trickier.”
Adam, who also plays Ultimate Frisbee at KSC, traveled abroad to Ireland by herself. According to Adam it was a little “sad” studying abroad all by herself. In order to make friends, Adam said she joined a club. That club happened to be the Ultimate Frisbee team at the University of Limerick.
All though she was about two hours away from her friend, White, Adam said they still kept in touch. Adam said she would use Facebook to catch up with White or when she had a story to tell her. Also the two would see each other when their teams played one another.
“We would completely forget to ask if the other was going to the tournament that weekend, so I would see her or she would see me walking across the field and just be like ‘oh wait that’s my roommate,’” Adam said.
Now that Adam is back home in the United States, she had to leave many of her international friends she met in Ireland.
However, Adam said she still keeps in touch with them.
According to Adam, while abroad she lived with two students from Japan, one from Ireland, one from Brazil and one from another part of the United States. Adam said she uses Facebook and Skype about once every other week to communicate with them.
Adam said her birthday was Nov. 1, and she mentioned how it was “cool” to scroll through her Facebook page and see all the birthday wishes.
“I was like oh wait that’s my roommate from Japan, that’s my roommate from Madrid, there’s like five Irish people,” Adam said.
Elsie Bolster was that other KSC student that traveled to Ireland with White and played Ultimate Frisbee. According to Bolster, she had never played Ultimate Frisbee before.
Bolster said she wanted to play club soccer over in Ireland seeing as she plays here for the KSC women’s team.
However, Bolster said she felt it would be too much of a commitment and she did not want to do anything too serious while she was abroad.
Bolster said it was then the students playing Frisbee caught her attention when they told her to come and play.
“They were my best friends there,” Bolster said. According to Bolster, she keeps in touch with them all the time using Facebook as her “primary source of communication.”
When school ended in early May, Bolster said she stayed over in Europe for about three weeks to travel.
During her travels, Bolster said she was able to meet up with her Ultimate Frisbee team when they had a game in western France.
According to Bolster, she traveled from Ireland to Scotland, Austria and finally met the team in France. Bolster, was sad when she ultimately had to leave Ireland and her new friends. “It went by so fast,” Bolster said.
When asked what students use as their main form of communication while studying abroad, Tim Francis, the senior program assistant at the Global Education Office, said, “Probably the majority use Facebook, e-mail and Skype.”
According to Francis, approximately one-third to one-quarter of the students who study abroad travel with someone they know, such as a roommate.
This means the rest of the students that go abroad travel without knowing anyone. Francis also mentioned that many students keep in touch with each other and the friends they made overseas when they return to the United States.
One thing is for certain, the study abroad experience is one that cannot be determined ahead of time. The study abroad journey may to take on an unexpected role as these three students’ stories proved.
Shannon Flynn can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org