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Article - A classroom a hemisphere away

A classroom a hemisphere away

Two UNO students who studied abroad get to thank donor in person, and it’s ‘way cool.’

Posted: Wed, Jan 13, 2016

She ran around the soccer field like a chicken with its head cut off.

The field was in Chile, a hemisphere away from Nebraska and her life at UNO, and Cassidy Cooper just couldn’t get into the flow because she didn’t know what her teammates were saying.

They were speaking Spanish. Cassidy had never studied Spanish. 

She wanted to walk off the field. But she stuck it out instead. And by the end of her six months in Chile last year studying global business at a university there, she’d learned enough of the language to get by and had become close friends with some of those teammates.

Cassidy is a senior majoring in Global Strategic Studies and International Business Management. She’ll graduate this May.

“With my future,” she says, “I now feel confident – whether I work here in Nebraska or whether it’s anywhere else in the world – that I’ll be able to thrive just based off of my experiences I’ve had, both at the University of Nebraska and around the world.”

Cassidy traveled to Chile with the help of a scholarship from the William and Jane Fleming Study Abroad Fund at UNO. Recently, she and another recipient of that scholarship, Hannah Fus, traveled to Florida to thank the donor, Omaha native Jane Fleming, for her generous gift.

“It was really a touching experience for me,” Cassidy says. “Visiting with Jane makes me want to contribute to other people’s lives like she has towards mine.”

Hannah, a senior psychology major who studied at a university in the Netherlands, says it was “beyond cool” to meet Jane Fleming in person: “She is an amazing woman who truly derives joy from giving to others, and her philanthropic spirit became apparent quickly.”

Like Cassidy, Hannah also feels that her time abroad will affect her future in many positive ways.  

“This chance to go and live in another country with a different culture has shown me there is so much more in the world than we can ever imagine,” she says, “and that we should frequently be pushing ourselves out of our personal comfort zone in order to learn more about ourselves.

“I became a changed person.”

Says Cassidy: “I just want to say thank you to the ‘Our Students, Our Future’ initiative, and everyone who plays a part in that because it truly touches students’ lives – and the future of our world.”

 “Our Students, Our Future,” the University of Nebraska’s $200 million fundraising initiative that runs through 2017, will provide direct support for university students like Cassidy and Hannah through scholarships that will make their college education more affordable; support for programs that improve student outcomes, particularly among traditionally underrepresented students; improvements to facilities that will enhance the learning experience; and other student-focused priorities.

If you would like to help our students, please contact the University of Nebraska Foundation at 800-432-3216.

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