If all goes as planned, 2008 LaRue County High School graduate Shelby Haun will be living in an English castle this fall.
Haun, a sophomore social work major at Western Kentucky University, is spending her fall 2010 semester at Harlaxton College in Grantham, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom.
Since 1971, the University of Evansville has owned Harlaxton College, which was built in the 1830s. Thanks to a partnership with Evansville and Harlaxton, Western sends a group of about 25 students every semester to study there.
Most students that attend, like Haun, are in the Honors College at WKU.
“I will either be living in the Manor or in the carriage house right beside the manor,” Haun said.
The manor is in the castle with rooms very different from those in dormitories. The carriage house is set up more like normal dorm rooms.
Haun will earn 12 credit hours that will transfer to WKU. One class is British Studies (required by all); another, Personal Finance, and the third, Intro to Studio Art, which she said she’s taking “just for fun.”
Since classes are in session on Mondays through Thursdays, she plans on traveling to different countries almost every weekend.
“I plan on going to Germany, Ireland, Scotland, France, Italy and maybe Greece,” Haun said. Some trips will be with school groups, but the majority will be on her own, accompanied by a handful of friends.
She’s also looking forward to activities that abound.
“They have a cricket team, soccer team, basketball team, and many more,” she said. “During the week the sports teams travel to different schools in the area to compete.”
Apart from sports, she has the opportunity to become involved in the “Meet a Family” program in which she links up with a family, and will be able to spend some time with them to learn about their culture.
The daughter of Roland and Anji Haun of Hodgenville, Shelby leaves for the trip Aug. 26 and will return around Dec. 9.
Of all the aspects of the forthcoming trip, she’s most excited about the independent traveling.
“I have done a lot of traveling but I have always relied on someone to do all the planning and decision making,” she said. “I’m excited about booking flights, train tickets, finding cheap hostels to stay in, and really becoming a natural in using public transportation. I believe that I will learn a lot in being an independent person ... and probably do a bit of growing up along the way.”
Thanks to the school partnership, tuition, room and board cost roughly the same at both universities.
Haun, who plans to graduate from WKU in 2012, has some counsel for those students at her high school alma mater.
“If I could go back and give advice to students there now it would be, ‘Make the best grades you can and work as hard as you can because your grades are like money – the better grades you get, the more scholarship money you may receive’,” she said. “I’m so thankful for all my teachers and the faculty that pushed me to do my best.”