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CAMPBELLSVILLE - Carrie Wohlschlegel posted her newest favorite quote on Facebook the other day ... a quote from Ibn Battuta: “Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
Wohlschlegel will be departing American soil in late August to become another in a long list of Campbellsville University students to study abroad — in London, England.
The daughter of a union pipe fitter dad and a kindergarten aide mom, Wohlschlegel has been an intregal part of the CU Women’s Swim Team for the past three years. She will remain a teammate, but will sit out competition the fall semester of her senior year due to the obvious.
Of course there’s the standing joke: “You can maintain your fitness by swimming in the English Channel.”
That, of course, draws a wide smile to her face.
“I’m really hoping to swim in the Olympic Pool and plan on getting a student membership to Imperial College where I can do some athletic stuff.
“I was a little apprehensive when I went to coach (Casey Smith) to tell her about the opportunity,” said Wohlschlegel. “She was very supportive and reassured me that this was something I needed to do.”
“We’ll miss her attitude more than anything,” said Smith. “She’s my only senior and I’m so glad she will be coming back.
“She was so worried that I wouldn’t have enough female athletes to compete in some relays that I think she would have stayed if I told her I needed her. She really has that great mindset ... sacrificing for the greater good of the team.”
Wohlschlegel applied for a passport in January, knowing that that move was a big step in making herself follow her dream. She learned that she was accepted into the program in March while traveling with her Lady Tiger teammates at swim nationals in Oklahoma City.
She graduated from North Bullitt High near Shepherdsville, Ky., and came to Campbellsville from very small swim beginnings at her high school alma mater. Her first year at NBHS there were only two people on her swim team and by her senior year that number had expanded to only five.
Choosing Campbellsville was easy for Wohlschlegel, who said she visited the campus and fell in love with what she saw. It had all the things she wanted ... good academics, a swim team and an open-armed music department. As a woodwind member of the CU orchestra and concert and pep bands, Wohlschlegel plays oboe and clarinet.
“She is a very bright young woman and has contributed greatly to the overall sound of the orchestra,” said orchestra conductor Dr. Robert Gaddis.” The oboe is a very hard instrument to play and we only have two in the orchestra. Her trip will be a loss for the orchestra, but a wonderful experience for her.”
Wohlschlegel will be taking 12 credit hours at Richmond, The American International University of London through the American Institute for Foreign Study.
Wohlschlegel had done her homework, scouring the Internet trying to figure out how to make her overseas academic dream become reality. That’s when she stumbled across AIFS.
“I knew I wanted to go to an English-speaking country because I’m not comfortable with the language barrier,” she said. “Plus, I needed to figure out the price and what would be included in the cost to help me choose the best overall package that fit into my finances.”
Wohlschlegel will be meeting fellow students she has only, so far, met on Facebook. She flies from Cincinnati to Washington, D.C. to London on Aug. 27 and will be in England about 3 ? months. It will be the first time out of country for Wohlschlegel, having flown on only three other occasions — once to Florida and twice more with her teammates to swim nationals.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” said Smith, “and she needs to do this. I told her to go and have fun and miss me a little bit.
“Hopefully she’ll be able to keep her cardio up because swimming uses every muscle in your body and that’s with your face in the water.”
Sporting a 4.0 GPA, Wohlschlegel intends to graduate with an English major and music minor, eventually gaining a master’s and possibly a Ph.D so she can teach. Well, that’s what she’s thinking right now.
What is she to expect once she gets there? That’s the $64,000 question.
“I bought a good raincoat. I hear it rains a lot there,” she said. “It’s probably colder than what I’m used to.”
But weather notwithstanding, Wohlschlegel is in for the time of her life ... and the stories she will be able to tell.
“It’s something my friends joke about with me all the time. “‘Oh, you’re going to make a story about that.’”