Hi All! My name is Katie Bush and I am an Admissions Coordinator with ESLI. I work in our headquarters office in Bowling Green, Kentucky on the beautiful campus of our partner, Western Kentucky University.
As an Admissions Coordinator, I am so grateful to be able to get to “meet”many of our students through reading their applications and to help students figure out which of our programs is a perfect fit for their future goals. My favorite part about working with ESLI is when I can meet students in person and share with them what I love about my home!
Last October, I was able to participate in several activities with a group of short-term students from Mexico and to see the friendships that were created was an incredible experience. These 10 students lived and studied on the campus of Western Kentucky University (WKU) and were able to explore the area with us during my favorite season- Autumn!
I am originally from the state of Michigan, which is in the Northern part of the United States and moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky two years ago. Kentucky is now my second home and there is so much to love about this state which is why I was so excited to share it with these students. We also explored some areas of the state that I had never been to before and so I was able to learn with them.
One of our first field trips was to travel North to Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville is known for the horse racing industry and is where the famous Kentucky Derby horse race is held. Our first stop was to visit the Kentucky Derby Museum which features an awesome 360-degree film and a tour of the race-track. We were also able to compete in a virtual horse race!In downtown Louisville, our group visited the Louisville Slugger Museum where many of the wooden bats are made for the pro baseball teams in the United States. Downtown Louisville is beautiful and features a pedestrian bridge which crosses a river to the state of Indiana. We were able to cross the bridge and be in two places at once! We completed our trip with a walk through the Pumpkin Spectacular which features over 1,000 carved Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins for Halloween.
Outside of Kentucky Derby Museum
Crossing the bridge in Louisville that goes from Kentucky to Indiana
On a different day, we traveled South, to explore Nashville which is actually located in the state of Tennessee, only an hour away from WKU. We were able to explore Belle Meade Plantation an original home from the early 1860’s. The Nashville area is home to many plantation style historic homes that played roles in the American Civil War. Nashville is also considered to be the home of country music and so we visited the famous Opryland. A trip to Nashville just wouldn’t be complete without visiting its beautiful downtown area. Lucky for us, Nashville’s pro hockey team was playing and we were able to take the students to an ice hockey game!
Outside of Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville
Nashville Predator’s Hockey Game!
Our group also spent a lot of time exploring Bowling Green and the local area. Bowling Green is home to the Corvette Museum and is the only place where Corvette cars are manufactured. It is also home to Lost River Cave, which is a cave where our students were able to take an underground boat tour! If you love ice cream like I do, then Bowling Green/WKU is the place for you because Chaney’s Dairy Barn makes their own right here in town and of course we had to take the students to get some.
Beautiful view outside of Chaney’s Dairy Barn while we ate ice cream
Only 30 minutes away from Bowling Green is the famous Mammoth Cave which is the longest cave system in the world! There have been more than 400 miles of cave explored. I was able to go on a tour with the students in the cave and I love seeing the reactions of students as they enter the cave for the first time. It is awe-inspiring! Surrounding Mammoth Cave is a beautiful natural landscape, especially in Autumn as all the leaves on the trees are changing color. Since Kentucky is known for its horses, we decided a horse-back ride was the best way to take in some this area’sscenic nature.
Part of our group on their horse back ride
During their month here, the students were able to participate in many activities for Halloween. Halloween is actually one of my favorite US holidays! We took the students to a pumpkin patch where they were able to pick their own pumpkin and then we had a pumpkin carving party. Additionally, ESLI at WKU always has a really fun Halloween party for all of the ESLI students on campus that this group of students attended.
ESLI at WKU Halloween Party
I can’t believe how fast the month went by! It was hard for everyone to say goodbye, but I will always remember the friendships that were made and I will have the memories forever. I hope that these students and all the other ESLI students who have studied at WKU will always consider Kentucky to be another home for them.
Outside of My Old Kentucky Home park which is located in Bardstown, Kentucky. Bardstown was named the Most Beautiful Small Town in the United States in 2014.