Shot of Megan Eisenhour

Education transcends global boundaries

Since 1958, Lourdes has prepared students to achieve post-graduation success. Recognizing the ever increasing global world in which Lourdes graduates live, the university has strengthened its internship programs and increased the number of study abroad opportunities.

Megan Eisenhour (’14, BA/BS) is just one of the many individuals who have taken advantage of these opportunities.

Teaching by example

College can truly change the course of one’s life. When Megan Eisenhour graduated high school and enrolled at a local public university, she was unsure of the best major to pursue. She considered possible careers as a doctor, physical therapist, nurse or even a writer. However, life as a public university student changed her perspective. “I attended for one year and experienced the huge class sizes and non-personalized education. My chemistry class was a 500-person lecture! It made me reminiscent for my small hometown education and helped me realize the career I really wanted to pursue – that of an educator.”

The Pemberville native heard about Lourdes University from a friend and decided to come for a campus visit. “It was a perfect fit for me and my life. I was able to live at home, work in my family’s business (Eisenhour Motor Sales) and pursue my education,” she says. Double majoring in Adolescence to Young Adult (AYA) education and English, the fourth generation Eisenhour Motor Sales employee believes transferring to Lourdes was the “best decision I ever made. Lourdes is the only college that understands and accommodates a student who needs to work while pursuing his or her education.”

As she approached her senior year at Lourdes, Megan was encouraged to complete some of her student teaching in Brazil through an EDA 450 course. She decided to take advantage of the opportunity that did not cost much more than the actual class. “For 10 weeks, I lived with a Brazilian host family and taught at the Pan American School of Porto Alegre. It was an amazing experience. While I left home in August during summer, it was the winter season in Brazil and very rainy with absolutely no snow. Porto Alegre is actually on the same latitude as southern Africa. There wasn’t a good way to dress. In the morning it would be around 35 degrees Fahrenheit and then after school, the temperature would hover around 80 degrees!”

While student teaching at the Pan American School, Megan worked with eighth graders from South America, Asia, Germany, and Spain. When not in school, she was able to live and travel with her host family and their seven year old daughter. “They were very nice. As one of the wealthier families, they even had nannies and drivers in their employ,” she says.

Student teaching and living in Brazil allowed Megan to learn the culture and compare and contrast the education system in both countries. “The Brazilian public school system is poor. Students are not required to attend. There are no scholarships available for gifted students with financial need,” she says. Those students whose families can afford private schooling are multilingual – speaking Portuguese at home, English at school and often learning several other languages.

When she returned to the States that fall, Megan began student teaching at St. Joseph School in Sylvania. With the support of a seventh grade teacher, she created lesson plans that allowed the Sylvania students to interact and learn with the students enrolled at the Pan American School in Brazil. Through e-Pals, an online pen pal program, collaborative group projects allowed the students to hone communication skills including writing formal emails, friendly letter correspondence, and formatting in Google Docs. “It was a great experience for the students.

They took it very seriously because someone else outside of their lived experience was seeing their work,” she says.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree, the alumna is now teaching English Language Arts to high school students at Carey Exempted Village Schools.