HIGH POINT, N.C., July 2, 2010 – Dan Costello, a 2009 graduate of High Point University, has gone global – thanks to the program, “YMCA Go Global.” As part of the program, Costello is spending several months in Bogota, Colombia, serving as a volunteer English, Spanish and science teacher for the YMCA.
Costello, a native of Rochester, N.Y., who graduated with Bachelor of Science in psychology and a minor in Spanish, was looking for a different kind of experience when he finished up his degree at HPU, he explains. He previously had completed volunteer work during both high school and college, so finding more volunteer work seemed like a natural choice. That’s when he came across the Go Global program.
“I was comfortable working with the YMCA, so I applied and was accepted,” Costello says. “I wanted to work in a Spanish-speaking country so that I could continue to develop the Spanish I had learned at HPU. I was offered the opportunity to work in Colombia and jumped at the opportunity.”
Costello, who arrived in Bogota at the end of March and will stay until December, not only teaches, but he also works with the YMCA Federation, the governing body of the YMCA locations in Colombia. At the Federation, he works in English immersion camps, and in the fall, he will be a teaching assistant at a local university, where he?ll teach English.
While Costello is busy teaching and spending time with the people he meets, he hopes to accomplish two very important goals while overseas ? maintain a positive presence in the community, and become more proficient in Spanish.
“While I’m not bilingual yet, I have no problem communicating and understanding Spanish,” Costello says. “I have also developed very close relationships with people in Colombia during my stay. Although I miss my family and friends, it will certainly be difficult to leave here.”
Costello says this experience has truly been meaningful and life-changing. “I have learned so very much in a short period of time,” he says. “It’s so important to learn about other cultures. ? To me, there is no more gratifying experience than volunteering abroad.”
At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people. HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 3,700 undergraduate and graduate students from 50 countries and 46 states at campuses in High Point and Winston-Salem. It is ranked by US News and World Report No. 5 among comprehensive universities in the South and No. 1 in its category among up-and-coming schools. Forbes.com ranks HPU in the top 6 percent among “America’s Best Colleges.” HPU was included in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s “Great Colleges to Work For” 2009 listings. The university offers 68 undergraduate majors, 40 undergraduate minors and seven graduate degree programs. It is accredited by the Commission of Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. Visit High Point University on the Web at http://www.highpoint.edu/ or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/highpointu.
Vice President for Administration