Bright Future: Trinity senior invited to study abroad

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 16, 2017

By Christian Coffman

NATCHEZ — For incoming senior Anna Rodriguez, learning at home is not enough.

Rodriguez was invited to study abroad through Hillsdale College in Michigan.

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Kristen Stokes, Rodriguez’s government and economy teacher at Trinity Episcopal Day School, said Rodriguez always has her sights set on different horizons.

“Anna’s family spends a great deal (of time) traveling ever since she was little,” Stokes said. “I think her desire to travel came from her parents,” Stokes said.

Rodriguez said Hillsdale College sent her an email inviting her to join their summer abroad program, which focused on World War II and Winston Churchill.

Rodriguez went to Michigan and learned about Churchill and his role in the war, then went to London for four to five days.

“In London, we didn’t really visit the traditional landmarks. We paid closer attention to Churchill’s home and grave,” Rodriguez said.  “We saw Downing Street where Churchill’s office was, and he lived on that street while prime minister.”

Rodriguez then traveled across the English Channel to Caen, France, and spent a few days in Normandy as well, spending the Fourth of July on Omaha Beach.

Rodriguez said she toured the rest of the Normandy beaches and then we went to Paris.

“We climbed the Eiffel Tower, visited Notre Dame Cathedral and Napoleon’s casket,” Rodriguez said. “He had seven caskets … he was buried in one casket and then it had seven other layers, all in this big domed-shaped room. He was the center of attention.”

Rodriguez said she was worried at first about the trip after coming from a small school.

“I don’t get a lot of chances to meet new people and socialize,” Rodriguez said. “It was really important that I went out and met new people.”

In a town as close as Natchez, Rodriguez said, “everyone knows everyone and their mother.”

“Being able to go out and having to meet new people was good practice for college,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said she highly recommends that other students go on study abroad programs if they can.

“It’s important to visit these other cultures and open your mind,” Rodriguez said.

She is the daughter of Linda and Dr. Jack Rodriguez of Natchez.