Both students earned full scholarships from the Polish Ministry of Education and the Kosciuszko Foundation of New York City to study for the 2006-07 academic year in Krakow, Poland. The foundation is a Polish-American organization that strives to enhance relations between the two countries. Of the six scholarships it awarded last year, two went to GVSU students.
Locke, from Spring Lake, graduated last year with a bachelor's degree in liberal studies. He had studied abroad in Prague, Czech Republic, and said he developed a strong interest in Eastern European art and history.
"I applied because I wanted the experience of studying abroad again, and living abroad, which is much different from just traveling," Locke said. "So far, it has just been incredible; I am learning so much, meeting so many people from different countries and traveling."
The scholarship pays for their education and living expenses, plus provides a monthly stipend.
Goedel, who has a double major in marketing and international business, said he took Polish language classes at GVSU and wanted to learn more about the country's culture.
"I wanted to gain a firm grasp and understanding of Polish, which is by far one of the most difficult subjects I have ever studied," said Goedel, from Sebewaing. "I also wanted to learn and understand a culture completely different from my own."
Locke and Goedel live together with another American in one of the dorms at Jagiellonian University, which is Poland's oldest university and the alma mater of Pope John Paul II.