Peter Shepherd ’18 chose Manchester University for the sense of community that he felt on his first visit. Thanks to the support he found here, he’s spending the semester studying abroad.

“I was excited about being able to build connections with the people that I’d met on campus already,” said the Warsaw, Ind., native. “I’m really learning the importance and the value of relationships with friends and with others. It pushes me to be better.”

Peter has been involved in campus life, clubs and also plays on the baseball team. All of those activities, he says, have helped him connect to a wide range of people and grow, personally, academically and in his faith.

“I absolutely love Manchester. I enjoy the campus life and building one-on-one relationships with a wide variety of people. I can walk across campus every day and see familiar faces,” he says, adding that he’s “grown up” at MU. “I’m learning that it’s not all about me.”

By sharing himself with others, he adds, he can get closer to discovering his best self.

With an eye on a career in international business, Peter, who’s spending fall semester studying in Vienna, Austria, and Marburg, Germany, is taking full advantage of Manchester’s sales and German language courses.  “I want to travel and be able to use German,” adds Peter, he says. He says he was ready to leave the small-town feel “and spread my wings.”

But he also knows being abroad won’t always be easy.

“I want to learn to be comfortable with discomfort and learn how to deal with it,” he says. The challenges, he adds, are all part of the learning experience.

MU has provided Peter with opportunities he knows he would not have had at a larger university. “I’m really learning the responsibility, and the value, of having others depending on you,” he says.  He credits English Professor Beate Gilliar, a mentor, and Professor Joe Messer, his advisor, for encouraging him to pursue his dreams and opportunities he never imagined he would have.

Karly Prichard ’17