Study­ing abroad and fall­ing in love!

The Sligo Champion - - NEWS -

Love does blos­som at col­lege! French­man, Pas­cal Bon­ni­chon was on a year’s study in Sligo when he fell in love.

That was over 30 years ago. A mar­riage and two chil­dren later the happy cou­ple are cel­e­brat­ing the fact they met while at col­lege.

Pas­cal met his now wife Siob­hán dur­ing his year abroad study­ing in IT Sligo in 1987 on the Eras­mus pro­gramme.

Siob­han re­called the first time they met; “Pas­cal moved next door and I asked him to carry a bag of coal in from the garage for me.

“On our first date he cooked me din­ner and af­ter­wards he even washed the dishes!

“So that was me, smit­ten!” says Siob­hán.

Pas­cal moved back to France in 1988 and Siob­hán even­tu­ally fol­lowed him.

The cou­ple re­mained in France un­til 2004, where they had two chil­dren named Cian and Aoife, but even­tu­ally de­cided to re­turn to Ire­land to set up their own wine whole­sale busi­ness.

As part of a cel­e­bra­tion of cou­ples who met and fell in love through the Eras­mus studyabroad pro­gramme a pho­tog­ra­phy ex­hi­bi­tion which fea­tures Pas­cal and Siob­han has ar­rived at IT Sligo.

The show has trav­elled across the EU and was first in­stalled in the Gare Mont­par­nasse in Paris.

It was brought to Sligo with the sup­port of the French Em- bassy and the Higher Ed­u­ca­tion Au­thor­ity of Ire­land.

The ex­hi­bi­tion, tells the sto­ries of 17 cou­ples who fell in love while study­ing abroad dur­ing univer­sity.

The Eras­mus pro­gramme has had more than nine mil­lion stu­dents take part since it was es­tab­lished in 1987.

It is also re­spon­si­ble for an es­ti­mated mil­lion ba­bies born to cou­ples who met through the col­lege ex­change.

Speak­ing at the event, HEA, Head of In­ter­na­tional Pro- grammes, Gerry O’Sul­li­van said: “The idea came from an idea the French Min­is­ter for For­eign Af­fairs had some time ago.

In 2017 they com­mis­sioned a pho­tog­ra­pher who took thou­sands of pho­tos of fam­i­lies who say they have met through the Eras­mus Pro­gramme and now have chil­dren on their own.”

More than 4,000 Ir­ish stu­dents are ex­pected to take part in Eras­mus pro­grammes this year at third-level in­sti­tu­tions across 33 dif­fer­ent coun­tries.

France is the most pop­u­lar Euro­pean des­ti­na­tion for Ir­ish stu­dents, with an av­er­age of 700 young peo­ple trav­el­ling there with the pro­gramme each year.

Over 300 Eras­mus stu­dents come to IT Sligo to study each year.

Pas­cal Bon­ni­chon who met his wife Siob­hán dur­ing his year abroad study­ing in Sligo IT in 1987.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.