Originally from Peru, Lorelei and Kirschen Zoeger Boggiano aren't your average commuter students at New Paltz. On a normal day, they wake up, go horseback riding and make their way to New Paltz to attend classes.
Kirschen, an international business major, came to the United States a few years ago. In leaving, she left Lorelei and the rest of her family to live with her father, the manager of a horse farm outside of New Paltz, and attend high school as an English-as-a-Second-Language student (ESL). After graduating, she attended the ESL program at New Paltz and became a full-time student.
Within a year, Lorelei followed in her sister's footsteps, attending the same programs and becoming a graphic design major at the college.
The two now live in Gardiner, a far cry from life in Peru, where they grew up on their father's horse farm surrounded by large family get-togethers.
"My dad put us on a horse when we were each a month old," said Lorelei, who at one point rode a donkey.
Lorelei ranks second nationally in the Peruvian Paso show. In mid-August she and her group competed at a show in New Jersey with six horses. She walked away with several awards and qualified to compete at the nationals in Texas in October.
Though Kirschen doesn't compete, she is an avid rider and supports her sister by attending the competitions.
When the two attend shows, they find themselves surrounded by Peruvians, which makes them feel at home.
On campus, the two are involved in the International Student Union.
"I'm close to the international students even though we don't speak the same language, said Kirschen. "We understand that we came from another country and are there to support each other."
Why New Paltz? "The professors here know that you're an international
student and help to make you feel comfortable in your classes," said
Hobbies: swimming, watching movies and riding on the farm.
Goals: The two want to go to New York City and work there - Kirschen as a spa owner and Lorelei as a fashion designer.
Influenced by: "My mom," said Kirschen. "She always wanted us to go to college."
Little-Known Fact: The two still share a room.