From Peru to Norway, Students Study Abroad

March 13, 2017

By Maggie Lynch '17

From Peru to Norway, the Dominican Republic to Morocco, twenty-six Saint Anselm College students in partner programs have departed the Hilltop for a semester of study abroad. They're enjoying the experience of attending college in another country, and for many, in another language.

In Norway, Lauren Batchelder '19, a history major with a gender studies minor, is studying at the University of Oslo. Taking courses including Ibsen studies, History of the Vikings, Gender in Nordic Countries and a class at the law school, Batchelder is challenging herself and her view of the world, while also taking time off from her studies to explore the area; she has already travelled to the Arctic Circle, where she made the acquaintance of reindeer and saw the Northern Lights illuminate the sky.

Batchelder's goals for this semester are not only academic, but also worldly. She explains, "I want to learn how to better become a citizen of the world. I think it's imperative to learn how to get along with others on a global scale, despite our differences. I'm hoping to become more daring and to push myself out of my comfort zone. I'm definitely more grateful, especially after standing under the Northern Lights in the middle of mountains; it's such a humbling experience where you realize that life is so much bigger than you are."

Across the Atlantic Ocean in the Dominican Republic, Megan Miller '19, a peace and justice studies and Spanish major, tells of a different kind of humbling experience: the opportunity to engage in service-learning in another country. Immersing herself in the language and culture, through ISA (International Studies Abroad), she participates in service with an Institute for the Blind and visually impaired. At Saint Anselm, she is a service coordinator for YWCA through the Meelia Center for Community Engagement, and she sees deep connections between her experiences abroad and those in the shared community in Manchester.

"I volunteer and it has definitely made me think about our Benedictine values," says Miller. "I see a lot of people from a low socioeconomic class who clearly have difficult lives. Meeting these different people provides endless opportunities to be Anselmian: to show hospitality, to treat them with respect, to offer them dignity. This experience humbled me and gave me immense respect for the blind students I assist. Service and solidarity are the values that most shape my Anselmian identity, and strengthening these values abroad will undoubtedly affect the way I live and serve back home."

computer science with business major, Joshua Leary '18, is studying at Maquarie University in Sydney, Australia. His hope is to find a sense of self while abroad, by learning new concepts both in and out of the classroom to challenge the way he thinks and to form a more complete view of himself. Leary expresses excitement for a new learning style and environment: "Experiencing school in a new place will show me an alternative style of learning, allowing me to contrast that with the education I receive at Saint A's. This will help me combine the two learning styles into something that works most efficiently for me."

Others have found connections between their two places of study in different ways. For Catherine Doucette '18 a fine arts major with an art history concentration, this is her second semester abroad in England; since last featured, she has returned to the University of Leeds eager to add some depth to her studies. Through specific courses and experiential learning, she is taking what she learned about art history during her first two years at Saint Anselm and applying it to the world of museum curating and research abroad.

Along with her work in classes, Doucette has a research placement at Leeds Grand Theatre, where she is conducting "archival research on the history of the Grand Theatre and Leeds Cities Varieties in order to develop, curate, and install an exhibition at the theatre."

Doucette was also selected to present her research at the University of Leeds Undergraduate Research Experience (URGE), on February 17, 2017. There, she spoke on the impact of Flemish art on the early works of Sandro Botticelli, which, she says "was a great opportunity to meet other students, to hear about what other students are researching, and to practice presenting my research at a conference-style event."

Doucette is featured on the Study Abroad blog this semester.

Also featured on the Study Abroad Blog are juniors Nicollette Manzi, studying in Galway, Ireland and Jessica Kaufman, studying in Cusco, Peru.

Saint Anselm College's Office of International Programs provides students with many opportunities to study abroad, whether traditional semester-long programs or short-term, faculty-led Global Seminars. The college also offers a program in Orvieto, Italy, where twenty-one Saint Anselm students and three faculty will live, learn, and explore Italy's Umbria region this semester.

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