Eighteen St. Edward’s students recently returned from four months of study at the university’s new portal campus in Angers, France — the first to spend a fall semester in Angers.
As part of its emphasis on international education, the university provides students with chances to see themselves in a global community. The St. Edward’s University programs in Angers, France have taken that mission to a new level.
The fall Angers program combined classroom studies, academic excursions, internships and volunteer opportunities to immerse students in their French experience. Classes focused on French language and culture, European history, and international business and communication. Field trips in the Loire Valley, Normandy and Paris brought European culture and history to life.
Anne Marie Ruscoe ’11, Communication, and Mely Rabalais ’10, Global Studies, were among five St. Edward’s students who completed internships in Angers.
Ruscoe sharpened her language skills working with French children in English-language library classes. Rabalais put her studies into practice as a teaching assistant with international students in the St. Edward’s First Year in France program.
Rabalais recalls a favorite memory when her students, who were preparing to study in the U.S., “got it” during class discussions about minority experiences in American history. “It was exciting to see how the concepts they were learning influenced their global understanding,” she says.
St. Edward’s University faculty members, Catherine MacDermott, professor of Business Communication, and William Nichols, associate professor of Political Science, accompanied the group to Angers and taught alongside French faculty.
MacDermott stresses that international studies are not just about the travel, “but also about having transformative experiences.” As MacDermott and her students hit the streets together on a “cultural scavenger hunt,” they talked about branding and marketing in the city. “Local businesses welcomed the students, really engaging them in the business practices,” she says. “We learned by living it.”
Copyright © 2010 St. Edward’s University