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posted on 1/28/08
Saint Joseph's Students Broaden Horizons by Studying Abroad
Story written for SJC by Publications and Media Relations intern Kathleen Grady
Posted: January 28, 2008
Living in a rapidly changing world means understanding different countries and cultures, especially for college students. Many students have the opportunity to spend a semester studying in a foreign country, fully immersing themselves in another culture. Saint Joseph's College is one school that has a small but growing number of students who take advantage of the chance to study abroad.
Dr. David Dixon, Associate Professor of Political Science, has served as the director of SJC's Study Abroad Program since 2002. He is very pleased to see the number of interested students rising and believes in the value of spending a semester in a foreign country.
"Studying abroad is becoming more essential as the U.S. economy is becoming increasingly interdependent with other economies all over the world," Dixon said. "I'm happy to say that this semester, we are sending more students abroad than during any other semester since I arrived in January 2002."
For the 2008 winter semester, SJC has five students placed in various locations in Europe. Studying in London, England, are junior Nicole Little from Springfield, Ohio, in the fields of biology and chemistry; junior Meghan O'Neill from Chicago Heights, Illinois, in the field of business administration; and senior Taleah Sanford of Peru, Indiana, also in the field of business administration. Nicole Pickens, a sophomore from Lucerne, Indiana, is studying international relations in Wales; and David Santangelo, a junior from Indianapolis, Indiana, is studying English and theater in Grantham, England.
Although the semester has only just begun, the students are already enjoying their new surroundings and absorbing the culture. "It has been quite an experience coming here," Santangelo said. "I'm studying at Harlaxton College about 100 miles from London, but I have already spent a weekend there. I took a tour of Westminster Abbey, visited Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, witnessed the changing of the horse guard at Parliament, and saw the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. Finally, I went on a tour of Shakespeare's reconstructed Globe Theatre and got to see the site of the original Globe."
Even Santangelo's living quarters are full of history. "I live with two other guys in Harlaxton Manor," he said. "There are many stairs and passageways, so it is easy to get lost in. I have even found a few secret passages in the manor. It was the home of the Royal Air Force during World War II, and Margaret Thatcher stayed here when she was Prime Minister."
While they are overseas, students are able to pursue their interests outside of academics, as well. "I have an internship at a bank in London," O'Neill said. "I'm also taking a class through London Metropolitan University as well as two other classes through Central College in Pella, Iowa."
Studying abroad is easier than most people might think, according to Dixon. "Any student from any major can participate, and there are no extracurricular requirements or restrictions. The [overseas] cost is also very close to the average [cost at Saint Joseph's]. GPA requirements can vary according to the program, but we usually expect at least a 2.0 average."
There are also outside scholarships available for students wishing to study abroad. Santangelo is one student who won a scholarship from the Harlaxton campus for $2,000, which was applied toward his semester abroad.
For more information on SJC's study abroad program, contact Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saint Joseph's College, named a "character-building college" by the Templeton Foundation and a "best Midwestern college" by the Princeton Review, is a four-year, Catholic, liberal arts college offering 74 major, minor, and pre-professional programs. Founded and sponsored by the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, SJC is located in Rensselaer, Indiana, approximately 90 minutes from both Chicago and Indianapolis, on a park-like campus of 180 acres and has an enrollment of over 1,000 students.