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SMC to offer new programs

Lisa Gallagher | Monday, October 10, 2005

Saint Mary’s students with an itch to travel have two new opportunities to do so this year – for class credit.

In addition to the 15 semester, semester-break, year and summer study abroad programs already being offered at the College, students can now choose either the Comparative Women’s Studies in Europe – provided by Antioch College in Ohio – or Business Internships in the European Union.

“Saint Mary’s is very gradually and thoughtfully expanding study abroad options to best meet the needs and interests of our students,” said Elaine Meyer-Lee, director of International and Intercultural Learning at the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL).

Astrid Henry, coordinator and assistant professor for Women’s Studies at the College and the director of the Women’s Studies in Europe option, said students who are enrolled in the fall-based program will travel to four or five different countries, studying with feminist scholars and activists from each.

The program, which began at Antioch College in 1984, was approved for Saint Mary’s in spring 2004 by the CWIL International Study Committee and the Curriculum Committee. It examines the trends and dynamics of European social, economic and political systems as they influence contemporary gender theory, policy and women’s identities.

“The Women’s Studies Advisory Committee chose the Antioch Comparative Women’s Studies in Europe program because of its strong national reputation in the field of Women’s Studies,” Henry said.

Michael Sanders, director of Student Programs and assistant professor of Business Communications and Internships, is directing the summer-based Business Internships in the European Union program. He could not be reached for comment.

“The program opens up a brand new format of internships for [Saint Mary’s], an experiential learning mode which students are increasingly seeking,” Meyer-Lee said of the Business Internships opportunity.

In the past two years, Saint Mary’s has added foreign study in six different countries with much success, including Australia, Ecuador and Mexico. For many years, Saint Mary’s women have been encouraged to try out the different options and opportunities available to them, and they have enrolled in the programs enthusiastically.

“While we expect new programs to start very gradually, reaction from the students looking to these kinds of experiences has been very positive,” Meyer-Lee said. “We measure the success of any individual program by the quality of the experience of the student, not the quantity it enrolls.”