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London Calling
By Raanan Geberer

Last fall, several College of Mount Saint Vincent students headed to the U.K. to participate in the Mount’s exchange program with St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham, in London, England. With their feet now firmly planted back on American soil, they report an overall positive experience, with friendly fellow students and faculty and a keen interest in America from their British counterparts.

This unique program allows Mount students to study for one semester in London, while their British peers can study in the Big Apple as part of the exchange program. The Mount’s study abroad program in study abroad program in England is the latest in the College’s full roster of study abroad offerings, which includes programs in Russia, Japan, Italy, Canada, and Guatemala.

Mahabir Samuel

Mahabir Samuel '12

At St. Mary’s, Mount students lived on campus and took courses in their majors, aswell as other subjects. Sociology major Mahabir Samuel ’12 took two sociology courses, “Experience and Society,” and “Race and Representation,” a poetry course, and completed an internship in London.

Classes were divided into two parts: a lecture by the professor, followed by a seminar. Fellow sociology major Jamelia Bastien ’12 says the seminar sessions “were always interesting because of the diverse backgrounds of the students in the class.”

Both students found a friendliness and informality among most of the people they met in London. Jamelia recalls that some of her classmates from St. Mary’s not only surprised her on her birthday, but they also celebrated Thanksgiving – an American holiday – together.

Jamelia Bastien

Jamelia Bastien '12

Although they were more than 3,000 miles from home, Mount students found many similarities with St. Mary’s University.

Dean of the School of Professional and Continuing Studies Edward Meyer says, “St. Mary’s is a private college on the outskirts of the city, similar to the Mount here in Riverdale.”

Of course, the students didn’t spend all their time studying. St. Mary’s offered weekly activities for students, such as karaoke, quiz night, international student night, and more.

“These events bring a majority of the campus together to share a laugh and have a good time,” Mahabir says.

Students were also encouraged to explore London’s great cultural institutions, the U.K., and other locations in Europe.

Overall, both students were glad they had the opportunity to study abroad and to learn about a different, although similar, culture and people.