Making Academics Count Overseas
Madison Goodrow – Staff Writer
To study abroad or not to study abroad, what a silly question. I have spent many months abroad in Italy and in Ireland, regretting none of it.
A little over a year ago, I found myself in a foreign country among strangers, but I left among friends. The Rome Program provides the accepted students the ability to study abroad in a comfortable environment, where they are among a small group of Assumption College students and are taught by Assumption College professors. This differs greatly from the experience I am currently having in Dublin.
When a student is enrolled in the Rome Program, he or she does not have to adjust to a new academic system, which makes the transition to a different country easier. The Rome Program is not like any other study abroad program. The students live together, take classes together and eat a nightly family dinner together. Along with these attributes students also have the ability to create a strong relationship with their professors, allowing students to have a strong grasp on the topics at hand.
Students take Assumption College classes that are taught by Assumption College professors, which means that these students do not have to adjust to a different academic system. Furthermore, the Rome Program uses the city to further educate their students. During my semester in Rome, my professors used the city to further our education.
I have had the rare opportunity to study abroad for two semesters, one spent in Rome and the other in Dublin. Ireland has a different academic system than the United States does. Regarding assessments, Irish students are not constantly tested and quizzed on the information they are learning. Meaning that for all five of my classes I have one large paper at the end of the semester; that one paper is my only assessment all semester. At Assumption College, students have a close relationship with their professors, but that is not that case at Trinity College Dublin. Irish students have a distant relationship with their professors, where office hours are not obviously posted. I am finding this semester more demanding than any other semester. Every class does not have three hours of lecture a week, which means that more reading and work outside of class. For example, my behavioral analysis class meets once a week for an hour, but my developmental psychology class meets twice a week for an hour each.
Study abroad is all about the challenges a student faces and how they overcome those challenges. Since this is my third time abroad, I am not faced with the same challenges that others are facing. Study abroad is all about challenging yourself in ways you never thought of before. The academics of a global program is a challenge, but with each challenge that is overcome a student has the opportunity to become a better person and a better scholar.
Madison Goodrow, a junior, studies English. She is a staff writer for Le Provocateur.