July 25, 2005
Contact: Joshua Hollis
Study Abroad Program allows MUW students to explore the
COLUMBUS, Miss. – Imagine walking through the British
Museum in London, or visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Or, picture yourself at Kosenjo Park near Nagoya, Japan,
site of a battle during the Warring States period. Now
imagine receiving college credit while doing this. With
the Mississippi University for Women Study Abroad
Program, it’s possible.
The Study Abroad Program allows students to experience
new parts of the world and receive credits at MUW for
the classes they take at the respective universities.
According to the program’s website, students are
provided with “some of the personal and social skills
that an increasingly global community demands.”
Dr. Eric Daffron, professor of English and program
coordinator, believes the program to be an important
part of a student’s development. “Nowadays it is
imperative that students study or live abroad. That way
they can gain the intercultural experiences that many
employers and professional schools seek.”
Mary Katherine Kirkpatrick, who studied at London’s
Huron University, said she would participate in the
program again “in a heartbeat.” She said the biggest
lesson she received from the program was learning about
a different culture. “I think it is so important as
students to realize that there is a whole world out
there and that not everyone lives as we do here. Being
able to experience that culture taught me a great deal.”
Sarah Sheffield, who studied at the Abbey in France,
said, “The Abbey was an excellent program that did a
wonderful job of integrating the study of the culture we
were immersed in with the classes we were there to
take,” adding that her class would read about something
historical, then take a field trip to actually see the
monument, such as the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre.
She also praised the interactive learning process, in
which she was able to study paintings by going to see
the original work, not looking at it in a textbook.
Kirkpatrick and Sheffield are not the only ones
attracted to the program. Student interest in the Study
Abroad Program has spiked recently.
Daffron said “We’ve had more students study abroad in
the last 12 months than we have since I started
coordinating the program in the fall of 1998.”
Both Kirkpatrick and Sheffield said the Study Abroad
Program was an integral part of the education process.
Sheffield added, “It is my personal belief that an
education is not complete without integrating an
understanding of other cultures, and I will jump at the
next chance I have to study abroad.”