Westminster Abbey, Edinburgh Castle, Jack the Ripper's neighborhood, Clink Prison Museum — all are part of the School of Arts & Sciences Study Abroad program each summer in England and Scotland.
Students from all JWU programs and campuses, along with one faculty member from the College of Business and one from arts and sciences, stay at Fitzwilliam College, University of Cambridge for three weeks and then venture out on excursions to York, England; Edinburgh, Scotland; and London. Courses include studies in arts and sciences and law. In 2010, those included Advanced Topics in Criminal Justice: Terrorism, covering terrorist attacks in and around England, as well as studies of the nation's history, literature and sociology.
"Only when I'm in England do I teach British history or British literature," says Ann Kordas, PhD, Providence assistant professor of humanities who traveled with the group in 2009 and 2010. "I get to expand my repertoire." Student questions during their travels draw her into conversations about such topics as the use of medieval armor, how castles were built and famous people buried in Westminster Abbey.
"Traveling is the best way to learn about the history and culture of a country ... trying different foods and going to museums and historical places," says Gabriela Sanchez '11, in the 2010 program. Visiting and studying sites related to England's legal system, from which the American justice system was adopted, was particularly enlightening for the criminal justice major.
> JWU Study Abroad
Rita Huang '14, Catherine Wang '14 and Karlie Haack '13 meet once a week at Starbucks® on Providence's Downcity Campus. Sometimes they get together at Huang's apartment. The three met in fall 2010 when they were matched for Conversation Partners, a program required for English as a Second Language (ESL) students and students in Communication Skills, an English course.
The trio take 10 hours during the term for casual conversation at times and locations they choose. The ESL students gain a better grasp of English by conversing with the English students, who get to practice reading nonverbal cues and listening taught in Communication Skills. According to Associate Professor Eileen Medeiros, PhD, English students, who fulfill their community service requirement through the program as well, write a paper about the experience for their class.
Huang and Wang appreciate the program. "It helps hearing Karlie pronounce things. It helps with my oral communications, reading, writing and grammar," says Wang, a hotel and lodging management major from China.
Haack, a sports/entertainment/event management major, says meeting with Huang and Wang has made her a better listener and was a good experience personally. "It's been great getting to know them. I didn't expect to form a relationship … Rita even made sushi for me.