October 2018

International Center Update

This fall semester the Winona campus is home to 56 international students representing 17 countries. We are so lucky to have these students on our campus, and we ask all members of the campus community to show them that they are welcome! This includes six students in our English as a Second Language program, ten students in the English Language Bridging program, four exchange students here for one semester, and the remainder are degree-seekers. China continues to be the most represented country in the international student population, and new agreements with international recruiting agents have brought a few more students from Europe and four students from Japan. This diversification is positive for the future in terms of recruitment strategy and good for our campus environment. Four exchange students from UniLasalle, Beauvais, France are enrolled for one semester and two other Lasallian institutions have approached us to have students here next semester.
The university is hosting a visiting scholar from Xian Polytechnic University (XPU) in Xian, China, Dr. Fan Yang, who arrived on September 28. Dr. Yang is the third scholar from XPU, and she will be connecting with our department of business, engaging our faculty and students, and experiencing life on a US campus, while doing research for her home institution. If you’d like to meet Dr. Fan, she can be reached at This ongoing connection is intended to deepen our relationship with XPU. The associate dean for international programs will be traveling to Xian in mid-October to a recruiting event to talk with administrators there, and to attend an anniversary celebration; the university’s director of admission at the College and the chief academic officer will also participate in this trip.

The London semester study abroad program has twelve students participating this year. The production is “A Piece of My Heart” mounted from October 17-20.

Student Profile: Riku Watanabe

We are pleased to introduce one of our new international students, Riku Watanabe. He is from Tokyo, Japan, where “soccer was all of his life” as he played there for twelve years. He really wanted to become a professional player until his junior year of university when he started questioning what he should do with his life. He still doesn’t have an answer, but he knows he has to expand his knowledge, not only with intelligence but also with broader horizons, and that is why he is here with us today. We are fortunate he decided that SMU was the best place for him to broaden his horizons because of the university’s size and diversity. He likes being able to communicate with people who come from many countries. He is surprised by everything he has experienced here, and pleasantly so when it comes to meeting Americans - they are much kinder than he expected them to be. He looks forward to academic studies in business at SMU when he completes his English courses in the De La Salle Language Institute. As for the future, he isn’t entirely sure what he’ll do yet, but he would like to have his own company so that he can help make a better Japan and a better world.

Study Abroad in Rome, Italy - Spring 2019


The Vatican

Special Scholarship - $2,000

Application deadline, October 10th

  • Program dates February 4 - April 27, 2019
  • Study and live with students from other Lasallian institutions.
  • Subjects offered include Art History, Business (Trade and the European Union: Issues and Policies, and International Economics), History, Italian Language, Literature, and Theology.
  • Saint Mary’s institutional aid and all federal and state aid (except for work study) is applicable.

Meet Our Students From France

How many of us can locate Beauvais on a map? If you are unable to do so, please make time to improve your geographical knowledge because Elodie, Louise, Lucie and Jérôme are four of our French students spending a semester here at Saint Mary’s University in Winona. They hail from different cities in France: Normandy, Chartres, Nancy and Paris respectively. Their paths crossed at the Lasallian College, UniLaSalle campus de Beauvais, in Northern France. They are undertaking a five-year degree program leading to engineering degrees in the fields of agriculture and agro-industry. A study abroad semester is a degree requirement at their university. They are currently studying Environmental Biology at SMU.

Our French undergrads are in their early twenties. Although they miss their parents and siblings back home, they are enjoying every minute of their stay with us. With regard to hobbies, Louise loves tennis and skiing while Lucie enjoys shopping, cooking, and time with friends. Elodie is into horse-riding, while camping and hiking are a thrill for Jérôme.

When asked about aspects of culture they have experienced while in the U.S., their responses included the following:
  • In the U.S., most things are bigger. Think about vehicles, especially in this neck of the woods! Food portions are also much more substantial. In addition, the concept of tipping the server when at a restaurant is a new experience.
  • Paying tax on certain purchases came as a surprise.
  • Teachers are extremely friendly - Elodie, Louise, Lucie and Jérôme are not used to addressing their professors on a first name basis. This does not happen in France. A very formal interaction between student and teacher is the norm. Furthermore, students are not allowed to wear hats in class, unlike American students, who don the baseball cap frequently.
When asked, “What is the most important thing you would like me to know about you?” Elodie replied she is very much into sports. Another fun fact about her is that she loves to play jokes on her friends. She enjoys meeting new people and discovering new cultures and places. The latter also holds true for Louise, Jérôme and Lucie. Their five year goals include: working in Germany (Lucie), pursuing studies or possibly finding a job in the financial world (Louise), work, sports and happiness (Elodie) and travelling and working abroad (Jérôme).

Our French students would like to communicate a message to their SMU peers. Here is what they would like to share:
  • “Don’t be afraid to come and meet us. We would be really happy to meet you and talk with you about different things.”
  • “Come visit our campus in France. We will show you the best part of our country. We have a beautiful campus and students are very welcoming.“
Elodie, Louise, Lucie and Jérôme will be with us until December. Please take the opportunity to meet with them. You’ll miss out if you don’t!

The London Program Experience: A Message from Celeste Russell

Remarkable is the best word I can think of to describe my experience in the London study abroad program so far. London has so much to offer — from street markets and pub food to Renaissance paintings and lavish architecture. I most enjoy traveling around the city on the bus or the tube because it presents limitless opportunities of new places to explore. I am learning so much both in and out of the classroom. We are very fortunate with the number of art galleries we visit and professional theatre productions we attend, which are both awe-inspiring and incredible learning opportunities.
I have always been the type of person who gains more knowledge from experiencing or seeing something first-hand, so this trip has been very beneficial for me. At the beginning of the semester, we saw “Othello” with Mark Rylance, which was by far the best production I have ever seen. Right now, we are in rehearsal for our production of “A Piece of My Heart” that we will be performing here in October. We are so lucky to be able to stage a play in one of the best theatre cities in the world! I already know that the experiences and learning opportunities I have had here will be ones that stay with me for a lifetime.

Currently, we have 12 students in London. Check out our London Blog and see what's happening this semester.

Student Worker Profile: Aaron Kibirige

The International Center has started the 2018-2019 academic year with three new student workers, one of whom is Aaron Kibirige, from Kampala, Uganda. While in Uganda, he attended Makerere University, the largest public university in the country. When asked what he would like people here to know about Uganda, he shared that Ugandans have a really big love for street food, and he suggested that visitors try the “rolex”, and no, he’s not referring to a watch (say “roll eggs” five times really quickly).
Although Winona may not have the street food to which he is accustomed, Aaron enjoys the number of food options and restaurants available here in the U.S. On the other hand, one thing that hasn’t been as easy to get used to is driving on the right-hand side of the road. Nevertheless, he seems to have adjusted well to life at SMU, and we have to thank his sister, who is a SGPP student in the Twin Cities, for encouraging him to continue his undergraduate studies in criminal justice here on the Winona campus. If you happen to see a group of students playing soccer, there is a good chance Aaron is among them as he loves playing and watching the game (Go Liverpool FC!). After graduation, Aaron plans to stay in the U.S. and work in the field of law enforcement. In the meantime, we are happy to have him assist us and all the international students at the International Center.

Saint Mary's Short-term Spring Study Abroad Options

Study Abroad Application Deadlines

world flags in globe shape
If you have any questions about any of our study abroad programs, stop by the Study Abroad Office in the Heights building, email Vicki McDonald, Coordinator of Study Abroad at, or call ext. 6996.


Rome, Italy
Application Deadline October 10, 2018

Faculty Led Short-Term Programs
Application Deadline November 30, 2018

Art 260: Introduction to Italy - History, Art and Culture
Travel to Rome, Florence, Venice and Milan
Travel: May 12 - 30, 2019

Spanish 424: Mayan Civilization and Culture in the Yucatán
Travel to Yucatan, Mexico
Travel: May 15 - May 30, 2019


Spanish Studies Abroad
Application Deadline October 15, 2018

Alicante, Barcelona & Seville, Spain
Havana, Cuba
Córdoba, Argentina
San Juan, Puerto Rico

CIMBA - Consortium Institute of Management and Business Analysis
Paderno del Grappa, Italy
Application Deadline October 15, 2018

SAI - Florence University of the Arts
Florence, Italy
Application Deadline November 1, 2018

HECUA - Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs
Application Deadline November 1, 2018

Quito, Ecuador
Auckland, New Zealand
Northern Ireland
Oslo, Norway
Montespertoli, Italy

Look What We We've Been Up To - IC Activities