October 2016

students in Bolivia

This past May, eight Saint Mary’s students participated in a 3-week service learning opportunity in Carmen Pampa, Bolivia. The students lived on-campus at a university founded for the indigenous populations of Bolivia called La Unidad Académica Campesina de Carmen Pampa. While on campus, Saint Mary’s University students participated in classes alongside Bolivian students, completed numerous individualized projects relating to the biological and social sciences, and lived as part of the local community. Student projects ranged from working at the local health clinic assisting the rural doctor with home visits and community education initiatives, translating children’s stories into both English and Spanish for the local library, assisting veterinary students with local animal care, and assisting elementary, high school and university teachers instruct English classes. All students participated in a number of activities off-campus and toured the cities of La Paz, el Alto and Coroico before returning home in early June.


Study Abroad Fair

The Study Abroad Office held it's fourth annual Study Abroad Fair on September 20th. Representatives from many affiliated study abroad programs as well as faculty leaders of short-term programs were on hand to answer questions and promote study abroad to interested students.

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This year there are four short-term study abroad programs being offered in May. Rob McColl will be leading an art program to Italy, Introduction to Italy - History, Art and Culture. Dr. Debra Martin will be leading a Biology Travel Study program to Costa Rica. Michael Ratajcyk will be leading a business program to China, Chinese Business and Culture. Lastly, a theology program is being offered in collaboration with other Lasallian Institutions to Rome and Assisi, Italy. For more information on these programs please visit the Study Abroad Office webpage, www.smumn.edu/studyabroad.

Application Deadlines
November 18:
Theology 260: Foundations in Catholic Theology: Christian Faith and the Arts

December 1:
Art 260: Introduction to Italy: History, Art and Culture
Biology 481: Biology Travel Study (Costa Rica)
Business 465: Chinese Business and Society

Students with trolley

For the Fall 2016 semester, new and returning students arrived from several countries such as India, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Togo, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Canada, Colombia, Cameroon, Sweden, Ethiopia, Bhutan, United Kingdom, and Nigeria. During our International Student Orientation, new students learned important information about immigration, banking, student life and health, and International Center activities. They enjoyed the traditional “Trester Trolley” tour of Winona and the Mid-Autumn Moon Cake celebration. The Center also hosted its annual picnic for new and returning international students, faculty, and staff.

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My name is Leanne Cleveland. I graduated in May 2016 and was a student worker at the International Center for the 2015-2016 academic year.  During my senior year, I received a job offer as a SMU alumna to work as a Teaching Assistant at Okinawa Shogaku Junior High School in Naha City, Okinawa, Japan. As a TA, I teach English classes to both bilingual and non-bilingual Japanese students and work closely with Japanese teachers to develop an English-language curriculum and activities.  I would have never imagined myself living and working in Okinawa after graduation, so it is truly a blessing to be here!  I love the tropical weather and being so close to the ocean no matter where I am on the island. Trying new foods is always an adventure I love to take here because, since I can’t read or understand Japanese, I never know what I’m eating!  My favorite thing that I’ve done so far is snorkeling in the Pacific, and I am looking forward to traveling to mainland Japan and throughout Asia before my time is up in Okinawa.


The International Center is pleased to welcome its newest addition: Jen Herdina. Though she is not new to SMU, she is new to the De La Salle Language Institute, and her vast and varied experience enabled her to smoothly transition herself from Literacy Specialist to ESL Instructor. Having visited virtually every corner of this earth, Jen fits in well in this corner of campus with her enthusiasm for other cultures and teaching. As she says, “ I love working with the students! I am having a great time getting to know everyone and learning about the different cultures represented within the classroom. Every day something new and fun happens in our class, and my colleagues keep the work atmosphere upbeat and collaborative! What can be better?!?”
As perfect as this job may seem, it’s not without it’s challenges. “I am still trying to figure out how to add more hours into the day! There is always so much to do, but never enough time to get it all completed. Also, I'd love to continue to build more opportunities for cultural immersion activities outside of class.” And that she has already done. You may have noticed international students completing assignments around campus and all over Winona. Jen’s methods for getting the students involved outside the classroom have been quite successful.
She is a most welcome addition, and we can’t wait to see where her assignments will take our students next!