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First Year Study Abroad Students Begin Journey

by freshman Marissa Pappas MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2017 - 6:06 AM All News , Arts and Sciences
  • L to R front row Marissa Pappas, Professor Louise Pelletier, Jordan Goodreau, Emma Buck, Tyler Bradshaw, Brandon Kow, back row, Sean Martins, Marissa DeMarco, Sarah O'Hazo, Austin Lorion, Haresh Lalchandani, Andrew Bigda, Steven Kinneair

On January 8, 12 freshman students from Western New England University embarked on a unique opportunity to study abroad at Richmond University, a private American University just outside of London, England, for their entire second semester of college.

The First Year Abroad program in England is open to any freshman enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences who qualifies academically. Austin Lorion, a Secondary Education in History major, was eager to spend four months studying abroad. “My sister is an alum of Western New England, and she told me to explore the international programs. I had no idea I would be able to spend a whole semester abroad as a freshman.”

Accompanying the 12 students is History Professor Theodore South, who has taken students to study abroad for many years. To ease the transition, the students arrived at Richmond University a week before classes began, to attended orientation sessions and settled into their new living quarters. Professor South helped students adjust by taking them into London to experience many of the popular attractions in the city. 

“We took the Tube into London and it reminded me of the New York subway system, but it’s much cleaner and quieter,” said Brandon Kow, a Psychology major. “We saw Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, and stood outside Buckingham Palace to observe the changing of the guard. On Thursday it rained a lot, so we headed indoors to visited the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, and the Natural History Museum.” 

Neuroscience major Jordan Goodreau is sure the semester will continue to be successful. “We have all truly enjoyed our first week at Richmond, and although we do miss our friends back in Springfield, I don’t think anyone regrets taking advantage of this program.”

Many of the classes at Richmond include freshmen and sophomore students from various countries around world. Western New England University students are required to take two courses with Professor South that are designed to help them further understand the culture and the history of England. 

View more photos of the students in London.