In front of a warming fire at the Black Tavern on the last afternoon in January, about a dozen Nichols students shared stories of the world they had discovered during a fall semester abroad.
Their audience—invited to what was dubbed “A Global Connection Reception”—included Nichols President Susan West Engelkemeyer, for whom the returning undergraduates described everything from their courses to the nationalities of their classmates to the foods they had eaten.
And for the next two hours, amidst friendly conversation and hors d’oeuvres, the worldly travelers—who lived in either London, Paris, or Rome—gave anyone in earshot a taste of their transformative experiences.
Liz Sullivan took four classes at London’s Regents College, including one on the Social History of London. Field trips for the course included visits to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster
Abbey. “You don’t realize how young the United States is,” Sullivan marvels. Sullivan was joined at Regents by fellow Nichols students Megan Woodruff, Will O’Brien, Maryanne Lanzoni, and Erica Antonio.
Siobhan Graham studied in Paris through Academic Programs International (API). “I lived with a host mom and also took all my courses in French,” she says, noting that her immersion into that language did not come easily. “It was a barrier at the beginning, but towards November I felt a ‘click’ in my mind and I wasn’t thinking in English anymore.
“I would think in French, and it would come out in French. I was sitting in class and it just popped. I said, ‘Wow!,’” notes Graham, who is aiming to do an internship overseas during her senior year.
Nichols students Daniel Smith and Eliot Wuhrmann attended an API program in Rome.
The reception, co-hosted by the Fischer Institute and the Nichols Admissions Office, was first held last August for students who had studied abroad during the 2011 spring term.
“It’s going to be our tradition to welcome out students back from abroad and international students who have come here,” says Fischer Institute Director and Study Abroad Adviser Blanche Milligan, who notes that the gathering at the Black Tavern included two such students from Barcelona and another from Shanghai.
This term five Nichols students have fanned out for semesters abroad in London, Rome, Madrid, and Budapest.