Becoming Citizens of the World

The Office of International Programs provides Saint Anselm students with many opportunities to study abroad; whether traditional semester-long programs or short-term, faculty-led Global Seminars. The college also offers a program in Orvieto, where Anselmians live, learn, and explore Italy’s Umbria region.


During the spring semester, 22 students participated in Saint Anselm College’s semester in Orvieto, Italy. Immersed in Italian culture and history, they traveled to Monte Cassino, Rome, and Florence and made connections between major Italian cultural achievements and Western civilization.

Saint Anselm students in OrvietoThrough the program, which has doubled in size since its inaugural year in 2016, students take four courses and live together in the historic district, a few cobblestone streets away from their academic building, Centro Studi Citta di Orvieto.

One required course, Chiavi, provides an overview of major Italian cultural achievements.

For Joseph Bonin ’18, a communication major, Chiavi showed him “awe-inspiring views” throughout Italy.

“Everywhere I turned was a piece of history,” Bonin said. “I felt like I was strolling through a living, breathing museum covered in brick and marble.”

For Caroline Ireland ’19, choosing to study in Orvieto “has been one of the best decisions” she has made. She particularly enjoyed a cooking class where students prepared traditional Italian dishes. “By the end of the night, we were all covered in our and powdered sugar but we were certainly full from gnocchi and tiramisu!”

Ireland has always wanted to explore Italy. “My mom’s side of the family is from Naples, so I have wanted to study in Italy for as long as I can remember.” With Introduction to Italian, she steadily learned the language in a course focused on everyday life situations within cultural contexts.

“I knew for the sake of my leadership positions that it would be beneficial to go abroad now,” she reflects. “I will use the knowledge, skills, and life experiences I’ve gained to positively impact the work I do at Saint Anselm.”


From Peru to Norway, the Dominican Republic to Morocco, 26 Saint Anselm students in partner programs spent a spring studying abroad.

Lauren Batchelder ’19, a history major with a gender studies minor, attended the University of Oslo, Norway. Taking courses such as History of the Vikings and Gender in Nordic, Batchelder took time off from her studies to travel to the Arctic Circle, interact with reindeer and view the Northern Lights.

Her goals for this semester were both academic and worldly: “I wanted to learn how to better become a citizen of the world. I think it’s imperative to learn how to get along with others on a global scale, despite our differences. It’s such a humbling experience where you realize that life is so much bigger than you are.”

In the Dominican Republic, Megan Miller ’19, a peace and justice studies and Spanish major, tells of a different humbling experience: engaging in service-learning in another country. Immersing herself in the language and culture, Miller participated in service with an institute for the blind and visually impaired. Through the Meelia Center for Community Engagement at Saint Anselm, she is a service coordinator for the YWCA and sees deep connections between her experiences abroad and those in Manchester.

“I volunteer and it has definitely made me think about our Benedictine values,” says Miller. “I see a lot of people from a low socioeconomic class who clearly have difficult lives. This experience humbled me and gave me immense respect for the blind students I assist. Service and solidarity are the values that most shape my Anselmian identity, and strengthening these values abroad will undoubtedly affect the way I live and serve back home.”

A computer science with business major, Joshua Leary ’18, studied at Maquarie University in Sydney, Australia. His hope was to find a sense of self while abroad, by learning new concepts both in and out of the classroom to challenge the way he thinks. “Experiencing school in a new place will show me an alternative style of learning, allowing me to contrast that with the education I receive at Saint A’s,” he says. “This will help me combine the two learning styles into something that works most efficiently for me.”

Others have found connections between their two places of study in different ways.

Catherine Doucette ’18, a fine arts major with an art history concentration, applied what she learned about art history at Saint Anselm to the world of museum curating abroad at Leeds Grand Theatre. She researched the Grand Theatre and Leeds Cities Varieties to develop, curate, and install an exhibition at the theatre.

Doucette presented her research at the University of Leeds in February, speaking on the impact of Flemish art on the early works of Sandro Botticelli.


Spring semester Global Seminars combine classroom instruction with an international component. Over spring break, nine students learned about Cuban culture and history during a weeklong trip to the island nation.

Co-taught by professors Philip Pajakowski and Matthew Masur, the history class examines the international rivalry, political relations, and markedly contrasting cultures that have defined global relations between America and the Soviet Union for five decades.

Alicia Chouinard in CubaAlicia Chouinard ’17 says her mother migrated from Cuba to America in 1963; this was Chouinard’s first visit to the country. “It’s a topic that was only brie y mentioned in history classes, and was only presented from the American point of view.”

Students and faculty spent the week visiting museums and sites including Havana and Trinidad to complement their lectures. By visiting iconic areas like La Habana Vieja and the Bay of Pigs, they connected famous historical events to personal observations.

The Other Hilltop: Orvieto and Spring Break in Cuba By Jonathan Burkart ’18; Global Partners by Maggie Lynch ’17