International Programs Create A World of Big Opportunities


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‘It’s Not Until They Come Back That They Realize How They Have Changed’

There were times when Alexandra Esposito ’17 would be on the London Underground heading to her finance internship when the realization of where she was and what she was doing would hit her in a rush that would almost take her breath away.

It wasn’t just that she was living, working and studying in one of the most renowned cities in the world. It was the near-palpable growth in confidence and sense of independence that stemmed from living on her own 3,200 miles from home, making new friends from around the world and savoring the invaluable gift of experiencing another culture while seeing your own from a new perspective. For an entire semester, she would take classes two days a week in Kensington and work the other three in the finance office at the London Marriott County Hall Hotel. Her routine would take her from “the Tube” to her desk at the Marriott on Westminster Bridge Road. There she would occasionally look out a window near her desk and see Big Ben. And the feeling would hit her all over again.

Nothing exemplifies the culture at the heart of the Stonehill experience more than its commitment to the kind of global experiences that open students’ eyes, minds and hearts while strengthening their character.

“I knew interning in a big city like London scared me and that’s why I wanted to do it,” says Alexandra, an accounting major from New Providence, New Jersey. “I wanted to get out of my comfort zone to learn about myself and experience something new. Being immersed in a culture and away from all the places I ever called home was transformative.”

Exceptional Programs Give Graduates a Competitive Edge

The Institute of International Education has repeatedly ranked Stonehill among the top 20 baccalaureate institutions nationally for semester study-abroad programs. The emphasis the College places on global experiences not only fosters personal growth but also gives Stonehill students a distinct advantage in their professional lives.

“The global nature of our economy makes it so important to have an appreciation of [our] differences,” Sheri McCoy, Avon CEO and mother of a Stonehill graduate, said in a recent College address. “Navigating different cultures, languages and business practices is now a very real part of the workday. The good news is that Stonehill … is helping prepare students for the increasingly global community.”

The College’s international programs have also helped students successfully compete for prestigious international fellowships, scholarships and awards ­such as Fulbright grants and Rhodes scholarships.

“I chose Stonehill because of its study-abroad program,” says finance major Katherine Colpitts ’17, who is in the midst of a year of studies at the London School of Economics and spent a summer studying in Germany. “The College really values these opportunities, which is in line with my own beliefs.”

Extensive Opportunities to Intern, Study and Do Service Work

For many students, the first encounter with Stonehill’s emphasis on global experiences is likely to occur through an animated conversation with a classmate who has returned from abroad. And given that 40 percent of Stonehill students study abroad — four times the national average — such encounters are common.

The College has 200 programs in more than 35 countries, incorporating internships and study abroad at dozens of colleges and universities all over the world. Whether you’re a political science major who studies Russian government in St. Petersburg or an interdisciplinary studies major in Tanzania exploring a passion for service and interest in international affairs, Stonehill connects you with the opportunities that best serve your goals.

“We allow students to explore a wide variety of programs so they can choose something that really hits their interests,” says Alice Cronin, director of International Programs. “Stonehill really supports and values the importance of a global education.” In addition to study abroad and international internships, that commitment can also be seen in H.O.P.E. Service Immersion trips worldwide that allow students to learn about the culture, history and issues of social injustice in other countries as well as through our integrative Learning Communities, which sometimes include international travel.

The newest global experience at Stonehill is the Learning Inside Out Network, which gives students the opportunity to study and work in Serbia and Armenia to learn about peacebuilding, diplomacy and global crime. “The program gives our students a great narrative, which can shape their lives for years to come,” says Anna Ohanyan, chair of the Political Science Department and a founder of LION. “Working side by side with regional peacebuilders is such a great and humbling learning opportunity.”

Like many of the global learning options available at the College, the full impact on the student evolves over time. “It’s not until they come back that they realize how they have changed,” says Cronin. “They’ve become more independent, more confident and more mature, but they also see the world differently. For many of them, it has changed their lives. That, to me, is the reason we do what we do.”