“In Love with the World”: Study Abroad in France

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Shea Pitre ’15 at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland

Before I began my study abroad at L’Université Catholique de Lille, I had never been out of the country and had rarely ventured out of the southern U.S. I’m an International Studies and French double major, so studying in France was a necessity, but the decision to do it for a year was both insanely easy and incredibly frightening. I was worried about all the usual things students worry about before they begin their study abroad. Would I like it? How was I going to handle being so far away from home for so long? Did I know enough French to actually live in France?

Not long after my arrival in France, all of my worries were put to rest. The first few months were not without their fair share of struggles and homesickness, but I quickly fell in love with my surroundings. Being constantly surrounded by the French language and culture was, and still is, absolutely thrilling. I am constantly learning new things in and out of the classroom, not only about the world around me but also about myself.

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London!

In the classroom, I have been able to attain a higher level of French. I have also been able to gain a different perspective on international relations and what is going on in the world. Most of my classes this year have focused on international political ties and foreign policy from a French and broader European view, and it has truly enriched what I already knew and loved about my International Studies major.

My time abroad so far has been a truly transformative experience. Thanks to Europe’s connectedness, I’ve now been to 24 cities in 13 different countries, and I have learned so much in each place from experiencing it, rather than reading it out of a textbook. Besides finally realizing my childhood dream of going to Paris (which was amazing), one of the most exciting experiences I’ve had during my exchange was visiting the Palace of Nations and the United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. It was so wonderful to learn its history and be in a place where so many important decisions have been made on the international front.

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Lille, France

Thanks to all of these amazing experiences that I have had and the fact that I have been submersed in a completely different culture for seven months, I am more confident and inspired, and I have fallen in love with the world. However, as amazing as this experience has been, I am ready to return home to see where everything I have learned leads me in life and in the rest of my time at Oglethorpe. I urge every Oglethorpe student to talk to Dr. Collins and take advantage of one of the many amazing study abroad opportunities our school has to offer. You won’t regret it.

International Internship Opens Eyes to the Real World

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Like many students, sophomore Maggie Crawford ’16 planned an internship as part of her college experience. Unlike most others, her internship was also an international adventure—in India.

India_2Maggie, who is studying international marketing, an individually planned major, worked as a structural advisor for the Mysore Resettlement and Development Agency (MYRADA). In her role, she was responsible for counseling on operations and organizational improvements in MYRADA’s programs that benefit disadvantaged populations.

Maggie found this opportunity through Oglethorpe’s Atlanta Laboratory for Learning (A_LAB), which helps students to put their classroom learning into practice by combining “real world” experiences in professional development, global education, civic engagement, and/or undergraduate research.

India_4Internships abroad can be very different from those in the U.S., which Maggie found out firsthand. “You get to find out what it is like to work somewhere else and learn about the culture of their work,” she says. “By combining travel abroad and internships, you just get a better sense of why you’re there.”

Maggie also faced challenges in acclimating to a different culture. “First, there was the language barrier,” she says. “When I went, I learned a couple of words in Hindi, but I learned that they actually speak something called Kannada. So, it wasn’t actually helpful at all. And, they’d never seen an American where I went, so they were always looking at me.”

India_1Maggie now uses her international internship experience to inform her contributions to classroom discussions. “It has shown me different perspectives,” she says. “We were studying the temples in India in ‘Art & Culture.’ I actually got to see those, firsthand.” Overall, she says her global experience “has made me more aware of the people around me.”

Next on the Maggie’s itinerary is China, where she hopes to add to her repertoire of real world professional experiences around the world.

Communications Interns Step Into the Real World at PR Conference

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Twain Carter ’14, Leslie Peters ’15, Christie Pearce ’15 and Kai Street ’14

Interns in Pegasus Creative, Oglethorpe’s student communications agency, recently attended the annual Real World PR Conference for college students, hosted by the Public Relations Society of America in February.

During the all-day event, the students were able to learn more about PR careers and to ask questions of industry leaders from Chick-fil-A, Georgia Aquarium, Delta Air Lines, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Georgia Power, Cox Enterprise, and CNN, among others. Panelists gave helpful tips and anecdotal advice about a wide range of topics including personal branding, the HR perspective of interviewing and the fast- paced environment of entertainment PR.

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For senior Kai Street ’14, the conference proved to be a compass for his professional path. “I came out of the conference with knowledge, a new network of people, and a new direction to take in terms of my professional career,” said Kai, who  participated in the conference’s career fair, which offered internship and networking opportunities and was “a great place to put one’s name out in the public and connect with professionals.”

Twain Carter ’14 found that the conference gave him a renewed confidence in what he is learning in the classroom, confirming that “once I graduate, I will be prepared for anything thrown my way.” But for Christie Pearce ’15, the conference offered a clear detour sign. “I wanted some guidance on the direction I should be going for my communications career and indeed confirmed that PR is not for me,” she admitted.

Similarly, I also now have a better sense of what a PR career might entail, but I’m not sure that being a part of the fast-paced world of PR fits who I am and my career goals–something good to discover sooner than later.

“Regardless of whether a student plans to pursue PR or not,” said Christie, “the panelists had a lot of insight about professionalism, interviewing, and career etiquette that is valuable to everyone.”

Class Project Reflected in German Calendar Design

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Christie Pearce ’15 (center) pictured along with Professor Ochmann’s class, holding the calendar’s cover

German Calendar (10)During the fall 2013 semester, Professor Matthaeus Ochmann’s German class was assigned a project to keep a personal vocabulary development journal. As part of the assignment, junior Christie Pearce composed a list of 50 German words that are interchangeable in English and do not have an English equivalent, such as “diesel” and “kindergarten.” Intrigued, the class used her list for a quiz during an on-campus German cultural event.

Ochmann, a visiting instructor from Germany, shared the event’s success with his father. This reminded his father, a graphic designer, of his time working affiliated with Scheufelen, a German printing company that creates an “art calendar” every year. He mentioned the word list to Scheufelen, and coincidentally their 2014 calendar features graphic representations of the German words and explanations of their uses in both English and German.

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The calendar in its permanent location in the library.

The calendar, which recently won a design award, was created using various printing methods and different types of thick, high quality paper to showcase the company’s work. With only 3500 copies printed, the calendar is in limited supply and costs approximately $135 to purchase.

Because of the correlation between the calendar idea and Christie’s list, Scheufelen sent the class two of the calendars as gifts. Christie received one, and the other was given to  Oglethorpe’s Weltner Library to display.

Dr. Glenn Sharfman named Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oglethorpe University

Glenn Sharfman 2s(ATLANTA, GA) – Following a nationwide search, Oglethorpe University has selected Dr. Glenn Sharfman as its new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. Dr. Sharfman comes to Oglethorpe from Manchester University (North Manchester, Ind.), where he has been Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of History since 2005.

As the chief academic officer of Oglethorpe University, Dr. Sharfman will oversee all academic affairs, including the academic divisions, the core curriculum, the Academic Success Center, Philip Weltner Library, the Office of the Registrar, and the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art. He will assume his new position at Oglethorpe on July 8, 2014.

“I am excited to join the community at Oglethorpe and work with a talented and dedicated faculty and staff who help transform students so they are ready for their next step,” said Dr. Sharfman. “Oglethorpe has a rich tradition and distinguished record of producing graduates who make a difference and I am eager to play a role.”

Dr. Sharfman earned a Bachelor of Arts at Miami University (Oxford, OH) and his Master of Arts and Ph.D. in European History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While at Manchester University, he successfully led efforts to restructure the core curriculum, expand academic programs, open a new Academic Center, launch a College of Pharmacy, and open a new satellite campus. Prior to Manchester, Dr. Sharfman worked at Hiram College (Hiram, Ohio) for 15 years, as a faculty member in the history department and then as Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Programs.

“Dr. Sharfman is an accomplished scholar and an extraordinary addition to our leadership team,” said Oglethorpe University President Larry Schall. “His expertise, creativity and passion for the liberal arts and sciences will be integral in ensuring Oglethorpe continues building upon its long history of academic excellence.”

Oglethorpe University has entered an era of innovation, reinvigoration, and growth with the opening of the $16M Turner Lynch Campus Center in 2013 and the launch of a $50M comprehensive campaign. Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe is Atlanta’s leading liberal arts and sciences university of 1100 students representing 34 states and 28 countries. In fall 2013, Oglethorpe opened the A_LAB (Atlanta Laboratory for Learning), an incubator for students’ real-world experiential learning through civic engagement, global education, professional development, and undergraduate research. Oglethorpe is the only university in Georgia to be named for seven consecutive years to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for commitment to and achievement in community service. In 2012, Oglethorpe launched two strategic partnerships with study abroad provider Global LEAD and EF (Education First), the world leader in international education. EF’s Atlanta headquarters is located on Oglethorpe’s campus, which is also home to the OU Museum of Art and Georgia Shakespeare, a professional theatre-in-residence. Renowned for its groundbreaking core program, Oglethorpe is a member of the Annapolis Group, comprised of America’s most selective liberal arts institutions, and has been named among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges, Forbes’ America’s Best Colleges, and Princeton Review’s Best Southeastern Colleges. The Oglethorpe Stormy Petrels compete in the NCAA Division III Southern Athletic Association.

For more information, contact: Renee Vary, 404-364-8868 or rvary@oglethorpe.edu