“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.

London

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.

Lille

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.

Anthony Maccaglia Selected for U.S. Palmer Cup Team, First D3 Golfer Ever to Receive the Honor

Anthony_MaccagliaJunior Anthony Maccaglia of the Oglethorpe men’s golf team was selected Thursday morning to participate in the Palmer Cup in late June as part of the U.S. squad. He becomes the first Division III golfer ever selected to participate in the event, which is a Ryder Cup-like international competition pitting the best college players from the United States and Europe. The team was announced live Thursday morning on the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive program.

Maccaglia will join nine other golfers on the U.S. squad, all from Division I schools. Of the 10 players on the squad, six automatically qualify as the top six golfers in the Division I ranks. This selection is based on a point system that runs throughout the season. After that, the coach (Steve Desimone of California, in this case) gets a pick and a committee of coaches and administrators gets to pick three additional players, one of which is guaranteed to be a player from outside the Division I ranks. There had never been a Division III golfer selected in that spot before today.

Anthony Maccaglia_JekyllMaccaglia has enjoyed another standout spring campaign, earning SAA Men’s Golfer of the Week honors after three consecutive tournaments, finishing in the Top 10 in the Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational, the Camp Lejeune Championship and the 2014 Emory Spring Invitational. He’s earned three individual medals over the course of the 2013-14 season, winning the Camp Lejeune Championship in March, the Golfweek D3 Fall Invitational in October and the Rhodes College Fall Classic in September. He’s now earned eight career individual medals, including the individual national championship in 2012.

He’s also competed at a high level in individual events featuring many Division I golfers during the summer. He became the first Oglethorpe golfer to ever qualify for the U.S. Amateur last summer and came close to making the cut at the prestigious event.

The Palmer Cup, named after golfing legend Arnold Palmer, is an annual international team event pitting the best collegiate golfers from the United States against those from Europe. The competition is patterned after the Ryder Cup, which does the same with professional golfers. The two teams compete in various match play formats over three days, including four-ball, foursome and singles competition. Whichever team wins the most holes over the course of the event wins the cup.

The Palmer Cup alternates annually between American and European venues. The 2014 Palmer Cup will be held at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England, June 26-28. The venue has hosted the Ryder Cup, the Senior British Open and the European Open, as well as numerous British amateur championships.

Before he sets off for England, Maccaglia will first help the Stormy Petrels in their attempt to defend their SAA title April 25-27 at the SAA Championship in Braselton, Ga. The squad will then likely move on to the NCAA Division III Championship in Greensboro, N.C., in mid-May.

Watch the broadcast announcement: