Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies
I’m a Government and African Studies major from Barrington, Rhode Island. While I enjoyed growing up in a small town in Rhode Island, my exposure to diversity before arriving at St. Lawrence was somewhat limited. Accordingly, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to study abroad to strengthen my understanding of different cultures and the politics of the developing world. Given my academic interests, the Kenya Semester Program was the perfect choice for me, especially considering exciting general election process that took place while I was there. During my spring semester on the St. Lawrence Kenya Semester Program, I learned much about the complex culture and politics of Kenya and also gained a lot of perspective. The courses and cultural field components challenged me to step outside my comfort zone and engage with the people and place in ways a textbook or lecture never could. While the culture shock of living in the developing world was hard to stomach at times, over the course of the semester I gained a lot of respect and appreciation for the hardships facing families and communities and the enduring strength with which they approach every new day and its challenges. Through living and learning there, I enjoyed a privileged glimpse into the issues facing citizens and governments in Kenya and many other countries in the developing world. The opportunity to immerse myself in a culture and environment so drastically different from my own was invaluable to my growth as a student and an individual. My semester abroad was truly rewarding and this experience left me with friends, memories and stories I will never forget.