St. Lawrence Students Explore the Globe Through Off-Campus Summer Programs | St. Lawrence University

St. Lawrence Students Explore the Globe Through Off-Campus Summer Programs

From investigating conflict in Israel to studying the neuroscience of fear in Italy, learning never stops for St. Lawrence students, even during the summer months.

In addition to semester-long programs, St. Lawrence’s Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies coordinates a variety of dynamic courses in the summer that take place around the world. Often inspired by traveling with the St. Lawrence community or a mentor, students utilize these courses to explore new subjects or add a unique dimension to an area of study they’re passionate about.

Some students pursue off-campus programs because of new perspectives gained through their previous classes at St. Lawrence. During the Fall 2018 semester, Ashley Godfrey ’20 took an education course that prompted her to research her genetic history as part of a project. “When I received the results that my ancestry was 68.7% Irish, I decided that Ireland was where I had to study,” Ashley says of her self-discovery. This inspired her to take part in the ‘Place and Nationalism in Ireland’ summer course, where she  studied the power of narratives- oral, written, and instantiated in memorials and monuments - to reinforce or contest received histories and to lay nationalist claim to places in the landscape.

Saint Lawrence University students standing in front of ancient stone ruins.

Students traveled to Israel this summer for the “War, Peace and Conflict” course, which investigated Israel’s external security environment. (Photo by Tarrah Price '21)

Cheyenne McQuain ’20 is one of the many St. Lawrence students who believe learning shouldn’t be limited to the academic year and can be used as a time to build on her undergraduate experience.

“I enjoyed the fact that I spent a part of my summer doing something productive, which kept my mind engaged,” says Cheyenne, who spent part of her summer in London taking, 'London Spaces & UK Places', which focused on architectural psychology, spatial reasoning, geography and perception of the city. “I’m so thankful that I got to have the opportunity to learn something new, make connections, and to challenge myself, which I think is the most valuable and important part of any experience.”

“I enjoyed the fact that I spent a part of my summer doing something productive, which kept my mind engaged. I’m so thankful that I got to have the opportunity to learn something new, make connections, and to challenge myself, which I think is the most valuable and important part of any experience.”

-Cheyenne McQuain '20

Hannah Collins ’19 took the same London-based course alongside Cheyenne, but for a different reason: she wanted to explore different topics before embracing new adventures after St. Lawrence.

The recent graduate studied off campus before entering her sophomore year, and wanted to take advantage of the unique opportunity one more time. “I was looking to really take advantage of the liberal arts experience and become as well-rounded as possible,” explains Hannah. “Majoring in behavioral neuroscience had me taking many psychology classes. However, architectural psychology was an area of psychology I was unfamiliar with.”

For other students, their interests in a summer course starts with a professor. “War, Peace and Conflict”, led by Associate Professor of Government Ronnie Olesker, investigated Israel’s external security environment. The course explored how threats to the political democratic structures are dealt with, and how conflict is managed and potentially resolved between the various groups operating within the state. She is the reason Connor Giltz ’21 pursued this particular course.

“It is one thing to read and learn about something in a classroom, it’s another to read and learn about something and then see it in front of you."

-Connor Giltz '21

“It is one thing to read and learn about something in a classroom, it’s another to read and learn about something and then see it in front of you,” reflects Connor. “The ability to fully immerse yourself in one subject makes summer courses an amazing opportunity that I will never forget.”