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Bearing the Torch: More Study Abroad Opportunities

Having studied overseas for two semesters – one in Europe and the other in South America – senior Bonnie Jo Lange '10 enthusiastically recommends studying abroad for all Norwich students.

“It was amazing,” she said about her four months in Argentina.

In the fall of her junior year, Bonnie Jo studied at the Dublin Business School in Ireland. This past fall, she was a student at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, located in Mendoza, a city tucked in the foothills of the Andes. During both of these terms abroad, Bonnie Jo lived with families, immersing herself even further in the rhythm of local life.

“What really attracted me was the opportunity to live in another culture,” said Bonnie Jo, an English and communications major from Santa Maria, California, who will take a commission into the Air Force.

For Katherine Ly, a senior computer security and information assurance major from Garland, Texas, studying at the Republic of China Military Academy enhanced her ability to speak Chinese and helped prepare her for her career.

“All of the classes there were taught in Chinese, so it was obviously a challenge,” said Katherine.

“Studying abroad not only helped out my speaking, reading, and writing abilities in Chinese, but also gave me a broader perspective on the work ethics and daily living of Taiwanese students and citizens.”

Norwich University in January launched Bearing the Torch, a three-year fundraising effort. As with the Norwich Forever! campaign, which the University closed in 2009, securing endowed funds to support undergraduate students who want to study abroad is again a priority.

“An engaging learning environment offers students a broad range of learning opportunities that challenge their assumptions and pushes them to analyze issues and problems from a range of perspectives,” said President Richard W. Schneider. “Whether they choose careers in the military, the business world or elsewhere, our students will be better prepared for our global society if they have experienced a foreign culture.”

Ten years ago, fewer than 10 Norwich undergraduates studied abroad for a semester or year. In the current year, more than 55 students are studying in other nations for at least one semester. All three ROTC units at Norwich encourage students to study overseas.

“A student gets so much more out of living abroad than he or she does from merely travelling abroad, and this benefit is particularly useful for future naval officers,” said Colonel Patrick Delatte, commanding officer of the Naval ROTC unit at Norwich.

“I have spent 21 years of my life living abroad in Europe, and the experience has made me more effective when operating in a multinational environment. The experience has also allowed me to understand and appreciate other cultures and, at the same time, it has given me a heightened appreciation for the freedoms and blessings we enjoy as Americans.”

Bonnie Jo, who has already lived in Ireland and Argentina, has another foreign experience on the horizon. She has learned that she will be stationed in Germany as a logistics readiness officer – and she’s looking forward to learning German.


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