Students bring global experiences back to campus as others set out on adventures

May 17, 2023
Staff report

Thirty Saint Michael’s College students studied abroad in various parts of the world this past spring semester. In recent and coming weeks, they have been or will be returning to enrich campus with their experiences once classes resume, said Peggy Imai, the College’s director of Study Abroad.

Peggy Imai 3

Peggy Imai

In a campus-wide email this, Imai provided her customary semester-end update on the comings and goings of students and faculty leaders who are either heading out, returning from or presently enjoying exciting learning experiences around the globe.

“The month of May is always a bit crazy, but I also like to think that it’s an exciting time of life transitions and new beginnings,” Imai said in her campus-wide email. One trend she noted was the growing popularity of shorter faculty-led study trips among students, though she hopes that hearing from the returning study abroad cohort will inspire more to consider the life-changing possibilities of full-semester study broad experiences.

In her message, Imai shared that in the past few weeks alone, “I’ve exchanged emails with students in London, Copenhagen, Rhotia (Tanzania), Florence, Kampala, Apia (Samoa), and Athens.” Site from which students are returning also include Austria, Spain, Iceland, Jordan, Wales, Czech Republic (Prague); Ireland, Ghana, Greece, Argentina, Australia, France,  Bhutan, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan.

See full information about returning students with photos>>

“The student experience is as varied as the students themselves, but all will no doubt return with stories to share about the things they saw, did, and celebrated that they never would have dreamed of doing on their own,” Imai wrote to the campus community. “My hope is that their new insights will help enrich your classrooms and outside activities in unique ways.”

A handful of students already have returned to the U.S., including some who got back in time for last weekend’s Commencement, said Imai, who added that all of the abroad programs officially conclude by the end of June.

She said the Fall 2023 study abroad  list is “still a work in progress,” with the numbers predictably much smaller than the typical spring group, as is true every year. “While the numbers are small, the students are mighty! “ said Imai said of the fall cohort that she has so far. “These students have chosen their programs carefully and are very excited about where they will be living and studying next fall.

The fall group includes Shane Boyd who will be in Seville, Spain; Isabella Cronin who will do a Refugees, Health & Humanitarian Action” semester in Amman. Jordan through SIT Study Abroad; Aisling Fantasia. who will study at the University of London; Annabelle Farrell, heading to Universidad Veritas in San Jose, Costa Rica; Teegan Lowe, who will pursue Wildlife Management Studies in Rhotia, Tanzania; Moa Lunden, off to Auckland, New Zealand; and Jackson Sargent, pursuing a Wildlife Conservation & Political Ecology semester , also through SIT Study Abroad, in Arusha, Tanzania.

This summer, said Imai, “we have a plethora of students heading out in different directions and on various types of programs. Seven of our students will be traveling and studying with our program partners, but the vast majority of students are participating in Academic Study Trips (led by Saint Michael’s faculty/staff), and summer internships supported by the Freeman Foundation and other funding sources offered through the College.

Attending Summer Study Abroad programs through a variety of external Study Abroad agencies will be: Lauren Best and Amy Hylen, both doing Advanced England Studies in Bath, England; Marina Donati, studying Human Trafficking, Sex Trade & Modern Slavery in Amsterdam, Netherlands; Teagan McCaffrey pursuing Summer Irish Studies in Limerick, Ireland; and three students, Kevin Riggs, Lochlan Sheridan and Robert Sinibaldi, heading to the Global Education Center in Florence, Italy.

Additionally for summer, here is Imai’s snapshot of special Academic Study Trips offered this year through the College:

2023 Academic Study Trips:


Trip leaders: Declan McCabe and Paul Constantino. Trip dates: May 12 – 27 (see photo below of group getting started in the sea)


Trip leaders:  Peter Vantine and Kristin Juel.  Trip dates: May 14 – June 4


Trip leaders: Paul Olsen and Trish Siplon.  Trip dates: May 15 – 26


Trip leaders:  Jeff Ayres and Laura Stroup.  Trip dates: May 26 – June 9

Trip descriptions can be found on the Study Abroad website:

Freeman Foundation International Internships:

This year the College is sending 15 students to eight-week long internships in Asia – four to Seoul, South Korea, and 11 to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The students were selected via a competitive process, and their placements were recently confirmed. A summary of their internship sites will be available on the Center for Global Engagement website soon. (

Madrid Internship Program:

New this summer, the Center for Global Engagement, with funding from a special appropriation, will be supporting four students on internship placements in Madrid, Spain. All students are majoring or minoring in Spanish, and will be living with homestay families and interning in Spanish speaking environments. Language learning and cultural immersion at its very best!

study Ireland

The “Coastal Biology of Ireland” study group got right to work in the sea in the days after their arrival, as in this image of them with a net.

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