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May 10, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU students pursue studies abroad

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Eleven Slippery Rock University students will be spending their summer pre-session at the abbey at Wroxton College in England. The study-abroad opportunity is part of a "Power and Authority" summer school course taught by Lia Paradis, associate professor of history.

The course traces British power from the monarchs (1700s) through World War II, including the change to aristocratic rule and the current rule of the people.

The group's trip is one of a eight international summer offerings by SRU as part of its summer school and internship programs, said Pamela Frigot, director of SRU's Office of International Services.

"This is a new relationship with Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey," Paradis said. "In the 1960s officials at FDU saw the drop in property prices in Britain and took up the idea to buy an estate being offered on the auction block. They bought the family estate of Lord North, who had served as prime minister of Great Britain during the American Revolution. They turned it into the first American-owned campus in Britain."

"The rural facility, which operates as a traditional American university during the regular academic year, is open during the summer to visiting courses such as the one I will be teaching. Wroxton College offers room and board as well as classroom space, a dining hall and a tea/pub room in the Carriage House. It is conveniently located near Stratford, Oxford-upon-Avon and London, which we will be visiting," she said. The facility helps arrange the necessary day trips.

"While this is the first visit to Wroxton for SRU, we already have plans for additional courses next year. Dr. Carlis White is planning a history class in 'Egyptology' next summer and will take advantages of the nearby museums in Oxford and London," Paradis said.

"As part of my course, we will visit Stratford and a production of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet,' and we will have a private tour of the British Parliament, including a question-and-answer session with Barron Scott on the inner-workings of parliament. We will go to the Imperial War Museum and Churchill's War Rooms that were used to shelter the prime minister and his government during the Blitz."

Paradis' class is part of SRU's pre-session summer school, which runs May 22 through June 7.

"While we are only going for a summer course, Wroxton is open to SRU students interested in spending an entire semester studying abroad," she said.

FDU formally acquired Wroxton College from Trinity College, Oxford University. It is a former 13th-century abbey that has been restored and a modernized Jacobean mansion.

Fairleigh Dickinson University was founded in 1942 as a private institution of higher education. It has grown to the largest private university in New Jersey with more than 12,000 students, including the Bergen Junior College in Teaneck and the 178-acre Vanderbilt-Twombly estate as its third campus, known as "College at Florham." In addition to Wroxton, it also operates a campus in Vancouver, Canada.

Glenn Utsch, assistant professor of music, will lead a group of 17 SRU students to London this summer for a "Literature of American Musical Theater" course, and Mark O'Connor, associate professor of English and Rachela Permenter, professor of English, will take 26 SRU students to Italy for a literature seminar and work on travel and food writing.

Five SRU students will study at the Universidad de Alaca in Spain, and two dance majors will participate in SRU's Dance In India Initiative in Chennai, India.

A group of six students, led by Carol Martins-Elkins, a professor in SRU's School of Physical Therapy, will pursue PT studies in Costa Rica. Five others will study Spanish in Costa Rica.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.