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**Exploring the Globe: MC’s Winter Study Abroad Initiatives**

MC Students and Professor Grishma Shah at the Malaysia Petronas Towers LAELANY GUERRERO/COURTESY

By Karen Flores, Staff Writer

During the recent winter season, Manhattan College students were presented with the exciting opportunity to embark on educational journeys across Europe and Asia as part of the college’s diverse range of study abroad programs.

The itinerary for these programs encompassed visits to France, Ireland, and Singapore. Among the offerings was a unique course in Ireland focusing on The Catholic Mass & its Music, led by William Mulligan, an adjunct professor in the Department of Music and Theater. This course, eligible for religion 200300 and music 260 credits, attracted students like Brian Dunn, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, who sought to deepen his understanding of his heritage.

While reflecting on his decision to study abroad in Ireland, Dunn shared, “I was originally planning on going to Rome, but I saw Ireland was a choice and I have family from Ireland which influenced my decision.” He further elaborated on his experience, stating, “My family came from Ireland, post [potato] famine, but a decent amount of people that went on the trip were Irish and had family who suffered through the famine, so it was interesting learning about the various cultural changes and religions that have played a role in Ireland’s history.”

One of Dunn’s most poignant moments abroad was his visit to an abbey where he engaged in meaningful conversations with monks, gaining valuable insights. Reflecting on an enlightening conversation with a monk regarding the intersection of science and religion, Dunn remarked, “He said to me that science and religion don’t necessarily need to conflict, they can also complement one another.” Dunn emphasized the importance of such exchanges with locals in broadening one’s perspectives, particularly for students immersing themselves in a new cultural milieu.

Similarly, Anastasia O’Neil, a junior majoring in nuclear medicine technology, found the study abroad experience in Ireland enriching. She described an assignment that involved creating a presentation linking a chosen song, such as Brian Boru’s March, with historical contexts like the Book of Kells, housed in Trinity College Dublin. O’Neil appreciated the interactive and interdisciplinary nature of the presentations, which added a unique dimension to her academic exploration.

In a separate study abroad program in France, led by Andrew Skotnicki, Ph.D., professor of religious studies, students like Delia Collis, a junior double major in communication and philosophy, delved into the intellectual intersections of Paris, Religion, and the Intellectual Life. Collis found the course particularly engaging as it bridged philosophical concepts with the Catholic faith, offering insights into renowned philosophers like Jean-Paul Sartre.

Venturing further east, students exploring Singapore and Malaysia participated in an international field study seminar under the guidance of Grishma Shah, a professor in the Department of Marketing and Management. Laenaly Guerrero, a senior majoring in finance and global business, highlighted the diverse array of activities, from business visits to cultural excursions, that characterized their experience in these vibrant locales.

Cara Loganadhan, a sophomore pursuing a double major in finance and global business, underscored the value of hands-on learning through interactions with local businesses. She emphasized the unique opportunity to engage directly with company founders and gain insights into global business practices, culminating in a consulting project that offers practical learning experiences.

Grateful for the cultural immersion and newfound perspectives gained through the study abroad program, Guerrero expressed her appreciation for the diverse culinary experiences and the chance to adapt to unfamiliar environments. She emphasized the transformative nature of the journey, stating, “I am very thankful for having this opportunity and will look back on it as a great and wonderful experience.”

Echoing Guerrero’s sentiments, Dunn emphasized the significance of interactive learning experiences abroad in fostering a deeper retention of knowledge. He highlighted the value of hands-on engagement and diverse learning environments outside traditional classroom settings.

Encouraging fellow students to seize the opportunity to study abroad, O’Neil emphasized the personal growth and academic enrichment that such experiences offer. She noted, “Studying abroad is one of the best things you can do in college, even if it is just for two weeks, I definitely recommend it to everyone.”

For those interested in exploring study abroad opportunities, inquiries can be directed via email to [ppp1], and additional insights can be found on the Instagram page @studyabroadmc.