Graduates go global

Three Convent of the Sacred Heart seniors are grabbing their passports and packing their suitcases to broaden their world view this fall.

Seniors Maddie Church and Annie Werdiger, who will attend Southern Methodist University (SMU), will study abroad in Switzerland August 18 through December 12. Senior Molly Geisinger, who will attend Hamilton College, will study abroad in England September 6 through December 19. 

“I want to have a more well-rounded and worldly perspective before I begin my college experience,” Annie said. “Originally, I was worried about making friends and finding a roommate, but because there are other SMU students also participating in the program in Switzerland, I will not be entering SMU alone in the spring. I am mostly looking forward to being in a new place and meeting new people.”

Seniors Maddie Church, Annie Werdinger and Molly Geisinger will be studying abroad in Europe during their freshman year of college. Holly Roth '16
Seniors Maddie Church, Annie Werdiger and Molly Geisinger will study abroad in Europe during their freshman year of college.
Holly Roth ’16

Through the program SMU-in-Switzerland, freshmen at SMU can spend up to two semesters at Franklin University Switzerland in Lugano, Switzerland. The SMU-in-Switzerland program includes the Academic Travel Program, a two-week international study course led by Franklin faculty members. The program enables students to travel through Europe in order to further their learning. 

“At first I was nervous about starting SMU in January, but after I learned more about this opportunity in Switzerland, I realized that this unique experience is hard to come by,” Maddie said. “I am looking forward to being able to live in a completely different culture, which will help me further prepare for college and the real world.”

Maddie and Annie will both room with other SMU students studying in the same program and will stay in one of the Franklin University’s eight dorms. 

Although they have not picked their classes yet, Maddie and Annie are looking forward to traveling. The students both plan on visiting the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
Annie, an avid horseback rider, will be putting her riding career on hold in order to focus on her academics and fully immerse herself in Swiss culture.

“I’ll miss my horses while I’m in Switzerland, but I really need the time to focus on learning as much as I can while I’m there,” Annie said. “I know my horses will be waiting for me in Florida, which is just a short plane ride away from Dallas, when I get back to SMU.”

Molly will spend her fall semester in England studying at Arcadia University for American Students in London, England, and will be living in university housing provided. She will take five classes at the Arcadia London Center at Arcadia University, including a mandatory course about life in London. Outside of this required course, she plans on taking various writing classes focused on British literature. Through her studies, Molly can potentially receive course credits for Hamilton College.

“Hamilton offered this opportunity during the admissions process and, having spoken with a student at Hamilton who had participated in the program and loved it, I thought it would be a great opportunity,” Molly said. “There will be about 30 other students from Hamilton who will be going with me and from what I’ve heard, this opportunity is as much of a learning experience as it is a bonding experience.”

While Maddie, Annie and Molly are also looking forward to beginning college in the US for spring semester, they are excited to immerse themselves in new cultures and experience life abroad in the fall.

“It seemed more appealing to me that I study abroad and meet new people and learn new things first and not interrupt the rest of the college experience once I get back to Hamilton,” Molly said.