After watching the documentary "Crossing Borders" at Merrimack last spring, Sumi decided that she wanted to be among the travelers to Spain and Morocco. She quickly signed up for Convivencia, organized by Dr. Lynn McGovern, chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
"Long ago, the Iberian Peninsula was the battleground of conflicts between Christians and Muslims, but it was also emblematic of a past convivencia, when Spain's three religions peacefully co-existed together and was home to the greatest school of translation in medieval times," said McGovern. "The Crossing Borders study-travel course is an example of the humanities in action. Students learn about other people and cultures, first-hand, by spending time with Muslim peers, providing opportunities for self-discovery and self-reflection. This inquiry, accompanied by guided discussions, prepares students to translate their enhanced awareness into their own reality when they return to Merrimack College.
Looking back on the Convivencia experience, Sumi's favorite memory is climbing 34 flights, via ramps, to the top of the Giralda (a bell tower) in Sevilla, Spain. To celebrate, she bought a key chain with the Giralda on it to remind herself that with determination she could do anything! Using a cane or a wheelchair when she got tired, she was able to participate in every group activity on the trip.
At Merrimack, Sumi is a Spanish major with a minor in Political Science/Pre-Law. She is also interested in languages. In Morocco, she stayed with a host family that spoke Arabic, Darija and French. As a first year French student, she practiced as much French as possible and was delighted to be able to converse with her host family.
Sumi enjoyed learning about the culture of Spain and Morocco and about the Muslim families who hosted her stay.
"Traveling to different countries has opened doors for me to practice languages and learn about different cultures through my own eyes," expressed Sumi.
Besides learning about different religions, history, acceptance of others, and experiencing different cultures, Sumi learned a lot about herself, her determination, her stamina, and the knowledge that with hard work, anything is possible.
"Sumi Krishnan's rich experiences, her excitement, challenges, and growth, illustrate a new sense of human connectedness," adds McGovern. "This empathy will forever inform her choices and bit-by-bit empower her to change things that need changing in our complicated world. I invite more students to leap into study abroad."
Make a year-end gift to the Merrimack Fund!
?Tis the season for giving and Merrimack College thanks all alumni, parents and friends who have made a gift to the 2011-2012 Merrimack Fund. If you have not yet given, and wish to do so before the end of the year, here are some important year-end gift reminders:
Remember to make your gift online to Merrimack College by December 31, 2011, to ensure tax credit as per IRS guidelines. Online gifts completed no later than midnight in your time zone on December 31, 2011, will qualify. To make your gift online, go to www.merrimack.edu/gift.
Phoned-in Credit Card Gifts
To make a gift by phone, call (978) 837-5021. Please have your credit card number, expiration date, daytime telephone number, and gift designation ready. Please note that the College will be closed at 5p.m. on Wednesday, December 21 and will reopen on January 4, 2012. Institutional advancement staff will be checking voicemail during this period.
Mailed Check or Credit Card Gifts
If you prefer, you can send a check or make a credit card gift by mail. If sending a check, it must be postmarked by December 31, 2011. If sending a credit card gift by mail, send your credit card number, expiration date, daytime telephone number, and instructions regarding your gift designation to Merrimack College, Institutional Advancement, 315 Turnpike Street, North Andover, MA 01845. The College accepts Visa, MasterCard and Discover.
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