November 02, 2016
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Exposure to the diversity of different cultures continues to grow at Saint Anselm College.
This fall semester, students from the Netherlands visited the Hilltop as part of the educational exchange pioneered by the Philosophy department under the guidance of Professor Max Latona. The arrival of Dutch students from Radboud University of Nijmegen, Netherlands, completed an exchange from spring break of last year, when over two dozen Saint Anselm College students traveled to Radboud for Philosophy courses.
Now, plans are underway for a new opportunity to travel to the Netherlands: The Theology department expects a program to be in place for the summer of 2018, adding a new dimension to the partnership (now in its eighth year).
In mid-October, Professor Dan Daly, chair of the Theology department, visited counterparts at Radboud University to start developing a student exchange with a religious framework. Daly reports that his two-day trip resulted in a draft plan which would allow students from the college to visit Radboud in early August of 2018. He notes that the program is derived and benefits from from Professor Latona's work in Philosophy.
"Theology's global partnership will be a natural extension of the work by Philosophy," says Daly. "Vatican II calls for engaging with the world so we're not limited to an internal conversation. It's easy to internalize but experiencing this kind of exchange opens everyone's world view."
The recent October trip by Radboud University students to Saint Anselm included a spirited conversation at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on assisted suicide and euthanasia, subjects on which there are significant differences in thought between the United States and the Netherlands. A 2002 law in Holland makes allowances for physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Earlier that day (shown), four Dutch students exchanged perspectives on animal rights with Saint Anselm students in an Ethics Seminar moderated by Latona. The two groups generally agreed that animals do have rights; however, the participants vigorously debated the relative superiority of humans over animals, the importance of testing for medical advances in some form, and the merit of any one argument when the subject is human and not animal.
"The collaboration with Radboud has been wonderful for out students," says Latona. "They want to open their minds to the world and there's no better way to see, taste and feel a culture other than their own."
Latona says the American students especially enjoyed spending informal down time with their Dutch peers, exchanging ideas and beliefs and learning more about the differences and similarities between their two cultures. Outside the classroom, the group also enjoyed apple picking, hiking in the White Mountains and a visit to the Haunted Overload Halloween-themed attraction in Lee, N.H.
Photo, L-R: Nik Richardson and Katie Demasi of Saint Anselm College with Lobke Verwaal and Lesley ten Kleij of Radboud University.