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Letters from Readers

August 06, 2008

Reflections on the Overseas Study Program

As usual, I started out skimming the latest issue of the Chronicle [spring 2008] with the idea of reading more later. Then I caved in and read it from cover to cover. I particularly enjoyed Professor Nosratollah Rassekh’s recollections about overseas study.

What many people failed to recognize in the early years of this program was that it benefited all of us. The returning overseas study participants–along with the contributions of the foreign students who came to L&C–created interest in international matters at a peer level that reinforced the work of faculty.

Robert Rynerson B.A. ‘68

I started to cry when I saw the photos of the 1962 overseas study program to Mexico in the Chronicle. Then it got worse when I read the article. Of course, they were tears of joy, but it made me realize even more how special that trip was–although I had always known it.

Professor Rassekh’s article was wonderful and brought back many memories. He brought up so many things I had forgotten and jarred my memory to think of many more. I can hardly believe that over 45 years have gone by since we boarded that bus for an adventure of a lifetime!

Mary Helen Higgins B.A. ‘65
Kailua Kona, Hawaii

As a participant in the overseas study trip to Mexico in 1962, I read Professor Rassekh’s article about our Mexican adventure with special interest. We students had no idea at the time just how contentious and pioneering this trip was–a further testament of Professor Rassekh’s good shepherding.

Victor Baltrusaitis B.A. ‘65
Oakville, Ontario

Professor Rassekh’s account of his 1962–63 experience in Mexico filled me with joy and nostalgia. Just three years later, I would journey to faraway Peru, an experience that changed my life forever.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could learn to love learning, let alone master a foreign language (Spanish) and eventually work in another country while speaking that language and dealing with that country’s differing cultures and class structures.

We owe many thanks to [President] John Howard, but it was people like Professors Rassekh, Hamar, and Hulse who broke the ice and pioneered the way.

John McClelland B.A. ‘67
Longview, Washington

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