When SLU students think about study abroad programs, New York City is not the first thing that comes to mind. While there are other study abroad opportunities for students such as Jordan, Costa Rica or China, there is now a possibility to spend a semester off campus in Manhattan.
“Monday through Wednesday we are at our internships, Thursday we have class, and Fridays we go on field trips with Peter Fitz Randolph, the director of the course,” Liz Vetik ’13 said. Vetik is a current participant there and spends her time focused on art.
Although the two available programs are financial and art there is still a wide spectrum within these fields, from art history and book restoration, to investment advising and asset management. The internship is the biggest part of the semester. Some students are working for Morgan Stanley & Company Inc., while others are working for MTV.
Unlike some other St. Lawrence study abroad programs, this is an independent program in which there is no collaboration with any other schools. Another resource provided by this program is a course in which students get to learn about the city. For many of the classes a guest speaker visits and teaches about the history and politics of New York City. Fieldtrips often involve museums and plays, immersing students into the New York City culture.
“So far I have been to Broadway, visited the Met multiple times and attended different concerts,” Vitek said.
Studying in a city in the United States prepares participants for the post-college work environment. Not only are they immersed in a professional environment, but they are also learning about the city at the same time and these internships might even open doors for future employment.
“I have fallen head over heals in love with this city. I try to visit a new place every day,” Vitek said.
Only juniors and seniors are allowed to participate in this program because there are certain pre-requisites. For finance students completing Econ. 251 and Econ. 252 are required. However, the requirements may be more specific depending on which internship the student is applying for. For example, some require a 3.5 cumulative grade point average. From the conversations that I have had with participants, this new program is smooth sailing so far. Not surprisingly, life in Manhattan is interesting and students report that the internships are stimulating.
The program is funded through the alumni network, whose donations make it possible for students to take part in New York City internships concentrated in fields of the arts and finance.