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Committed to Global Learning, St. John's Beautifies Study Abroad Location in Paris

Committed to Global Learning, St. John’s Beautifies Study Abroad Location in Paris Photo by: Copyright Alexandre Nestora
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Reflecting its ongoing commitment to global learning, St. John’s University unveiled renovations to the main courtyard of its Study Abroad location in Paris, France, with a March 7 ribbon-cutting attended by students, administrators, and French dignitaries.

Located in the colorful Sixth Arrondissement, the facility is the site of two popular St. John’s Study Abroad programs. The Paris Semester offers an academic and social immersion in French art, language, and history. Through Discover the World Europe, students earn course credit in three European cities in a single term.

The upgrades enhance the courtyard’s appeal as a gathering place for students. Additions include outdoor benches and tables, upgraded paving, improved lighting, trellises, and planters. A new wrought-iron gate at the courtyard’s entrance emphasizes easy access to the rue de Sèvres and all that Paris has to offer.

“On behalf of Fr. Harrington and the Board of Trustees, St. John’s is delighted to have made this further investment in the quality of our Paris location,” said Martha Hirst, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at St. John’s. “It is a facility that will continue to benefit students and faculty, and enhance our focus on providing a global education commensurate with today’s international workplace, all within the Vincentian framework of service to others.”

Speaking in French and English, Hirst addressed the crowd of nearly 100 students joining St. John’s administrators and members of the Vincentian Community at the noontime ceremony. Rev. Elie DelPlace, C.M., Provincial of the Congregation of the Mission in Paris, offered blessings and comments in French. The benediction was delivered by Sister Bernadette Miller, DC, who guides Campus Ministry activities at the facility. The Mayor of the Sixth Arrondissement, Jean-Pierre Lecoq, presented brief remarks.

The renovations demonstrate St. John’s commitment to this site—and its partnership with the city’s Vincentian Community, noted Anthony Pacheco, Vice President of Global Programs at St. John's. The University has a long-term lease on the facility, which is part of the Vincentian’s “Maison Mère,” or mother house. The first floor comprises a lobby with a spiral staircase, a cafeteria, and University offices. The second floor features classrooms, a computer lab, and a seminar room. Residence facilities occupy the top four floors.

Throughout the year, the location serves students from St. John’s and other four-year colleges who enroll in the University’s Paris Semester and Discover the World programs. Students enjoy the opportunity to learn about Europe in a capital of the arts. “It’s exposed me to another culture that’s very different in many ways from what we have in the United States,” said Joseph Tate ’14CPS. “The Paris location is a wonderful place to study—a well-organized, close-knit community.”

“It’s one thing to see sites like the Eiffel Tower in a picture—and another thing to see it in person,” said Frances Mathieu ’13C. “Studying abroad gave me the opportunity to experience French culture, while learning a great deal about history and art, too.”

St. John’s opened its Paris location in 2008 as the latest site for its growing Study Abroad programs. Since 1995, the University has maintained a campus in Rome, Italy, that serves students in the Rome Semester and Discover the World Europe courses. The Rome campus also offers an MBA in finance, international business, and marketing management, as well as master’s degrees in government and politics and international global development and social justice.

The University also has three residential, New York City campuses (in Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan) as well as a location in Oakdale, NY.