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(December 13, 2001, Gazette)

Portugal

Germany

England

Bound for Aveiro

A lesson in Port Wine Culture, Duoro Valley


In August, 11 Memorial students boarded a plane at the St. John’s airport. Their destination? Portugal. The international field school was offered by the Department of Geography after a visit to Aveiro by Dr. A. B. Dickinson of the International Office in May 2000. Dr. Dickinson sponsored a field-course planning visit by Drs. Gordon Handcock and Chesley Sanger of the Department of Geography. Funding and logistical support was contributed by the International Centre, the dean of arts, Student Affairs and Services, the geography department and the University of Aveiro.

Geography students making salt fish in Aveiro, PortugalGeography students making salt fish in Aveiro, Portugal

The 11 students and two professors were based at the University of Aveiro and were housed in the university’s residence. Day trips were planned where the students were treated with the upmost hospitality by representatives from the University of Aveiro, Pascoal Fisheries, Town Council of Ilhavo, Aveiro Port Authority, Coimbra University, etc. The field school focused mainly on the historical associations between northwest Portugal and Newfoundland through centuries of involvement in the fisheries and port wine trade. Students explored other topics related to regional planning, coastal zone management, tourism, built environments, cultural landscapes, economic development, and also issues dealing with resource exploitation and management.

Aveiro, PortugalAveiro, Portugal

Through excursions and presentations, students were able to gain a broad view and appreciation for the vibrant culture of northwestern Portugal, particularly Aveiro. Not all days were scheduled for the students, giving them some time to explore the culture independently. An early train to Lisbon began an exciting weekend in Portugal’s capital city. The sand and sun of Barra beach were a welcome change from Newfoundland’s rocky coast. Each student has completed a journal and field project on a chosen topic for course evaluation. Encouraged to include both academic and personal thoughts in the journal, students will have a detailed account of their experience for years to come.

Student Brad Jones called the trip “probably the best experience of my life.”

For classmate Karla Pope, the experience “holds a million memories, great new friends and some great experiences.” Julie White added: “I have made many friends on this trip and I wouldn’t have changed anything about it.”

A collection of student photographs from the trip is on display in the science building near room S-2025.

Hard at work in Heidelberg

Memorial students on the steps of the Language Institute on Heidelberg, Germany.Memorial students on the steps of the Language Institute on Heidelberg, Germany.

Memorial’s students of German were hard at work in August in Heidelberg, Germany. The third annual field school attracted the largest group yet, with 22 students taking part. Program organizer Marcella Rollmann of the Department of German and Russian attributes the success of the program to the enthusiastic reportsMemorial students at the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) in Heidelberg, currently closed for repairs. of returning students and the obvious enhancement of their language skills. The group engaged in 10 weeks of studies via three spring-term courses, followed by four weeks of intensive language practice in Heidelberg. Ms. Rollmann reported many slips of Entschuldigung and Danke schön heard in the Toronto airport as students found it hard to “turn off” their German on their return to Canadian soil.

Memorial students at the Alte Brücke (Old Bridge) in Heidelberg, currently closed for repairs.

Singing in England

The Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir, in EnglandThe Newfoundland Symphony Youth Choir, a number of whom are MUN students, was one of only three entrants selected to participate in the youth choir category in an international choral festival. The choir visited England, performed in several churches and at a MUN alumni event (Oct. 10 at Canada House in London) and took home a third place prize. The choir director is Susan Dyer-Knight, our most recent alumnus of the year. Here, the choir performs at the St. James Parish Church in Poole, England. According to President Axel Meisen, who heard the choir perform at Canada House, the international performing experience was immensely valuable to the students. The president, the chair of the Board Regents, Ed Roberts, and the director of Alumni Affairs, John Kearsey, were on hand for the alumni event.