Rivier partners with university in Greece
"This partnership is closely aligned with Rivier's mission and strategic plan with an emphasis on global engagement and allowing students to broaden their perspectives and become global citizens," said Rivier President Sister Paula Marie Buley.
Under the agreement, students can study for either one term or a full year abroad. In addition to academic subjects, they will study language and participate in cultural immersion activities, as well as service learning projects.
Associate Vice President of Global Engagement Mark Meehan said the program will start with one course, likely this summer, to begin at Rivier and end in Athens, including students from both universities. As the partnership grows, the universities will exchange more students, faculty and staff.
Rivier will offer exchanges in its Science in Transnational Security Studies bachelor's program, where students examine global security issues from various perspectives.
The program will also extend to faculty at both institutions, who can conduct research or assume teaching residencies. Professors will be able to study subjects ranging from political science to academic writing on Greek culture.
Meehan noted that some professors at Rivier study public responses to austerity measures - a highly relevant topic in Greek society.
Another Rivier faculty member studies the Islamic refugee community in Athens. "Many such refugees fled Northern Africa in the past five years, and there has been some difficulty with their acceptance into Greek communities," Meehan said.
The pairing with Hellenic American University represents the first bi-national undertaking of its kind for Rivier. In the spring, officials plan to sign a similar agreement with Atilim University, a Turkish school separated from Greece by the Aegean Sea.
Though the school is only beginning to branch out, Rivier has a network of Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, Rivier's founding Order, residing in 20 countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Meehan recalled Sister Paula Marie Buley's words: "That means we have 20 doorbells to ring across the globe."
Hellenic American University has a cooperation agreement with the Hellenic American Education Center in Athens, which allows the university to offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Greece.
Both universities are chartered in New Hampshire and belong to the New Hampshire College and University Council, a consortium of 17 higher education institutions in the state.