A Lasting Global Impact

Since the College’s founding, Saint Mary’s has been a place that values a global perspective and appreciates the ability to see beyond our own experiences. With a global approach, Saint Mary’s women explore the potential to make a difference in the lives of others. Gaining inspiration from the four founding sisters, who came from France to perform domestic duties  and initiated what would become an impactful global congregation. Today the Sisters of the Holy Cross live and work around the world as educators, nurses, administrators, counselors, social workers, parish and campus ministers, writers, attorneys, and advocates for social justice and systemic reform.

Often it’s from the inspiration of the sisters that Saint Mary’s students find their passions. Nursing, speech language pathology, and education students have the opportunity to serve side-by-side the sisters in Uganda. They spend four weeks in Kyarusozi during the summer working in the clinic and teaching in the school. There students expand their perspectives and develop their faith. Applying what they’ve learned in their classes and clinicals, students provide both outpatient and inpatient care, as well as lab tests. They treat malaria and even help deliver babies. They travel outside of the clinic to local villages to provide immunizations and teach nutrition and hygiene as well. They work with students one-on-one in schools, tutoring and teaching lessons. It was these students who wrote the ABCs of Saint Mary’s book in celebration of the 175th to give back to the community in Uganda. 

Further, the opportunity to study abroad and explore different cultures has long been a hallmark of the Saint Mary’s education. Whether she chooses a semester or a full year, a spring break trip or a summer program, Saint Mary’s women get to immerse themselves in a different culture, try new things, and through the process, gain independence. It was in 1970 that the College opened a campus in the center of historic Rome, and over the years thousands of students have had the opportunity to experience Italian culture in this unique city, or select from a variety of other international programs either for the academic year or for one semester. This memorable, life-changing travel makes a significant and lasting impact on students' intellectual, spiritual, and personal growth.

Global learning has expanded on campus as well through the global studies major, which is relatively new to the College’s offerings of academic programs. This area of study expands students’ global awareness, language proficiency, and allows them to experience different cultures. Each student chooses a language, a concentration, and a study abroad location that aligns with their career goals and/or interests. There are many opportunities to connect with people from all over the world, which allows students to build personal relationships and bridges between communities. Concentrations including intercultural studies, international development, and gender and women’s studies prepare students to explore meaningful career paths and imagine a life abroad.

Abroad adventures and ministries inspire Saint Mary’s women to live as informed, global citizens. Some choose to live and work abroad, while others travel frequently doing mission work, and all of their experiences translate into the thoughtful, globally-minded women of Saint Mary’s who seek to make a difference.