Smith College Admission Academics Student Life About Smith news Offices
Five College Calendar
Smith eDigest
Submit an Idea
News Archive
News Publications
Planning an Event
Contact Us
News & Events
   Date: 12/7/10 Bookmark and Share

A Global Perspective

The Global Stride program allows six first-year STRIDE fellows to apply their stipends toward study-abroad costs or intensive language programs. As part of the Global Stride scholarship, the fellows interviewed and profiled international students in the college’s graduate program in American Studies, to help familiarize them with people who have made cultural transitions.

The Gate will publish their profiles in an occasional series.

An Interview with AMS student Anne-Catherine Berrut-Marechaud

By Zoë Falk '14, Global Stride Fellow

Anne-Catherine Berrut-Marechaud GR

Anne-Catherine Berrut-Marechaud, a graduate student in the American Studies Diploma Program, comes from a place vastly different from Smith. She studied at the University of Geneva (in the French-speaking part of Switzerland) before coming to Smith, her first trip to the United States. However, despite going to a very different school and living in a different environment, she is getting along well at Smith.

Coming to Smith seemed like the natural thing to do for Anne-Catherine. She knew she wanted to study in a foreign country, and although she had traveled in Europe before, she had not had the chance to visit other continents very often. America was the farthest away from the “old traditions” that she was used to in Switzerland. She had studied English literature in Geneva, so America seemed like the ideal place to go. Also, she says, “a teacher encouraged me to go to Smith because she had done so about 15 years ago.”

Going to a women’s college is “very different,” she says. There aren’t any all-women’s colleges where she is from, “but it was actually something that I wanted to try, and I quite like it.” Being at Smith helps her focus on her studies, she adds.

At the University of Geneva she fell in love with French and English literature, which she plans to continue investigating at Smith. But, she says, “there was an ancient tradition of ex-cathedra, which means that the teacher speaks from the chair… you had absolutely no possibility to interact with the teacher and that results in a relationship with the teachers that is very distant.” At Smith teachers are more approachable and students are encouraged to interact in class, which was something Anne-Catherine was looking for in a school.

Another aspect of the Smith experience that is different from the University of Geneva is the campus life. The University of Geneva lacks a campus aspect, and Anne-Catherine lived by herself. “Geneva University is in the city,” she describes, “and that means that you can be really alone, whereas on campus [at Smith] it is nice because you are always encircled by people and you are never alone. That is one of the biggest changes and something that I really wanted to experience.”

In addition to being an enthusiastic scholar and dedicated student, Anne-Catherine is also an accomplished violinist. She continues to study the violin at Smith and is even considering a career in music. At Smith, Anne-Catherine has embarked on a bright future. She is at a school where she is encouraged to learn by professors who take an interest in her, and she is able to practice her violin. She is being prepared for her later music and literature studies either in Switzerland or abroad, and getting ready for the journey that she has just begun.

DirectoryCalendarCampus MapVirtual TourContact UsSite A-Z