FARMINGTON — Eight University of Maine at Farmington students and three professors recently made a two-day trip to Farmington’s sister city, Lac-Megantic, Quebec.
They brought a token of friendship back from Lac-Megantic’s rebuilt library and presented it to Librarian Marnie Stockford at Farmington Public Library on Wednesday.
This pilot trip was part of UMF’s new program, Global Perspectives, which offers students a two-day excursion designed to make international education more accessible and affordable for students.
Trips to Quebec, other parts of Atlantic Canada and cities here in the U.S. are being planned with an intent to help students see the potential benefits of studying abroad through longer experiences.
It is part of a larger goal under the university’s pledge to double the number of its students studying abroad by 2020. UMF recently joined the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad initiative.
In Lac-Megantic in November, the UMF group toured the city that was damaged by a railway disaster in 2013, Linda Beck, professor of political science and director of International and Global Studies Program, said at the library presentation.
They also spoke with officials and visited the city’s rebuilt library. Beck said they brought a brochure and pin back to give Farmington’s librarian as a token of friendship. They want to continue the relationship with Farmington and the library, she said.
“It gave us a firsthand view,” Emma Waldron, UMF student, said. They saw the destruction and rebuilding effort for themselves, she said.