I greatly enjoyed your profile of the Division of International Programs Abroad (DIPA) in the Summer 1999 issue. The semester I spent in London in 1986 remains the high point of my time at Syracuse. Yet what sticks in my mind today are not the classes I took or the professors I had. Rather, it's the political debate with a graduate student in an Oxford pub, the spring-break trip to the old Soviet Union, and the difficulty deciphering the "foreign" form of English spoken in Scotland. Even in today's shrunken Internet world, these are life experiences that can never be duplicated in a classroom or on a web site. Best of all, study abroad keeps on giving. Thirteen years later I still find myself benefiting from my DIPA experience in my current job as I work with people throughout Europe. Aside from the obvious advantages of learning how to work across cultures, there are the more subtle benefits, such as being able to break down barriers with funny tales of this American's experience as a 20-year-old living in Europe.
                Doug MacDonald '87
               West Dundee, Illinois

I have just read with great interest the Summer 1999 issue that gives meritorious attention to the Division of International Programs Abroad at Syracuse.
      I am glad to see this recognition of the very important role DIPA plays for students from Syracuse proper and increasingly for students from sister universities across the United States who discover the world-and a good deal of themselves, too-through study abroad with DIPA.
      I could not help but note, however, an error in the credits given to the cover photograph, identified as "Students...enjoy a moment in the sun together on the Hong Kong coast." The picture is of SU Madrid students standing on a high point over Finesterre, in Galicia, Spain. This was the last leg of an eight-day study tour, the core of the SU Madrid course Pilgrimage and Medieval Spain offered each semester, an intellectual journey that begins at Somport Pass high on the French-Spanish border then traces the centuries-old "French Road" across northern Spain to the resting place of the Apostle St. James, in Santiago de Compostela.
      Tradition has it that the most faithful of pilgrims continued westward three days hence from Compostela to Finesterre, to wash their feet in the cold waters at the meeting place of waves from the Cantabrian and Atlantic, to stand in awe of the life-giving sun, to collect a sea shell, and with cleansed heart and soul to give thanks again, then turn homeward for the promise of a better life.
      The cover picture captures that moment for the dozen-plus students who joined me in this adventurous trip in the fall of 1997.
        W. Flint Smith
        Director/Chairman of Academic Programs SU Madrid

I'm writing to tell you how much I enjoyed the Summer 1999 issue.
      I'm sorry to say I've never been an avid reader of the magazine before. While relaxing this summer, I thought why not take a closer look. I immediately noticed the new eye-catching layout. I proceeded to scan the inside, and the photograph of the War Memorial on the first page of the article "At the Crossroads of Contemporary Photography" caught my eye. I really have no interest in photography, but I read the complete article and found it so interesting. I then read the article "DIPA Today." I was once a participant in the Florence summer program, and the article brought back so many memories. Although I did not read all the stories, I thoroughly enjoyed the hour or more I spent reading. It made me long to go back and visit my alma mater. Keep up the good work.
                  Kirsten (Groth) Campisi '92
                  Los Angeles, California

Your article "On the Upswing" (Spring 1999) struck me as an exciting piece that accurately conveyed the vibrant culture and lifestyle of a much underrated city. In the article, you quoted Chancellor Shaw as saying, "It's hard sometimes to convince people to live here, but it's harder to get them to leave." I agree. In mid-1992, I moved to Syracuse to attend the College of Law. Having spent my first 27 years in a northern New Jersey suburb, the move proved to be a culture shock. In the three short years I attended SU, I fell in love with the City of Syracuse and the lifestyle it offered. In the three long years since I moved away, I have come to realize it to be my home.
          Scott M. Bishop G'95
          White Plains, New York

Thank you for the article on "Nurturing Creative Instincts" and the art education program (Spring 1999). The article meant a great deal to me because, when I was in the program, I felt like we did not get enough recognition, or even any at all, for what we did every Saturday morning.
      It was a great experience to be part of that program, as we were definitely ready for the rewards and dilemmas of teaching. We were prepared and organized, and this was a wonderful prerequisite for student teaching in our senior year, and made that experience a lot easier.
              Colleen R. Murphy '96
              Charlotte, North Carolina

Syracuse University Magazine welcomes letters from readers. Address letters to: Syracuse University Magazine, 820 Comstock Avenue, Room 308, Syracuse, New York 13244-5040. Letters are subject to editing for style and space limitations.

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