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Local students get a taste of British life through college program

LONDON-A pair of St. Lawrence University juniors with local ties are getting a firsthand look at British culture.

Brooke Hartson of Keene Valley (Keene) and Chauntel Gillilland of Willsboro (Westport) are both attending a semester abroad in England as part of the St. Lawrence University International Study Program for the spring 2011 semester.

Gillilland, a government major, said that she had been looking forward to this semester since her first on campus.

"St. Lawrence really encourages all of its students to study abroad," Gillilland said. "I always knew I wanted to study overseas, and St. Lawrence's variety of programs was one of the reasons I decided to go there. I was planning on going abroad since freshman year."

"By the time I was in high school I knew I wanted to study abroad," Hartson, a psychology major, said. "I became really interested in English history, especially the Renaissance era and set my mind on studying in England. When I was looking at colleges I looked for ones with study abroad programs in England. In short, I came to St. Lawrence knowing I wanted to study abroad."

Hartson added that her high school experience also played a roll in wanting to study in another country.

"I think one of the biggest influences for me on this decision was the exchange program my high school, Keene Central, has," she said. "Every year for one day we have several of the local exchange students come to Keene and talk to the elementary classes. At the end of the day, there would be an assembly and each student would make a presentation about their country to the school. I really enjoyed learning about different places all over the world and I knew I wanted to go see some of these places and experience new cultures."

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