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Enhancing the International Experience: Overseas Student Assistants

Cantie margaux 20191121, dickinson magazine, overseas student assistant

Margaux Cantie, Overseas Student Assistant. Photo by Carl Socolow '77.

by Marie Laverdiere ’21

In addition to the many international students who call Dickinson home for four years, Dickinson also hosts 13 Overseas Student Assistants (OSAs) each year. 

“OSAs are non-degree-seeking students from Dickinson’s institutional partners abroad,” says Sonja Paulson, director of international student and scholar services in the Center for Global Study & Engagement. “They are charged with tutoring, leading language tables and facilitating conversational components to foreign language courses.”  

Margaux Cantie found Dickinson based on the college’s connection to her home university, Institut Catholique de Toulouse (ICT), which partners with Dickinson’s French program. 

“I really liked the proximity I had with this college thanks to its physical presence in Toulouse,” says Cantie. “I had the chance to meet professors and students from Dickinson, so I started to feel close to the school even before knowing I could go.” 

In addition to Toulouse, OSAs come from partner institutions in Málaga, Bologna, Bremen, Mendoza and Moscow. Dickinson also brings Fulbright Teaching Language Assistants for the Arabic and Portuguese programs. 

In her third and final year studying psychology at ICT, Cantie hopes to eventually apply for a master’s degree in neuroscience research. For now, she’s staying busy teaching, tutoring and taking psychology courses right here in Carlisle.  

“Being able to teach and to participate in different clubs or activities are brand new experiences for me,” she says. “I like the way all students get involved in campus life.” 

Although each OSA’s stay is shorter than traditional international students, they’re able find their place in Dickinson’s small community by meeting students in class or in extracurriculars. 

“I am really grateful to be able to attend sport classes, dinners and conferences whenever I want,” says Cantie. “I never get bored. On top of that, all professors and students are dynamic and welcoming, which is very comforting for new arrivals like me.”

Read more from the winter 2020 issue of Dickinson Magazine.

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Published February 20, 2020