Around the World in One Class


“Social Movements” taught by Professor Sandra McEvoy examines contexts where legislative attempts for change fail and grassroots movements emerge to influence change. Critically examines movements such as the uprisings in Egypt, LGBT movements and the US civil rights movement.

It was Thursday, November 5, the one day that stood between me and a much anticipated Friday. I was walking to my political science class and as usual I was pondering what would be discussed during class. However, I was in for a great surprise. As I entered class I remembered that our class was grouping together with another class. This class was not just another political science class; it was a group of students who traveled to the United States all the way from Australia!

As I walked into class and found a seat among the chaos of our class and the Australian class, I was lucky enough to sit right next to a member of the class from Australia. As we both introduced ourselves, I quickly realized this was the first person I have ever met from Australia. I saw this as a great opportunity to ask him about the Australian culture and way of life, and he felt the same about the American lifestyle. My Australian friend told me about the Australian laws and government, along with how they were always attempting to make Australia more like America. I found this incredibly interesting as even though America is a great country, we are currently fighting in wars and are fighting multiple battles of racism throughout the country. As I began to tell my new Australian friend about the ways of American life such as the government, the typical “American Dream” and the education systems in our country. I could tell he was like a sponge soaking in everything I said. Not only did I get to teach my friend about our country and what it is like to live in America, I also got an opportunity I never thought I would have which was to learn about Australia from a firsthand source.

Looking back at that Thursday, I was anticipating a typical Social Movements class, filled with discussions and opinions about all kinds of politics and human rights. I walked out of class that day with a new friend who lives all the way across the globe and knowledge of Australian culture.

Greg Breen is a Counseling Psychology major from Winchester, MA.