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Photo caption: Jordan Little (’17) will study in London this fall. He received his commercial pilot rating May 29. 

Jordan LittleInternational academic study augments perspective

BILLINGS, June 16, 2014 – Rocky Mountain College students who wish to study abroad work with Amber West Martin, director of international programs. She assures that they will receive the highest benefit from their foreign education. “I make them research themselves,” she says. Foreign coursework includes epiphanies related to a field of study, taking psych where Freud did, for example, and a passel of life experiences. 

The most important factor is that students pursue their passion and honor their internal motivation, West Martin said, in which case they make incredible strides in maturity and perspective. Mark Twain wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” 

“It takes a certain sense to step out of the norm, or else you must know yourself so well that you can go outside your comfort level. If you take it step-by-step, it’s a profound experience,” she said.

West Martin notes that students and families may worry unnecessarily about costs. “It does require the support of their family,” she said, but sometimes an RMC scholarship applies, and foreign universities occasionally cost less than study in Montana. 

Three students have committed to foreign study this fall. Jordan Little (’17) will spend autumn in coursework at Regent’s American College London. 

Little, an aeronautical science major from Pleasanton, Calif., has wanted to be a pilot since 6th grade. He will study in London at Regent’s from August 16 to December 17 “simply to finish off my general education requirements in a cool location,” he said. The cost is equivalent to on-campus study in Montana. 

“I chose to study abroad because there is no other time in your life where you can enjoy three months abroad,” he said. “Other than the obvious classroom setting, I believe London and the places I will travel have much to offer for both academic development and personal development.” 

Students in pre-professional programs at RMC, such as Little, secure career-specific qualifications while they absorb a strong liberal arts background, which employers desire just as highly. “I think I will gain cultural and general life experiences in London that America simply cannot offer,” Little said. 

He plans to acquire his certified flight instructor certificate at RMC and fly as a commercial pilot. “I would like to fly international flights eventually to continue my travels. I hope that all works out!” he said. 

Two students participate this fall in the venerable international program Semester at Sea. They visit 16 countries on both sides of the Atlantic in 108 days of coursework aboard ship. 

Rocky Mountain College shares more foreign study options than some other schools do. RMC offers affiliation with International Studies Abroad and GlobaLinks programs, while Montana State University and MSU Billings perform exchanges in which colleges trade numbers of students. “We belong to ISEP,” the International Student Exchange Program, West Martin said, which networks colleges without reciprocation constraint in 50 countries.