Notre Dame students Experience Washington DC

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 22-8-2011

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



Taking a tour of Congress, reliving the history of the American Civil War and being addressed by Australia’s Ambassador to the United States of America, His Excellency Hon Kim Beazley AC, were highlights for thirty Notre Dame students during their recent trip to Washington DC.

The trip to the heart of the world’s greatest political and economic power was part of The University of Notre Dame Australia’s Experience the World program.

Students from the School of Arts and Sciences in Fremantle and Sydney spent four weeks in the US capital studying the history, politics, culture and literature of the city in partnership with The Catholic University of America.

In addition to watching democracy unfold first-hand in the US House of Representatives, students followed in the footsteps of Robert E. Lee, General of the Confederate Army, during the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863. This battle produced the largest number of casualties in the American Civil War.

Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the Fremantle Campus, Dr Daniel Baldino, described Washington DC as a “natural living and breathing museum” with a captivating vibe.

“What we were able to do was deliver the classroom knowledge and then bring students to the physical locations to interact with the very themes and issues we had been discussing,” Dr Baldino said.

“The program also required students to write a reflective journal about their experiences and attend daily study sessions.

“America is still very much a nation divided along class lines. This provided a good opportunity for Notre Dame students to do some forward thinking and document how these issues could be addressed.”

Acting Associate Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences in Fremantle, Dr Martin Drum, said an international experience was extraordinarily beneficial for students of all disciplines.

“We see this as a flagship for our history and politics programs as it really is a remarkable opportunity we offer our students,” Dr Drum said.

“The experience of visiting a great city like Washington DC allows students to walk in the shoes of people in the United States and gain an understanding of their public life and culture.

“Students have returned and are applying what they learnt in their classes and will keep doing that over the course of their degree.”

The Experience the World program also offers students with opportunities to visit developing nations such as Uganda and Cambodia with Caritas Australia, or spend up to a month in a remote community in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

Contact the School of Arts and Sciences in Fremantle on (08) 9433 0100 for more information.

MEDIA CONTACT: Leigh Dawson, Tel (08) 9433 0569, Mob 0405 441 093