OVER the past week, celebrations have been taking place marking the fifty years, the Memorial University of Newfoundland has had a campus in Old Harlow.
Newfoundland TV reporter, Leila Beaudoin, crossed over the pond to report on the significant anniversary.
We took this opportunity to ask Leila a few questions about the anniversary.
Is the 50th anniversary of the St John’s campus an important story for Newfoundland (NF)?
Yes. There are thousands of students who have completed the semester-long programme at Harlow, in various disciplines. Plus it’s cool for the province – considering MUN is one of two Canadian universities with an international campus.
I know one woman who is now a famous travel writer, who’s seen more countries than most people have cities. Who is brave, confident and forever seeking the next adventure. She attributes that eat, pray, love type attitude to the Harlow programme.
Her name is Candice Walsh and you can read all about her travels at freecandie.com.
There are people who are now living in the U.K. Students who met the love of their life here. Who attribute their personal happiness to that semester abroad. So it’s not only a place of education but for many it’s an awakening experience – you’ve got to realize Newfoundland and Labrador is very isolated. For many students it’s not just ”school” but a chance to see the world, become independent, all while living footsteps away from not one, but three British pubs!
How are you reporting this?
I am a video-journalist so basically gathering for all platforms. I’ve filed a few rants for my show back home, NTV News.
When I get back I will file TV pieces, highlighting various stories including, the alumni and how Harlow has impacted their lives.
I have a mother and daughter pair (who came during different decades). A group of best friends who meet for the first time as roommates and have stayed in touch after all these years.
Does every alumni have a different story to tell?
Absolutely. But there is one key thread. Transformative-experiences. Which I think isn’t some magical Harlow thing but something we can all experience is we leave our comfort zones.
Does the Harlow campus feel like a little part of NF?
They feel like sisters. There’s pieces of the province everywhere. Including a clock with local-St.John’s time when you first walk inside the campus.
And the staff here are incredibly friendly like everyone’s nan back home. Plus the locals all know the NL students, and there’s a Newfoundland flag at one of the local pubs, the Crown.
Do you know of any Harlow people who went out to MUN?
I’m not sure. But I would think so. I know of a guy who lived here who moved to Newfoundland. He meet a girl who was here in 2007, they fell in love and now he calls St.John’s home.
Have you/are you enjoying your stay?
It’s fantastic. For two reasons. The last time I was here I was a 21-year-old student completing the English Landscape and Literature program with Drs. Annette and Michael Staveley.
That autumn semester helped me see how big and beautiful the world was. Ryanair, Shakespeare and pints. The Staveleys taught us what books and lectures often fall short of, that we can go and learn wherever we want. Whether that’s a train ride into the Tate in London or a weekend in Barcelona. And for a kid who grew up in a town of fewer than 800 people, miles from an airport – that is everything.
Secondly, I’m a journalist and who doesn’t want to be a British correspondent. Even if it’s just a weekend.
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