SU Strasbourg Director Says Farewell to Fall 2015 Students

Each semester, SU Strasbourg Center director Dr. Raymond Bach gives a farewell speech to his students. The speeches are always heartfelt and memorable. But this semester’s speech, shared just weeks after the terrorist attacks in Paris, is a tribute to the ties that bind nations and people, and to the true value of study abroad. We are sharing it in full, with his permission:

“Last week, at our Thanksgiving Celebration with the host families, I said a few words about the events that have recently shaken France. But as I spoke in French, there are no doubt a number of you who couldn’t quite follow. So let me summarize: I started by recalling 9/11 (when some of you were only four years old!) and how very moved I was by the sight of the hundreds of flowers that suddenly appeared in front of the American Consulate in the days following the attacks. I and other Americans were deeply appreciative of the many other expressions of support and solidarity that we received at that time, most notably during a special memorial concert given at the Strasbourg Cathedral, which was filled way beyond capacity. I then went on to say to our host families that, after the horrific terrorist attacks in Paris, it has been America’s turn to express its profound solidarity with the French people, and that this solidarity has taken many forms: the illuminating of buildings in bleu, blanc, rouge (including on The Hall of Languages on the SU campus); the singing of the Marseillaise at everything from sports events to symphony concerts; the pronouncing by our president of the three most important words in the French language: liberté, égalité, et fraternité.

Solidarity between our two nations goes far back, of course, to Lafayette and the American War of Independence; and although there have been disputes and disagreements between us – and what friendships do not have their share of disagreements?—the ties that bind the two countries together remain strong and profound.

But if these ties have indeed endured over the decades and centuries this is not only due to our common history – one that you can read about in books, or see commemorated in stone monuments, or watch in films such as The Longest Day (which tells the story of the D-Day Landings of 1944). Books and monuments and films are important, of course; but the ties between our two nations have survived above all because they are built upon thousands and thousands of personal links that have been made between individuals just like you on both sides of the Atlantic.

So in the last analysis, solidarity and feelings of deep affection between nations depend above all on us, the people; they depend on the willingness of individuals like you to form friendships across boundaries and borders; they depend on your desire to learn about other people’s cultures, to discover their cities, landscapes, art, and cuisine; and, of course, they depend on your commitment to learning to speak their language! (N’est-ce pas?)

If this sounds suspiciously like a description of the goals of study abroad, well, that’s because it is. For study abroad is ultimately about making connections that create bonds of understanding, affection, and mutual support. Now that you have spent a semester in Strasbourg you are part of this giant chain that connects France and the United States. Some of you may never travel to France again; others may come here on a regular basis; and still others may spend extended periods of time here – perhaps even the majority of your lives – on ne sait jamais. But whatever the future holds for you, and whether you realize it or not, you have already become part of something that is larger than you, part of a transnational bond of solidarity.

And believe me, if there’s something that the world needs now more than ever, it’s solidarity that crosses borders and boundaries. We need it in order to deal successfully with nearly every major problems that we face today: climate change, migration, poverty, disease, terrorism…you name it! As “study abroaders” – a title that I now officially bestow on all of you— you are better equipped than most of your peers to understand these problems and to work toward their solution.

During our Thanksgiving celebration of the other day, several host families came up to me to tell me that after the Paris attacks they had received emails and phone calls from many of their former students, and that they had been profoundly touched by these expressions of support. I was, of course, very pleased to hear this. I hope, however, that it won’t only be in moments of national crisis that you will let others know how much you care about them, but that joyous events, both personal and communal, will also be occasions for sharing and for expressing solidarity across the ocean. I can’t imagine a more positive result of study abroad than that! Bon courage et bonne continuation”


SU Strasbourg to Introduce New Social Work Program

Strasbourg3Beginning in Spring 2016, the Syracuse University Strasbourg Center will offer a new course cluster with a focus on social work and human services in the region. This new program will cater to SU and visiting students majoring in social work, child and family studies, or other human services programs.

Located in the heart of Europe in close proximity to the Council of Europe, European Parliament, and the European Court of Human Rights, SU Strasbourg is uniquely capable of delivering a meaningful program in social work. Students will benefit from collaboration between SU Strasbourg and French, German, and Swiss higher learning institutions of social work and social pedagogy as well as the School of Social Work.

Highlights of the course include a 3-credit traveling Signature Seminar and an optional one-credit internship. During the Signature Seminar, students will visit major cities to meet with local government leaders, educators, and activists to deepen their understanding of multilayered European identities. The internship program allows for students to intern at institutions such as the Council of Europe, government agencies, or agencies that work with immigrants or refugees.

Social work and human services students will enroll in five courses. The courses are as follows:

  • SWK 328 Human Diversity in Social Context (3 credits)
  • SWK 470/CFS 470 Experience Credit; conducted as a collaborative course with regional students/programs (3 credits)
  • French language (required) (4 credits)
  • Elective or course to satisfy other requirements (3 credits)
  • PSC 400 European Identity Signature Seminar (3 credits)

Each course within the program is designed to bring students a well-rounded and first-hand view of social work as it is delivered in other nations.

For more information on this program please contact: Gael Noyes at or (315) 443-0252

Farewell to Jean-Maurice at SU Strasbourg: Share Your Memories!

Credit BridgetHughes1After more than 30 years at SU Strasbourg, Assistant Director Jean-Maurice Marxer will retire next month. Hired in 1981 to teach German, Jean-Maurice soon began teaching French as well, and then became the center’s Language Program Coordinator. As Assistant Director for more than 25 years, Jean-Maurice has been the chief liaison with three of our partner institutions – the IIEF (Institut International d’Etudes Françaises), the Université de Strasbourg, and the IEP (Institut d’Etudes Politiques), and has helped many students through the often difficult process of navigating the complexities of these institutions.

He has also been responsible for leading some of SU Strasbourg’s local field trips in the Alsace Region and over the border into Germany. One of his favorite trips has always been to Heidelberg, since it was there that he was a student of German literature. Jean-Maurice frequently accompanied Signature Seminars, often taking sick students for medical care, or accompanying students back to Strasbourg when they encountered visa issues at the borders. His calm and reassuring presence has been greatly appreciated by staff and thousands of students during their time abroad, and he will be greatly missed.

We are collecting well wishes, memories, and tributes from alumni to be compiled into a book that will be sent to Strasbourg in time for Jean-Maurice’s retirement party in Strasbourg on December 19. If you want to share a message or photo, please send an email to

Fall 2014 SU Strasbourg Students at the Council of Europe

coesmallEvery semester, students can apply for internships at the Council of Europe through Syracuse University’s Strasbourg program. Selected students are able to gain valuable experience working in the Council of Europe in a variety of different positions: from video editing to research on specific issues. Below, students currently working at the Council of Europe outline their day- to-day activities of the Council and their semester-long projects.

Carly M.
Duke University

I have been placed in the Directorate of Communications, and my supervisor is Alun Drake, Council of Europe Spokesperson and Press Division. Here’s what I will be working on:

  • Helping Head of Division with quality control and editing of Web TV content
  • Helping with the production of the weekly “Journal” TV programme
  • Researching potential production partners and film schools in Europe
  • Researching video content
  •  English transcription of key video content

Mary S.
Kenyon College

I am working with Thomas Kattau in the Pompidou Group. The Pompidou Group works on illicit drug policies and harm reduction policies and rehabilitation programs, among other issues, within Europe and on the international scale. This semester, I have attended several conferences in both Strasbourg and Paris and worked on the documenting reports. I am working on designing the Pompidou Group’s presentation on cultural differences in Therapeutic Communities in Eastern and Western Europe for the 16th International Conference on Addiction in Cancún, Mexico.

Nathaniel E.
Syracuse University

I am working under Sophie Kwasny in the Data Protection Unit, Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law. My primary task includes researching the market for personal data collected by online advertising companies and data brokerage firms. I am writing a research paper on my findings and will include the privacy implications of the ad tech / data brokerage industry as well as my recommendations to the Council.

Alexa S.
Cornell University

I was placed in the Division for Private and Public Law Development with Simon Tonelli as my supervisor. The main task I have been given is to create a compilation of international rules and standards regarding the administrative detention of migrants. To do this, I have been researching such rules and standards that were mentioned in a feasibility study on the topic, and narrowing down which sources will be used in the compilation to only those documents, which relate strictly to administrative detention.

Cassie C.
Syracuse University

For my internship I am working with Lilja Gretarsdottir, in the Directorate for Human Rights. Lilja is the senior advisor for migration issues. My semester-long research topic is researching illegal smuggling and migration through the Mediterranean Sea, predominantly to Italy. It is my job to understand the history of this problem and the legislation discussing it, and to keep track and understand what is happening related to this problem throughout the semester, whether it be through the Council of Europe, other IGOs, or National Governments.

Interested in going to Strasbourg and landing an internship at the Council of Europe? Apply to the SU Strasbourg Fall 2015 program – the deadline is March 15, 2015!