The shutter clicks and Ebbe Sweet ’11 sees what they see

“I love to watch other people take photos,” says photographer Ebbe Sweet ’11, a program assistant on the Bates Semester Abroad program in France.

“In the moment that their shutter closes, I have the opportunity to see what they see, to experience the world as they do.”

Led by Professor of French Kirk Read and Associate Professor of History Joseph Hall, the program is an intensive immersion experience, develops strong linguistic competency and is intellectually engaging.

Emma Hitchcock '14 photographs Maud Welch '13 in front of the Aiguilles de Port Coton on Belle Île. The students are part of the intensive and immersive Bates Fall Semester Abroad program centered in Nantes. Photograph by Ebbe Sweet '11.

In Read’s recent blog post, he quotes the heroine, Zilia, of Françoise de Graffigny’s 18th-century Lettres d’une Péruvienne, who noted that the French seemed to possess “very different portions of those elements from which [God] formed human beings.”

Read quotes Zilia’s lament as a “way of making explicit some of the thrills and spills of encountering new cultures.” Many of the Bates students, “are living very poignant, often emotion-filled days as they struggle to navigate new ways of living and seeing the world.”

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