I want to take a moment to thank Sanjiv Tata for his insightful Mar. 14 opinion column, "Going above and abroad," concerning study overseas.
I can recommend such study from my own personal experience. During the summer between my second and third years here at the University, I had the opportunity to study in Spain at the University of Salamanca, one of the oldest and most respected universities in Europe.
If you've never been to Spain, I would strongly encourage you to go. Many of the cultures of the ancient and the medieval worlds collided in Spain. You can name them off: Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Carthaginian, Jewish, Christian, Islamic, Visigoth, Basque, etc. Much of the same thing can be said of Palestine at the other end of the Mediterranean. Those cultures clashed there, plus a few more: Assyrian, Babylonian, Hittite, Egyptian, Byzantine, Crusader, etc.
Out of this potent diversity arose a powerful Hispanic culture which dominates most of the world. I appreciated this study in Spain because it dovetailed nicely with my interest in ancient and medieval history and literature. The Spanish people are wonderful!
If you never have the chance to visit Spain, may I suggest you read "Iberia" by James Michener. He is known worldwide for his well-researched historical novels - such as "The Source," about an archeological dig in Israel. "Iberia" is a non-fiction work about his travels in Spain and Portugal.
Mr. Tata is correct; regardless of your interest, if you can, travel and study abroad. It will give you a wider and deeper perspective. As Sir Francis Bacon said, "Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education."
William M. Shaw II\nCollege '72