In 2012, Jeremy Carter was the first student to participate in the AVIC Semester Exchange Program, an initiative allowing Vermont college students to spend a semester at any other participating Vermont college. Courtesy of the Sterling College blog CommonVoice, Jeremy shares below how his exchange experience at Sterling fit with his educational goals.

 

Jeremy Carter, far left, shovels compost on the Sterling Farm. Jeremy is a sociology major at St. Michael’s College who spent the spring 2012 semester at Sterling via the AVIC Semester Exchange Program.

 

“I came to Sterling because I wanted some hands-on experience of the concepts and practices I was studying at Saint Michael’s College.

 

Saint Michael’s has a young but growing Environmental Studies major, but no classes that offer experience in farming and sustainable living. Saint Michael’s is a big college, with a lot of different people, and not everyone wants to try and live sustainably.

 

The people at Sterling are incredible. The teachers are really hands-on and are willing to meet students at their level. Students seem to be learning and teaching each other new things all the time.

 

I feel like the meal times really exemplify the essence of community here; everyone pours into the cafeteria chattering noisily to whomever may happen to be squeezed in next to them, and then all at once everyone descends upon the food, before retreating to the tables ready to devour the delicious meals. And yet, the food being shoveled into everyone’s mouths can’t prevent us from sharing stories about the day and facts learned in class. It’s great. My biggest interest in sociology is the question of how the current American mindset has been formed. I have spent my time at Saint Michael’s exploring the promulgating factors that have created the individualistic materialistic culture we now live in.

 

It’s nice to come to a place where these values have not yet penetrated through the bedrock of community.”

 

About the AVIC Semester Exchange:

 

The AVIC Exchange allows Vermont college students to spend a semester at one of 14 participating private colleges in Vermont without transferring. Tuition goes to the home institution; room and board go to the host institution.

 

Colleges participating in the AVIC Semester Exchange:

 

Bennington College, Burlington College, Champlain College, College of St. Joseph, Goddard College, Green Mountain College, Landmark College, Marlboro College, Middlebury College, New England Culinary Institute, Norwich University, Saint Michael’s College, SIT, Southern Vermont College, Sterling College, and Vermont Law School.

Exchange Pioneer