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WHETHER it is advisable to interrupt one's collegiate course seems to be a question of doubt with most of the professors, and any interruption is generally discouraged.
The former custom of spending a part or the whole of the year in teaching has almost fallen into disuse, owing to the superior advantages now offered to deserving students.
But since the introduction of the elective system, the idea of exchanging a year in College for one in Europe has occurred to some, and in some instances been acted upon. At present there are some absent abroad who purpose returning next year; and the writer, among others, adopted the same plan last year. The result was perfectly satisfactory to him. For those who have no previously fixed choice of studies or those who elect a greater or less number of modern languages the scheme is easily feasible.
The Junior year appears to be most suitable; for by that time the greater portion of the studies are elective, especially if required Philosophy has been anticipated the year previous. The variety of choice renders it comparatively easy by a proper selection to pass examination on return.
The benefits are the amount and nature of the knowledge of the languages studied, a certain acquaintance with the character and customs of the people, and the experience gained, beyond what the College confers.
Two languages may be conveniently studied during the year, and if all facilities are improved it is not incredible that in a single year more may be learned where almost every word uttered and line written are those of another language, than here where the same subject is found only in text-books.
And those who wish can matriculate at almost any of the universities by a certificate of admission to this College, and with three months' previous study of the language will be able to proceed advantageously. The drill is not then lost. The expenses are comparatively light. Matriculation, including use of library, is at Munich, for example, $3.50, and lectures for a semester one hour a week are seventy-five cents each; i. e. a course of twelve lectures a week for half a year is $9.00.
The cost of living there is no higher than here, while the tuition here will almost pay the passage across and back.
It must be remembered, too, that though a student in College may elect several courses in Greek and Latin, he is limited to but one in French and German each. An exception, however, was made in favor of those absent last year by allowing them to substitute a modern language for anticipated Philosophy.
This limitation may be a good one year after year in class, but it does not appear so clearly reasonable when made to check those who may wish in any particular year to offer a greater number of modern languages and afterwards to pursue other studies.
To those who have time and means after graduation for travel the above remarks do not apply. It is only those who desire to combine other advantages with an education who care to deviate from the regular course.
A statement is perhaps here due to those who depend partly on scholarships for meeting their expenses. A condition of stopping out a year is "to take up one's connection" with the College, and this was construed by the authorities in such a manner as to deprive an applicant of the Junior year from his scholarship for the Sophomore year. In spite of the assurance of the President to a member of '74 his application was ruled out, and this decision established as a future regulation. This ruling does injustice to such students, and it is hoped will be reversed in the case of future awards. Expenses are not so low here that it argues a man must be over and above wealthy if he travel.
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