Director's Letter

I have just completed my first quarter as director of the Bing Overseas Studies Program. But this is not my first experience with undergraduate or overseas studies at Stanford. From 1994-1999, I served as Stanford University’s first Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) and the following year I saw overseas studies from the other side as a resident faculty member at Stanford’s Thomas and Janet Montag Centre in Oxford. Each of these experiences offered me different and useful perspectives as I have taken the reins of BOSP. As VPUE I helped initiate many of the programs that now form the heart of undergraduate studies at Stanford: innovations like the immensely successful Introductory Seminars, Sophomore College, and the Program in Writing and Rhetoric. I bring to BOSP, then, 21 years of experience with the undergraduate program at Stanford University.

These earlier reforms in undergraduate education illustrate that change and the drive to improve are the norm for Stanford University. Today, almost twenty years after a dramatic focus on undergraduate education first occurred, there is a renewed interest in taking a Stanford education to the next level of innovation. In January 2010, Stanford commissioned a significant new review of undergraduate education, “The Study of Undergraduate Education at Stanford” (SUES) and asked committee members to consider: “What do we want our students to gain from their time on the Farm? How do we best prepare them for local, national and global citizenship?” The SUES committee delivered its report in early 2012. Among its most salient outcomes was a continued strong commitment to liberal education for all students and a ringing endorsement of the importance and quality of the overseas-study experience provided by BOSP. One clear answer to the question of how we prepare students for local, national, and global citizenship is to provide them with unparalleled opportunities to grow emotionally and intellectually by exploring the rich learning experiences at the eleven BOSP overseas centers and various exciting overseas seminars.

In the section on Overseas Studies, the SUES report noted: “we believe that study abroad advances virtually all of the essential aims of a Stanford education. Most obviously, it affords students an opportunity to deploy and deepen their language skills, but it does much more than that. An abundance of evidence confirms that students return from abroad more confident of their ability to adapt to new challenges and circumstances, more sensitive to cultural and political differences, more adept at cross-cultural communication, and generally more reflective about the world and their place within it. And one more thing: we know that study abroad also offers an ideal platform for ‘integrative learning’—the kind of learning that gives students opportunities to connect what they learn in the classroom with other aspects of their lives and experience.” At BOSP we know, because we see it quarter after quarter and year after year, that students returning from overseas study are better prepared to shoulder the responsibilities of local, national, and global citizenship.

Abroad is BOSP’s primary vehicle for keeping in touch with our constantly growing body of alums—that now totals over 30,000! We all know that many of you alums believe your time at Stanford overseas was the seminal experience of your undergraduate education. We are aware that you stand behind us, and we pledge to remember the depth of your experiences as we strive to provide equally fundamental and profoundly life-changing opportunities to those who follow you. Finally, your support and endorsement of Bing Overseas Studies Program in particular will foster the success of our efforts. I ask and thank you for your confidence and trust as we move forward.

As I turn to the next few years of my stewardship of BOSP, I wish to enhance the successes that my worthy predecessors have earned for you and our current students and to expand the range of options, the depth of engagement, and the life-transforming experiences that study abroad has offered Stanford students for over fifty-four years. It is a commitment I take on with enthusiasm and a great deal of personal excitement.

Ramón Saldívar
Burke Family Director, Bing Overseas Studies Program


Winter 2013, Table of Contents

Historical Notes
BOSP Alumni Body Grows
Villa in Berlin: A Unique History
Seminars Significant Impact
Overseas Seminars are Back!
Development in Northern Tanzania
Program News
A New Home in Florence
Palazzo Capponi Family History
A New Director at Stanford in Beijing
Kyoto Program Name Change
Farewell to a Good Friend


Ramón Saldívar
Photo credit: L.A. Cicero, Stanford News Service



BOSP Alumni Body Grows

For a period in the mid-to-late sixties, there were five overseas campuses operating two-quarter programs with eighty students each, yielding a total of about 800 students per year going overseas. Although interest waned and participation fell significantly in the seventies, an increase in the range of high-quality, meaningful opportunities is restoring the number of students attending to the level of those earlier years. Thus an average of 550 students per year have participated since 1958. During 2011-12, the number of BOSP alums passed the landmark of 30,000.

We’re grateful to our alumni body of supporters. You help enrich the program in a myriad of ways—providing cultural excursions and field trips as well as internships that improve language skills and increase knowledge of regional business, political, and cultural communities; assisting with advice to current undergraduates; and supporting comprehensive full-quarter programs in 11 countries that engage students in an array of cultures. Thank you!

Experiences abroad through the years (from top left): students of the seventies exploring the Fountain of Love commissioned in 1897 for Cliveden; a friendly homestay in Tours in the eighties, and the first group of Stanford students going overseas just before they depart Chicago for Beutelsbach in 1958.


Stanford’s Beautiful Villa in Berlin:
A Unique History

Karen Kramer, long-time Director of Stanford’s Program in Berlin, has been deeply involved in the history and care of the Villa Cramer (also known as Villa Muthesius) ever since Stanford started using the facility in the late 1970s. Here she outlines its history, including that of the substantial renovation undertaken this past summer.

In November, 2012, following a summer of extensive restoration work generously funded by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, the Berlin Program celebrated the 100th year of Haus Cramer, the protected Architectural and Garden Monument that has been the site of the Program since the University moved its German campus from Beutelsbach to Berlin in the mid-1970s. For a quarter of a century, Stanford leased Haus Cramer from the city of West Berlin. Then, in the year 2000, Berlin alumnus George Will (’55) made the decisive donation that, with support through Gerhard Casper’s “President’s Fund”, leveraged the purchase of the facility for Stanford at a special price authorized by a vote of Berlin’s Parliament. It was the first property the University would own outside the United States and one that uncannily mirrors Stanford’s Quad in two significant ways: The façade of “The Villa” (as Haus Cramer is dubbed by our students) is constructed of hand-hewn sandstone, and the roof is of red tile! Indeed, the renewal of that roof, made of beaver-tail tiles, was the centerpiece of this summer’s construction work; substantial infrastructural modernization and energy-saving measures were an additional focus.

Haus Cramer is one of the most famous Landhäuser of renowned German architect Hermann Muthesius. Inspired by the English Arts & Crafts movement, with which he had become acquainted as a German cultural attaché in London, Muthesius adapted conceptual elements of the English country cottage for his Landhaus design. Haus Cramer’s centennial was commemorated in a Symposion featuring State Conservation Director emeritus Prof. Dr. Helmut Engel, a Muthesius specialist, and State Garden Conservation Director emeritus Dr. Klaus von Krosigk, both of whom were instrumental in saving the Haus Cramer complex, as well as specialists on German architecture and culture in the years immediately preceding and following World War I, and Dr. Lilian Cramer Randall, whose grandparents commissioned Muthesius to design and build the house as a single-family dwelling a century ago. The Symposion was co-chaired by Dr. Karen Kramer, Director of the Berlin Program, and architect Burckhardt Fischer, the specialist on architectural preservation who has managed the restoration and modernization of Haus Cramer since 1988.

The Centennial celebration thus provided a fitting opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of individuals and institutions who, in disparate ways, have contributed to preserving this very special Haus as a site for learning and who have thereby become associates in an enduring bi-cultural project. Seven major phases of refurbishment and enhancement have been funded variously by the State of Berlin, the Berlin State Lottery Foundation (through grants to the local Stanford Club of Germany), the University, and George Will. They comprise reconstruction of the building and garden (that had, over decades, been transformed from family home to apartment house and to a ruin targeted for demolition after a gas explosion blew away the roof and the top floor); internal gutting of the building to restore the historical groundplan in the context of the Program’s evolving needs; drying and insulating the foundation and dismantling the southern wall, stone by stone, to replace the internal support structure that had rusted away; creation of a library annex (the “Bücherbunker”) beneath the historical rose garden; erection of a multi-purpose sports court; renovation and replacement of windows, gates and pergolas; refurnishing and embellishing the facility through Kunst am Bau (including a floor made of 10,000 flattened Coca Cola cans in the underground basement by Fischer/Nettelbeck and a garden sculpture, Double-Cut Transformation, by Karl Menzen); and, finally, the renewal of the roof and main water and electrical lines, undertaken this last summer.

Haus CramerIn uncanny ways, Haus Cramer has been a German-American project for the better part of a century. A prescient Cramer family left its homeland a few months after Hitler came to power, making New York its permanent home. Son Fritz became a professor of German Studies at Mount Holyoke college. Daughter Charlotte, inventor and entrepreneur, would later send her enchanting portrait, painted by Leo von König (Berliner Secession) in 1928, back to Germany as a donation to the Berlin Program—unaware that the painter’s son, Dr. Dominik von König, who also spoke at the Symposion, worked closely with Stanford’s Berlin Program for many years as the Krupp Foundation program officer responsible for the Krupp Internship Program for Stanford Students in Germany. Hundreds of Stanford students and a large number of faculty have known Haus Cramer as their German home-away-from-home for nearly 40 years. That one of Berlin’s most famous houses should be an American university center is not as counterintuitive as it might at first seem; not only does this fact instantiate the special relationship that the US and Berlin developed in post-war decades, it also facilitates a dynamic transatlantic relationship by embedding generation after generation of Stanford students in Berlin’s learning environment. Berlin has been a generous host to Stanford from the outset; the city strongly endorses the University’s presence here and deeply appreciates the thoughtful stewardship with which the University owns and manages this heritage property.

Haus Cramer

The Haus Cramer.
Photo by Linda A. Cicero, Stanford News Service.

Haus Cramer

Above: The Haus Cramer music room photographed in 2002. Photo by Linda A. Cicero, Stanford News Service. Right: Haus Cramer photographed by Jutta Ley, Berlin administrator.


Overseas Seminars are Back!

Naoko Sakata is Coordinator of Overseas Seminars at BOSP, and here she provides a glimpse into the return of Overseas Seminars last summer.

Turkey Seminar

Above: Participants of the BOSP seminar in Turkey. Photo by Ali Yaycioglu.

The summer of 2012 marked the return of Overseas Seminars; the Program had been dormant for financial reasons for two years. After careful review and planning, the Bing Overseas Studies Program was able to reinstate them, thanks to the availability of increased budgetary support through the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. Five seminars were offered during the summer of 2012. A total of 72 undergraduate students participated in 3-week overseas seminars in Brazil, India, the Netherlands, Tanzania and Turkey.

Overseas Seminars are an exciting and rewarding way to offer short-term study abroad. Taught and led by Stanford faculty, these Overseas Seminars are specifically designed to integrate course content and program location. The seminars seek to provide alternative opportunities beyond the BOSP overseas centers and to allow students with limited time and demanding curricula to participate in a Stanford overseas experience.

BOSP is pleased and gratified that the return of seminars proved successful in serving these purposes. The five seminars offered this past summer also highlighted other features of the program, including closer interactions with faculty and site visits that are well related to the course content. Students commented that daily interactions both in and outside of classrooms fostered bonding among the group and strengthened relationships with their faculty and peer students. Students also mentioned they enjoyed visiting sites that were of significant importance to subject matter, a happy confluence that assists in further enhancing classroom learning and the overall educational experience.

This new Program is not merely a replica of the previous one, for it also features some important programmatic improvements. First, BOSP now seeks more engagement with third-party providers for these seminars. These providers often have their own study-abroad programs in the same locations or have extensive experience hosting North American students—or both. This arrangement not only strengthens on-the-ground support for faculty members, but also enables compliance with the University’s safety and security standards more effectively. Second, the calendar has been further revised to allow more time for planning. With the seminars for the current academic year being announced at the beginning of Autumn Quarter and the selection of students completed during Autumn Quarter, faculty leaders and students have more time to prepare for their seminar experience abroad both academically and culturally.

In any event, students are enthusiastic; some seminars attracted many, many more applications than were possible to accept. Emily Mitchell who participated in the Tanzania Seminar says of her experience, “The best part about the Tanzania seminar was the chance it gave me to compare lifestyles across the African continent: I had studied abroad through the BOSP Cape Town program a few months prior, and it was fascinating to see how utterly different the two regions are, yet how many similar health and development problems they share. Seeing both the negative side-effects of international development in Cape Town and the negatives of a lack of such intense international influence in Tanzania definitely gave me fodder to contemplate the moral role of the Western world in the development of Africa’s future.”

Eight seminars are planned for the summer of 2013 in Austria, Brazil, Costa Rica, India, Israel, Madagascar, the Republic of Palau, and Wales. These include five new locations where BOSP will be offering programs for the first time. BOSP hopes to continue to diversify seminar offerings for the foreseeable future. The offerings may include a repeat of some locations or seminars that were successful to better serve unmet first-round demand.

Tanzania Seminar

Emily Mitchell, quoted in this article, took this shot of fellow Tanzania seminar participants being shown an x-ray from a Tuberculosis patient by a doctor at Selian Lutheran Hospital in Arusha.


Issues of Development in Northern Tanzania:
One Day

Robert D. (Bob) Siegel, Associate Professor (Teaching) in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the School of Medicine, has taught overseas for BOSP several times as Faculty-in-Residence at Stanford in Cape Town, Oxford, and Santiago and as an instructor for three previous Overseas Seminars. Professor Siegel was a student in Tours at Stanford in France in 1974. This past summer, he took a group of fifteen students to Arusha, Tanzania, where he taught a three-week seminar on Issues of Development in Northern Tanzania. He reveals to us his own very contagious excitement, and it is not difficult to imagine why the Overseas Seminars attract high numbers of applications.

Joseph smiled from ear to ear as he met us by the side of the road. He made us feel like the opportunity to meet with this group of 15 Stanford undergraduates was the most important thing to happen to him in a long time. Joseph Kitia is the former mayor of Usa River, and a National Geographic guide. Listening to him describe past and future plans—bringing water to the village, building schools and clinics—it was clear that we were in the presence of an idealist and a visionary who gets things done. His articulate and amusing stories kept us engaged, and filled us with possibilities. He gave us a tour of Usa and it was clear that all the locals also held Joseph in great esteem. Eventually, we made our way to Joseph’s home where he lived with kids and grandkids. One small boy was riding a very large bicycle around the dusty yard. Although there were trees for shade and fruit, no one would consider wasting water on grass. An even smaller boy sat in a hallway reading Itchy, Itchy Chickenpox. Years ago, I had made slides from my own copy of this book for my undergraduate virology class. I was struck by how different and similar it was to grow up in Northern Tanzania.

At this point, we were running late for our next stop—The United African Alliance Community Center. I asked Joseph to come along. The UAACC was founded by former Black Panthers Pete and Charlotte O’Neal and served as a focal point for education and art in the area. I first met Pete and Mama Charlotte a decade earlier during my first trip to Tanzania. While Pete still likes to evoke images of his exploits in the turbulent 60s, his persona is now much more grandfatherly as he is surrounded by a large cloud of young children.

After a delicious and abundant lunch we headed off to the Jifundishe Library. Founded by my longtime friend Deb Kelly, the library had recently moved to a new location. When Deb first created the library, one of the challenges was to educate locals on just what a library is: the concept of borrowing a book without paying was literally foreign. Now the library is bustling with activity and can barely be contained within its new greatly expanded quarters. Deb was away raising money and attending to family business but Anne Angarola gave us a tour.

Guided by Anne, we left the library and walked through the countryside to David Read’s house. We walked though fields, past farms, and caught our first clear view of Kilimanjaro, snow covered and majestic. David Read grew up with the Maasai and has written a number of books about his experiences. Now over 90, he is quite hard of hearing and he mis-answered many of our yelled questions, but his sense of humor and ability to weave a tale are still intact. Remarkably, David claims that it was his father who first imported the red plaid shukas that are now considered emblematic of the Maasai tribesmen. These blankets are essentially high-tech equivalents of the ochre-rock-colored animal skins of earlier times. The patterns are more Scottish than what we might otherwise find in East Africa. While few of the warriors who proudly wear these symbols of Maasai culture have any notion of their origins, the Stanford undergraduates now know.

Leaving David’s house, we stuff ourselves back into the “daladala” minivans and head back to Arusha. An audible sigh of relief is heard as we finally reach the pavement and drive back onto the seemingly rule-less roads of Tanzania—past fruit stands, and beauty salons, brick factories, markets, and farms. The students are each dropped off with their urban homestay families for their last dinners together. But with two more weeks to go, including a rural homestay, a safari through the national game parks, and further adventures in Arusha, the course was just beginning.

Whether visiting the United Nations Tribunal on Genocide in Rwanda, being the only wazngungu (foreigners) at a Maasai initiation ritual held only once every several years, touring clinics and schools and orphanages, helping the women at their cooperative churn milk into butter, trading stories with our Tanzanian traveling partners, teaching kids to play frisbee, giving presentations under “the big tree” while the local church choir sings nearby, watching lions mate or hippos poop, enduring the bone-chilling frigidity of the Arusha Waterfall pounding on your head, listening to the tale of a person living with HIV, or learning about a remarkable initiative to provide low-cost solar power, the Bing Stanford Overseas Seminars provide a form of active learning that can never be duplicated in the traditional classroom. The opportunity to travel abroad not only provides a truly unique learning experience for the students, but also an extraordinary pedagogic experience for faculty as well.

Overseas studies are about making connections—between people, between ideas, between cultures. There is simply no substitute to being there.

Churning in Tanzania

Churning in Tanzania. Photo courtesy of Bob Siegel.

Red Plaid Shuka

Trevor Kalkus receives a hug from a new friend at a traditional Maasai circumcision celebration. Photo by Emily Mitchell.

A New Home for the Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence

Ermelinda Campani, Director of The
Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence, tells us
about the Program’s fabulous new location.

The fall quarter at Palazzo Capponi bears witness to a new Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence. We opened the doors to our first group of students in September, and our new premises, in the heart of the downtown and of the Florentine Renaissance, are changing the nature of the Program and enormously improving the quality of life of our students. The academics and our traditional extra-curricular activities are being further enriched by many activities including a program of events, Incontri a Palazzo, that expose our students to a wide variety of lectures and open Stanford up to the local community.

We launched Incontri a Palazzo with a lecture by Count Niccolò Capponi who narrated the history of his family and of the Palazzo itself. Professor Michael Marmor, Faculty in Residence on site in Florence from the Ophthalmology Department on campus, lectured on the Art of Vision, or the biology of seeing. A panel of scholars including the Director Emeritus of the Program, Giuseppe Mammarella, and Professor Roberto D’Alimonte discussed different potential outcomes of the U.S. general election. Incontri a Palazzo also featured events aimed at bringing students as close as possible to other important aspects of the Italian culture. Keith Richmond, a Stanford in Florence alum who lives in the Alto Valdarno with his wife, Helen, and makes exquisite olive oil, offered our students a memorable afternoon focused on oil tasting. Classical music was also featured as part of our events. Cellist Melanie Goldstein (Florence alumna and Fulbright Scholar), clarinetist Dr. Marmor, and pianist Maestro Claudio Capretti were the artists in an unforgettable chamber-music concert. All these events—that we were unable to organize in the previous facilities—brought our students closer to Italian culture and helped them mingle with a wide Florentine public we could have never hosted before.

Palazzo Terrace

Everyday life at the Program has also changed dramatically. It has been a joy watching students work or take study breaks on the terrace that overlooks the Arno River—unseasonably beautiful and dry weather allowed that until early December. Our Cardinal Lounge, with its red silk tapestries, is another favorite place where students gather. Midday sees large congregations in our kitchen for lunch, while late afternoons are often enlivened by impromptu concerts on our grand piano around which students gather to sing and play their favorite tunes.


The official inauguration of the Program will take place in the spring of 2013. On that occasion, we will also unveil the recently renovated plaque at the St. Regis Hotel that pays a lasting tribute to the founding of Stanford University. The 1907 graduating class placed this memento on the wall of the then Bristol Hotel in Florence to commemorate the death of Leland Stanford, Jr., who, having caught typhoid fever in Constantinople, died there in Florence on March 13, 1884. Thanks to an observant alumnus, Dr. James Burke, ‘72, the Stanford Alumni Association arranged for restoring the white marble plaque—after it had been in place over one hundred years. We at Stanford in Florence and the Bing Overseas Studies Program thank both Dr. Burke for initiating the suggestion and the Alumni Association for providing the resources.

The entire Florence Program is both moved and humbled in the face of the support from our alumni, BOSP, and the University as a whole, which made possible this remarkable turning point in its life. The Fall of 2012 marked a formidable new chapter in the history of the Florence Program, one that will enrich the lives of many generations of students to come.

Cherise Olsen, first student at the new center

Cherise Olson ‘14, the first student to set foot inside Palazzo Capponi

Palazzo Interior

Palazzo Capponi alle Rovinate:
A Very Short Family History

By Niccolò Capponi

Niccolò Capponi, a present-day member of the family, has written this short and jocular history especially for Abroad.

The relationship between the Capponi and their palazzo in the via dei Bardi is a recent one—at least according to Florentine standards. We got the place only in 1435! I say “got” with reason: not just because the palazzo was built by the statesman and businessman Niccolò da Uzzano and not by us, but also because when we inherited the place—one of Niccolò’s daughter having married a Capponi—I suspect we did so by ousting the other heirs, the Soderini, in some way or other.

The architect’s name was given by the biographer Giorgio Vasari as Lorenzo di Bicci, an attribution that architecture historians have been loath to accept because of Lorenzo’s alleged lack of originality. Indeed, until recently, experts maintained—despite evidence to the contrary—the courtyard to be nothing but a copy of the one in Palazzo Bardi alle Grazie, attributed to Filippo Brunelleschi. Life has its own satisfactions, however: once Professor Brenda Pryor established that our palazzo was in an advanced state of construction in 1411, we have seen an endless procession of scholars and students coming to measure the columns in the courtyard in an attempt to find the appropriate Brunelleschian proportions. The palazzo we got in 1435 appeared rather different from what we see today: only three floors and probably with a crenellation that added severity to the already imposing façade.

The Capponi resided permanently in their via dei Bardi palazzo until the 1580s. Giovanbattista Capponi, a top state official (with a rather glum attitude towards life, his favourite saying being: “flies always pray on the lean horse”) needed a more prestigious home near the granducal palace, causing him to move to the present-day via Maggio. Understandably also, the palazzo in the via dei Bardi had become somewhat démodé, and had acquired the nickname “alla Rovinate”—“near the ruins”—the houses facing it collapsing more than once due to landslides. For the next century the palazzo appears to have been little used.

An inventory of the building’s contents compiled in 1693 shows the presence of some five-hundred works of art, a percentage of which are still owned by the family, and much furniture. At time of the inventory, the palazzo had passed to another branch of the Caèpponi family. In 1689 Ferrante Capponi left his possessions to his cousin and friend Cammillo Capponi, direct descendant of the Lodovico Capponi who commissioned Iacopo Pontormo to paint his chapel in the nearby church of S. Felicita. With Ferrante Maria Capponi, Cammillo’s son, the palazzo became once more a residence of prestige. Ferrante Maria’s only weakness was collecting titles: he got the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I to make him a count, adroitly avoiding payment of any dues for the honour! A man of erudition and an able administrator, Ferrante Maria intended to make the palazzo “alle Rovinate” a family showpiece: probably the addition of an extra floor was his idea.
The palazzo witnessed no major works until the second half of the 19th century, when the creation of the Lungarno Torrigiani imposed the creation of a formal façade on the river. The architect Giuseppe Poggi was entrusted with the job, and he did the best he could by adding a whole section to the building (and not cutting it away, as is usually written). Now we see the palace still as a scene of active Florentine life, but with a fresh impetus from new tenants whose exuberance and energy we are happy to welcome.

Palazzo Capponi

A New Director at Stanford in Beijing

Yuan Tian joined BOSP last year as Director
of the program in Beijing. Here she tells us about
her background.

I am Yuan Tian, the new director for Stanford Program in Beijing. I joined the program in mid-March 2012, and just completed my second quarter with Stanford. My academic interests are Language Pedagogy, Cross-cultural Communication, and Global Leadership Development. I am trying my best to develop an innovative curriculum and responsive services to enrich the experience for Stanford students who study at the Beijing center in terms of their lives, academics, and mindsets. I also want to help them better understand China and China’s connection to the world and as a result prepare them to become better global leaders in whatever endeavors they choose in the future.

Previously, I spent ten years serving as Resident Director of the study center of the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) at Peking University in Beijing. Prior to CIEE, I had been Associate Field Director at Associated Colleges in China (ACC), a program affiliated with Hamilton College. Earlier in my career I taught Chinese language at Peking University in China, Columbia University in New York and the University of Hawaii at Manoa where I received my Ph.D. focusing on Chinese Language Pedagogy.

I find Stanford students to be independent, intelligent, and innovative, and look forward to meeting many more of them and working together to foster an understanding of China, her history, and her place in the world.

Yuan Tian
Kyoto Program Name Change

Director Ramón Saldívar has announced that, effective immediately, BOSP is changing the name of the Stanford Center for Technology and Innovation (SCTI) in Kyoto, Japan, to The Bing Overseas Studies Program in Kyoto. At the time when SCTI was founded in 1989, relations between the United States and Japan were marred by disputes involving technology and trade. SCTI was set up in order to nurture a cadre of Japan-literate business and technology leaders capable of acting as a bridge between Japan and America. SCTI has contributed significantly to the achievement of that goal by providing more than 700 Stanford students—some 80 percent of whom have been technology majors—with an opportunity to study the Japanese language, live with Japanese families, and experience summer internships with leading corporations and research institutes in Japan. Thus the program in Kyoto has progressed well beyond its original aims, and Stanford in Kyoto has become an integral part of the BOSP family of overseas-studies programs that welcomes students from all disciplines. SCTI formerly operated only in spring quarter, but effective in 2013 instruction in winter quarter has been added with a focus on social science and the humanities. Of course, the BOSP Program in Kyoto is intended to build on the success of SCTI, not to replace it. Much of SCTI’s success stemmed from unusually helpful cooperation of many Japanese firms and alumni; BOSP and Stanford will always be very grateful indeed for their very important assistance.


Top left: Myles Lam building an electric car during his Kyoto internship at Osaka Sangyo University. Middle: Steven Singleton captured the beauty of Japanese couture. Lower right: Ivan Herrera captured a moment between a student and a very young language partner.


The Untimely Death of Our Administrator in Oxford

Dr. Geoffrey Tyack, Director of The Thomas and Janet Montag Centre for Overseas Studies in Oxford, reports on the death of Stephanie Williams, the Administrator in Oxford known to legions of students since the early 1990s.

All of us at the Montag Centre for Overseas Studies in Oxford were devastated by the death of our Administrator, Stephanie Williams, on 6 September 2012, following a short illness. Stephanie began work for us in 1991 and from the beginning impressed everyone in BOSP with her efficiency, vivacity and wit. She is sorely missed by those of us who knew her well. Many generations of students were enriched by her kindness and cheerfulness, and below we are sharing the memories of two former students who spent formative parts of their undergraduate careers at Stanford House.

Elizabeth Weisberg (‘00, Music), Student at Stanford in Oxford Academic Year 1998-99, Junior Dean 1999-2000, writes: “I was extremely shocked and saddened to hear about Stephanie Williams’s passing. I spent two years living at 65 High Street, and one of my strongest memories is Stephanie’s huge and welcoming smile. I remember the day I arrived in Oxford in September 1998. I had mixed feelings about leaving Stanford to go abroad, but Stephanie immediately put me at ease. I planned to stay 2 quarters, and, well, I ended up staying 2 years! I was the Junior Dean of the House in my second year, so I had the opportunity to work closely with Stephanie in organising house trips and other activities. Stephanie and I had a lot in common as we were both singers, and I always ended up staying in her office and chatting with her about various opera productions and concerts. She was very helpful in advising me about which choirs and musical societies I should join in Oxford. I joined so many I’m not sure I actually did that much work, but I had a ball!

“Stephanie had the most amazing smile that lit up the room and made people feel so welcome in the house. She was so committed to the Stanford Programme and took extra care to ensure that students were enjoying their time abroad. I remember the first Bing Trip Stephanie organised in my year—we spent four days in the Lake District, and it was a wonderful trip. I also have fond memories of a trip to Edinburgh, as well as several outings to the theatre in London. Stephanie’s enthusiasm was contagious, and Stanford House was a very happy place when I was there. A highlight was a celebration Stephanie organised to honour the many years that Pat had worked in the house. If I remember correctly, Stephanie had organised it as a total surprise to Pat, and had catered the event as well. It was a great day. “I can still hear Stephanie getting on the intercom to say “Tea, Teo. Teo- tea!” She often had to call Teo several times before he would stop working and take a proper break. Stephanie kept smiling, even when she caught wind of a party being organised in the House for the weekend, which was strictly forbidden!

“My time in Oxford was wonderful and I decided that I wanted to continue living in the UK. 15 years on and I am still here, and Stephanie was part of that initial UK experience of the Stanford Programme that inspired me to follow my dream to be a singer here. I will never forget her.”

David Arulanantham (’00, International Relations and Political Science), Student at Oxford Fall and Winter 1998-99, Junior Dean 2002-04, writes: “It is with much sadness that I write this tribute for Stephanie Williams. I first came to know Stephanie while studying abroad at the Stanford in Oxford Programme, in the fall of 1998 and the winter of 1999. I was in my junior year of college back then and didn’t know what to expect. When I got there, I realized quickly that Stephanie was the lynchpin of the program in so many ways. As the Administrator, Stephanie kept the entire operation running smoothly with over four dozen students, several tutors and a host of financial arrangements with Oxford colleges and the university, Stephanie somehow made it all work and with a certain flair and grace. She was tough when she needed to be in dealing with us demanding and sometimes unruly students, but never without reason and never lacking in compassion.

“Several years later when I came back to Oxford as a graduate student (from 2002-2004) and took on the position of Junior Dean at the Stanford House, I truly came to appreciate what a challenging job she had. I also got to know Stephanie better on a personal level. From our regular staff meetings on various issues in the house to the Bing sponsored trips which we all attended I quickly understood the richness of her life outside of work—from her family, to her love of music and love of fine food and drink. She will be greatly missed and was an important part of my memories in England.”

Stephanie’s colleagues and friends in Oxford and BOSP would like to honor her memory by improving and renovating one of her favorite spots, the back gardens at Stanford House. There will be replanting, and a memorial plaque will be installed. If you would like to contribute to this memorial fund please make a check payable to Bing Overseas Studies Program with an indication it is for the Williams Memorial Fund. Checks can be sent to Irene Kennedy, Executive Director, Bing Overseas Studies Program, 590 Escondido Mall, Sweet Hall 015, Stanford, CA 94305-3089. Questions may be directed to

Stephanie Williams


Questions about the
Bing Overseas Studies Program?

See our website or contact:

For alumni and friends of Overseas Studies:
Irene Kennedy,
Associate Vice Provost and Executive Director

For students: Lee Dukes, Advising and Student Services Coordinator

Editor, Abroad: Bob Hamrdla ‘59

Design: Chris Catlin 650-949-3336

Past issues of Abroad are available at

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590 Escondido Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-3089

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