Spring Break Study Abroad Trip to Italy

Spring Break Study Abroad Trip to Italy

By: Madison Watkins, A&E Editor


Professors Dr. Kathleen Schaefer and Christy Mroczek are planning a Spring Break Study Abroad trip to Italy for March 13 – 23, 2019.“In the past, the trips were focused primarily on nutrition, we wanted to broad the scope of this year’s trip to include students from other majors” Dr. Schaefer said of the trip.

The classes offered for this year’s trip will be WRIT 3030 Special Topics—Travel Blogging, RHAB 4903 Special Topics, and SABR 2960 Italian Culture. According to Mroczek, SABR 2960 will satisfy a core area.  

Mroczek will be teaching the Travel Blogging course. She stated the course will include “some traditional travel writing, but will mostly focus on writing for new media, and students will first identify their travel niche to establish their travel identities. For example, students will create travel blogs, but the blog entries will vary from traditional essays to multimedia publications that integrate images, video and even audio in the form of podcasts.”

During the week, students will have the opportunity to visit the heartland of Italy and tour famous cities such as Verona, Venice and Siena. They will also be able to visit two UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage sites. One was settled by the Etruscans in Tuscany and the other site is in NE Italy.

A photo of Venice from one of the past study abroad trips. Photo by Dr. Kathleen Schaefer.

Students will be able to do walking and biking tours, cooking classes, attend lectures and participate in wine, vinegar and olive oil tastings during their spare time. There will also be time for students to explore the cities on their own.

Dr. Schaefer said the primary goal of this trip is to “introduce students to the diet, culture, and history of Italy.  We hope students will become confident about exchanging money, using the transportation system, navigating the streets, and communicating with those who may speak little or no English. Additionally, we hope to expose students to new perspectives so that they have improved cross-cultural awareness.  Ultimately, we hope this trip might be the springboard that encourages students to do more international travel on their own.”

The deadline to apply for the trip is Jan 1, 2019. Students must have a 2.5 institutional GPA at the time they submit their application, must be fully admitted to the institution, and be 18 years old by March 13.

 The program cost is $4,455.00. The cost includes airfare, accommodations, in-country transportation, breakfast every morning, four dinners, one lunch, excursions, tours and tastings, cooking classes and health insurance. Tuition is not included. Students are recommended to bring to bring extra money for meals on their own time and souvenirs.

One of the reasons Dr. Schaefer believes students should go on this trip is, “our news tells us so little about what is happening in other parts of the world. Only by meeting people from outside of our country can we learn about those in the rest of the world.”