This summer, 15 UWG students will embark on a four-week journey to Spoleto, Italy, a tiny hilltop town in the heart of Central Italy, to immerse in a new culture and language.
Dr. Chad Davidson, Director of the School of Arts and English Professor, has coordinated the study abroad trip to Italy since 2013. He describes Spoleto as a small yet vibrant town with many cultural opportunities for students to experience new foods, traditions and a social atmosphere.
According to Davidson, Spoleto is an ancient city that dates back to the Pre-Roman Era in 241 BC. Students will explore Italy’s rich history and culture and dive into some famously divine Italian food.
Students earn six course credits during the program. However, Davidson explains how the education component isn’t the only reason students choose to study abroad.
“It is a much more globalized desire than fulfilling a requirement for their major,” said Davidson.
While on the trip, students will have the opportunity to explore the surrounding areas. Students will visit Perugia, the capital city of Umbria, in central Italy this year. Davidson explains how Italy is known to have some of the world’s most impressive art, architecture, food and scenery.
Although the classes are accelerated, students will have plenty of downtime to travel.
“Students will live immersed in a tiny culture for a month, with plenty of time on the weekends to travel on their own,” said Davidson. “Inthe past, students have visited Venice, Pompeii and Naples. In addition, they have traveled all over the peninsula, which is easy to do with a nationalized train system that can take you anywhere.
“Studying abroad can be a life-changing experience that opens their eyes to a different way of life,” Davidson continued. “The experience allows students to escape their comfort zones, navigate a foreign city and experience other cultures and customs. Four weeks of exposure to another culture and language will often change the student’s life forever.”
Film Professor Deon Kay will be joining for the first time even though he lived in Italy 20 years ago. Kay knows where all the hidden gems are. He is excited to go back after all this time.
“Italy is a small country compared to the United States but is incredibly diverse,” said Kay. “There is so much growth for learning and emotional development by just being immersed in a different culture, and I am excited to share this with the students.”
One of the most significant benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity for students to meet new lifelong friends from different backgrounds. While studying abroad, students will attend morning classes, but when they are not learning, they have all the free time to explore Italy’s magnificent landscape and magnetic culture. According to Davidson, studying abroad is an experience unlike any other.
“Students have the opportunity to travel the world with no commitments but to study and learn about new cultures,” said Davidson.
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