By Paras Bitzarakis
Students have the opportunity to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa and gain nine college credits as they study in Italy this summer.
Imagine sitting in a classroom over 4,000 miles away from Long Island and learning that there is so much more of the world to see.
“I love the fact that I can finally give a hands-on lesson, where students see, touch, and really experience Italy, its art, its culture; its history,” said Professor Annamaria Monaco, who has coordinated the Italy study abroad program for four years.
“I think everyone should study abroad at least once because not only does it teach you how to be self-sufficient, but how to adapt to a completely unknown territory,” Kimberly Allgor, a foreign languages major and study abroad alum who went to Sorrento and Rome, Italy last year said.
The exposure to a new culture is a learning experience in itself. Even though it is treated as a regular classroom (with homework included), students cannot ignore the fact that they are in a foreign country.
Every year, when the trip dates are posted on the college website, student inquiries pour in, and students from all the college campuses begin their application process, anticipating the experience of a lifetime.
“My parents didn’t care about any of the expenses. They knew this would more than benefit my future and look excellent for someone majoring in Italian Education,” Allgor said.
Students interested in studying in Sorrento and Rome, Italy, can begin their quest by going to the college website and typing in Study Abroad in the search engine. For this specific trip, the cost is approximately $3,600 for lodging and meals (does not include air,tuition, and fees). Scholarships are available.
Students who have already applied for the program can submit a special application for up to $1,000 in scholarship money to make the trips more affordable.
“Studying abroad would absolutely be a dream come true. I’m seriously considering it. I’ve already worked out the logistics with my parents and I think they are really considering letting me go!” said Alyson Riemer, and international business major.
Once they meet all of the requirements, which include various types of paper work, paying a $200 application fee and maintaining a 2.5 GPA, students can start packing.
“We stay for two weeks in Sorrento, three days in Florence, three days in Venice and six days in Rome. Another very special characteristic is that students who participate can choose to take different disciplines, while in Italy. They can take Italian, Intercultural Communication and International Business,” Monaco said.
Students get to explore many different areas of Italy in one month that many people would not be able to see in one lifetime.
“I think that if I were to go to Italy just by myself and not utilize the study abroad program, I would definitely not be able to visit that many places, let alone stay for a whole month!” Riemer said.
At the moment the amount of students who have registered is 20, which means there are only ten spots left campus-wide.
“I remember thinking it did not feel real that I would be going to the other side of the world and finally experiencing my heritage in the mother land, and not just reading about it,” Allgor said.
All in all, the college’s study abroad program in Sorrento and Rome, Italy, gets rave reviews from students who said they have enjoyed the experience and has peaked interests in students who long to take their education to the next level.