How would you like to walk on cobblestone roads that were laid down in Roman times? Or take an Italian cooking class or have wine tasting as part of curriculum? The 2013 Florence Study Abroad program offers just that.
The program is collaborative effort by the Los Rios Community College District, Northern California Study Abroad Consortium and American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS). It’s available to students with 12 completed academic units (academic units only, cannot be performance units) with a cumulative GPA of 2.25. Students must maintain 12 units while in Florence and 6 units must be taken from the Cosumnes River College campus.
The goals of the program include global competence, personal growth, continued interest in travel, knowledge acquisition, development of skills and experiences, and attitude enhancement and change, as explained in the information packet.
Through Nov. 29, Liz Nelson, American River College psychology professor, is holding informational meetings for students that are interested in the program.
“You experience life from another culture, so it kind of changes your perspective on life and makes you realize that there is more outside of yourself and what you have on day to day basis,” said Nelson.
Goals of the program seem to match perfectly with what interests ARC students who attended the informational meetings.
“I love to travel and I am interested to learn their culture. I want to go to Germany while I am there,” said Stephanie Postle, a 26-year-old web design major. “My family is from Germany. I want to go all over Europe while I am there.
“My major is Interior Design and I think I will learn about the interior design in Italy,” Evelyn Chanaluisa, 23, said. “I think it will be fun, but I am more interested in the culture, in general.”
The cost of the program is about $8,500 excluding airfare. Maximum cost (which includes all optional costs) can vary from $11,000 to $15,000. Financial aid through FAFSA and other options are available.
“For three months, (it’s) not really (too high a price) when you think about it. But it’s still expensive. It’s a good deal, but still expensive,” said Postle.
Orientation meetings are mandatory and the last one was held on Saturday, Sept. 29 on the CRC campus. If you missed these, you can still contact Ellen Arden-Ogle of CRC and have a one-on-one meeting with her. Besides Italy, other Study Abroad options are available.
“I think they will do London in the fall, and a year after that, they are going to do Paris,” said Nelson.