ARC offers students the chance to travel to Florence and London this summer


The Colosseum in Rome is one of the many places students can visit while studying abroad. (Photo courtesy of Ashley Nanfria)

Joe Padilla, Tracy Mapes, and Allante Morris

By Allante Morris, Joe Padilla and Tracy Mapes

For any student who has wanted to travel, their chance is now is your chance as American River College’s study abroad program is traveling to London and Florence, Italy in the upcoming semesters.

The study abroad course is a branch of the larger program that’s run out of Sacramento City College, allowing each local college the opportunity to participate.

Professor Mark Stewart is coordinating the London trip, which will include Psychological Elements of British Life and Culture, a three unit course.

Professor Bill Wrightson is coordinating the Florence program, which will include Italian History and Culture, a four unit course.

“In all students will spend approximately 6,500 dollars which include the fee, travel, and miscellaneous”, Stewart said.

The program does accept a payment plan where students can pay in portions.

Students can also apply to the Gilman scholarship, which is available to those studying abroad who receive a Pell Grant, and attend a two or four year college.

Some students also use financial aid and take out small loans to offset the cost.

When asked if the program was worth it, both Stewart and Wrightson said they don’t regret one penny spent studying abroad.

There are also two housing options, when you sign up for the program.

One is a homestay with a family, recommended if students want more of a cultural experience.

There is also an apartment option, which is similar to a dorm setting. Students are usually paired with one or two roommates from colleges around the globe.

ARC student Saleem Obeidat, who attended the Florence trip in summer 2015, had nothing but good things to say about the program.

“I gained so many cultural skills by being enrolled in the classes such as Hist 399 and Ital 300 that teach you how to speak the native language, and about the art and culture we have all seen in person that I got to experience,” Obeidat said.

Obeidat chose the apartment option with five roommates and spent his time in Florence going on hikes, exploring the city with friends he made and experiencing the freedom of living in another country.

“I won’t ever forget this lifetime experience and I plan to attend London this upcoming summer semester,” Obeidat recalled.

Studying abroad isn’t a class that you’re required to take – it’s something that changes you and broadens your perspective on life.

Applications are being accepted now through March 11.