Students to benefit from Winter Break Study Abroad trip

Sept. 11 application deadline set for Study Abroad trip to Italy over Winter Break

Story by Connor JaschenStaff writer

Murray State students are being offered the chance to earn credit in Humanities 211 or Music 205 in a study abroad program in Italy next Winter Break.

Offered up in hopes of bolstering the learning potential for what would otherwise be low-level courses, Bernard Lewis, adjunct professor of English and Tana Field, assistant professor of Music from Iowa, want to take students all the way to Italy for their winter program.

This program won’t be like other programs offered.

This program can count as credit toward a variety of courses. Aside from HUM 211 and MUS 205, whose syllabi will be uniform for every student enrolled in the classes, flexible content will be arranged for other course credit, including HUM 205, ENG 330 and 431.

The class syllabi for these courses will be tailored to suit the specific needs of each student’s chosen elective. This is done for students who otherwise would not find a need within their curriculum for this program to adapt their own schedule for this excursion into experiential learning. Students will travel to Rome, Venice and Florence, all in the span of two weeks (exact dates to be determined), with day trips to the cities of Lucca, Siena and Ostia Antica.

Considering Field’s fluency in Italian and past immersion into Italian culture, students are told the language barrier will be minimal.

Starting in October, students will enter into a class focusing on Italian literature and speech. During Winter Break, the classes will begin in Italy and focus on Italian culture. This initial research phase in the classroom is meant for students to hit the ground running, as far as the learning experience goes.

“Traveling to Italy is a different connection than just reading literature,” Lewis said. “Just go with an open mind.”

The trip is currently set at $3,999 per full-time, on-campus student. This price includes lodging, breakfast, airfare, two dinners and any events the program may go to, though the itinerary still is open for change.

Students are encouraged not to feel burdened by the money required.

Reportedly, 85 percent of last year’s students who applied, received scholarship money of some sort and with two scholarship workshops in between now and application deadline, students have plenty of opportunities to seek aid. These workshops will be on Sept. 1-2 from 3-4:30 p.m.

Sept. 11 is the deadline for scholarships and applications.

As for the overlap between classes, many professors say it is a blessing for the students involved.

“It enhances the appreciation of learning,” said Melanie McCallen Sibe, director of Education Abroad. “Everybody benefits when you have the intersection of learning.”

Those involved are already bubbling with excitement.

“It is the ultimate experiential learning,” Lewis said. “It’s the way I’ve always wanted to teach.”