(Dec. 20, 2011) -- The UTSA College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA) will host the inaugural Semester Abroad in Urbino program in January. Nine students have signed up to participate in the 13-week study-abroad trip to Italy.
For a preview of the experience, the students participated in a Skype interview with UTSA College of Architecture students already studying in Italy. Both colleges are partnering with the University of Urbino to offer international educational opportunities for their students this academic year.
COLFA students will receive instruction from both UTSA COLFA faculty and University of Urbino professors on a variety of subjects including Italian language instruction, Shakespeare's England and Italy, love and death in the Italian Renaissance, and classic foundations of the Renaissance.
Bridget Drinka, associate professor and chair of the UTSA Department of English, and Marita Nummikoski, associate professor and chair in the UTSA Department of Modern Languages, helped organize the program.
"We have some wonderful trips designed in the program as well, so the students will read the plays, then go to the places where they took place, like Verona, Venice and Rome," said Drinka. "I hope the students get enrichment and exposure to another point of view as well as a deeper understanding of the language."
The program is available for both undergraduate and graduate students who have taken humanities courses in Italian or are just beginning to study the language. Half of the students in the initial group have studied Italian.
"Many of our students have never really been anywhere outside of the United States, so once they're eyes are opened, their entire view of the world will be changed," said Nummikoski. "They will realize that there is so much more to life than just San Antonio and Texas. Traveling abroad is not hard or scary and this will make them strong individuals that can come back and share their experiences with others."
Additional UTSA faculty participating include Bernadette Andrea, professor of English; Molly Saldivar, lecturer in modern languages and literatures; David Johnson, professor of history; and Bill Short, assistant professor of philosophy.
To alleviate some of expenses involved with the study-abroad program, the students received funding from the Provost's Travel Award. Two of the participants also received Bowen scholarships designated to COLFA students studying in Europe. Program fees cover expenses for a private dorm room, 10 meals per week plus breakfast every day and trips.For more information, email co-organizers Bridget Drinka or Marita Nummikoski or visit the COLFA Semester in Urbino website.
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