How can I learn more about the class and meet with the instructors? Kelly and Natalia are available to meet with you - just send us an email to set up an appointment: Kelly.McElroy@oregonstate.edu and Natalia.Fernandez@oregonstate.edu. We are also having drop-in information sessions Tuesdays 3-5pm, January - March, in Java II located in the Valley Library. The exact dates are as follows: January 10, 17, 24, 31, February 7, 14, 21, 28, March 7, 14.
Why study abroad? Studying abroad is an immersive experiential learning opportunity. You will discover new strengths and abilities by conquering challenges and solving problems. You will return home with new perspectives about yourself and your culture. Traveling abroad to Italy will provide you an informed and much less biased perspective about Italian culture and people. Study abroad has been linked to higher paying jobs, greater job satisfaction after graduation, and higher GPAs.
Is fourteen days really enough time? Although we agree that it would be nice to spend more time abroad, there is evidence that short-term study abroad may have a disproportionately high impact. Faculty-led study abroad courses like this one help keep students focused on immersive educational experiences. And finally, this course aims to prepare you for your next trip abroad.
How do the homestays work? CIEE, our partner program in Ferrara, will organize the homestays. You will be paired with another student on our trip and placed in the same household for the entire two weeks. You will eat breakfast and dinner at your homestay. Your homestay family will help you adjust to life in Italy and will show you how to get around town.
Why Ferrara? Although Ferrara is not a common destination for American tourists, it is an ideal location for a study abroad program. As a small city, it is easy to navigate on foot (or on the bike you'll be provided). Its rich history, vibrant food culture, and social organizations are all easily accessible. It is also ideally located between other popular destinations by train, and our course program does include an overnight trip to Venice and a daylong excursion to nearby Bologna.
But I don't speak Italian! English is widely spoken in Italy, particularly by younger people. (Spanish-speakers may also find that many people speak some Spanish.)
I'd love to go, but it is so expensive. In some cases, your financial aid package can be applied to study abroad. Kelly and Natalia are also available to discuss fundraising ideas -- on our previous course, students found some funding through OSU, used financial aid, and even held a tamale sale to raise money.
While I'm in Europe, will there be time to travel to other countries? Our two weeks of time in Italy are fully booked, so you will not have time to travel much during the course. There will be one free weekend when you might take a short trip, but without leaving the country. However, if you choose to travel after our two weeks are up, you can arrange to meet with Kelly and Natalia via Skype or later in the summer once you return to campus in order to complete the course final assignment.