Siena, Italy Winter 2015
The Siena program this year was an exceptional trip for both the students and the director, Dr. Riccarda Saggese. Students had the rare opportunity to immerse themselves in Italian culture and society, thus honing their conversational skills. Enjoying the hospitality of their Italian host families, the students studied in Siena for three weeks with free time on the weekends to explore other beautiful Italian cities. The highlight of this year’s trip was the unique opportunity for the undergraduates to meet Italian students from the local university and the liceo Piccolomini. At this school, both sets of students were able to compare and contrast their two cultures. Before each meeting, the groups researched various topics ranging from the school systems to cuisine and local traditions. Each student would then present a part of their research via a PowerPoint presentation which provided the basis for the discussion between the two groups. All students took the research very seriously and became engrossed in conversation. These meetings were the principle main reason the students felt privileged to be welcomed into this once-foreign country and to depart from it with the hopes of returning one day.