uring a recent trip to Italy, an adult female (left) with short black hair, sunglasses, a short leather jacket, multicolored scarf. jeans and boots stands with six students—also in casual wear—five females and one male (right).Optional: They are standing in a plaza with gray pavers; two beige buildings and trees are in the background.
Dean Xiao-lei Wang and Italy trip participants exploring Rome, Italy this January.

Students from the Ruth S. Ammon College of Education and Health Sciences, led by Dean Xiao-lei Wang, PhD, traveled to Italy in early January for the international course entitled “Exploring Italy: Unveiling the Rich Tapestry of Italian Culture.” 

The trip took the group to large cities and small towns alike, where they immersed themselves in Italian culture and learned about educational and cultural practices abroad. Destinations included Florence, Venice, Rome, Pompeii, Tuscania and Viterbo.

Senior Margaret Hall appreciated the unique advantages of the guided tour.

“My favorite part of the trip was our time spent in Tuscania. If I were to have visited Italy on my own, I would not have come across this small town and would not have experienced its uniqueness. In Tuscania, we were able to immerse (ourselves) in Italian culture in a way we couldn’t in bigger cities such as Rome and Florence.”

This travel course introduced students to the vibrant tapestry of Italian culture through activities and experiences across Italy. Students visited historical sites, engaged with the educational system and explored Italian cuisine, fashion, art and nonverbal communication.

The course aimed to cultivate cultural competence, empowering students to navigate diverse contexts and develop a profound understanding of Italian culture. With this knowledge, students can excel in their future professions and thrive as global citizens.

“In the 21st century, it is vitally important to educate globally minded professionals,” Dr. Wang said of the trip.

A Life-Changing Experience for Students

Students appreciated the variety of activities that were part of the trip itinerary.

“One of my favorite parts was going to the Roma football game,” senior Gabriella Sferrazza said. “As someone who appreciates all sports, getting the experience to be immersed in the Italian sports culture was truly incredible. Their passion for their team was contagious and a feeling like no other. My second favorite part of the trip was the cooking class we took in Tuscania. This class was taught by an amazing Italian chef who has had years of experience in the Italian cooking industry.”

Sferrazza said she learned lessons from the study abroad course that continue to impact her.

“From this trip, I learned the beauty of being open to new opportunities. We all were so open to all the explorations that Italy had to offer. This trip was so filling and beautiful and that is a feeling I would like to carry on for the rest of my life.”

The goal of the trip is to foster personal growth, nurture intercultural appreciation and ignite a lifelong passion for understanding other cultures.

“If anyone is considering traveling with Adelphi, I would not miss this opportunity,” Hall added. “Visiting Italy for the first time with guides throughout the country allowed us to learn from the people of Italy and change our own perspectives of the world.”

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