CCI students have chance

Ellen Countryman

Program will offer insight to what

Beginning in Spring 2010, students of the College of Communication and Information can study abroad in Florence, Italy.

Deborah Davis, an academic adviser for the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said she hopes to have enough students to begin the program this spring.

“We’d like students to have a chance to expand their world view outside of Kent,” Davis said, “learn about worlds beyond what they know and interact with people in Italy and around Europe.”

This program was long awaited in CCI, Davis said. A semester in Florence used to be for just Fashion and Architecture majors, but Davis felt that CCI’s turn was next.

Some of the classes the students will take are a comparative media course, a practicum, a European issues course and an Italian language course. All classes will be taught by European professors.

For the practicum course, students will take a hands-on look at Italian media and create their own presentation and Web site, Davis said. They’ll also visit a graphic design firm called LCD – an award-winning firm in Florence.

Students will visit Corriere della Sera, the most “national” and prestigious newspaper in Italy, she said. The plan is to visit Milan, which is the headquarters of Corriere della Sera. They will go to the printing facility for the day where they will see the newspaper process from start to finish.

“Hopefully students will develop an understanding of how different Italian media is from American,” Davis said.

Students will live at the Palazzo de Cerchi, a 13th century plaza in the historic central section of Florence. They will have time to travel outside of Florence and Italy during the weekends as well. Classes go Monday through Thursday, so every weekend is a long weekend.

“There will also be field trips to Rome, Venice, Milan and Sienna,” Davis said. “The students will have to pay a field trip fee.”

To help defray the cost of the trip, each student who goes will receive a $1,000 grant. Also, all financial and student aid a student receives will go toward the trip, Davis said. The average cost for a full-time student living in a residence hall for one semester is $9,625. So far, the total extra costs for Florence add up to $5,335.

“We’re working hard to reduce the price further,” said Stan Wearden, dean of CCI.

Wearden also emphasized the importance the semester abroad will have on a future job hunt.

“When economics and politics today are already so global, you cannot find an organization that isn’t global in some way,” Wearden said.

LuEtt Hanson, associate dean of CCI, supports not only the educational and job experiences, but also the social experience students will receive.

“Living there and not just being a tourist helps you develop a sense of self reliance because ways of life are different and you learn to look at life through a different set of eyes,” Hanson said. “It’s not only good on a resume, but it strengthens you as a person. It’s a life broadening experience that I would recommend to anybody.”

Contact Ellen Countryman at [email protected]