Life-changing Experiential Learning through:
- Exposure to authentic Italian culture.
- Strengthening of language skills at all levels.
- Fostering cultural understanding and global knowledge.
- A range of options to meet every student’s need: course of study, length of program, and location.
- Opportunities to work or intern with Italian companies.
According to testimony, study abroad experience in Italy completely changes the way students approach life and learning. Living in diverse surroundings, speaking another language, and meeting people from other cultures all contribute to personal growth, build empathy and increase critical thinking skills. Studies have also shown that foreign language proficiency and study abroad opportunities increase overall academic success and university retention rates (Malmgren & Galvin). The study of languages allows access to cultures that are complex and rich, not only in language, but also in history, art, literature, food, music and political thought. Familiarity with foreign cultures can greatly enhance interdisciplinary insight by extension. Whether students want to immerse themselves in a language school in Le Marche, study at the oldest university in Europe in Bologna, or participate in one of the hundreds of programs with American universities in Italy, they would be joining over 35,000 American students who study abroad in Italy each academic year. These numbers have obviously been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Students have several choices when it comes to studying in Italy for credit. We recommend they reach out to their university’s International Programs office to learn more about options for study in Italy or check out the advertisements on the AATI’s website. There are a wide range of short-term, month-long, semester and year-long programs to choose from. The multitude of options accommodates all types of budgets. Federal financial aid is available to students in good standing and can be used abroad. Scholarships are also available through several Italian-American organizations in order to help students finance an overseas study in Italy.
While living outside the United States, students will gain international experience in one of Italy’s culturally rich and dynamic cities. They will not only learn about the customs, traditions, and social norms of the host country, but they will also enrich their understanding of the United States by interacting with Italians, international students, and even other American students while overseas.
Study abroad is a transformative experience that brings education and learning to life. Students learn to be more independent, self-assured and flexible while abroad. They gain valuable experiences, both personally and professionally, that will stay with them the rest of their lives. The AATI hopes that students will begin planning and preparing for an unforgettable journey to Italy, a fascinating country that is often called the Bel Paese (Beautiful Country)!