The course associated with this study abroad opportunity is: Critical Issues in Italian Higher Education. The online portion of the course started a last month and one of the assignments involved reading an article about the Italian Higher Education system. I work in a higher education institution and I was surprised by the significant differences between Italian and American higher education. I work at a relatively small institution, in a P-12 education preparation program. My department is very focused on nurturing and supporting students and helping them reach their fullest potential. Our instructors get to know our students and build relationships over their time here.
In Italy, however, it appears college students have very little interaction with the campus community, including the faculty. The courses are largely lecture-based. While the article we read addressed Italian Higher Education as a whole, I am curious about their teacher preparation programs. I’m sure I’ll have an opportunity to learn more once I’m on the ground in Italy.
We also read a book this week about being a mindful and conscientious traveler. It was a great reminder to slow down and enjoy where we are, to soak in as much as we can, and to think about how we can contribute to the communities we visit (not just what we can get out of the experience).
In a little over 3 weeks I will be in Italy!