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UW-Eau Claire to offer new study abroad program in Italy

October 23, 2013
Danielle-Martin-web
Danielle Martin takes a break while hiking through Cinque Terre on the northern Mediterranean coast of Italy. The photo overlooks Manarola, one of the five cities along the trail.

EAU CLAIRE — Cobblestone streets, centuries old architecture and vineyards set the backdrop for a new study abroad program offered by the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's Center for International Education at the Istituto Lorenzo de' Medici (LdM) in Italy.

"The study abroad program in Italy developed out of a large student interest in Italy and in a location with better access to an arts program," said Cheryl Lochner-Wright, study abroad coordinator. "After looking at course offerings, cost and community interaction opportunities, it was determined that LdM would be a great partnership for UW-Eau Claire and opportunity for our students."

With almost 40 years of experience, LdM is one of Italy's most distinctive and well-established study abroad institutions with more than 400 different course offerings in 32 subject areas depending on the campus chosen to attend. LdM's original campus is located in Florence with smaller campuses located in Rome, Tuscania and Venice. Courses fall under four main academic divisions: arts and sciences, creative arts, design and Italian language and culture.

Danielle Martin, a senior from Marshfield who is pursuing a double major in management and Spanish for business professions, and a minor in international business, was one of the students who participated in the first program in Italy during summer 2013.

Martin said she highly recommends this study abroad program as it met all of her expectations of what Italy would be like and also allowed her to fulfill academic requirements.

"This program worked really well for my degree," Martin said. "I fulfilled a course for my minor by studying intercultural communication, and my pairing food and wine course satisfied a general education requirement and counted toward my required international experience for my minor.

LdM also organizes student clubs, guided visits to historic sites, and social and cultural activities, such as dinners at local restaurants, seasonal festivals, field trips, theater and concerts. Students have the opportunity to choose from either apartment-style housing or living with a host family.

Martin said she encourages all students to participate in a study abroad program as a way to fulfill academic requirements and experience personal growth.

"I had the opportunity to really get to know myself on this trip," Martin said. "Being away from everything familiar and going outside of my comfort zone was a great way to develop who I am as an individual."

For more information on the study abroad program in Italy, contact Cheryl Lochner-Wright at lochnecb@uwec.edu or 715-836-4996.

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