By Alvin Fowlkes, Business Faculty Member and Study Abroad Coordinator“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” ~Gustav Flaubert Click To Tweet
My personal philosophy is that traveling the world provides people with the best education on the planet. You are able to see and learn things firsthand and immerse yourself in the diversity and richness of the culture. Not only do you learn about other countries and people, but you learn so much about yourself in the process. The ECPI University Study Abroad Program allows students to see and explore the world and to increase their confidence and competence about the world around them through language and cultural immersion.
This past fall, we traveled to the wonderful country of Italy. This was truly a remarkable and unforgettable experience for all of our 34 travelers; the largest group to participate in the program’s history.
Italy is home to some of the most iconic art, symbols and cuisine on the planet. We started our adventure in Florence, the capital city in the region known as Tuscany, and home to numerous masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture. One of its most iconic sights is the Duomo, a cathedral with a terracotta-tiled dome engineered by Brunelleschi and a bell tower by Giotto. Florence is also known for its fashion-forward culture and its leather; we had the opportunity to visit a leather workshop and witness the craftsmanship first hand. We saw the Statue of David; a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture created in marble between 1501 and 1504 by the Italian artist Michelangelo. We then visited Pisa, known around the world for its iconic Leaning Tower.
From Florence, we made our way to Venice. Known for its canals and gondolas, it has no roads, just waterways – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics and houses the tomb of St. Mark. We visited the city of Verona; the backdrop to the masterpiece “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare; where we also saw the The Verona Arena; a huge 1st-century Roman amphitheater, which currently hosts concerts, large-scale opera performances, and seats 30,000 people.
Next, it was on to Assisi, home to the St. Francis of Assisi Basilica. Some of our students actually attended an evening mass in the Basilica and witnessed a service done completely in Italian.We then went to Rome, the nation’s capital city. We visited ancient ruins, including the Forum and Colosseum, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Click To Tweet
We then went to Rome,
the nation’s capital city. We visited ancient ruins, including the Forum and Colosseum,
one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We went to Vatican City, headquarters of
the Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Vatican Museums, which
house masterpieces such as Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel frescoes. We took a
tour of Rome at night and saw the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, and Trevi
Fountain. For many, it was the highlight of the entire trip.
Lastly, we visited the magnificent cliff cities of Sorrento and Capri. While there, we took a tour of the ancient lost city of Pompeii and saw the haunting silhouette of Mt. Vesuvius in the distance. We entered the Blue Grotto and witnessed natural beauty that can only be experienced and defies description.
We witnessed so much history and culture in one trip. This was an amazing experience and my hope is that more people take advantage of the Study Abroad Program. It’s your chance to see the world in a very unique and unforgettable way with your University classmates, family, and friends. Get your passport and let’s start traveling. The world is waiting on you. Let’s see it together.
This October, ECPI University is traveling to Amsterdam, Paris, and London. All students and alumni, as well as their family and friends, are eligible to go on the trip. If interested, please email [email protected] for more information.