A Meredith Semester in Italy
Una prospettiva italiana autentica
In the heart of the Tuscan province of Arezzo, in the heart of Italy, the Palazzo Alberti in Sansepolcro offers students an opportunity to experience first hand authentic Italian life.
While only a two hour bus ride—but at least two light years away—from the hustle and bustle of Florence, Sansepolcro is a study in contrast with Tuscan cities that are overrun with tourists or study abroad students—or both.
The birthplace of Piero della Francesca, Sansepolcro is a small gem, a walled city in the Tiber valley—a place where students can not only observe but also participate in what has come to be called “la bella vita.”
If a genuine study abroad experience where you will be warmly welcomed into a culture quite different from your own appeals to you, then Sansepolcro is where you want to be. You will live in the beautiful Palazzo Alberti in the center of town. Renaissance artist Cherubino Alberti, who lived there in the 16th century, decorated the ceiling of the grand salon with a fresco featuring—what else?—angels.
A rigorous academic program starting with intensive language study at your level (and including art history, science and society, literature, history and cultural perspectives) will enable you to learn about Tuscan culture, from the middle ages to today. In the process, you will learn a great deal that you did not know about your own culture and about yourself.
Language study will be directed toward competency. Service learning opportunities will ensure that what you discover in the classroom is tested in the community—and travel opportunities (both with the group and on your own) will ensure that you acquire independent travel skills as well. Family dinners will be both a unique learning opportunity and a delight.
Places we hope to travel to as a group include Città di Castello, Anghiari, Arezzo, Gubbio, Urbino, Florence, Assisi, and Perugia. There will be one longer group trip that grows out of the semester’s curriculum—perhaps to Croatia or Sicily or Southern Italy or Greece or ???.
Short independent travel breaks will give the chance to explore cities like Rome and Venice as you hone your travel skills. A week long independent travel break will enable you to head north to Switzerland or Germany or France if you desire—or south in search of sun. But you may like Sansepolcro so much you want to stay there.
The mantra for all of our programs is “Learn to travel and travel to learn.” Chief among the things we hope you will learn from this semester of travel and study in Italy is that people in other countries are both interestingly different and profoundly similar, shaped as you are by their history, their geography, their culture.
We want you to acquire useful skills that will empower you to travel with confidence in other parts of the world and values that will compel you to want to lead and serve in the global tomorrow—ideally with openness and curiosity and joy.
Meredith College reserves the right to make changes tot he program initerary, schedule, cost, academic program, etc., as necessary.