A group of Meredith employees took part in a Faculty/Staff Getaway to the College’s site in Sansepolcro, Italy, in December 2022. The goals of this trip, which is coordinated by the Office of International Programs (OIP), include helping employees make connections with each other while learning more about the Meredith in Italy programs.
The December 14-21 getaway included 11 travelers. Participants had the option of bringing a travel companion with them for the trip. OIP team members also accompanied the group.
The program offered participants the flexibility to plan their own experiences, along with optional group excursions to nearby sites of interest. OIP also hosted pre-departure info sessions to help the group learn about the opportunities available throughout the region.
Getaway participants reflected on their experience in Sansepolcro, and all agreed the opportunity was both enjoyable and educational.
Campus Police Chief Al White, who traveled with his wife, summed it up as “an amazing opportunity to visit another country and culture.”
Web Developer and Designer Liza Bunce said the trip was one of the best career benefits she has experienced.
“The Faculty/Staff Italian Getaway is one of the coolest benefits of my career I have ever had. Traveling with a group that turned into a second family, exploring the Tuscan culture and views, and befriending locals in Sansepolcro and surrounding towns was absolutely incredible. I would recommend everyone who can to try and participate,” Bunce said.
Meeting people in Sansepolcro, where Meredith has had a study abroad program for decades, made Bunce want to return to the region. “The people we met with were so eager to share their culture and show us the best food, method, or view of where we were and I cannot say enough good things about it. I think I’ll always be eager to return to Tuscany after exploring it with Meredith.”
This was the first time Design Assistant Marissa McCauley had traveled internationally and she felt supported during the experience.
“Everyone was very helpful from the very beginning, making sure I was doing well,” McCauley said. [Applying was] such an easy process, and well worth it.”
McCauley said the trip gave her a sense of what studying abroad is like for students and helped her build connections on campus.
“The Faculty-Staff getaway is an incredible taste of Italy. I can only imagine the wonderful experiences a student or faculty member would enjoy for a semester in Sansepolcro, and its neighboring cities,” McCauley said. “During our week, we really gained an interdepartmental knowledge that we took with us after getting back to campus and an even greater understanding of the wonderful things that are happening at Meredith overseas.”
Vice President for Marketing and Communications Kristi Eaves-McLennan called the getaway a “once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“Visiting the College’s Italian home with my daughter and my colleagues strengthened my bond with the institution,” Eaves-McLennan said. “I will never forget visiting Italy for the first time with Meredith and our wonderful faculty leaders.”
Meredith is offering the Faculty/Staff getaway twice during the 2022-23 academic year, with the second trip taking place in May. OIP plans to offer at least one getaway opportunity per year in the future. This Meredith benefit was first offered in 2017, then in 2019 before a pandemic pause. Inside Higher Ed ran a feature about the Italian Getaway in Fall 2022.