Spring Italy trip provides unique perspective

English department head Caroline Cherry has taught a course, Text in Context, for the past 10 years. The highlight of the course is a mid-semester trip to Italy, Ireland or England. This year, she and a group of students will be traveling to Italy for eight days. They will visit Rome, Venice and Florence and take a sidetrip to Assisi.

Students taking the course will spend the weeks prior to the trip studying historical and artistic concepts of the architecture, art and culture of Italy. They will keep a journal during the trip and upon their return will write a research paper and give an oral presentation on something they saw that interested them.

“The point of the course is to travel and see new places. The course exists to provide an understanding for what we see,” Cherry said.

According to Cherry, the group will visit the Sistine Chapel, the Basilica, see Michaelangelo’s David, Jietto and all the architecture in Venice.

“It’s a fun and effective way of learning. You learn better when you are being exposed to things that are new,” she said.

“Through these experiences we’re able to observe God’s hand both in the beauty of nature and of the artifacts we see.”

Those not taking the course can also participate. According to Cherry, family, friends and alums often join in on the trip. Cherry said the cost of the trip is approximately $2,060.

This only includes breakfast, so Cherry recommends bringing an extra $300 for other meals and expenses.

Cherry encouraged anyone interested to sign up for the tour, which will take place over spring break in March 2006.

Through the course, students have the opportunity to study things they have only seen in textbooks and to explore a different culture.

“Being there for the first time seeing the things that you’ve only read about is very exciting,” Cherry said. “It all comes together and is just a lovely moment.”

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