New freshmen first-semester program to be inaugurated in Florence
New freshmen first-semester program to be inaugurated in FlorenceOctober 17, 2007Stephen Secorasmsecora@syr.edu
Syracuse University is introducing a new study abroad opportunity that will offer a fall semester in Florence, Italy, to select first-semester freshmen enrolling in liberal arts majors.
“Discovery Florence: the First-semester Liberal Arts Program” will be offered to applicants for admission to SU’s College of Arts and Sciences. The semester-long program — most ideally suited for students interested in the humanities and international social sciences — will provide courses in Italian language, European history and culture, writing and the college’s orientation course, “First Year Forum.” Students will live with Italian host families and study alongside program peers under the guidance of experienced faculty members.
“This is an innovative initiative for engaging young, first-year students in an abroad semester,” says Jon Booth, executive director of SU Abroad. “For the mature and accomplished student, it will surely be an enlightening experience that will set a positive tone for their remaining college years.”
As part of the semester’s curriculum, students will have an opportunity to travel on weekends to other Italian cities, including Rome, Pisa and Venice, to learn first hand Italian culture and history, as well as to study up close the works of well-known Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo, Botticelli and DaVinci. An extended trip to explore Spain is planned for a mid-semester break.”‘Discovery’ students will have the chance to experience the encounter with another culture, that of Italy and Europe, which will not only stimulate personal growth and development, but will have a decisive impact on their entire academic career,” says SU Florence Director Barbara Deimling.
Students interested in the “Discovery Florence” program will submit an application for admission to SU’s College of Arts and Sciences, then fulfill requirements above and beyond the standard admission application, to include an essay and an evaluative personal interview. The program will be limited in its first year to 15-18 undergraduates and is available only to students entering SU’s College of Arts and Sciences.
“‘Discovery Florence’ is intended for intrepid and enterprising liberal arts students who are seeking to begin their college studies in a unique and challenging way,” says College of Arts and Sciences Dean Cathryn Newton. “The program will be especially appealing to students interested in art and European history, languages and culture, and world politics and economics.”
New first-year students will jet to Florence in early September in lieu of their standard arrival on the SU campus. Orientation programs for “Discovery” students will take place in late summer, both on and off campus prior to traveling abroad. Upon returning from Italy, students arriving at SU for the spring semester will be afforded special orientation services, advising sessions and housing options.
“We hope to provide a seamless arrival and integration into the main SU community for `Discovery’ students traveling back from Europe,” says Susan Wadley, College of Arts and Sciences associate dean for curriculum and programs. “Having taken a full and comprehensive first-semester schedule while in Italy, these students will be on track with other second-semester freshmen once integrated into main campus coursework and activities.”
Financial aid for the program will be available. Students interested in pursuing the “Discovery” opportunity will be encouraged to obtain a U.S. passport at once, as lead times for processing the international documentation are lengthy.