Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness - Mark Twain

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

10 Reasons To Study Abroad

1  Studying abroad is a life-altering experience!

Studying and living in a different culture will help you see the world from a completely different perspective. It is an amazing experience that will change your life.
2  Learn about yourself, be independent

Studying abroad is an occasion to challenge yourself with new situations that will test your abilities to adapt and learn. You may find yourself questioning some of your most long-held beliefs. All you need to succeed is an open mind and a good sense of humor. The perspective gained through a study abroad experience is second to none.
3  It's a chance to gain perspective on your own culture

Studying abroad is a chance to step outside of the ordinary and look at life from a completely new perspective. Many students return amazed that while studying abroad they learned just as much about the United States and its culture as they did about life in their host country.
Photo Courtesy:
4  You don't have to speak a foreign language to do it

All your courses will be taught by California Instructors, just like at home.

5  Resume building material

In today's global economy, study abroad can be a defining element to every student's undergraduate degree. Many companies increasingly desire leaders with the ability to live successfully in a variety of countries and work with co-workers of varying cultural backgrounds.

6  The program will work with any major

We offer a broad variety of transferable, General Education classes that can help you progress towards your major.  Any student can fit a study abroad experience into their academic schedule.

7  The program offers a unique academic structure

Studying abroad offers you the opportunity to escape the monotony of traditional lectures by providing programs that have a myriad of academic possibilities.  Our instructors are committed to making your host city into a classroom.  They will take advantage of all that is offered by one of the world’s great cities.

8  Why be just another tourist?

Studying abroad is your chance to travel and gain perspective at the same time (not to mention academic credit). So many people travel abroad and "see the sights" without understanding the greater importance or significance of those places or events. By studying abroad you get to spend a great deal more time overseas, and thus have the opportunity to ask a lot more in-depth questions.

9  Make connections that can last a lifetime

Away from home and open to new possibilities, you will meet and connect to people you would otherwise never encounter.  Those friendships can last a lifetime.

10 It’s not that expensive

Living away from home costs money no matter where you live. A semester abroad is not much more expensive than a semester at a CSU Campus.  A semester in Chico would cost about $12,000.  Study Abroad fees, courses & housing is about $8,000.   Meals, books and incidentals will add a little more and travel costs to Europe are slightly higher than to Chico…   But hey, you’re in Europe!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fall 2014 Florence Information meetings

Florence SP 15 Informational meeting (Fall 14)

W  09/10   3:30-4:30 pm  LA119
T    09/23   2:00-3:00 pm  LA114
W  10/01   3:30-4:30 pm  LA119
M  10/13   5:00-6:00 pm   LA119
T    10/21  2:00-3:00 pm   LA114
W  09/17  3:30 -4:30 pm   L106 (library)
M  09/08  3:30-4:30 pm   W135

Want to get ready for your trip?  
Sign up for our 1 unit prep course offered this fall!

SOCSC-155B - Florence: Preparing for your Study Abroad trip
10/22/2014 - 12/10/2014
2:00PM - 4:05PM
BFL  102

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Paris Video

Thinking about studying abroad this Fall in Paris?

Check out this video for a preview


Any questions, contact our Paris instructor, Kristen Koblik

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sp 2015 Course Descriptions

Instructor:  Mary Beth Hartshorn – Diablo Valley College

PSYCH-160 Psychology of Women 

(3 units)  Recommended: Eligibility for ENGL-122 or equivalent
CSU/UC; CSUGE Area D9; IGETC Area 4; AA/AS Area IV
Description:  Examination of various factors in the development of gender identity, including personality, social processes, biology, and culture.
This course will take a comparative view by providing a short history of Italian feminism.  In arguably the most Catholic country in the world, Italy remains a country structurally grounded in male patriarchal power.  We will explore issues of divorce, labor, and family law in Italy and compare them to the US.  (Women’s right to suffrage in Italy didn’t become a law until 1945 and after 100 years of effort, divorce became legal in 1970).
Students will perform a field study of gender differences in non-verbal communication patterns.  They will observe mixed gendered groups from afar and record non-verbal gestures by gender.  They will also conduct this research while observing members within the study abroad program from the US, and then replicate it while observing several Italian groups.
As a class, we will visit the Uffizi Gallery to analyze women’s body images portrayed in art from the Renaissance period.  Students will identify women’s roles as demonstrated in paintings from three different periods, noting clothing and adornment.
Where were all of the female artists, architects and writers during the prolific Renaissance period?  Students will have an opportunity to research historical female Florentine artists whose works are featured in the Pitti Palace and reflect on reasons why there are so few.  They will then contrast this to the abundance of works by local female artisans that are featured in contemporary galleries.  We will read excerpts from the story of Artemisia Gentileschi, the first female painter elected to the Accademia dell’ Arte, which tells of her struggle to reconcile painting and motherhood in a patriarchal post-Renaissance Italy.

PSYCH-220 Psychology of Personality 

(3 units)  Recommended: Eligibility for ENGL-122 or equivalent
CSU, UC; CSUGE Area D9; IGETC Area 4; AA/AS Area IV
Description:  This course probes into the dynamics of personality development, adjustment, and growth. Particular emphasis is placed on contrasting the ideas and methodologies of the different schools of psychology.  The development of personality and what constitutes psychological health in an individual is approached from contrasting theoretical views.  Many of the theorists discussed are the historical European forefathers of psychology.
Students will analyze Erik Erikson’s original Psychosocial Stages of Development and update the stages to meet contemporary social struggles that impact young adults in the “emerging adulthood” stage in the US and Italy.  The term “twixster” is used in the US to describe the young adult that isn’t financially able to leave home when Erikson deemed appropriate several generations ago.  In Italy this failure to launch group is affectionately called “Mammones,” and isn’t judged as harshly as in the US.  We will explore the different cultural norms at play and examine what is considered psychologically healthy based the country's social clock.
Students will take several personality tests to determine their own personality type.  Once they understand the collection of traits that make up a type, they will “type” famous Italian figures based on their behaviors.  Students will research key Florentine’s personal history, accomplishments, and relationships and then take field trips to see their art, tomb, invention or home.

PSYCH-225 Social Psychology 

(3 units)  Recommended: Eligibility for ENGL-122 or equivalent
CSU, UC; CSUGE Area D9; IGETC Area 4; AA/AS Area IV
Description:  Social psychology is the scientific study of the way people think, feel, and behave in social situations. This course is an introduction to the perspectives, research methods, and empirical findings in social psychology. Topics include how people influence each other, the power of social situations, and the application of social psychological theories to everyday life experiences.
Students will have an opportunity to experience and test theories learned in class in a living laboratory.  Social experiments will be set up in everyday settings in Florence to record local’s reactions to a given situation. There will be opportunities to observe interactions among Italians and interview them to better understand cultural differences in linguistics, prejudice, conformity, obedience, and group process.

A benefit to traveling with a “program,” as opposed to traveling independently, is the shared experience.  It becomes its own social psychology experiment. The group experience provides the participants with an opportunity to process their collective journey in an altogether different way.  Weekly class discussions about student’s reactions to being in small and large groups for the majority of the program would allow them to reflect on how this has influenced the way they think, feel and behave.

Instructor: Patrice Gibson - American River College

ANTH 310    Cultural Anthropology    

3 Units Prerequisite: None.
General Education: AA/AS Area V(b); AA/AS Area VI; CSU Area D1; IGETC Area 4A
Course Transferable to UC/CSU

 This is an introduction to the various customs, traditions, and forms of social organizations in both Western and non-Western societies.  A multicultural perspective is used to examine subsistence methods, belief systems, linguistics, economic systems, art, kinship systems, marriage and family systems, and culture change.  This course complements the Italian Life and Culture course that all study abroad students will be enrolled in.  ANTH 310 would extend students’ learning and understanding of Italian culture by applying a cross-cultural comparative method used in the course.  We will visit The Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology which exhibits materials of the original culture, now lost, and of others from different parts of the world.    A focus on the multi-cultural environment of modern day Florence will also be incorporated into the course.

ANTH 331    The Anthropology of Religion  

3 Units  Prerequisite: None.
Advisory: Eligibility for ENGWR 300
General Education: AA/AS Area V(b); AA/AS Area VI; CSU Area D1; IGETC Area 4A
Course Transferable to UC/CSU

 This course is a cross-cultural study of the forms and functions of supernatural beliefs and associated rituals in societies around the world.  World religions are also examined.  Emphasis is on understanding the role of beliefs and rituals within their given social contexts as well as on a broader comparison to derive insight into the general functions of beliefs and rituals in human life.  While abroad, students will explore the range of belief systems from another cultural perspective.  Visits to the Anthropology Museum will enrich our exposure to different cultures.  In addition, we will explore a variety of places of worship found within the city of Florence.

ANTH 320    Introduction to Archaeology and World Prehistory  

3 Units  Prerequisite: ENGWR 51 or ESLW 310 and ESLR 310 with grades of "C" or better.
General Education: AA/AS Area V(b); CSU Area D1; IGETC Area 4A
Course Transferable to UC/CSU

 This course is an introduction to the theories, concepts, and methods employed by archaeologists in the study of human history and pre-history.  The course emphasizes the development and diverse evolution of social and cultural systems.  The challenges and achievements of non-literate, traditional cultures, diverse communities and social classes over time are also explored.  Key archaeological sites within the regions of Florence will provide excellent fieldtrip opportunities for first-hand experiences.  For example, we will visit the Etruscan ruins in sites just outside of Florence, walking in the complexes of this ancient culture.  We will visit The Museum of Prehistory, enriching the curricula in the archaeology course with collections ranging from the pre-stone age to historical times.  Visits are also planned to The Museum of Archaeology focusing on Etruscan civilization which flourished in the region.

Instructor: Andre LaRue - Santa Rosa College 

History 4.1          History of Western Civilization to 1648 C.E.
3 Units/ Grade or P/NP  Prerequisites: None  Transfer: CSU/UC  AA/AS area E; CSU area C2; IGETC area 3B

Beginning with the ancient Near East, History 4.1 includes the study of ancient Greece, ancient Rome, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Reformation.  In this course we will journey from the ancient to the modern world as Europe moves from the periphery to the center of world events.  In Florence we will explore the rediscovery of the arts and worldview of classical antiquity characteristic of the Renaissance. 

Rising as a powerful center of banking and trade in the 13th and 14th centuries, Florence gave birth to the Renaissance in the 15th.  Course assignments will take us into its streets and museums to examine one of the most brilliant periods in Europe’s artistic activity as we analyze how architects and visual artists united artistic creativity and scientific knowledge to achieve balance, harmony, and a more realistic view of the natural world.  The confidence displayed in powerful representations of the human spirit (the David comes to mind) grew out of intense competition among Renaissance states.  The spirit of competition also inspired an expansion of Europe’s frontiers across oceans to inaugurate the first period in global history.   

History 21           Race, Ethnicity and Gender in American Culture 
3 Units/ Grade or P/NP  Prerequisites: None  Transfer: CSU/UC  AA/AS area D, F, G; CSU areas D, F1; IGETC area 4

History 21 is an examination of the interrelated roles of race, ethnicity and gender in shaping political and cultural institutions in the United States.  It suggests a portrait of the United States as a land of opportunity while recognizing the historically unequal distribution of wealth and power based on socially constructed concepts of race, ethnicity and gender.  In a comparative approach to history we will investigate the challenges mounted by the disempowered, their successes and failures, and the unique histories of populations drawn from around the world to become part of the American mosaic.

Of particular interest for semester in Florence will be the causes and consequences of immigrant populations from the Mediterranean world (especially those from the Italian peninsula).  We will explore, not only, the impact of immigration on the New World, but the consequences of emigration on the Old World as well.    

History 17.2         United States History from 1877
3 Units/ Grade or P/NP  Prerequisites: None.  Transfer: CSU/UC  AA/AS areas D, F; CSU areas D, F1; IGETC area 4

Historians have described the 20th century as the “American Century,” as the United States played a decisive role in 2 world wars, emerging from World War II as the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world.  As America’s foreign policy came of age, Italy, a unified nation since 1860, was declared a republic, joined NATO and the United Nations, and helped lay the ground work for the European Union.  As we focus on the two nations, History 17.2 will frame our investigation of super power politics, nation building, and the need for international cooperation in the modern world.

For spring 2015 we will explore some of the common challenges shared by both the United States and Italy: transnational migration of populations seeking opportunity, increased globalization and national identity in an age of instant communication, the influence – cultural, political, economic – of the U. S. on Europe, and Europe’s influence on the United States.

Instructor: Daniel Keller, College of San Mateo

Literature 151: Shakespeare. 
Prerequisite: English 100 or 105. UC: Area 3B; CSU: Area C2.

William Shakespeare is, of course, an English author, but 13 of his 38 plays are at least partially set in Italy. How did such Italian cities as Verona, Milan, Venice, and Padua inspire Shakespeare’s art? How did Italian folktales become so important as a source of his  plots and characters? How is it that he even seems to have known Italian language and geography? Some have even gone so far as to claim that Shakespeare must have been Italian, or at least have spent a lot of time there. In this class, we will immerse ourselves in the world of Shakespeare’s Italy through not only reading and analyzing  several great plays but seeing them performed and performing them ourselves.

Literature 220: Introduction to World Literature. 
Prerequisite: English 100 or 105. UC: Area 3B; CSU: Area C2
Though this course will begin with Italian myths and folktales, we will move from Italy to the rest of the world, from the earliest literature to the present day. Students will read, analyze, and discuss poetry, drama, and short stories ranging from  Dante’s  Divine Comedy to Anuradha Roy’s  Atlas of Impossible Longing.  A central theme will be the idea of travel as discovery: how do travel, exile, and other voyages across time and space allow readers to see the world in new ways? We will focus on seeing journeys as metaphors, connecting the discoveries of great writers of the past with those of the present day, and with our own discoveries living and learning in one of the world’s great cities.

English 161: Creative Writing. 
Prerequisite: Eligibility for English 100 or 105. UC: CSU: Area C2
Florence, a city rich in art, music, history, literature, architecture, and street life, will undoubtedly inspire creativity.  In this course, students will use creative writing, particularly short stories and poetry, to reflect deeply on their experiences as they encounter a new, unfamiliar culture. Much of the writing in the course will be in response to seeing new things, meeting new people, and rethinking our own stories and beliefs. Students in this course will complete at least two short stories and one poetry project . We will focus on sharing our work together, creating an enviroment of collaboration and support.

Florence Instructors

Mary Beth Hartshorn, Diablo Valley College Psychology Instructor

Mary Beth grew up in a small agricultural town in Northern California.  She attended a community college in Sacramento and then went 30 minutes away to earn her undergraduate degree at UC Davis.  She had never been in a major art museum or cathedral, ridden municipal transportation or read a city map.  After graduation, at the age of 22, she was ready for an adventure, so with a college friend and a backpack, she set off for a summer in Europe.  To date, she views that 10 week adventure as one of the greatest growth experiences of her life, from which she developed a lifelong love for art and culture.  Mary Beth is excited to be witness to the transformation of her students as they experience a new culture, stretch their boundaries in an unfamiliar environment and broaden their awareness while living in her favorite European city, Florence.  At the end of that summer she vowed to return to Florence and has three times since, most recently with her husband and son in 2010.

The first college course Mary Beth developed and taught was Careers in Fashion Merchandising at Ohlone College in Fremont over 30 years ago while she was working full time as a buyer for Macy’s San Francisco.  Through this experience, she discovered her love for teaching at the community college level.

Mary Beth’s teaching career began at Diablo Valley College in 1999 after returning to school to earn her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University.  Her graduate work and Master’s thesis focused on women’s issues with an emphasis on trauma and recovery, particularly in regards to violence against women.  More recently she has become involved with an organization that serves homeless and trafficked women in San Francisco. 

Although she has taught a variety of psychology courses, she most enjoys teaching classes that explore a single topic in depth such as the Psychology of Women, Social Psychology and Psychology of Personality.  Her teaching style is very interactive; her goal is to bring the course content alive by applying it to student’s lives through personal examples.

Mary Beth has an unbridled passion for the field of psychology and Italy and is anxious to share her passion with her students by finding teaching moments in everyday Italian life.  She views life, travel and culture as a psychological study and will use this semester abroad experience to facilitate student’s learning and personal growth.

 Patrice Gibson, Ph.D. American River College Anthropology Instructor: 

This is my 23rd year teaching at American River College. I received my BA, MA, and Ph.D. from UCLA. I taught in the London Study Abroad Program in 2008 and have lived in Florence for a summer many years ago.  I have traveled more recently to Florence and am looking forward to teaching in Florence where I can incorporate many unique opportunities in the study of anthropology and archaeology in this city. My area of specialty within anthropology is primate behavior. I travel extensively to see primates and other species in the wild. In addition to travel, I enjoy cooking, hiking, playing the piano, and writing poetry.

Daniel Keller, College of San Mateo English Instructor, 

Daniel Keller has been a Professor of English composition and literature at College of San Mateo since 2001. He began his higher education at City College of San Francisco, where his professors passed on a passion for literature and a devotion to community college students. He later earned his BA in English from the Ohio State University and an MA in English from San Francisco State University, in a program focusing on the teaching of writing. He has been involved in a number of innovative learning community programs at CSM, including Voices of a Stranger, which focuses on connecting literature to the contemporary experiences of people throughout the world. He is excited about sharing this belief—that writing comes alive when we connect it to the cultures and lives of the people who produce it—with students in the Florence program.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Paris F 14 Courses in Brief

Diablo Valley College - Faculty: Kristen Koblik
ARTHS 196 History of Medieval and Renaissance Art
ARTHS 197 History of Baroque to Early 20th Century Art
ARTHS 199 Contemporary Art History
SOCSC 163 French Life and Culture

College of San Mateo Faculty: David Danielson
PHIL 100 Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 244 Contemporary Social and Moral Issues
PHIL 300 Introduction to World Religions 

Sacramento City College Faculty: Jon Hanson
ENGLT 303 Introduction of the Short Story 
ENGLT 345 World Mythology 
ENGWR 302 Advanced Composition and Critical Thinking

Santa Rosa Junior College Faculty: Michael Traina