This past May, 17 JSU students got to have the educational experience of a lifetime.
The students spent three weeks in Italy, studying Rome in political, cultural, and religious history for HY 399: History Study Abroad. The 2013 May term class was worth three credit hours.
The trip was open to all JSU students, but only a limited number of spots were available.
An interest meeting was held in September, where a raffle was drawn to determine which students could go.
One of those students was Allie Mosley.
“I’d highly advise anyone considering an opportunity like this to jump on it,” Mosley said. “These have easily been three of the best weeks of my life.”
During the trip, students were able to visit the Coliseum, the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon, and even the city of Venice.
“Some of the best memories I’ve made here were just wandering around at night and stumbling upon churches or statues or gardens, or even just meeting all of my classmates here and making a near-nightly ritual of hanging out in the courtyard,” said Mosely.
The class featured a blend of guided tours with professors, as well as free time for students to explore on their own. According to Leinin Schuerr, another student who went on the trip, “Not only was the city amazing, being there with the professors that know so much about the culture was so much more enlightening and made you think about the history in a deeper and more thoughtful way.”
Spending three weeks in Italy allowed the students to immerse themselves in the culture of the country.
“It’s really different from being back home in a lot of really nice ways. Things are so laid back,” said Mosely. “Most of the stores and restaurants here close for a couple of hours in the middle of the day for ‘reposo’, a time to eat and take a nap. There’s hardly any in and out, and they bring our meals to use by courses. Most of our meals take two or so hours, easily.”
Dr. Donald Prudlo, history professor at JSU, says that this is the third time the university has offered this class, and that the class size has grown increasingly larger each time. “The first time, we have five [students], the second we had 15, and now we have 17,” Prudlo said. “We hope to offer the class every other May term.”
Schuerr adds, “If I had the opportunity, I would hop on a plane right now and go back! I would just tell the students that are going in the future to not take it for granted. If you go, it truly is life-changing. Also, don’t be hesitant about going; just get ready to have the time of your life!”