SBCC students to spend spring in Paris, Florence, Rome

Lorenzo Lepori, Staff Writer

Asked to describe her study abroad experience in Rome last spring, former City College student Jennifer Meress chose the word “unforgettable.”

This semester, the City College study abroad department gives the opportunity for students to participate in a potential life-changing  program that will take place in the cities of Florence, Rome and Paris from Jan. 26, through April 26, 2014.

“It’s a chance to live outside of the culture that we’re so used to,” said Meress, a current UCSB communications major. “It’s a growing experience. I certainly grew a lot when I was there.”

Focusing in art, the program offers four classes including “Renaissance and Baroque Art,” “Early 20th Century Art,” “Intercultural Communication” and “Marketing Communications” for a total of 12 units.

“All courses are taught in English,” said Carola Smith, senior director of the international programs. “All the classes, except for the Marketing 203, are both UC and CSU transferable; Marketing 203 is only CSU transferable.”

Provided by ACCENT, City College’s study abroad service provider, the program is open to any students who is 18 or older by the day of departure. They must have completed 12 or more college units with a GPA of at least 2.5.

Applicants do not have to be currently enrolled at City College but must enroll by Spring 2014. No specific foreign language skills are required for the trip.

“The reason why there is no language requirement is that the program will be based in two different countries,” said Smith. “We feel that it’s not really possible to learn a language within the matter of a month.

“Normally we always have a language component if the program is stationary in one country.”

The trip will cost $8,370 for housing, field trips, ACCENT center usage, a study area, 24-hour emergency contact and transit passes in all three cities. In addition, applicants are responsible for their own airfare, registration fees, medical insurance and a $200 refundable security deposit.

“I would say that realistically the entire program costs, including food, living expenses, books, and insurance, is probably going to be $13,000 to $14,000,” said Smith. “And we recommend students $1,500 per month just for spending money.”

Students will spend four weeks in Florence, followed by five weeks in Rome, and applicants will spend the three remaining weeks in Paris, home of the Louvre Museum of Art.

“Academically it makes a lot of sense,” Smith said about the three locations chosen for this art-focused program. “Italy is a very popular destination. It is always one of our most popular programs.”

Students are encouraged to apply as soon as possible because spots are limited. The application forms are available for pick up at the Study Abroad Office, as well as online.

For students interested, the application deadline is October 29, 2013. The first payment of $200 is required along with the application.