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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Italy study abroad trip teaches cuisine culture and gastronomy

Courtesy art

Study abroad will host its first culinary program to Rome, Italy to learn about Italian cuisine after 43 years of sending students to nearly 20 countries.

Every summer City College provides opportunities for students to travel to different parts of the world and learn through excursions, both in and out of the classroom.

This study abroad program will focus on Italian cuisine culture and gastronomy.

The program begins on June 28 and ends on July 29, giving students an entire month to get a taste of ‘la dolce vita,’ which translates to ‘the sweet life’ in Italian. Students do not have to be culinary arts majors to enroll and there is no language requirement.

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Senior program assistant Nicole Walther said this program is a perfect opportunity for people who wish to learn about Rome and Italian cuisine.

“If you love food, especially Italian food, this is a unique way of learning about gastronomy in this amazing and ancient food mecca,” Walther said.

When in Rome, students will attend a cooking class and learn about food in its entirety by participating in activities such as tortellini demonstrations and tastings, Parmigiano-Reggiano demonstrations, a cheese production tour and tasting, pastificio or pasta-making demonstrations, cooking classes and wine tastings if you are 21 or older.

“Participants of this program will live and eat like Italians,” Walther said.

Participants can also enjoy daytrips to local markets, historical monuments and food tours that provide visual and sensory experiences unlike a regular classroom. Many activities are pre-planned in this program, some optional and some mandatory, thus giving students the freedom to also explore away from the itinerary.

“Students can immerse themselves in the culture being surrounded by the Italian language, the delicious scents and flavors of Italy and the medium that connects all people, which is food,” Walther added.

The cost for this program is $3,300 and does not include airfare or a non-refundable deposit of $250. This does, however, include student housing consisting of double/triple occupancy rooms in shared apartments placed in the beautiful cobblestone streets of Rome.

Staff member Tara Stoker said that one of the main problems students face with Study Abroad Programs is the cost and that most students don’t know there is financial aid available for students that qualify.

There are also scholarships available like the Benjamin Gilman Scholarship and the City College Study Abroad Scholarship.

“It’s important that they know there are options available,” Stoker said. “We want students to be able to apply without worrying about how they are going to afford it.”

The deadline to sign up for the program is April 14, and the deadline to sign up for scholarships varies between March and May. There are still many spots available, as students have just begun to sign up.

Chef Randy Bublitz, department chair of the School of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management Program, will host the study abroad program. According to the website, Bublitz has traveled extensively throughout several European countries and is looking forward to taking students on another learning adventure in Italy. He has an entire itinerary planned filled with many activities that can also be found on the website.

According to the newsletter, by combining food, culture, travel and academics, this program allows students to enjoy everything Rome has to offer while also making it, “a unique and life-changing experience.”

Many students have returned with a different outlook in life, as well as new culinary and language skills, the newsletter added.

Walther said this trip not only looks great on a resume but also a college application, making it beneficial in many aspects of a student’s life.

“Participants will go through a culinary journey they will talk about for years and probably make them wish they could stay longer or return,” said Carola Smith, director of international education.

Clarification: Feb. 21, 2017

A previous version of this story stated that Chef Bublitz is an associate professor of the School of Culinary Arts and Hotel Management program. Chef Bublitz is the department chair.

Correction: March 1, 2017

This story includes corrections to a previous version.

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