Umbra

Lourdes University students have the opportunity to take 6 transferable credits at Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy during 5 weeks in Summer 2018 from May 25 – June 22, 2018.

The program:

  • Fulfills Lourdes University Enduring Question requirement and a general education course requirement
  • Tuition fees include housing
  • A Lourdes University faculty member will accompany the group
  • Includes mini-pilgrimage to Assisi
  • Opportunity to visit Florence and other Italian towns
  • Planned social and cultural activities
  • Small class sizes-taught in English
  • Meet students from both Italy and all regions of the United States
  • Students may qualify for financial aid

An Italian study abroad experience

During the 2017 summer semester, Joyce Litten, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Social Work, taught SWK 399: What is Social Justice and the Common Good? at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy. Enrolled in the class were 10 Lourdes students and several peers from other US Franciscan universities.

During the five-week enduring question course, Dr. Litten and the students examined individual and collective social responsibility in the creation of just systems of service. Drawing on differing disciplines and perspectives, the course explored the notion of the common good with a principal focus on whether and how commitment to the common good is compatible with respect for cultural and religious differences with justice in social life.

As part of the study abroad experience, students also chose a second course in either history, food and wine, Italian language, fine art or anthropology. Designed to educate American students, the available courses were taught in English.

A student perspective

Senior nursing major Madison Wichman enrolled in the Writing in Italian Food course. “Our class ate lunch at a different restaurant for each session. We also toured a vineyard and rode horses on the property,” she says.

Living in apartments scattered throughout Perugia, the 300+ Franciscan university students enjoyed simple pleasures such as meeting people, riding local transportation and shopping for food. As part of their SWK 399 course, they also spent a day in Assisi to learn more about the life and mission and Sts. Francis and Clare.

“Having never traveled abroad, this semester was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and better than I ever could have imagined. The city was so relaxing. All of us (Lourdes students) really bonded and became close,” adds Ms. Wichman.

The adventurous group even designed their own weekend trips. Each Friday, they would head to a different town, spend the weekend and immerse themselves in the culture and activities. Ms. Wichman’s favorite jaunt was Cinque Terre, a national park located on the coast. “We checked into our apartments and then began exploring the quaint seaside villages. We even rented boats and were able to and experienced Italy from the sea!”

Summer 2018

The academic partnership with Umbra Institute was forged by Dr. Litten and Jean Kujawa, MBA, Associate Professor of Business and Leadership. The SWK 399 course is offered again in summer 2018 along with a second course that Dr. Litten is developing with a colleague in Perugia – Community Engagement and Sustainability.

Those interested in enrolling in this Italian summer abroad experience can contact Dr. Litten at 419-824-3708 or jlitten@lourdes.edu or the Lourdes Admissions office at 419-885-5291 or luadmits@lourdes.edu.

 

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