Anna Destino Review of Athena Study Abroad in Tuscania, Italy

Academics: 6
Support: 10
Fun: 10
Housing: 10
Safety: 10

In the summer of 2017, I had the privilege of traveling to Tuscania, Italy for a month with Athena Study Abroad. I studied Wine and Culture where my professor Claudio Sarti, a wine sommelier, taught how various wines are made, differences between certain grapes, wine regionalism, and how to properly taste wine. I was even able to bring my new wine skills back to my home where I taught my immediate and extended family about Italian wine and tasting techniques. In addition, I was able to learn so much about the importance of getting to know another culture as well as stepping outside of your comfort zone. This is an important experience for all able students to undergo; because you learn how to communicate in alternative means if you do not speak the native language, build lifelong friendships, learn about the interconnectedness of the globe, learn about the history of a new culture through tourism, and experience a new culture through education. Not only are you fully emerged into Italian culture, but studying abroad provides for learning about the methods and teachings of international universities. Tuscania is such a unique program because it is located in a small town tucked in the Italian countryside. This experience is like no other because you form bonds with locals you may see every day at the town center. Furthermore, the staff at Lorenzo de' Medici are phenomenal. Every Friday the staff took us on an adventure around the region. We toured a winery, visited a park full of stone carvings, went to a cherry festival, and walked around an old town. The experience I had was incredible because I truly was immersed in Italian culture where most townspeople did not know English, therefore I was forced to communicate with a lot of hand gestures. Unlike studying in Rome or Florence where most people speak English, I was fully integrated into Italian culture. Because Tuscania is an hour from Rome and three hours from Florence, I had the opportunity to travel to both cities for fun weekend trips with the friends I made through the program. I now have a broader understanding of the interconnectedness of the world and how important it is to get to know a different culture especially because the world is becoming so much smaller through social media.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed