OU in Arezzo Academic Overview
BY Kirk Duclaux,
Director of Italian Programs in Italy
June 7, 2021
What does it mean to take a class at the OU in Arezzo, Italy campus? How is the academic experience unique?
The obvious answer is, all courses taught in Arezzo are OU credit-bearing courses. The classes you take in Arezzo, if they apply to your major, such as the College of Engineering’s STEM semester in the fall, won’t cause a delay in graduation, and if you were clever enough as a freshman or sophomore not to take all your upper-division gen eds, OU in Arezzo offers some unique courses that will work for you.
This may be an important part of the answer, but it is not the complete answer of how the academic experience in Arezzo is unique!
Classes in Arezzo are strong on faculty-student interaction. Small class sizes and direct access to faculty is the norm. Courses are taught with a global perspective and whenever possible incorporate site visits and credit-bearing internships. As a result, students thrive academically and if they opt for one of our numerous internships, they obtain a professional experience that bodes well for future employment. Taking Organic Chemistry or Statistics means the courses bear OU credits but importantly for a study abroad experience, they are geared towards understanding a modern world and what it means to be globally engaged. Organic Chemistry is not just learning about ‘the structure, properties and reactions of organic compounds, which contain carbon in covalent bonding’. It becomes a chemist’s window into a world of why wine is tasty, cheese is moldy, and espresso gives you that zing! Eat your heart out Wikipedia!
OU in Arezzo’s Italian Renaissance Art History course is another example of why taking a class in Arezzo is unique. Have you ever heard of Michelangelo’s sculpture of David? Of course, you have. However, standing in front of the David, seeing it all its unabashed glory, is like hopping into a time machine. David is a masterpiece because it transcends time and space, as well as the fickle whims of art historians. Understanding that great works of art are a manifestation of the culture in which they are created empowers students to see art in new ways - there is no Picasso without Michelangelo!
So, what’s it like to take a class in Arezzo? The experience is unique. It’s like taking a class and learning as much about a foreign culture as the material itself!