"What makes students really learn about the country and cultures of Italy are the site visits. We always had the best guide out there to show us the real fabric of the country. Museums, city tours, art galleries, and many other trips really made the study abroad experience go from great to unbelievable. I know these places and memories will stay with me forever, and I thank OUA for that."
zinny Simpson | Freedom & Fascism Course, Summer 2019
Summer 2021 Programs
Students from OU’s Gaylord College of Journalism were the first to arrive at OUA for summer 2021! The students and professors kicked off their course, Strategic Communication, Food Writing & Social Media on June 8th. But, even before their much-anticipated arrival, this group weathered the many storms that the pandemic and lockdown threw their way in the pre-departure phase!!!... courageously tolerating COVID-19 testing requirements for entry into Italy, putting up with ever-changing travel restrictions, and wearing masks through it all!!! Italy began to ease more of the restrictions and we have had a great summer 2021 with Gaylord students and the Journey to Italy students who arrived in July.
Throughout the month of June, the Gaylord College of Journalism summer program students have had the opportunity to learn more about Arezzo, the history behind this beautiful city, and how aspects of the culture have altered (or remained!) throughout time. This summer, one of their exciting opportunities is to work with "Fondazione Intour," a public-private venture that promotes the city of Arezzo as a tourist destination within Italy and abroad. This collaboration means that the students are able to experience Arezzo through a new perspective while gaining experience and familiarity in a collaborative and creative work environment.
Summer 2020 Master's Class
Last summer OU in Arezzo hosted its first Master of Arts and Global Affairs course on illicit trafficking. This online course was co-taught by OUA Director and Renaissance Art History professor Kirk Duclaux and Dr. Rebecca Cruise, Associate Dean of Student Services in the College of International Studies. Through interactive discussions and on-site digital media materials, the professors were able to use several sites in Italy as the virtual classroom for the course.
Gaylord & Intour
June 4, 2021
As the first group of students to return to OU in Arezzo since the Italian Study Center had to send students home at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the Gaylord College of Journalism summer program has a special place in our hearts.
We are delighted to be welcoming Dr. Adam Croom and Dr. Ray Claxton to Arezzo on June 8th along with 22 undergraduates who will be staying in the Rooney Family Center for a month of study, travel and cultural enrichment. 2021 marks this program’s fourth year at OU in Arezzo with the unique and highly successful educational experience “Gaylord 360: Storytelling Without Walls” which gives students the opportunity to create and implement storytelling in a holistic, real-world environment. This year’s edition will see students working with the “Fondazione Intour”, a public-private venture that promotes the city of Arezzo as a tourist destination within Italy and abroad. Working as a team, students will begin by observing and listening to the organization, hearing and discerning its needs and then thinking about how best to help it meet those needs. Every student will have the opportunity to work on every aspect of the Arezzo initiative from writing stories to producing an advertising campaign, social media, and public relations communication.
We look forward to telling you their story as they set to work with the staff of the Fondazione Intour and get their creative juices flowing. Look out for news of their final campaign presentation, due to take place on July 5th at the San Francesco Classroom Annex, here in the center of Arezzo.
Art & Artifice Visit Casa Vasari
July 30, 2019
Did you know the person who is referred to as the “first art historian” is from Arezzo? His name is Giorgio Vasari and he was a painter, an author, and he designed the famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence. It was not originally a museum. Vasari originally designed it to be the offices for the Medici Family banking enterprises. The Art and Artifice students visited his house today in Arezzo. Most of the paintings in the Vasari House were done by Vasari himself, and Professor Robert Bailey told the students during their visit that, “He painted the house with the intent of celebrating the role of the artist through biblical, mythological and numerous allegory themes.” Another interesting fact is that the garden is not street-level. Vasari was insistent on geometry, order, and organization. Proportion and order is what the Renaissance is about, so that is why there's a circular fountain and the bushes are cut the way they are in the garden.
Art & Artifice at biennale
July 28, 2019
Our Art and Artifice group had a lovely time here in the medieval beauty of Arezzo, but the Tuscan views weren’t the only Italian skyline that this program admired, because they also spent some time in the stunning city of Venice. Venice is placed in the Northeastern area of Italy, in the Veneto region. It is situated on a group of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by over 400 bridges. With its peculiar beauty, Venice attracts millions of visitors every year. An extremely important art event is happening now in Venice, the 58th edition of the International Art Exhibition called the “Biennale.” It’s an assembly of many different aspects of art, from visual arts, to music, sculptures, and paintings. Many students found it “overwhelming,” because of its incredible beauty and its different composition. It gave them an excellent grasp of what contemporary art looks like and how it reflects the modern world. We’re glad that students have such amazing possibilities to attend these kind of events that broaden their minds and their interests in their field of study. Thank you for spending July with us, #ouaart19! #ouasummer19
studying climate change
June 27, 2019
The Journey to Italy students participated in a mock United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change today as part of their final course presentation. Each of the 30 students of the group was a delegate for one of the countries that they have studied during the program. All in all, there were ten groups, each representing a different geographic region such as Northern Africa, Southern Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, the Middle East, Western Europe, Northern Europe and South America.
The students presented a climate policy option for each region and voted on the best three choices proposed. These final options were discussed and debated in five-minute speeches by all regions, followed by a combination of moderated and unmoderated debate. The session ended with a vote for the most convincing policy, won by the Delegation for Northern Europe.
This event was the culmination of the course on Climate Change, a topic that we are glad they are focusing on, given its current relevance. The event also encouraged students to hone their public speaking and debating skills, as well as demonstrating their capacity for team work, negotiation and decision making.
The students of today will be the ones who will make decisions for the future of our planet and, here at OUA, the future seems particularly bright🌍👏🏼 @ouabroad #ouinarezzo #ouasummer19 #ouajti19
Work in concert with the earth
July 23, 2019
Microbiology students had an interesting experience today visiting a local organic market for a cheese, olive oil, and honey tasting. One of their professors, Dr. Collamore, said there are Microbiology processes that occur to produce cheese, such as the action of microorganisms that give cheese its flavor and texture. Student Bonnie said that the local Pecorino cheese at different stages in its aging process was delicious! “It was so interesting to learn about the small-scale production of these local family farms. It’s wonderful to know that they work in concert with the earth and the seasons and the sheep that produce the milk for the cheese live natural and happy lives!” Bonnie goes on to say about the olive oil that, “I am sure it was the best I’ve ever had. I really had no idea it could be so complex. I loved how they explained the importance of biodiversity and the ecosystem of many different species that exist on her farm.” “Yes, the olive trees are important, but it’s the web of species’ interactions that includes many, many microbes that makes the high-quality oil possible.” Bonnie has understood the value of ‘quality over quantity’ in Arezzo and, “One can really taste the difference it makes.” #ouinarezzo
Hands on learning
July 18, 2019
#ouinarezzo Microbiology students are enjoying their stay in the lovely city of Arezzo, living the intense experience of being in a different country and learning about the culture. For this reason they visited a local hospital, known as the Tuscan Surgical Center, where they met the staff and discussed many topics with them regarding healthcare. They spoke about the differences between American and Italian healthcare systems, the costs of surgeries, and how ambulances work differently. We are very proud to give students this kind of experience, so they can see the different aspects of their field. These are wonderful events that will broaden a student’s learning experience and will make them aware of the differences that exist outside of their own reality. Studying abroad will really change your perspective!