The Coast of Cefalù in Sicily.

This summer is the beginning of a new study abroad program where students will have the opportunity to travel to Syracuse Academy in Sicily, Italy, to learn the Italian language and culture. As of now, there are six students in the application process. 

This five-week program is open to all students who want to join. Stefano Parenti, the director of Study Abroad and the Exchange of Programs, said his reasons for choosing this location for the program was to go, “above and beyond with just the destination, for providing something more linked with the local heritage and last but not least, because there is a target of students that for different reasons they cannot attend a semester program.” 

Amanda Flora (‘21) is one of the six applicants. “I’m going to Sicily because I’ve always been interested in studying abroad and I thought this was a cool opportunity to see if I could handle being away from home for so long,” Flora said. She also wants to learn about her family background more.  

“We have chosen this not only for the partner, the environment, the culture and heritage but also because it’s an affordable program,” Parenti said. The cost of the program is approximately $2,000, depending on the exchange rate. This includes accommodation in a shared apartment in Ortigia, an authentic part of Sicily. Students must purchase their own flights, though Parenti said they can use the Study Abroad Office as a resource.

This summer, the program will take place from May 25 to June 30.  

“My expectations of the program are that I get a great education on not only the language but Italy itself; I want to learn more about their culture over there as well,” Flora said.  

While at Syracuse Academy, students will take a three-credit course in Italian Culture and Language. The course is very hands-on, allowing students the chance to go and take in their surroundings to help them better understand the Italian culture and language. The course is highly experiential, according to Parenti, and will involve making onsite experiences and interactions with the local community.  

Parenti encourages students to explore Sicily, because “[it] is unique because it’s an island… you can find a blend of different civilizations that went through the islands,” including the Greek, Roman, Normand, Spanish and Arabian. 

Students will also participate in field trips that will “really link with the local resources, community and problems as well,” Parenti said. During the weekends, there will be free time for personal traveling.  

Any students still interested in joining the program should contact the study abroad office immediately. Contact or Parenti at or stop by his office in Exeter Hall room 40. 

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