Trip Marks First Time College Sending Students Abroad for Course Enrollment That Will Yield University Credits

PHOTO: SUNY Orange students headed to Urbino, ItalyMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – Later this summer, eight SUNY Orange students will participate in the College’s first-ever international study experience, allowing them to earn university credits when they spend nearly one month studying Italian language and culture at the University of Urbino in Urbino, Italy.

The coursework in Urbino, which brings together students from nearly 30 different countries who encompass all academic disciplines, will feature intensive Italian language classroom gatherings in the mornings along with afternoon conferences designed to immerse the students in the Italian culture, history and arts. The students will stay in dormitories at the University of Urbino.

The Urbino program is the latest in a series of initiatives undertaken by the College to strengthen its Global Studies curriculum and enhance its International Studies degree program.

The SUNY Orange contingent, which will include Global Studies professor Edgar Guttierez along with the eight students, will depart New York on July 25. Classes begin July 28 and conclude on Aug. 22. They will arrive back in New York on Aug. 24. The College’s Fall Semester begins Aug. 25.

SUNY Orange has long offered international trips, usually anywhere from 7 to 10 days long, to such destinations as Peru, Egypt, Ireland and Mexico. In conjunction with these trips, students are required to complete a one-credit Field Studies course, but any formal classroom study or preparation is done at SUNY Orange. Once “in country,” students participate in cultural events, tour museums or visit key “sights of interest” to learn more about the culture, architecture, art, language and history of that particular country or region. However, the Urbino trip marks the first time SUNY Orange students will be enrolled at an international university for the purposes of classroom study and intensive language instruction.

“This is really a groundbreaking trip,” Gutierrez said. “It is the first time we are able to offer international study for credit. From this program, our students will receive up to six university credits that can be transferred back to SUNY Orange and they will be immersed in the Italian culture for one entire month. We are hopeful we can continue this program by offering a trip to Spain next summer, and then alternate between Italy and Spain each year.”

“I think it’s great that a community college like SUNY Orange can send students to study in Italy and that we can earn credits for it,” said recent SUNY Orange graduate Christen Codi, who earned an associate’s degree in Liberal Arts (biology concentration) in May. She plans to transfer to a four-year college or university and indicated the experience from her trip to Italy will greatly broaden her overall academic background. “This is a great opportunity. We’ll live there for one month, study Italian and absorb their culture.”

Gutierrez and Codi will be joined by Pamela Canario-Lopez, Jennifer Corbett, Thomas Corbett, Erica Hanger, Gabriel Hernandez, Joanne Newallo-Christian and Michael Perez.

Urbino is a charming and ancient walled city perched high on a ridge between the Matauro and Foglia valleys, within sight of the Adriatic Sea on Italy’s eastern coast. It boasts a population of 15,000 while the University enrolls an additional 15,000 students who add to the city’s vibrancy.

Under the auspices of its Global Studies Department, SUNY Orange offers an associate in arts degree in international studies. The program includes a broad range of courses with international themes in the humanities and social sciences, and it requires students take classes in foreign languages, international relations, world history and international literature. Most graduates of SUNY Orange’s international studies program transfer to four-year colleges or universities prior to gaining employment in a vast array of professions, including language interpreter, international business, international law, government or diplomatic relations, import-export business, or high school teacher.

In March, the College officially opened the Gilman Center for International Education on its Middletown campus. During the 2007-08 academic year, SUNY Orange unveiled its debut “Global Initiative,” a yearlong focus on the art, history, culture, music and politics of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.

For more information on the College’s International Studies Department, or to learn more about the Urbino program, contact Paul Basinski, interim chair of Global Studies, at (845) 341-4828.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940