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SHC Italy Center Back in Business Next Fall

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Tara Summers: Students enjoying their brief time in Italy before the pandemic struck
Students enjoying their brief time in Italy before the pandemic struck

 

After a full year of the Italy Center being closed, Spring Hill College will be offering the chance to attend Italy in the fall 2021 semester. 

The last time that Spring Hill students were sent over to Italy, they were forced to come back early after COVID-19 had shut the country down.

Jordan Byrne, the Assistant Director of the Italy Center, said, “We have been working all year on a reopening plan that includes safety and health protocols.” Byrne stated that all the students, faculty and staff will be required to follow local health guidelines.

Former Italy Center student Cecelia Dupepe said, “I haven’t done a lot of research into the COVID guidelines in Italy or what precautions the Italy Center is taking to send students over there, but the Italy Center has always done a fantastic job at making students feel safe and making even the most introverted of students find enjoyment around the country.” 

Byrne stated that the Italy Center is planning to host around 30 students in the fall, which is a little less than what they hosted pre-pandemic. “I have found that the interest to study abroad is still there, but students are deferring to future terms to ensure they can go and hope for more normalcy” said Byrne. Dupepe said, “We’re only in college for four years. The Italy Center offers for guided living in a foreign country for four months, which is an opportunity you wouldn’t get after college is over.” According to Reuters, the number of COVID related deaths and illnesses has slowly started to tread down. Italy’s daily tally of new infections has gone down from 12,694 from 15,370. 

Sophomore Samantha Merritt is among those students who are planning on attending Italy in the fall. “I love that Spring Hill offers this program. I think it is a wonderful opportunity for students to travel in a somewhat monitored environment and get comfortable with traveling if they are not already” said Merritt. When asked if she had any advice for future attendees, Dupepe said, “My main advice I give to everyone going abroad is to spend a lot of time in your host city, so with the Italy Center, spend a lot of time in Bologna.” 

If you are interested in attending Italy during the 2021-22 school year you can contact Jordan Byrne at jbyrne@shc.edu or go to www.shc.edu/italy. 

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