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Students study in Italy over the summer with College program

Sally Kershner
Features Editor

This past summer, students from The College of Wooster traveled all the way to Europe to experience the Wooster Summer In Tuscany (WSIT) program. This program offers two history credits for students. Living in Italy for a month, students studied the medieval history of Europe, specifically Tuscany, earning half of a semester’s worth of history credits.

While studying these topics, students were able to travel and visit historical sites, memorials and relics of medieval history. This trip provided students with direct access to what they were learning while exposing them to the culture and customs of Europe and Italy. Activities included visiting famous churches, seeing gothic architecture up close and even visiting Rome and Florence for quick day trips.

Most of the students studying abroad were history majors, but many were STEM majors as well. The program is a unique opportunity for students who cannot sacrifice the time to study abroad for an entire semester, who need the extra credits to fulfill a major or minor or who wish to see as much history and art as possible in Europe while with the College.

Dr. Madonna Hettinger of the history department guided the students through the art of Florence, the brick paths leading up to iconic churches and among the tastes and customs unique to Italy. An expert in the field and culture herself, Hettinger aided students who experienced culture shock or who were on their first extended study abroad.

“[The WSIT program] allows everyone access to travel abroad. The school is very accommodating and shows initiative to be as inclusive as possible. I learned how to order a cappuccino in Italian and really opened myself up to new experiences,” said Elyse Echegaray ’20. Because Echegaray earned two history credits from this trip, she is ahead of schedule in her major requirements even though she is only a sophomore.

“I got half a semester’s worth of history credits and the experience of a lifetime! Really consider if you can handle being abroad before going. Be open to new experiences (don’t be a picky eater). Have fun and be ready to learn!” said Echegaray.

The WSIT offers many opportunities for students who are interested in studying abroad but cannot commit to a full semester commitment. The College provides these summer study abroad opportunities so that as many students as possible are able to experience the unique memories and lessons of study abroad. To learn more about these summer experiences, email Dr. Hettinger at and stay updated with A.P.E.X. announcements regarding next summer’s trip to come soon.

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