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COMM to Italy – Castiglion Fiorentino

The Department of Communication offers a program hosted by the Italart Cultural Association in the Santa Chiara Study Center located in the Tuscan hill town of Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy, just an hour by train to Florence. Housed in a renovated 17th century convent, the semester-long programs provide students with an opportunity to live and study abroad while taking communication courses taught by A&M faculty and taking weekly trips to explore cities such as Rome, Florence, Siena, and Venice. The Santa Chiara Study Center includes a student dormitory, dining, and study space, and its location in Castiglion Fiorentino offers a typical Italian small-town environment encouraging exploration and social interaction.

The program allows students to take 4 communication courses taught by two to four different A&M Communication Department faculty. Courses will be taught one at a time in three or six week intensive sessions. Students will also be able to take art classes with local artists to learn the basics of such arts as stone carving or copper plate printing. Every Wednesday, the center will arrange day trips to surrounding towns to explore the rich Italian culture. The weekends and Spring Break will also allow students to travel on their own.

About the Center

The original idea for the development of the study experience in Italy, an idea that remains the basic focus today, was to offer students a cross-cultural experience that would enhance their historical consciousness and cultural awareness. Santa Chiara is not a hotel but an environment that brings together the sharing of ideas and experiences. You will have an opportunity to meet students from other departments and universities participating at the Center.  The program is in its 28th year of operation and has provided a unique study abroad experience to over 9,200 students. The Center is directed by an American team with a lengthy experience of the Italian environment. Sharon Jones and Garnette Gott who collaborated closely with the late Professor Paolo Barucchieri ( founder of the program) will be welcoming you to Castiglion Fiorentino and the Santa Chiara experience.

COMM to Italy Spring 2022

2022  COMM Course Offerings:

COMM 335 “Intercultural Communication” (Wallis)

COMM 434 “Rome, Rhetoric, & Ideal Citizen” (Poirot)

COMM 323  “Strategic Communication” (Parish)

COMM 480 “Religious Communication” (Parish)

Faculty Trip Leaders:
Dr. Nancy Parish
Dr. Cara Wallis
Dr. Kristan Poirot

For more information

Contact Prof. Nancy Street, Director of Undergraduate Studies in Communication, or Dr. Cara Wallis, Chair of the Internationalization Committee for Communication, or the Study Abroad Office. Also check out the department webpage about Study Abroad.

Castiglion Fiorentino is a small, walled city in eastern Tuscany, Italy, in the province of Arezzo, between the cities of Arezzo and Cortona. It is well known for its annual festivals and Etruscan archeological site.The tower of the ancient castle (Torre del Cassero) dominates the town. This charismatic town has much to offer any visitor including its beautiful medieval walls, beautiful churches, art treasures and numerous Renaissance structures. Castiglion Fiorentino also has many festivals throughout the year including the famous “Palio dei Rioni”, a horse race in Piazza Garibaldi, the largest square of the town, held on the 3rd Sunday of June, similar to the Palio of Siena. It includes a colourful and energetic display of the ancient custom of flag-waving – dating back to the 13th century. A splendid loggia by Vasari looks out onto the beautiful Valle di Chio.