My first week in Italy with Hofstra’s SCOinRome program, a four-week study abroad program featuring class time and touring time, has been both wonderful and exhausting. SCOinRome is designed to enhance the participating students’ learning and life experiences, and I can honestly say it’s done both for me already.
We met with representatives of Shoot4Change, a nonprofit organization based in Rome dedicated to creating social awareness and action through the power of the image, first in our classroom and later at its headquarters in an old warehouse. This wonderful group of photographers and videographers are truly dedicated to their cause, but recognize they need help to promote and represent their mission more effectively. Our students will work with S4C to improve its web site, enhance its social media activity, improve the Italian-to-English translation for three short documentary videos, and also create new video content for its various platforms and media outlets. Next week we’ll head to L’Aquila, an earthquake-ravaged city in which students will find ways to tell the stories of how residents are managing after six years of ineffective government assistance.
If I thought all of this was exciting, getting to know Rome with its ancient history and rich religious culture has been fascinating. So far, I’ve only had five days there but I’ve already figured out how to get around the city, and I’ve learned much about the history of its ancient ruins plus where to get the best sandwich on the planet.
But there was more: This weekend was filled with new discoveries for me, visiting places I never had on my bucket list but places to where I’d like to return. Being in the city of Sorrento and its active nightlife has been a revelation. Positano is positively the most visually stunning city I’ve ever seen. And the island of Capri was — if I may be corny for a moment — absolutely magical.
There’s much more to see and to do, and we’ve got less than three weeks left to do it. It seems every coming day will bring more stunning revelations and experiences. Your thoughts?