Study Abroad Program Travels to Italy

Amy Hirsch

This summer, the GCC study abroad program is offering trips to both Italy and Japan.

For the trip in Italy, students will be staying in Rome and Florence while studying Italian history and culture taught by Glendale faculty. Guided tours will supplement ample opportunities for participants to experience life in Italy firsthand.

The program begins on campus June 15 to 22, prior to departure for Rome from Los Angeles International Airport on June 23, returning July 19. Included in the price of $4,999 is airfare, travel within Italy, accommodations in a hostel, apartment, or three-star hotel with daily breakfast; welcome and farewell dinners; and basic insurance.

Kim Foong Chong, director of the study abroad program, said, “We believe it is important to create students not just of America – but students of the world – global learners. That is why we think this program is very important to GCC, because we do send students into the world and [they] do learn a lot about the rest of the world… and also they come back knowing a little bit more about themselves and about their own culture. That is something very important for students – to get beyond themselves.”

The courses taught in Italy don’t require any prerequisites and will include “Italian 048,” Italian international field studies, and “History 101,” history of Western Europe. Both are worth three units.

The instructional faculty from GCC include experts in numerous areas relating to Italian culture and history.

Flavio Frontini is a native of Italy and has been teaching Italian language and culture classes on campus since 2000. He has participated in previous study abroad trips to Italy, in 2005 and 2007, and will be sharing his interests in music, cuisine and art while adding to participants’ knowledge in Italian language and culture.

Hazel Ramos will be teaching the history course in Italy. She has previously participated in the 2007 Italy trip as a student.

According to Ramos she will be emphasizing study of history for the period covering “Ancient Rome, early christianity, late antiquity, the Middle Ages, through the Renaissance” with particular attention to cultural, artistic, religious and architectural features of the palaces, museums, churches and ancient sites to be visited.

Participants will start their course of study in Rome. Included in the program will be a bus tour with visits to Ostia Antica (harbor of ancient Rome) and Tivoli (a Roman resort city) including tours of Hadrian’s Villa and the Renaissance Villa D’Este Palace.

After leaving Rome, the group will proceed to Florence and tour the Medici Chapel, the Duomo and Santa Croce Basilica. Additional day trips will include walking tours of Assisi and Ravenna, both important in Roman and Renaissance history.

“Trips are unchaperoned,” said Foong Chong, “the instructors and director are there to make sure that students have the right accommodations, make sure logistics and learning are taken care of – it is up to the students to take care of themselves. we make sure that students are participating in the learning and study part of the program.”
There are currently 18 students registered for the Italy trip. The minimum number of students required to enroll, 18, has already been met.

According to Foong Chong, there isn’t an official deadline to register.

“There is none as it is determined by flight availability,” said Foong Chong, “If students are interested, they need to contact me as soon as possible.”

Previous GCC study abroad program trips have included Australia/New Zealand, Fiji, Bali, Tahiti, Argentina, Greece, England, France and Czech Republic, as well as Italy.

This summer, another study abroad program will be traveling to Japan, emphasizing study of Japanese language with a prerequisite of prior knowledge of basic Japanese.

The group will arrive at Kyoto, Japan on June 20, where they will study for five weeks at Kyoto Gakuen University.

Three course will be offered: Japanese 102, Japanese 103 and Japanese 048.
Japanese 102 will be taught by GCC professor Shihoko Tatsugawa, while Japanese 103 will be taught by a local Japanese professor from KGU.

The price is approximately $3,000, including airfare, accommodation, transfers and passes for public transportation. The price excludes college fees, meals, taxes and travel insurance.

Currently, 37 students are enrolled in the trip to Japan.

“There is no deadline,” said Foong Chong, “but when we reach 40 students, we will close enrollment to the program.”
Next year programs are being considered for Bali, possibly South America, and again Japan.

Those interested may find further information and application at

Chong’s office is located at AD145-C. He may be reached at [email protected] or by calling (818) 240-1000 ext. 5718.