New Study Abroad Model to Begin with 2020 Italy Trip

December 5, 2019 | By Clare Schmidt

JPCatholic is updating its study abroad trip experience to be part of a course for credit, starting with a two-week trip to Rome and Florence in March 2020.

Moving forward, each study abroad trip through JPCatholic will be a unique academic experience that starts with ten weeks of classroom instruction on campus in Escondido and culminates in a week or two of travel led by the professor. Destinations will normally be international but could be domestic, and each course will be specially designed to provide a unique cultural and educational experience to the student. The coursework will continue into the trip itself, and students will be able to explore cultural, historical, and religious sites both in organized tours and in their free time.

Students can expect for there to be at least one study abroad experience offered each year; the first of these will be a humanities course offered in Winter Quarter 2020, leading up to a two-week trip to Italy during spring break.

Prof. Max Hulburt, Chair of the Animation and Game Development programs, will be leading the trip and teaching the course, titled HUMA 360: Study Abroad: Rome and Florence. “The course leading up to it is to really prepare students to know what they’re going to see beforehand and introduce them to Church history, art history, and how those things are really connected,” he said. “That way, when we’re looking at pieces and churches, students understand the historical significance.” The curriculum will especially focus on the Renaissance and Counter-Reformation periods.

JPCatholic has been offering a Europe trip for many years, ranging from rigorous academic experiences to more casual trips without an academic component. The new model of study abroad will balance both of these by starting the academic component in advance, and still giving students ample time on the trip to visit historic and religious sites.

On the Rome and Florence trip, the class plans to visit landmarks such as St. Peter’s Basilica, The Sistine Chapel, the Uffizi, and the Accademia Gallery. “In both cities, I plan to give students time to explore and do their own thing,” said Hulburt.

Hulburt has pioneered the new study abroad model, and envisions JPCatholic offering even more destinations around the globe in the future. “This Rome and Florence trip is just the first of what I hope to be a broader offering of experiences,” he said. “My hope is that other professors will decide that this is something that they would like to do and [will] develop these unique experiences.”

Several ideas are being developed as possible study abroad opportunities, with the next one likely being a trip to Ireland led by President Derry Connolly and focused on international business.

For information about our study abroad experiences, click here.