It’s always a pleasure, a treat and an honor to travel abroad with a group of LIM College students and faculty as part of our annual Cross-Cultural Analysis trip. I relish the opportunity to get to know the students who go on this trip on a more intimate, and casual, basis. The chance to develop and deepen my relationships with students (and faculty) doesn’t always present itself as often as I’d like it to while we are all so busy on campus during the academic year.
The last time I was able to take the Cross-Cultural Analysis trip was back in January 2008, so this journey to Italy was long overdue. Our itinerary took us to Milan, Lake Como, Florence, Siena and Rome. The field trips that were part of each city visit were a real highlight. La Rinascente, the department store in Milan, was mind-boggling. There is no store in the States quite like it. Siena was a favorite of pretty much everyone in our group, and our day in Lake Como was also extremely enjoyable. Lake Como is such quaint town and the students all wished they had more time there to wander around and explore.
Although Florence was my personal favorite, our time in Rome was incredible – from visiting the Forum and the Coliseum in the pouring rain, to our stop in Vatican City….what can you possibly say when you are standing where Caesar sat and Nero walked?
Traveling to another country and experiencing another culture together was definitely a bonding experience. It was wonderful to witness the students’ reactions at each stop, especially if this was their first trip abroad or their first time in Italy. From the many historic sites we explored, to the retail and department stores and showrooms we visited, to the delicious food and fascinating Italian people we encountered along the way -- the students’ eyes and hearts were wide open to all of it -- and I was just grateful for the opportunity to be able to share in this incredible adventure.