For MDC Students, History Lessons Came to Life in Rome and Athens Students who have the opportunity to experience another culture reap many benefits, which are compounded when coupled with intensive on-site instruction. MDC students recently had the chance to do just that in a travel course led by Taurie Gittings, who teaches in the Department of Communication, Arts & Philosophy at InterAmerican Campus. Gittings, herself an alumna of New World School of the Arts at MDC, created an itinerary that toured the ancient sites of Italy and Greece. Daily tours, supplemented by lectures and discussions, helped resurrect history. “It’s one thing to talk about an ancient site like the Forum,” said Gittings. “It is something else entirely to study the Pantheon while standing under its famous oculus. To be in the space, feel it and even touch it, is like having a textbook come to life.” Ancient ruins came to life for the MDC students in the study abroad program. The group spent five days in Rome and its nearby environs, then five days in and around Athens. The schedule was packed with visits to places like Pompeii, St. Peter’s Cathedral and the temples of the Acropolis, but students also had time to explore on their own, creating unique personal experiences of the sites and culture. Upon their return, they gave presentations sharing their thoughts on their travels, and as is often the case after a visit abroad, they had many reflections on their own culture as well after seeing the world through a different perspective. Professor Gittings holds traveling companion Venus McFlyTrap. In May, Gittings is leading another study-abroad class in Europe. This time the students will visit London and Paris in addition to the famous sights in Italy. Sasha Fierce helped introduce students to insightful history lessons to be gleaned from the Forum in Rome. “Students often begin this trip with preconceived notions of the places we visit,” Gittings said. “When students truly partake of a new society and have those ‘Aha!’ moments, they learn so many international lessons that you cannot translate in a lecture hall.”
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