Who Wants to Make a “Bella Figura?”: ACCENT Florence’s Italian Culture Trivia Game!

Today’s blog will focus on an activity at  the ACCENT Florence Study Center that helped ring in the new year. A huge success among students, and a great starting point to their time abroad, each semester, the ACCENT Florence staff host an Italian culture trivia game, designed to teach students about cultural differences in a fun, interactive, and competitive way.

What is the most effective way to learn about Italian culture, food, and lifestyle? We have often asked ourselves this very question. In the end, we decided that there is no more effective way of getting to know something than by having fun with it. Continue reading

Testaccio: Then and Now

Rome’s Testaccio Neighborhood is known for its fascinating history and expansive marketplace. ACCENT Rome’s Alice Mangia takes us through the origins of this vibrant neighborhood over the centuries, from its use as a harbor in Ancient Rome to its status now as a destination for exquisite food and community congregation.

In Rome, you can find history around every corner. In some places, it’s ubiquitous: the city is famous for bearing the evidence of its great past. New versus old mix in different architectural styles and narratives and eras overlap, creating the Rome of today. Just think of the Colosseum, the Forum, Trajan’s Markets, or Ara Pacis! Continue reading

An Excerpt from Insights: Elbow-to-Elbow with Industry Leaders at MediaCityUK

The Insights newsletter highlights innovative programs with ACCENT. Today’s excerpt comes from our January 2018 edition. For more Insights, visit our newsletter at: https://accentintl.com/insightsjanuary2018/

In early October, students from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism spent four days in Manchester and MediaCityUK in nearby Salford as part of a practicum course designed to introduce communications and media industries in the UK. The custom course provides close contact with industry professionals, ideally timed as the third-year students prepare for graduation and their first job search. Continue reading

Announcing the Winners of the Spring 2018 ACCENT Community College Scholarship!

Beginning with its first community college partnerships in 1991, ACCENT has continued to offer affordable short-term and semester-length custom study abroad programs designed to meet the unique academic needs of the community college population. Through these efforts, ACCENT has enabled over 8,000 students from over 25 U.S. community colleges to study abroad over the past 25 years.

ACCENT is proud to announce the recipients of our Spring 2018 ACCENT Community College Scholarship! Tatum Kula and Juan Valeriano both received scholarship awards to support their study abroad experience in Rome with Santa Barbara City College and ACCENT. Meet our Spring 2018 recipients! Continue reading

ACCENT Paris: Teaching to Learn

For her final semester of college in Spring 2017, USC student Aina Abell studied in Paris with ACCENT. After having lived in Paris for three months, Aina was inspired to continue her education in French language and culture. She signed up for the Teaching Assistant Program in France and continued her studies as an English instructor. For this week’s post, Aina talks about how being a teacher is just as much a learning experience as being a student.

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Four Days in Galicia: History, Culture, and Beauty

This week’s post comes from William Tsai and Morgan Yee, two students from the University of California Education Abroad Program in Madrid. William and Morgan describe the breathtaking beaches, delectable seafood, awe-inspiring architecture, and the rich cultural traditions of Galicia, an autonomous region in northwestern Spain.

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An Excerpt from Insights – Constructing the Other: Migration in Italian Media

The Insights newsletter highlights innovative programs with ACCENT. Today’s excerpt comes from our May 2017 edition. For more Insights, visit our newsletter at: http://accentintl.com/insightsmay2017/

Students in the inaugural Rome semester for the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism recently joined professor Lorenzo Rinelli for an on-site class in the Esquilino neighborhood, or as Rinelli described, “the only truly trans-ethnic place you will find in Rome.”

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ASU in Florence: Exploring Science Through the Arts

This week’s post focuses on a group of Arizona State University students studying literature and medicine in Florence. When asked about their favorite study abroad moments, the students and faculty gave some truly wonderful responses. We are more than happy to share them below, and wish the students the best of luck as they get settled in back home! Continue reading

California Baptist University Architecture Students Explore Florence

This week’s post features architecture students from California Baptist University as they explore a variety of architectural sites throughout Italy.

This Spring, students from California Baptist University are studying architecture in Florence and Rome. For the Florence portion of the program, they started off with a visit to the Certosa, a monastery located on the summit of Monte Acuto – also called “Holy Mountain”- a cone-shaped hill situated near the village of Galluzzo, a town south of Florence. Continue reading

Studying at a Spanish University

ACCENT works with local institutions to offer several direct enrollment programs, where students at our partner universities have the opportunity to attend classes at Spanish universities. Direct enrollment programs allow students to experience a foreign educational system first-hand. The transition is a challenging and rewarding process. At ACCENT Madrid, direct enrollment students benefit from the support and expertise of our Academic Liason/Programs Coordinator Raquel del Pozo, who assists with course selection, registration, academic advising, and helps students adjust to a different system. This week, we’ve asked Raquel to answer some of the most common questions asked by incoming students about academic and student life at universities in Spain.

ACCENT Blog Post 17 Photo Continue reading

Global Edge: Theater in London

Our first post this year comes from Rona Wang, a first-year student who studied in London for her fall semester with UC Berkeley’s Global Edge program. One of the courses Global Edge participants take is called London: Theatre Capital, taught by Professor Alan Read from King’s College London. In her post, Rona analyzes one of the plays the class attended and describes how studying theater in London has been a truly eye-opening experience.370744_770_preview

UC Berkeley Global Edge courses are designed to let us take university breadth requirements while also learning more about the city we are studying in. One of our London-based courses is called “London: Theatre Capital,” in which we attend a performance every other week, alternating with site visits to places like the Tate Modern to explore what “performance” really means. Continue reading

ACCENT Rome: Students Visit an Exhibition at Palazzo Braschi

Today’s post comes from our ACCENT Rome Study Center, where Assistant Programs Coordinator Alice Mangia describes a fascinating exhibition featuring one of the most complex and influential painters in Baroque Italian Art: Artemisia Gentileschi.

University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) students, faculty, and ACCENT staff recently had the opportunity to visit an exhibition of artist Artemisia Gentileschi’s work with an exceptional guide: UCEAP Professor Cristiana Filippini.  Filippini earned her BA in Art History at the University of Florence and both her img_20161206_174017290MA and PhD at Johns Hopkins University, where her research focused on the 11th century frescoes of  the San Clemente Basilica in Rome. She has since extensively researched Artemisia Gentileschi’s contributions to Baroque art, developing a semester-long course for UCEAP: Women & Art: Women as Artists, Patrons, & Subjects in the Art of Rome.

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Faculty Feature: UCEAP Students in Madrid Interview LGBTQ Activist Mario Blázquez

This week’s post comes from local faculty Jon Snyder, who accompanied University of California students on a visit to COGAM, an NGO that advises and advocates for LGBTQ+ communities in Spain. The students learned not only how nonprofit organizations are structured and funded, but also specific ways COGAM works to better the lives of Spanish citizens and spread awareness across the world.

This week, University of California students on the “Negotiating Identities: Gender and Sexuality in Urban Space” program had a productive exchange with Mario Blázquez, an experienced activist and coordinator from COGAM (Colectivo de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales de Madrid). img_20161115_130500Some 50 students interviewed Mario about his volunteer work coordinating health initiatives for the LGBTQ community, one of the organization’s main lines of action along with education and social work initiatives. Mario kindly greeted us at the COGAM headquarters in downtown Madrid before making his appearance before parliament deputies at the Madrid Assembly that afternoon. Continue reading

Educational Exploration: Guided Walks in London

This week’s post comes to us from our London intern Plamen Momchilov, who describes how visiting a city and learning from a professional guide can be a more engaging learning experience than simply sitting in a classroom.

It has been said that, without a doubt, London is a historically rich city, filled with centuries-old buildings and curious stories to hear. From Roman walls, through Medieval palaces, to Victorian splendor, there is a 2,000-year history to explore within the center of the capital.

Typically, the way that we study a subject (such as the history of London) at a university would be through a series of lectures and seminars. But being physically in London provides a plethora of opportunities to explore endless amounts of interesting sites. It is even easier if you have a knowledgeable guide to teach you about a topic you are interested in while being surrounded by the living history of this city.

In the last month while I attended guided walks, I soon realized that there was more to explore than I had thought. Though I study and live in the area, I felt as excited as the visiting students, who were only beginning to experience London.

Professional Guide Richard Barnett leads a group of students on a tour

I joined a walk with Arizona State University students in Greenwich, where hemispheres meet and naval heritage is the main attraction, an area that has lured various interesting characters throughout its history. Once an isolated village past the outskirts of London, its significance in regards to the development of British naval power is undisputed. However, it is not only scientific research or overseas quests that have attracted so many to the area. Since the Tudor era, Greenwich has enticed royal pleasure-seekers, secret spies, and creative novelists. Richard Barnett, our guide who offered insight into the history of Greenwich, managed to captivate all of us by weaving together narratives of grand architecture, ghost stories, odd scientists, and undercover royals.

Students with an interest in law and the impact of documents such as the Magna Carta would find the area known as Temple fascinating. Hidden between Embankment and Fleet Street, Temple is known to most people through the novel and film ‘The Da Vinci Code.” People well acquainted with Temple’s history can easily debunk the myths put forward by Dan Brown! David Mildon detailed the roots of English law and politics as he guided us around Temple. Middle Temple, the hall in the heart of the area, is like a historic time capsule. It was founded by the Knights Templar and has developed into a secluded legal base, in which many famous people, including several authors of the American Declaration of Independence, received their legal training.

Image courtesy of bbc.co.uk

Tower Hamlets

The focus of guided academic walks need not be exclusively historic.  As one of the largest cities in Europe, London’s diverse inhabitants face numerous challenges. Natalie Savona, an experienced dietician, has researched the health issues that concern Londoners, particularly those from low-income backgrounds.  Her guided walk around the borough of Tower Hamlets exposed the pressures urbanization and globalization put on the provision of healthcare in London, as well as how social and economic inequalities have had an effect on local attitudes towards public health. She touched on how gentrification across London’s poorest boroughs has had an impact on diet and choice.

Through experiencing these sites first-hand, I have been truly inspired to learn more about this vast city and its people. These guided walks have taken me beyond the traditional learning platforms of lectures, readings, and seminar discussions into a space where I have had a sensory connection to the subject matter, and, as a direct result, will remember the stories I have been told more vividly.IMAG0384

~Plamen Momchilov, Intern at  ACCENT London