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K-State Today

February 28, 2017

Office of International Programs and APDesign collaborate on the success of K-State in Italy education abroad model

Submitted by Mary K. Pyle

The Office of International Programs, or OIP, launched its first campuswide Education Abroad program with Kansas State University in Italy for summer 2007 based on the structure put in place by the College of Architecture, Planning & Design, or APDesign.

Lynn Ewanow, associate professor and associate dean, director of international programs in APDesign, started conversations with Centro Studi Citta di Orvieto in January 2005 about establishing a spring semester interdisciplinary program for students in APDesign.

"By late summer we had formed a partnership agreement and sent our first group of students and a faculty member to Orvieto in spring 2006," Ewanow said. "Then Kansas State University began the process of establishing an educational entity located in Orvieto in 2014. As the result of a lot of teamwork across campus and across the Atlantic, Kansas State University in Italy was fully recognized and operational by January 2016. In collaboration with Serena Croce, director of Kansas State University in Italy, APDesign added a fall semesterlong program for students and expanded the opportunity for students, enrolled in either the fall or spring semester, to more fully engage the community of Orvieto through workshops and community service."

"Since the program's inception we have sent 430 students to Orvieto and 23 APDesign faculty, representing all of the departments in the college. For spring 2018, we anticipate sending 36 students and two faculty members to be part of Kansas State University in Italy," she said. 

"Lynn and APDesign were the catalysts for the expansion of this program into a campuswide opportunity," said Joe Milostan, Office of International Programs education abroad director. "OIP planning started in spring 2016 and we built on their successful model. We started by collecting data and information related to the classes K-State students had been taking in previous summer study abroad programs in Italy. We then met with representatives in in the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Human Ecology, as well as some departments, to best determine how to create the structure, curriculum and market the offering."

The five classes offered this summer include Food and Wine of Italy, History of Italian Art and Architecture, Italian Language for Travelers, Honors Seminar in Philosophy and Orvieto Sketchbook.

"OIP had not created a universitywide program of this structure before, so we had no idea what to expect,"  Milostan said. "When the program and application went live, we had five applications in the first 24 hours, which told us that we have something here. We were hoping for about 20 students to participate and we ended up with 37 accepted into the program. Because of the immense popularity, we are already planning for summer 2018 as we have faculty already contacting us to express their interest in future collaboration."

For future information about how one can participate in the Kansas State University in Italy program, contact Milostan at milosta1@k-state.edu.