Study Abroad: Italy

Global Perspectives in Mental Illness and Treatment

Hills, Holly, PhD

The participating student will gain an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of mental health treatment in the United States and in Italy by comparing individual and societal attitudes and treatment philosophies and models. Students will learn about the changes in perception of mental illness from possession by the Devil, sorcery, and lunacy as influenced by the moon, and explore how treatment philosophies have evolved from exorcism, electro conclusive (shock) treatment and (ice pick) lobotomy. They will also study how the loci of treatment have moved from the institution to the community, and consider how advances, or lack thereof, in medical research and use of psychotropic medications impact the treatment strategies. Further, students will explore the impact of evidence-based practices combined with growth of recovery and positive approaches to treatment have evolved in the United States and European countries.

Intimate Relationships, Florence, Italy


Love is the most dreamt about, written about, sung about, dramatized, and gloriously experienced relational dynamic in recorded history (and I suspect unrecorded history). In fact, intimate relationships are universal across all lands and cultures. We all want to love and be loved, support and be supported, care and be cared for by partners whom we hold in high regard. And yet, it isn't easy to understand what creates close romantic bonds, what sustains them, what makes relationships struggle, and what motivates people to try again when their intimate relationships end. Over the six weeks of this course, we will examine what love is, why people are attracted to one another, fall in love, eventually commit, then maintain or fail to maintain these relationships, why some partners cheat, how the bitter wounds of infidelity can heal, and what successful couples do to repair and improve their intimate relationships over time. And we will do this in Italy, the land of romance. The land that brought us the original St. Valentine, the alluring serenades of the Venice gondoliers, the zeal of the Renaissance, and the passions of great opera. We will use videos, music, guest speakers, and lots of discussion to explore the empirical research, along with your thoughts and ideas on these topics.

CSD in Rome, Italy


USF Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders is leading a group of students to Rome, Italy May 28- June 5 2017. The group will study the culture of Deaf people in Italy. Participants in the program should have completed ASL 1 and should either be enrolled in ASL 2 or should have completed it. During the 8 day trip, students will visit organizations that provide services to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing populations. These include clinical, educational, and social organizations around the capital city. Students will have the opportunity to dialogue with various professionals to understand the complexities of providing these services within Italy. Students will also interact with members of the Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing community to understand the issues and challenges facing them. Students will have the opportunity to learn some basic International Signs and will be encouraged to meet and interact with signing Italians and other International Deaf people to use these basic skills. The highlight of the trip will be the opportunity to volunteer as support staff in at the CineDeaf international Deaf film festival.

Students will stay in the heart of the city and use public transportation to travel to both educational and recreational venues. While 1-2 educational experiences will be scheduled each day, most days will also afford opportunities to experience historic, cultural, and gastronomic delights. Students will travel outside the city to the nearby small towns of Ovieto and Tivoli to glimpse rural Italian life. Students will return from the 8 days able to articulate the successes and the struggles of the Deaf and Hard-of-hearing community in Italy and thereby to better understand the situation of this community within the USA. Students involved in this trip will earn one credit in an IDS 3947 course [Cooperative Internship]. This will document the student's preparation before the trip and their service at the film festival during the trip.

Steven Surrency, Ph.D, CI/CT, SC:L
Communication Sciences and Disorders
College of Behavioral and Community Sciences
University of South Florida