Publication Date

2006

Abstract

My Capstone derived from my practicum experience with a private U.S. American study abroad program in Perugia, Italy. There I had the opportunity to work with over one hundred college students, mostly U.S. American, from universities all over the United States. As an Italian-American myself, I was especially interested in the impressions of the students of Italian descent. I was struck by their enthusiasm and curiosity of Italian culture and the chance for heritage-seeking explorations. This paper explores the standpoints of ten Italian-American students after three and a half months of being based in Perugia, Italy. Its focus is the identity transformation of each student based on their individual lived experience in relation to their exposure to the local culture while enrolled in a study abroad program in Italy. It attempts to answer the question: "How is the ethnic identity of Italian-American college students impacted by a study abroad experience in Italy?"

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