New study abroad programs at Foothill—here’s what you need to know


Tamar Grosskopf, Staff Writer

Through the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) and the Global Experiential Learning Program, Foothill College has introduced Florence and London as study-abroad opportunities for the very first time.

Starting in the Fall of 2022, Foothill College introduced the two opportunities: Florence, Italy, for the Spring Quarter of 2023 and London, England, for the Fall Quarter of 2023.

These programs are 8 and 9 weeks, connected through Foothill College and AIFS, an educational and travel program agency founded in 1964 centered on cultural exchange.

Commonly seen introduced at four-year colleges and generally done in either the sophomore or junior year of college, studying abroad is an opportunity to pursue an academic path in a foreign country. Typically a quarter or semester-long, study abroad programs allow for students to immerse themselves in a new environment and culture.

This past week, four events to recruit prospective students and provide additional information for applicants took place over Zoom and in the appreciation hall covering trip costs, activities, courses, and ways to finance this opportunity.

During the meeting on January 25th, 2023, spear-headed by Che Menses – Communications professor at Foothill College and London 2023 Faculty Co-Lead– and Milissa Carey, Music & Theatre Arts Professor and Faculty Co-Lead for Florence 2023, they presented essential and time-sensitive information for both the Florence Spring 2023 trip and the London Fall 2023 trip.

The Florence Study-Abroad trip will commence on April 29th, 2023, with a return date of June 23rd. Known for its renaissance art, architecture, and monuments, Florence is a city in Central Italy and the capital of the Tuscany region; it is also known for its great food, shopping, nightlife, people, and much more. Florence is only a short flight away from neighboring countries like Spain, France, Switzerland, and more. Italy also has an excellent train system and easily accessible buses to travel around the country during weekends abroad.

The cost of the program is $6,345, including the student apartment,  which typically has 4-6 students in each double; this apartment has a full bath, living area, equipped kitchen, Wi-Fi, and washing machines. The student apartment is a twenty to thirty-minute walk from the AIFS study center, which is a 10-minute walk away from the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The cost will include weekly cultural programs such as a cooking class, soccer match, concerts, and more. Not included in the cost is the weekend excursion to Rome and the cost of travel.

In Florence, the Co-Leads Professor of Music & Theatre Arts, Milissa Carey, and Political Science Professor Kerri Ryer will teach UC/CSU transferable courses that implement material related to Italian culture. These courses include but are not limited to POLI 2-3, GLST 1, MUS2A, THTR1, and more.

After receiving feedback and concern from a prospective student on the significant cost of the trips, Co-Lead (Florence) Carey reassured the student:  “While we know that the cost for these trips are high, we are here to aid any student trying to finance their trip.”

Che Meneses followed this by saying, “The most important steps at this point of Florence and London is to make sure you submit your 2023 FAFSA as it is due in February (15th), to be able to apply for scholarships and lower the cost of your chosen trip, and to join the Canvas Florence and London Page; here you’ll be able to connect with your co-leads and other prospective students and applicants ”

The London study abroad program is set to begin September 30th, 2023, with a return date of December 2nd, 2023. London, the capital city of England, is said to be one of the best introductory countries in Europe to travel to for English speakers.

London is known for its history, art, and politics, as well as great sightseeing such as Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and many more. It is a metropolis with food from various cultures, eclectic shops, museums, and more. Also located in Europe, this gives prospective students for the London trip an opportunity to book trips to neighboring countries.

The AIFS program, in conjunction with Foothill College, offers a nine-week program that includes accommodation in a shared double room in a homestay in a residential neighborhood in central London. This includes laundry privileges, wifi, and continental breakfast on weekdays.

The trip cost without airfare is $6895, with the chance of a cost reduction if the program reaches 60 applicants. There will also be two full-day excursions out of London with round-trip transportation. Possible locations for these excursions include Bath and Stonehenge, Brighton, Cambridge, Oxford, Windsor and Eton, and Stratford-Upon-Avon. There will also be an optional four-day excursion to Scotland for an additional cost.

Program Co-Leads for London, Prof. Che Menses (Communications) and Prof. Ben Armerding (English), will teach UC/CSU transferable courses in their respective subjects. These courses include but are not limited to COMM 1A, COMM 5, ENGL 1A, ENGL 80, and more.

The application deadline for Florence is January 29, 2023, and the deadline for application to London is June 29th, 2023. More information on the program and how to access the canvas page and apply to the programs can be found on the Foothill Website on the Global Experiential Learning Page.