The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Tired of the Tyrole? Try Tuscany!

For the Guilford students and faculty who had planned to spend their spring semester sojourning in the Tyrolean Alps at Brunnenburg Castle, news of the trip’s cancellation came as a true let down.

“Brunnenburg was all I had left, so when it was gone, I had nothing left”, said Lucas Campbell, a sophomore economics major who had intended to go on the trip this spring.

Given the wide range of study available in Brunnenburg, with courses that directly integrated the unique culture and history of the Tyrolean area, Campbell’s reaction is understandable, even if a little melodramatic.

The curriculum was also supplemented by a course taught by a Guilford faculty member and a course on Ezra Pound’s Cantos, taught by Pound’s daughter, Mary de Rachewiltz, whose family owns the castle.

But this year, the family claims to need a break from their busy spring schedule, and has chosen to pursue other interests outside of Guilford.

“That was the reason they gave for wanting to put a pause in the program”, said Jim Hood, associated chair of English and Director of the Study Abroad Program at Guilford. “But I want to emphasize that it is just a pause. Our plan is to make it keep going.”

In fact, Hood plans to go to Brunnenburg this October to discuss the finer details of the program’s continuation.

“We want to look at how we might be able to restructure the program to make it better for the family”, said Hood.

But all is far from being lost for those interested in traveling abroad to Italy this spring. While on sabbatical in Italy last fall, Theater Studies chair Jack Zerbe managed to establish a vital contact with the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci, a small language institute in the medieval Tuscan city of Siena.

“I love Siena, its like a second home to me,” said Zerbe, “I’m so glad that we could have the program continue there.”

“We are thinking about making Siena a permanent addition-another Italy option-which would be fabulous because they are very different kinds of programs, in different areas of the country, and would appeal to different kinds of students”, said Hood.

And as the traditional student body continues to increase in size, the addition of an extra study abroad option is seen as vital to administrators.

“We need more options,” said Hood, “and I’m under a kind of mandate from the college to develop more possibilities.”

As with Guilford’s study abroad options in Ghana, Munich, and Guadalajara, the Siena program is designed to be a full on immersion in Tuscan Italian culture. Students will not only be living with Italian families, but also be required to take a beginning Italian course.

The program will also take full advantage of all the resources offered in the setting, featuring courses in art history, music history, Italian comedy theater, and an economic history course (Economic Transformation and the Italian Renaissance) taught by the resident faculty leader Robert G. Williams. As in years past, Williams was slated to go to Brunnenburg originally.

“It was reassuring to see Robert’s response, it’s a real testament to his commitment to the students. He doesn’t want us to miss out on a cool experience”, said Campbell, “Now I can finally stop crying.”

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