Preview for Transfer Students: Vienna and Sicily in Spring 2011

By Purnell T. Cropper | November 9, 2010

Preview for transfer students expands this year, adding a Spring 2011 semester course with travel to Austria along with a course with travel to Italy over spring break, March 11 to 18. Each 2-credit course runs from late January until early April.

“Vienna: From History to Modernity” will be taught by Dr. Geoff Haywood, Associate Professor and Chair of History and International Studies. Vienna is the city of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, theater, the home of the Alps, the Sound of Music, and the Hapsburg dynasty that ruled Europe for more than 600 years. This course explores the history of this empire, from its disparate states and ethnic groups into the cosmopolitan, innovative city it is today. Students will learn about the pivotal role that Austria played in both world wars and see this story told through the amazing art and architecture of the city. All participants will learn have a chance to learn “survival German” to prepare for the travel experience.

“From Sicily to the Italian Market: Global Migration in Italian and U.S. Contexts” will be taught by Dr. Ellen Skilton-Sylvester, Professor of Education and Director of Global Connections. This course will take several trips to the Italian Market in Philadelphia on Fridays from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m., before and after Italy travel. Additionally, this course can fulfill a Global Connections Experience if a student also enrolls in the Global Connections Reflection course (GCR101.OL) during Spring 2011. Each course is 2 credits. Course participants will travel to Sicily in southern Italy.

“We live in an era of increased movement of people across national borders, increased diversity within nations, and yet, somewhat limited movement across cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic boundaries within our own countries,” says Skilton-Sylvester. “This course investigates the historical and current processes of transnational migration and cross-cultural interaction in two multilingual and multicultural contexts. The course poses questions about what it means to belong, as a newcomer and/or an oldtimer in two distinct yet interconnected contexts in very different parts of the world. We will spend time with residents of Italian, Vietnamese, and Mexican descent in Philadelphia’s Italian Market and then travel to the city of Syracuse in the Sicily region of Italy to explore its multilingual and multicultural past and present.

“The link between the Philadelphia and Italian experiences embedded in the course is not just hypothetical,” she adds. “Many Italians who came to South Philadelphia at the turn of the century were from Sicily and other regions of southern Italy. In addition, like the Italian Market, Sicily has both a history of diversity (with Greek roots and links to both Sicilian and Italian languages and cultures) and is increasingly multicultural and multilingual as immigrants, particularly from Northern Africa, make this region their new home. Immigration in these contexts raises interesting questions about what it means to be ‘American’ or ‘Italian,’ and we will explore these questions experientially, academically and through the popular press in each of these contexts and in relation to our own lived experiences. In particular, we will explore our assumptions about Italian and Italian American contexts and cultures—both locally and abroad as we experience the complexity and diversity of newcomer communities that call these contexts home.”

Matriculated full-time transfer students who entered Arcadia University in 2010 are eligible. Each participant must achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 after completion of the Fall 2010 semester and must be in good disciplinary standing at the time of departure in March.

Students must apply online by Nov. 19. Application instructions have been e-mailed to students by Jan Finn, Associate Dean of International Studies. “Students should prepare a brief statement (250 words max) that tells us what interests you most about your top program choice and what you hope to gain from the course. In addition, students must be available for the class meeting times. Classes will begin in late January and continue weekly until April,” says Finn.

Students must satisfy all of the academic course requirements to remain eligible for the overseas component. Professors will announce the syllabus on the first day of class. Students will be notified in December of their course enrollments. “Pease note that we cannot guarantee a first choice, therefore, we encourage students to be flexible. Each of these programs is an exciting privilege!” adds Finn.

The 2011 fee is $495, which includes round-trip transportation, accommodations and programmed activities. This fee is waived for Honors students.

The deadline for payment is Dec . 17. Go to to make an online payment or stop by the One Stop Shop in Taylor Hall. The Office of International Affairs also needs proof of a valid passport by Dec. 17 so that everyone is compliant with airline regulations.

Need a passport? Access the application at All students must present their passports (or a receipt of the passport application) to the Office of International Affairs in Easton Hall, Room 244, no later than Dec. 17. Non-U.S. citizens also may need visas and should confirm this before payment is made. The Office of International Affairs will assist non-U.S. citizens with the visa documentation in January 2011.

For more information, call the Office of International Affairs at 215-572-2867 or e-mail