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Study Abroad Blog

Active Learning in Roma

Wine Harvesting day!
"For most students academic learning is too abstract. They need to see, touch and smell what they read and write about." John Goodland
This quote is significant to me because I am one those students that need to see, touch, write or somehow interact with what I should be learning. It's when my learning is interactive and reflective that it becomes relevant and holds value. If I read a whole book today, without analyzing what I've learned, I will simply not retain any of that information; in which there was no point of me reading the book.
Active learning is way more than just reading; it's making sense of what is being read, reflecting critically about the subject matter, and doing something with that information. Evaluation and application are probably the two most important aspects of active learning. There are a couple of ways that active learning is implemented in CEA Rome. It all starts within the classes that are offered. I am taking classes that dive right into the history, language, food, and general customs of Italians. The fact that I am learning about these things in a native environment already enhances my learning. Beyond the classes, CEA also offers various cultural activities that allow us to make sense of what we have learned and perhaps apply it to our lives.  Here are some activities that are great examples of active leaning that was offered though our program.

-Wine harvesting
-Pizza and gelato crawl
-Italian cooking class
-Musium visits
-Climbing of St. Peter's Dome
-Trip to Florence, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri
-Appian bike tour
-Volunteering at a soup kitchen 
These are just some examples of how we take what we learn in the class room and further expand our knowledge by doing site visits and such.  Being an active learner for me means not being afraid of the unknown. I am not willing to not just take facts from a book, but actually travel, and learn from different cultures first hand. Being an active learner is not just having traveling experiences abroad, but it’s about accepting and acknowledging different beliefs and ideas that are different from my own. It’s also using my authentic experiences to develop myself personally, academically, and professionally.

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