Do Your Fieldwork

September 19, 2005

Picture this: the Italian countryside, sun warming vineyards, rustic towns built hundreds of years ago. Now picture this: you experiencing a different culture, ideas that are new to you, a way of life unlike the one you know in New York. BMCC and CUNY make this dream a reality for students just like you every year. Maybe it’s time you considered taking advantage of this opportunity.

In September 1982, BMCC became the first community college in the CUNY system to place students in an exchange program withthe University of Paris in France. Since then, several additional programs have been designed to allow students to study abroad. Ethnic Studies takes students to the Dominican Republic and to Ghana, Social Science takes students to Italy and Modern Languages takes the students to Spain. Scholarships are available that cover 60% of the airfare, room and board, and excursion costs. Professor Michael Giammarella, Student Life Department, just returned at the end of July from a study program in Italy with 15 BMCC students, including Rita Iniguez.

“It was the most wonderful experience!” Rita said. “I saw that the way [the Italians] think and talk is similar to the way it is where I am from in Ecuador. We are so far away from each other and we think more or less the same way. We both value family and education.”

Rita also offered some advice to students considering the study abroad experience. “Read about the history of the country so you know what you are looking at. And study the language at least a little bit before you go.”

Elsa Castillo went on the trip to Italy with Professor Giammarella several years ago and she cites it as a career-changing event for her. “The trip with Professor Giammarella inspired me to take languages as my major at Hunter,” she recently wrote in a letter to him.

For more information on the Study Abroad programs, please go to

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