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48 AUS students join cultural trip to Italy
Forty-eight students from American University of Sharjah (AUS) returned from an exciting cultural trip to Italy recently. Organized by the Student Multicultural Learning Program of the Office of Student Affairs, the students toured the Italian cities of Rome and Florence from January 21 to 26.
During the five-day tour, students observed the culture, sampled the local food and learned about how Italians value their heritage. Visits to museums and churches gave students the opportunity to view various types of architecture, paintings, tapestries and sculptures including those created by Michelangelo and other great Italian artists.
In Rome, the students visited the famous Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel in addition to numerous scenic public squares and structures of the past that surrounded the remarkable city. The students learned about emperors, popes, dictators and the highlights of Roman history which spans three millennia.
Travelling by the high speed Eurostar Italia, the students reached the city of Florence and continued the second part of their tour to the Ufizi Gallery, Piazza Della Signoria and the San Lorenzo Market, famous for its leather products. The highlight of the Florence tour was the visit to the Medici Villa Della Petraia, a royal residence dating back to the 13th century with its beautiful Italian style garden and a museum complex of interesting architecture and well-preserved interior and furniture.
International cultural tours provide our students with a rich first-hand experience wherein they gain practical knowledge, skills and experiences that augment their understanding and appreciation of cultural diversity," said Dr. Moza Al Shehhi, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, who led the group. "With its increasing popularity and demand among the student body, the Student Multicultural Learning Program is creating more on and off campus multicultural learning opportunities to ensure that students have access to activities beyond their daily experiences on campus.
The trips organized by Office of Student Affairs' Multicultural Learning Program are so much more than just traveling. Students get the opportunity to discover the way people live and interact in other parts of the world. It was amazing to see the ancient icons of the Roman Empire and the birthplace of the renaissance; a movement that started in Florence and spread all over Europe influencing not only art, but also politics, societies and philosophy," said Luis Abd Al-Rahman Garcia, President of the AUS Student Council.
Fatma Wali, a senior majoring in management, shared her experience about the trip saying "I went on the trip knowing only three girls. I came back to the UAE with a new family! It is an amazing experience that I would love to do all over again. Being away from my family helped me become independent and helped me cooperate better with my team members. It was an eventful and educational trip. A great experience indeed.
The AUS delegation to Italy was accompanied by Munketh Taha, Director of Student Development and Organizations; and OSA supervisors Virgilio Mateo Jr. and Raja Subramanya.