On Friday, November 17, 2023, the SMCCCD Study Abroad held a meet-and-greet event for over 30 students from Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College. These students will study abroad in Florence, Italy, during the Spring 2024 semester with the Northern California Study Abroad Consortium (NCSAC). Students enjoyed some Italian appetizers and had the opportunity to get to know other students whom they will be traveling and studying within Florence from February to May 2024.

SMCCCD will send over 30 students to Florence as part of a cohort of nearly 100 students from the consortium. Other participating districts include Contra Costa Community College District, Los Rios Community College District, and Santa Rosa Junior College. The program is offered in partnership with the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS). San Mateo County Community College District has participated in the consortium since 1986. This semester, students in the program take courses in English, Anthropology, History, and Biology. Cañada College Anthropology professor Jessica Marshall will teach four courses in Florence: Cultural Anthropology, Biological Anthropology, Ethnographic Film, and Italian Life and Culture.

Several staff and faculty across three campuses attended the event to support the students. During the event, Zaid Ghori, Interim Dean of Global Learning Programs and Services, and Dr. Alice Yang, Acting Director of Special International Programs, both made inspirational speeches to the students. Moderated by Kelly Li, Program Services Coordinator –Study Abroad, Aidan Takeuchi shared his study abroad experience with the students. Aidan is one of the study abroad alumni who studied in Florence in Spring 2023. He is now a proud Study Abroad Ambassador, where he gets to work in the study abroad office at Skyline College.

SMCCCD Study Abroad is the district-wide study abroad program housed in the Global Learning Programs and Services Division at Skyline College. For more information about studying or interning abroad, faculty lead abroad opportunities, community travel for lifelong learners, visiting international faculty presenters, and student scholarship opportunities; please contact Kelly Li or Dr. Alice Yang at studyabroad@smccd.edu or by calling 650-738-7098. You can also learn more by visiting the SMCCD Study Abroad Facebook page or Instagram page @smcccd_study_abroad.

Article by Aidan Takeuchi and Kelly Li
Photo by Chikako Walker

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