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College of Continuing & Professional Studies

Summer 2011 Study Abroad

Counseling & Human Sciences Study Abroad in Tuscany

italy Dr. Linda Foster, Assistant Professor, Counseling & Human Sciences Department, Mercer University Atlanta, College of Continuing and Professional Studies and 6 Masters’ level graduate students will leave on May 12, 2011 for Italy. 

These students and their professor will attend a two-week study institute set in a picturesque 14th century villa on a mountainside in Tuscany.  They will learn about the counseling profession in Italy from Italian mental health professionals PLUS study with nationally known counseling professors. They will also learn about counseling practices in Italy as they are compared and contrasted to counseling in the United States. Mercer students and Dr. Foster will join with other masters’ and doctoral students from around the country, along with faculty members participating in this great adventure. 

The group will visit ancient Italian cities on day trips including Florence, Pisa, Assisi, Siena, Greve, Lucca, and San Gimignano. Mercer students and faculty will meet other graduate students and counselors from throughout the United States and Italy.  Dr. Foster will give a presentation “Cultural Considerations for Global Teaching: Experiences from Haiti” during the 2 week institute.  Prior to the trip, students have several articles to read and prepare for writing a 15 page paper describing their experiences during the two-week institute in relation to similarities and differences in counseling in the United States and Italy. 

The goal of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the role culture plays in counseling, with a focus on counseling within the country of Italy. Readings, lectures, discussion, and experiential learning will be involved in this graduate level course.

Learning Objectives

1. To develop an understanding of the culture and people of Italy that have had an impact on the development of the counseling profession in that country.

2. To develop awareness of the state of development of the counseling profession in Italy in comparison with the development of the counseling profession in the United States.

3. To interact with counselors and other mental health professionals in Italy to understand how counseling is provided to clients in Italy.

4. To learn about social and political issues in Italy that are having an impact on the development of the counseling profession in that country.

5. To learn about professionalization activities in Italy including the establishment of a national certification board, efforts to get counseling recognized as a profession by the Italian government, and the creation of jobs for counselors in Italy.

Class Blogs

Students will also chronicle their journey by blogging.  Please follow along as they share their cultural learning experience.  

Dr. Foster’s blog

Adia Fields

Angela Shock

John Moore

Courtney Chandler

Tina Chhajwani

Marie O’Sullivan Montoya