The Center for International Studies (CIS) at TCU examined the program after an incident last semester when a student, who had been drinking, accidentally knocked a wine bottle off a rooftop, angering the management of the hotel where the students were staying.
“We studied the profile of the students going to Florence including major, course schedules while in Florence, and rationale for studying in Italy as evidence in student applications,” said Jane Kucko, director of CIS.
Kucko said during the past couple of years( it was observed that students selected Florence for its central location rather than an interest in the region’s culture.
Kucko, who recently visited students studying in Florence this semester, said they have risen to the challenge and had an excellent start to the program. She said this semester’s experience has proven the program should continue.
Despite the reported inappropriate behavior, students who studied in Florence last fall said they indulged in the culture and benefitted from the program.
“I enjoyed learning about Italian culture while also traveling to other countries,” said Nicole Schouten, a junior business and strategic communication double major who studied in Florence last fall. “I developed a deeper appreciation toward people and their passions.”
Others said that after the incident with the wine bottle, the semester went well.
“From then on out, we had zero issues and could not have enjoyed or taken advantage of our time abroad any more than we did,” said Kevin Kiczuk, an accounting major.
Both students said they didn’t feel the behavior warranted canceling the program.
“I never felt that the program or students were out of control,” Schouten said. “In my opinion, students balanced academics and their social lives well.”