Sunscreen? Check. Bathing suit? Check. Cappuccino?
At a time when most college students around the country are heading for the beach or catching up on some much needed rest, three East Georgia students headed to the Savannah airport to begin the long journey to Italy. Rebecca Mason of Swainsboro, McKay Franks of Augusta, and Trent Morris of Soperton, all second year students, decided to use their last spring break at EGSC to take the trip of a lifetime.
“When I was sixteen years old, I told my aunt that in 2019 I was going to go to Italy, and here I am,” said Rebecca Mason.
Based in Cortona, Italy, the location of the University of Georgia’s Italy campus, the students went straight from the train station to a dinner gathering of UGA Italy’s students and faculty.
Unknown to them, Swainsboro native and 2017 East Georgia graduate Rhinna Gribbin was among the students waiting to greet them. “This is a great surprise,” said Gribbin. “I just learned a few days ago that some students from East Georgia were coming to visit campus.”
Gribbin is participating in a Semester Abroad program through the University of Georgia.
During the weeklong trip, the students will take daytrips to Florence and Rome and will spend the majority of their time visiting churches and museums in Cortona.
A participant in the May Term program in Costa Rica last year, McKay Franks knew she wanted to go to Italy next if she had the chance. “I have always wanted to visit Italy,” said Franks. “It is a long way to travel for only a week, but it is definitely worth it.”
The students began their first day with a tour of the University of Georgia’s campus. They will join the UGA students for dinner at Cortona’s legendary Tonino’s Restaurant to spend some downtime most evenings.
“Seeing Michelangelo’s David has been the highlight for me so far,” said Trent Morris.
“Through a special friendship between East Georgia and the UGA Italy campus, East Georgia students are some of the few in the university system not participating in a semester abroad who are invited to this unique international residential site of UGA,” said Dr. Carmine Palumbo, EGSC Director of Study Abroad. “We are very lucky to have this opportunity.”
EGSC Study Abroad programs are open to all EGSC students and to community members. For information, contact Dr. Palumbo at firstname.lastname@example.org.