New course encourages students to be ambassadors to Italy

February 13, 2013

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. –- Penn State students who choose to study abroad in Italy now have an opportunity to prepare themselves for a more enriching experience. A new course, Italian for Study Abroad (Italian 197A), will debut this summer on the University Park campus. The course will teach students essential information about safety, etiquette and important communications skills. Class participants will gain more understanding of Italy’s contemporary culture and customs.

Patrick Tunno, lecturer in Italian, believes that many students are not always ready to handle the challenges that come with living abroad. He said having a better understanding of culture and language can greatly enhance the experience. His goal is to have Penn State students abroad create a positive narrative of Americans and Penn Staters while they thrive in a foreign culture.

“There’s a difference between living as a tourist and living as a local,” Tunno said. “I want to make students more capable abroad, and help Penn State students to become better ambassadors of their university and country.”

This course will be taught in English and no previous Italian language experience is necessary.

Italy is the most popular study abroad destination for Penn State students. According to a recent University Office of Global Programs report, 450 Penn State students studied in Italy in 2009-10. Italy’s numbers are nearly double that of Spain’s, the runner-up, with 239 students during the same period.

A complete description of the course can be found at
To read the University Office of Global Programs’s report, go to

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 14, 2013