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Baylorin Florence

From the Editors


ear readers, Because you are taking the time to read this magazine, we can only assume that you are interested in studying abroad. Now that Baylor Bears Abroad offers an array of overseas programs, you may be asking yourself a few questions like, “What makes Baylor in Florence different and special? What makes Baylor in Florence the best choice for me? What will my experience be like on the Baylor in Florence journey?” When we, the editors, set out to design an online magazine to feature Baylor in Florence, we did our best to help you answer these questions. Throughout the pages of this magazine, you will find all of the basic information about the program such as specific destinations, course offerings, price ranges, housing arrangements and more! Not only will you find the logistics of the program, but you will also come across stories, pictures and experiences written and produced by previous Baylor in Florence students. We want to emphasize the fact that every aspect of this publication highlights student course work. All of the photos, blurbs, stories and designs that you find here are solely products of students that embarked upon the Baylor in Florence journey. We want you, the reader of this publication, to not only see the unique travel escapades involved, but also, the way this program can enhance your portfolio. This magazine highlights the opportunity that the Baylor in Florence program allows for creativity in terms of school work. All of your “homework” during the trip applies to sharpening your skills in the Journalism, Public Relations and New Media field. We hope that as you read through our magazine, you will notice the distinctive opportunities for you to learn, practice and improve your skills in writing, photography and editing. Our goal is for you to catch a glimpse of how this specific program can be tailored toward your personal goals and aspirations in a country unparalleled in terms of stories and photo-ops. Baylor in Florence, in our opinion, is unlike any other Bears Abroad adventure.


Alison, Jessica, Marissa & Taylor

One of the joys of coming on the Baylor in Florence program is the ability to enhance both your photography and writing skills. Every page features photos and stories by Baylor in Florence students. This is a great opportunity for students to enhance their portfolios.


Student Work

Contents 4 6 7 8 10 11 12 14 16 18 20 22

About the Program Classes Countdown to Italy When in Rome Stop! & Look Both Ways What to pack How to dress Firenze (Florence) Weekend Trips Staying Connected Favorite Places Photography

Cover photo by Shelby McCollum


Get in the Know Before Go!


About the Program The Baylor in Florence operates as a field school in which a real-world setting is used to help teach students photojournalism and media writing skills. A holistic teaching approach blends and synergizes the two disciplines just as they are in the professional world. Students will learn the classroom basics and then apply them during their travels. Studying abroad allows students to learn outside the classroom as they travel around Italy. This culminates in the development of a photography and writing portfolio. Florence, Rome, Sorrento, Pompeii and Capri, with their rich history and vibrant culture, present a wealth of material on which students focus their efforts while extensive and intensive instruction from faculty provides the opportunity to advance skills in a short time. Students will also have the ability to learn from Italian scholars about specific topics such as Italian art, architecture and the Mafia.



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Costs for 2014 have yet to be determined but are estimated to be around these figures:

Students will reside in local apartment buildings that have been screened by Study Abroad Italy (SAI) for safety and cleanliness. Apartments will have fully equipped kitchens and free Wi-Fi service. During the weekend trips to Rome and Sorrento, reputable hotels.

$1,400 - flight $4,900 - program fee $6,000 - tuition (est. $1,000 per hour x6) $12,300 In total this covers transportation, hotel and apartments, most meals, classrooms, lab fees, a weekend trip, tours, museum passes, insurance, wireless Internet modems and an Italian cell phone. The exact cost will be set when tuition, flights and exchange rates are established. Please contact the Baylor in Florence director for the 2014 prices.

“We must go beyond textbooks, go out into the bypaths and untrodden depths of the wilderness and travel and explore and tell the world the glories of our journey.” - John Franklin

Rome After arriving at the Roman airport, the program begins with a week in Rome where students visit the Coliseum, Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Roman Forum and others. Tours are led by professors who are experts in their field and group dinners are provided each night.

Meal Plans Students will be treated to approximately 10 dinners while in Rome, Florence and Sorrento. They will also be provided meal vouchers for use in the famed culinary institute operated by Florence University of the Arts. Meal money in the amount of $500 will be provided for other meals. Students are encouraged to shop fresh markets and try their hand at Italian cooking.

Florence Students will see the birthplace of the Renaissance with local professors who have insider access to all the top attractions. In addition to Florence’s top museums, students study aspects of the local culture and visit craftsmen making world-class leather, metal and ceramic goods.

Sorrento, Pompeii, Capri The Baylor group will travel by train for a 4-day weekend trip to Sorrento, Pompeii and Capri. Students will experience the Amalfi Coast, the ruins of an ancient Roman city and the beautiful Mediterranean ocean surrounding Capri.

Flights Group travel will be coordinated by Millennium Tours of Austin, a leader in student and group travel. Students wanting to use frequent flyer miles for travel may do so if the itinerary matches the group’s. Those wanting to extend their time in Europe after the program may make those arrangements through Millennium Tours.


Baylor in Florence Did you know?



The numbe r of hours B aylor Unive program. T rsity offers wo photog students in ra phy and w vary each the study a riting class year. Chec broad es are offe k with the B class sche red, but cla aylor in Flo dule. Below sses rence direc are previou tor for a co s classes o m p lete ffered.

Photography I Instruction in basic camera, editing and lighting skills. Completion of photographic assignments for a portfolio. JOU 3355

Photography II Continued development of photographic skills through individual photojournalism projects. Emphasis on the completion of location assignments. JOU 3356

Magazine Writing Magazine and feature writing and editing, with emphasis on travel writing and story development. Completion of a portfolio. JOU 3389

Magazine Editing In-depth examination of magazine function, copy editing and layout, with practice in each. Strong emphasis on editorial decision-making. JOU 3397

wisdom f f o rom pre ds r o vious Baylo W Maxey Parrish

Sharon Bracken

Why is the Baylor in Florence program a great opportunity for students?

How does class time balance with traveling and sightseeing?

“The Baylor in Florence program is great because it gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in another culture while working closely with professors and advancing their journalism skills.”


s r o s s e f o r p e c n e r o l F n i r

“Class is really wherever we are because we are hearing from experts in history and architecture. Students take notes for stories and are photographing for assignments wherever they go. They benefit from having their professors with them to guide them one-on-one outside the class.”

Countdown to Italy September to December •

Apply for the study abroad program (applications are accepted between Sept. 1, 2013 to Feb. 1, 2014, for Summer 2014)

Speak with your adviser about which classes you should take while in Italy

Apply for a passport or make sure it’s valid

Apply for the Glennis McCrary Goodrich International Scholarship (Deadline for summer programs is Feb. 1, 2014, by 5 p.m.)

Join the Baylor in Florence Facebook page to see program updates, flight payment deadlines and a meeting schedule

To apply for the Baylor in Florence program, visit

Apply for the scholarship at

January to April •

Take some time to study Italian language and culture

Contact your credit and debit card companies to inform them you will be abroad

Once accepted into the study abroad program pay $500 program fee deposit with a check made to Baylor University. Give check to Margaret Kramer (room 259).

Check Facebook page for deadlines for remaining program and flight payments

Submit release forms and a copy of your passport to the Baylor in Florence director

Want free Italian lessons? Spotify has free Italian lessons for beginners.

One Month Before •

Research possible weekend trips you may want to take while in Italy

If you take prescription medications, make sure you have enough to last the trip

Buy an Italian electrical outlet adapter and converter

Make copies of your passport, credit cards and any other important documents you may be taking

Taking the train is one of the quickest and most affordable ways to get around Italy. To see prices and learn more about the train system in Italy visit

The Day Before •

Pack carry-on

The Day Of •

Arrive early

Some students recommend bringing hand sanitizer, a jacket, a neck pillow, gum, headphones and medications. Be sure to pack two days worth of clothes in your carry-on for emergencies!


When in Rome Photo by Melissa Kasper

First Taste of Italy

Multi-course meals are provided for the group at different restaurants throughout the city.


One of the many versions of fantastic pasta provided to the group


An assortment of fresh fruit and pastries


Italy is known for pizza... and it did not disappoint!


Students will spend the first week of the trip in Rome, one of the most ancient and famous cities in the world!

Explore the City! Throughout the week, students will be given free time to explore the city. Grab a friend or two and head out with a map. You never know what you’ll find! Top:

Columns of the Pantheon


Fresh fruit market


Trevi Fountain at night

Group Tours

Students tour the famous monuments and churches of Rome led by the people who know and love the city the most: Romans!


Some of the group in front of the Spanish Steps with Giovanna, our Roman tour guide


Tour of the Colosseum, one of the most iconic structures in Rome


& Lo ! p o t S By Linda Wilkins Learn fast, die trying or stay put. That’s the best way to survive. When I first arrived in Italy, it was like stepping back in time. Then I saw the tiny cars zooming around, the trams gliding by and the buses squeaking their way through the city. The idea that the modern can successfully combine with the ancient is a foreign idea to Americans. Literally. The ancient part of Rome is the only part of the city that many Americans acknowledge. They forget that it’s been thousands of years since that time and that Romans are no longer walking around in gladiator attire or togas. Modern Rome is also an important part of experiencing the city’s culture including the insane traffic. I came close to death each day I was in Rome. You take one step into the street without knowing the way the traffic works and you might as well be committing suicide. I’m sure the Romans are used to silly Americans walking around in a daze, so they almost always stop. You can’t always count on that.

There are lanes in the street for cars and buses to follow. However, it works like the pirate code in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.” The pirate code was more like guidelines than actual law. The lanes in Italy are optional. Cars don’t have to stay in them and motorcycles tend to ride wherever they’ll fit. The trams have drivers who can brake when they need to and people can freely walk on the rails. There are three kinds of tourists. Those that learn and live, those that resist and fight back and those that remain ignorant. The tourists that never learn the foreign culture haven’t grown or gained anything. They’ll wait 30 minutes on a street corner until the traffic dies down before crossing. They’ll complain about the bus and tram systems and never attempt to learn how it works. I saw many a tourist begin walking across the street when the little green man ‘walk’ flashed and then immediately pause halfway when a motorcycle continued to come down the street. The motorcyclist hit his brakes as though he were used to camera toting tourists freezing like squirrels in the road. Then there are those that know they’re in a foreign place and yet expect the Romans to somehow change their culture or habits to suit the tourist. With my study abroad group, I heard several in my class wonder aloud why the trams didn’t stop and wait for everyone to get aboard. They questioned almost every aspect of the Roman traffic system. I saw one person in the group shake their finger at a car

“The tourists who learn the system tend to fair a lot better than those that resist or ignore it.”


ook Both Ways that was speeding along the road. The driver wasn’t doing anything wrong by Roman standards, but in America he would be pulled over by the police. Arguing with a passing driver that can’t hear you doesn’t do any good except to give your lungs a work out. The drivers in Italy have grown up in that culture. They aren’t going to change to fit your idea of American driving. The tourists who learn the system tend to fair a lot better than those that resist or ignore it. After about two days wandering in Rome, I realized I was acquiring something like a sixth sense about when to move to the sidewalk or when to dash across traffic. After a week, I had intuitively learned to listen for cars approaching from behind. I understood that the drivers are used to pedestrians and will not purposefully aim for you. In this way, I learned to trust the drivers. It took a while. There was one point when I was walking in the street and a taxi turned down the road we were on and proceeded to drive toward us. In my mind, I believed I was clear of the taxi. It continued to come at us. I heard my professors warn us that the taxi was coming. I heard them tell us to get on the sidewalk. Stubbornly, I continued in the street. The taxi did not stop. I could have hugged the taxi because it was so close to me. A feeling of terror mixed with surprise took hold of me as I did a quick jig to the side. The wind from the taxi blew around me. I immediately started laughing. While this situation could have ended a lot worse, I felt like a true Roman – unafraid of the traffic and willing to take a few risks to get where I need to go. I’m learning, and so far I’ve survived. Tourists should take the risks of learning a new culture – it pays off in the end.


what to take



n Dress/ Dress Shirt n Pairs of Jeans


n T-shirts n Shorts n Casual Shirts n Nice Shirts

n Toothbrush

n Sandals n Flip


n Sneakers

n Toothpaste

n Swimwear

n Deodorant

n Scarf

n Shampoo

n Hat

n Conditioner

n Active-wear

n Body

n Underwear

n Sunscreen

n Belt

n Insect

n Socks

n Hairbrush

wash Repellent

Outerwear n Jacket n Sweater n Raincoat

n ChapStick

Other Electronics n Laptop

& Charger

n Electricity n Camera



& Charger

n Cellphone n USB

n Medicine

& Charger

Flash Drive

n Purse n DVDs n Jewelry n Makeup n Beach


n E-reader n Magazines

Travel Docs n Passport n Itinerary n List


of current medications

n Card


n Small


n Cardigan n Euros

n Luggage


n Earplugs n Travel


n Water


n Umbrella n Sunglasses n Wallet/ n ID



n Textbooks n AP


n Notebook n Pens n Travel


n Backpack

what to wear




Comfortable walking shoes. You will be walking everywhere! Pack shoes that are already broken in, and remember that you will wear them out! Dark shoes are best because they don’t show dirt. Layers. Layers. Layers. The weather changes frequently in Europe. It may be 60 degrees one hour and 90 degrees the next. Layers make adjusting simple. Also, more layers means more mix-and-match choices! Purses and bags WITH zippers. Yes, pickpockets do exist. I’ve seen it with my own two eyes. You’re more likely to get home with your phone and camera if you have a zipper to keep your possessions in and thieves out.

By Natalie Fletcher I haven’t worn cowboy hats or boots. I haven’t worn a fanny pack, an American flag t-shirt, or a baseball cap. Yet somehow everyone, and I mean EVERYONE in Italy immediately knows that I am an American. What is it that makes me so obviously American? It could be the confidence with which I walk and speak, or the cute little Lily Pulitzer sun-dresses and sweaters that I sometimes wear, or maybe just the dirtyblonde hair and tan skin. Once our group arrived in Florence, my feelings of sticking out like a sore thumb intensified. In one hilarious attempt to “camouflage” with the people around me, I decided to try my best one night to dress as edgy as possible—to be as Italian as possible. Borrow-

ing clothes from my roommates, and donning a pair of pants that can best be described as “MC Hammer” inspired, I walked around the corner with some of my fellow students to a restaurant. After about 20 minutes a group of A&M students walked in. I wanted to run in the bathroom and hide. Instead I had to explain that I really was from Texas, and that I didn’t usually wear such ridiculous garb. Suddenly, I felt like a phony and a fraud. Despite the blow to my confidence, I couldn’t help but see the lesson to be learned in the awkward situation. Trying to fit in while visiting a foreign country can be a great thing, as long as you don’t completely lose your identity in the process. I am who I am, I dress how I dress, and as long as I am a good ambassador for my country I should not mind being easily identified as an American.


Firenze “Open My Heart AND YOU WILL SEE

Graved Inside of It

Italy - Robert Browning

Photo by Drew Mills


By Natalie Fletcher Every day Florence would swell with the throngs of tourists coming into the city to visit for a short while. The larger groups of tourists, many coming off of cruise ships, would overtake the historical architecture and museums like a swarm of locusts. This swarm would make it difficult for others to enjoy the beauty of Florence, while also leaving behind a wake of trash and disgruntled fellow tourists and locals. While I was technically a tourist, I was more than that since I was living and going to school in the city. As such, I received insight into how the locals of Florence dealt with, and sometimes took advantage of, the masses of naĂŻve visitors, and then went about their evenings after the streets cleared. A great deal of financial income in Florence stems from the tourism, and therefore many people work in the industry. They work as tour guides, souvenir shop owners, carriage drivers, and the list goes on. Most of these people strive to be patient with the visitors of Florence, as their income relies on it, however others hold a certain contempt towards foreigners. This is somewhat understandable. In their eyes they see their beloved city being invaded each day by a new wave of map and camera-wielding attackers. At the beginning, I took their brusqueness as an offense, and attributed it to stereotypical “European rudeness.â€? However, the longer I lived in Florence, the more I came to sympathize with them. Taking in the architectural and artistic masterpieces of Italy is essential, pictures do them no justice and they create cherished memories, however, the memories created outside of the main tourist areas are just as important. I learned that it is best to go off the beaten path for great food and shopping. I learned that although not easy at first, it is sometimes best to make friends with the people who do not usually deal with tourists as their job. Aside from the Arno, there are two rivers that flow in Florence. One river is full with visitors from all over the world, clamoring to glimpse the famous buildings and artwork at the banks. The other river winds through the narrow alleyways bordered with quaint stores and eateries away from the tourist centers. While it is important to spend some time swimming in the first river, try to find the tributaries that lead to the second, and from then on just go with the flow.



the places you will go...





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Photo by Linda Wilkins

By Jillian Anderson The breeze felt cool and only picked up as the boat sped off into the sea. It seems like it can’t get much better than this, spending the day on the sea by Capri. But, it gets better. Guisy and Captain Jack, our tour guides, both made sure we could get into one of the most famous landmarks of Capri – the Blue Grotto. We arrived outside of the grotto and had to move from our boat to a smaller row boat that only housed four people and the driver. Only one boat can fit into the entrance at a time. Also watch out! Low head clearance. You’ll be lying in the lap of the person behind you as you duck. However, all of this is a small discomfort to the magic of the Blue Grotto. Once inside, you might hear the singing of the various row-boat drivers showing their customers the sonorous echo. Their various voices bounce of the walls to create an ethereal experience. The darkness of the grotto enhances the experience. Deprived of light except for the light from the entrance, you can barely make out the walls of the grotto, lending to the mystery. Then your boat starts to turn around. A soft azure glow meets you. It’s simply magic. I held my gaze on the light, transfixed. It took me a second to realize why that glow happened, but I won’t ruin the magic for you. The Blue Grotto is a great way to end the day in Capri; nothing can top it.






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Staying e r o f e B e v a e l u o y

You’re not going to be able to talk to friends/family as often as you do while in the States. Make sure they know this beforehand!

Tell them to follow you on Instagram, Facebook, etc. for updates about your time in Italy. There are also plenty of apps available for download to make overseas communication easier AND cheaper!



Baylor requires students in the Florence program to have an international cell phone which will be provided once the group arrives in Italy.


Contact your cell phone provider to see what type of international calling and/or data plans they offer.


People love getting mail - its a fact. Drop a postcard or two in the mail for friends and family every once in a while!

Keepin g in touch


If you don’t already have a blog, now is the time to start one! Trust us, you’ll have PLENTY to blog about.


It’s easy to send a quick email update about your adventures across the ocean.



There’s an app for that The truth about


While studying abroad, Wi-Fi is your best friend. It determines when you can upload pictures from your phone, talk to people back home, and generally feel more connected with the world. If the group is eating at a restaurant with free Wi-Fi, conversation might be scarce for the first half of the meal!


Price: Free Description: If you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you can call, text or send pictures to any other user in the world, FOR FREE!


Price: Free Description: Apply filters to your photos and share them with your followers. You can even post them to Facebook and Twitter.


Price: Free Description: Put multiple photos in one frame so you aren’t blowing up your friends Facebook and Instagram!


Price: Free Description: Connect to Wi-Fi and have a video chat with other Skype users on their phone or computer!


Price: $0.99 Description: Similar to Instagram but with so many more photo editing tools to play with.


Favorite Places and Spaces By Emilie Fogleman I’m an animal-lover in general, but I was brought up to favor cats. In the almost 21 years of my existence, my family has owned nine cats, not including the occasional strays we took in as we searched for the owner. I was craving some kind of cat-action during the trip to ease the sadness of being so far away from my cats. Everyone on the trip needed some way to connect closer to home. Then we found the ruins of misfit cats. Largo di Torre Argentina is a site of ancient Republican Roman temples in the middle of the city. There were black ones and orange ones, tabbies and calicos. Ones missing eyes and others missing legs, and they all seemed to bond together in the shadows of the ruins. To my surprise, the ruins weren’t just a historical site, but a cat sanctuary and shelter. The shelter at Largo Argentina houses about 250 cats which are all tested, vaccinated and sterilized when brought to the shelter. There was a woman whose hobby was capturing stray cats and bringing them to the shelter. She currently holds the record of cats brought in at 1,003. Depending on their previous situations, some of the cats are available for adoption. The ones who aren’t suitable for homes can still be adopted, but at a distance. The cats seemed to bring the inner child out of people. People would walk up to the ruins just to see the view, but would stay longer for the cats. My classmates would peer over the fence, cooing at each cat without worrying about others judging them. We would try to convince them to come up to the fence so we could pet them, but they returned a look of no amusement that resembled Grumpy Cat. Despite the lack of affection at times, the cats provided that reminder of home. It seemed like the cats were a shelter of comfort for the spectators. Just being around the felines gave me a great sense of comfort being away from home, stopping travel anxiety in its furry little tracks.


Photo by Drew Mills

1 Largo Argentina

People come here daily to look not only at the ancient ruins but also the cat colony now residing in the area where Caesar supposedly died. Torre Argentina, also known as the Roman Cat Sanctuary, is home to about 250 feline friends. All of the cats are fed, cleaned and nurtured by volunteers. Make sure to stop by this location if you are feeling homesick from your beloved pets.

2 Dante’s Pizzeria

This local pizzeria is a great place to dine for lunch or dinner mainly because students are not charged for drinks or the annoying service fee. Situated just along the Arno River near Santo Spirito, you can easily drop in on your way home from school. Not only are there great deals for students, but the food is excellent. You haven’t tried Italian pizza until you have eaten at Dante’s Pizzeria.

3 Boat Ride in Capri

On the weekend trip to Capri, last year’s students enjoyed a picturesque, private boat ride around the entire island of Capri. Besides viewing the majestic cliffs, you also get to swim in the blue Mediterranean Sea and enter into the mysterious Blue Grotto. For only a few Euros each, the entire group can relax on the boat and take in a few rays as you are chauffeured around the beautiful island.

4 Gelateria La Carraia

Just around the corner from Dante’s Pizzeria is Florence’s best gelateria. If creamy and rich ice cream is your choice, then this is the place for you. Just check TripAdvisor or the line forming outside! The flavors range from fruits to chocolate mousse and to the overall favorite flavor called Cookies. For just Є2.50 you can get a cone or cup with two massive scopes of your favorite flavor.

5 Festival of San Giovanni

On June 24 Florence celebrates the feast day of its patron Saint John with a colorful parade, a brutal football match and a fireworks spectacular. The football game pits the four districts of Florence against each other. Cheer on the team from your district by wearing their designated color. Make sure to get your tickets fast because this event is a city-wide celebration.

Top: Katie Koleas, Melissa Kasper Middle: Marissa Marak, Charlie Shores, Alison Lutz Bottom: Drew Mills, Jessica Sellers, Elisa Voland


Top: Linda Wilkins, Taylor McNamara Middle: Drew Mills. Taylor McNamara, Linda Wilkins Bottom: Marissa Marak, Jessica Sellers, Mitch Summers


“I encourage

anyone thinking of going on a trip

LIKE THIS to remember


is the best quality

to have. Nothing in

the country will change to

suit your wants or needs; you have to

change to really


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