Greece and Italy: The Changing Face of Europe

Greece & Italy





Program Description 

Migration is a worldwide phenomenon.  We see it on our own southern border, and in Europe it has changed the composition of the population.   This program allows students to experience the natural beauty and ancient sights of Sicily and Greece, while investigating how Europe is adjusting to an influx of refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. 

Participants have the rare opportunity to tell immigrants’ personal stories of struggle and fortitude. Students will interview not only refugees, but political leaders, clergy members, aid workers, educators and townspeople.  Students will return to the US with deep understanding of the motivating factors for migration and the challenges for acceptance.  Participants are largely journalism students creating multimedia reports on the crisis. However, students of global studies, social work, political science and other majors have developed excellent papers, podcasts and projects to shine a light on the refugee crisis.

Our FLP takes students to three locations where many refugees flock and are now “stuck” due to lack of processing of asylum applications.

ITALY: To gain a complete picture of the crisis, students in our FLP interview African migrants, aid workers, government and religious officials, political party leaders and police officials. Our program also provides visits to renowned sites including the Valley of the Temples, Mt. Etna, and Taormina.

ATHENS, GREECE: While soaking up the atmosphere of the birthplace of democracy in Athens, students are exposed to migrants from the Middle East and Afghanistan, offering a different perspective. Many of them have come from Syria, and they share their stories about losing their homes and family members in relentless bombings.

LESVOS, GREECE: On Lesvos island, students receive a complete behind the scenes look at the refugee crisis. Less than four miles from Turkey, the beautiful island is where many refugees arrive by boat. The relaxed atmosphere of the family-owned hotel, located on the banks of the Aegean Sea, offers the perfect place to finish editing student projects at the end of the trip. 


MCOM 180ITL JMC International Experience (6 units)

Study abroad in two dynamic countries: Greece and Italy. This course offers multiple themes for study and analysis, including business, tourism, social work, economy, and immigration. Students who choose to focus on immigration will have a rare opportunity to tell immigrants' personal stories of struggle and fortitude. The crashing wave of refugees washing ashore on the coasts of Greece and Italy are changing the face of Europe. Many migrants have arrived in these countries, which are ill prepared financially to care for them. How is their presence affecting the economies and social structures of these two countries? You will speak directly to refugees, those still living in camps and those who are settled in their new homes.

This course is especially important for students of journalism, tourism, global studies, business and social work. Students may produce either multimedia news reports or research papers.

This is a 6-unit course designed for any upper division undergraduate or graduate student at SJSU (or anyone registering through Open University) including other educational institutions, who desires to learn more about global citizenship and leadership—particularly in communications and journalism. This course includes both pre- and post-trip assignments. 




Program Leader: Diane Guerrazzi

Diane Guerrazzi is a former Emmy-award winning journalist with 30 years' experience in TV news and strong interest in international journalism.  She advises Update News, the SJSU student-run news broadcast.  She has led students in international field work in six study-abroad programs to the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Germany, Italy and Greece, resulting in two award-winning documentaries.  She has authored three US State Department grants totaling $2.5 million, training journalists and journalism professors from Afghanistan and the Republic of Georgia, while directing academies in the United Arab Emirates, India and Turkey.  She has conducted studies on international news values and delivery designs, presenting the findings at multiple international conferences and publishing in the Newspaper Research Journal.  She holds a M.A. in Print Journalism from USC, and a B.A. from UC Berkeley with double majors in Italian and Political Science.  She spent two full years studying at the University of Padova, Italy and the University of Pisa, where she researched her master's thesis on L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.





It is important to note that each program's total cost will vary depending on the location and the package it offers.  

$1,500 SJSU Special Session Tuition ($250 per unit)
$200 Administrative Fee 
$2,915 Program fees, lodging, class materials and class related tours approximately*
$4,615**  Total Program Cost


* Airfare is not included. Students will need approximately $700-$1000 for meals and free time.
**Price reduced on 10/14/19


Check out the amazing work students on this program have done!


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