Important Note: Spots are limited. An application is required, which you will receive by email. The Umbra Institute will not be able to guarantee enrollment to all that apply. A minimum of Intermediate Italian language level required.
This course has two main academic components: one experiential (practicum) and one reflective (seminar). The practicum provides you with direct experience in an inclusive professional setting for 3 hours per week. The seminar meets every week for 1.5 hours to explore disciplinary theory through readings, discussions, and personal reflection.
During the seminar portion of the course, you will take an in-depth look at Fair Trade; explore the social, political, and economic implications of global efforts; and research current initiatives in Italy and America.
During the practicum, you will work with Ponte Solidale, a social cooperative with a fair trade bottega in Ponte San Giovanni. Based on your interest and the cooperative’s annual calendar, you will assist with store operations, event preparations, and seasonal activities; web site and promotional material development; conduct research for a women’s empowerment project; and customer service. You will also help at Ponte Solidale’s monthly stand at Umbria Terra Viva, an organic market in Perugia’s city center.
Fall semester practicum students will also participate in Altrocioccolato, an international Fair Trade chocolate festival in Città di Castello and Fa’ la Cosa Giusta Umbria in Bastia Umbra, two important annual events where Ponte Solidale has a stand to raise awareness about Fair Trade as well as promote their products and initiatives.
At the end of the semester, you will present your practicum experience to the Umbra community.
By the end of this course, you will have
- a heightened sense of intercultural awareness;
- an appreciation for how the community partner, as part of the host culture, conveys an identity and sense of place;
- a body of disciplinary knowledge and theory with which to interpret and analyze the experience; and
- critical thinking and communication skills as a result of integrating theory with practice and synthesizing learning into a final project.
Mandatory course reader