For professionals working to improve the health of their communities, it is important to study best practices from around the world. One of the ideal places to learn from is Italy, which the World Health Organization ranks as one of the top health care systems. Add that to its desirability as a tourist location and you have the perfect location for post-professional students and alumni of the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences to examine firsthand the impact of health policies and behaviors on health outcomes.
The university is planning a study abroad trip to Italy (download the brochure)—including the Amalfi Coast, Isle of Capri, Pompeii, and Rome—from April 6 to 15, 2019, a span of six workdays designed to accommodate working adults. Post-professional students and alumni will survey ancient health delivery methods, comparative health systems, traditional health models, and health economics. Students will receive three credit hours toward a designated course upon successful completion of the trip and required course work. Faculty advisors will provide details on pre- and post-trip assignments.
“Through immersion in the local culture, our post-professional students and alumni will develop an in-depth understanding of the area history, environmental landscape, economics, government, and organizations,” says Karen Snyder PhD, OTR/L, director of the Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (PPOTD) program. “This expedition is an opportunity to examine the impact of health behaviors on health outcomes, and ultimately, the local healthcare system.”
The university’s post-professional programs include the Doctor of Education (EdD), Post-Professional Doctor of Occupational Therapy (PPOTD), Transitional Doctor of Physical Therapy (tDPT), Master of Health Sciences (MHS), Master of Health Administration (MHA) and nursing programs.
The $3,600 price includes:
- Nine nights of lodging at first-class hotels, in double occupancy rooms
- Group dining and stipends for all meals, accommodation of dietary needs
- In-country transportation on a first-class tour bus and watercraft
- Entrance fees to planned site visits
- Daily itinerary, identification tag and tote bag
- Associated taxes, fees, tolls, etc.
- Medical coverage while in Italy
- Professional liability ($2,000,000 per student)
- Accompaniment by one Custom Europe representative and one university faculty member
- Health guides, faculty, and seminar leaders
Price does not include:
- Passport (Apply for or renew your passport at least 6 weeks in advance of travel)
- Personal purchases, including gifts and souvenirs
- Course tuition and university fees
- Spouses and significant others
Visas and immunizations are not required.
Proposed Itinerary (Subject to Change)
TRAVEL DAY! Depart any airport for Rome (FCO) for overnight flight. You MUST arrive at the Rome (Fiumicino – FCO) airport by 8:30 am at the latest.
Rome: Arrive Rome where USA faculty and Custom Europe host will greet you and direct you to our private coach for coach and guided walking tour of Public Health in Ancient Rome, including the Coliseum and Roman Forum areas. Tour concludes at Trevi Fountain for lunch. Our coach then takes us to Sorrento for check-in to our luxury hotel. Reception and Welcome Dinner this evening.
Sorrento: Group breakfast at hotel followed by seminar on “The Italian Healthcare System,” presented by a local health official. This is followed by local health specialists who will meet with various disciplines in small group seminars and discussions. After a working lunch at the hotel field trips to appropriate health institutions led by local discipline specific practitioners. Evening has an optional and brief overview of Sorrento. Dinner on your own.
Sorrento/Amalfi: Working breakfast followed by overview of the role of climate change on health delivery, economics, emergency care, and sanitation, and the environment on the Amalfi Coast. Private coaches will complete the day with first-hand experience of the Amalfi coast with guides. Appropriate stops at towns and villages on the Amalfi coast. Dinner on your own.
Sorrento/Isle of Capri/Naples: Working breakfast followed by orientation on the Isle of Capri and the special health requirements for a small island with millions of visitors, ranging from emergency medical care, water sanitation, and the regional health network serving the island. Then we go by private coaches to the marina for a hydrofoil sailing excursion to the isle of Capri for a guided tour. From there we once again board the hydrofoil for sailing the Bay of Naples. On docking we will be greeted by our guide who will lead us to the Medical Museum for a private guided tour by a surgeon from the University of Naples. From there we visit an ancient and elaborate pharmacy for a second guided tour.
This evening we soak up the culture of Naples with a pizza tasting in a typical community’s Italian restaurant before our private coach takes us back to our hotel.
Sorrento/Pompeii: After a working breakfast on health and living conditions in ancient Pompeii our private coach will take us to the Roman city destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 1279 AD. The city of 25,000 was destroyed and covered by ash so it was preserved. You will have lunch and time to explore Pompeii on your own after the guided tour. Dinner on your own this evening.
Sorrento/Ischia: After breakfast we once again board a hydrofoil on the Bay of Naples but this time for the health island of Ischia. The thermal waters have been used in healing and medicine for centuries and are part of European health cures today. You will be able to experience first-hand why the waters are used in treatment and prevention of many diseases. We will return to Sorrento by hydrofoil. Dinner on your own.
Sorrento: After breakfast we will enjoy a cultural experience that also has a major economic and social impact on the Amalfi region. Our first stop is the iconic Cuomo’s Lucky Store where you will be able to see how marquetry (inlaid wood) is an ancient craft in the area, as well as the beautiful ceramics. The visit to the Lucky store is followed by an historic and cultural tour of Sorrento followed by a limoncello tasting. Limoncello is an after-dinner drink but also historically used as a digestive, especially by fishermen on the sea around the coast. Our private coast will take us high into the hills surrounding Sorrento for our Farewell Dinner, a cooking school where you will get hands on (literally) experience in preparing traditional Italian dishes and desserts. After the cooking school we will meet back at the hotel for a special presentation by the faculty and Custom Europe-something you will not want to miss.
Sorrento/Rome: After breakfast we board our bus back to Rome as our journey comes full circle. We will have two major stops along the way, one being Monte Cassino. This truly does make the journey complete the circle as on the way to Rome you will be provide narrative on the bus of how the priests at Monte Cassino centuries ago influenced health care, culture, and a way of life on the modern Amalfi Coast. Our other stop will be the Royal Caserta Palace and Gardens where a local guide will take us through the huge and magnificent place. We overnight near the Rome airport.
Return to USA: Note—if you prefer to stay on your own in Rome or somewhere in Europe then Custom Europe can assist you if you wish—just ask.