Sport Management Students get a Master Class in Italian Culture and Sport
For the 12 students in Dr. Todd Harrison’s International Cultures and Sport class, Spring Break 2017 went beyond the typical experiences of traveling to warm locales, relaxing at home, or getting ahead on class assignments. Instead, Spring Break was a 10-day excursion into Italian culture and sport.
The immersive trip, which took the group to Milan, Verona, Venice, Florence, and Rome, was the focal point of a semester-long class on the history and sport of one of the modern world's most influential nations. Included on the itinerary were lectures on Italian Soccer's Calciopoli (financial scandals), what it takes to run a MotoGP team, social responsibility efforts of the Italian National Soccer Federation (FIGC), and the communications programming for the Italian Winter Sports Federation. In addition, the group toured San Siro Stadium (home of AC Milan and FC Internationale), attended a Serie A match between AC Milan and Chievo Verona, and received a first-hand experience with one of the world’s most popular sports at the Six Nations Rugby match between Italy and France in Rome’s Olympic Stadium.
Beyond these sport-centered experiences, the group toured the Vatican, including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica, Colosseum and Roman Forum, and Arena di Verona. They also visited the Accademia Gallery to see the original Statue of David, the canals of Venice, and the Sforza Castle in Milan, where Leonardo da Vinci created many of his works.
“To have the chance to see the sights of Italy and also meet with sport managers and hear about their work was a life-changing experience and will probably be my lasting memory from my time at Fisher,” said Collin Hetherington ’18, a sport management student.
This is the second cohort of students to travel as a part of the course. During Spring Break 2014, Harrison took a group of students to Dublin, Liverpool, and London. Plans for a trip to Paris and Amsterdam, and corresponding class, are being discussed for Spring Break 2018.