Arrivederci! Wayne State University students off to study in Italy, courtesy of Italian Government

February 21, 2008

Wayne State University announced today that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Italian Government through the Consulate of Italy in Detroit has donated $15,840 to benefit the "Wayne in Abruzzo" Study Abroad Program.

This funding initiative will generously offer students of Wayne State an opportunity to gain real-life experience and confidence in their use of the Italian language as well as an understanding of the culture as it relates to business, the university, and other everyday life experiences. The one time gift will be offered to students who participate in the Summer Educational Program in Italy and who also meet the criteria for eligibility, such as financial needs, grade point average, and declaring a major/minor in Italian.

"We are tremendously grateful to Consul of Italy Dr. Romeo for his gracious assistance with securing these funds for students to experience the five-week intensive study abroad program in Gagliano Aterno, Italy," said program director Dr. Raffaele De Benedictis.

Dr. Carlo Romeo, the Consul of Italy who approached the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on behalf of Wayne said he was honored to help, "This is an excellent program. With additional funds such as this donation, the program can continue to enhance a partnership on the joint initiative regarding the Italian language, literature, and culture."

One of the fastest growing programs at WSU, "Wayne in Abruzzo" was established in 2003 under the guidance of the Italian Heritage Society in Detroit and its President Marian Impastato, the former Governor of Abruzzo The Honorable Giovanni Pace, Dr. Pasquale Casale, as well as by an innovative and ongoing collaboration between Wayne State University and the Abruzzo region of Italy, said Dr. De Benedictis.

It joins many other study abroad programs that demonstrate the global leadership position of the University in academic excellence.

"With the growing global economy and the increasing interdependence of trade and diplomacy, the Study Abroad Programs at Wayne State University are increasingly relevant and certainly a sign of the changing times," said Dr. Margaret E. Winters, Interim Chair of the Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures Department that administers several of the programs.

"Participants in our programs have an opportunity to become more internationally competent and proficient in both traditional core subjects and foreign languages. By being immersed in a language and culture, that is by living it, the participants learn it far more thoroughly."

Winters further notes that students today must be prepared to compete in the global marketplace, "Understanding people and cultures abroad also helps in dealing with people who come to the United States to work. The more you know about the history and culture of another nation, the more marketable you are in today's economy," she said.

To find out more about the Wayne in Abruzzo Study Abroad Program, please contact Program Director Dr. Raffaele De Benedictis at (313) 577-6258 or You may donate to the Study Abroad Programs at Wayne State University by contacting Assistant Director of Development Michael J. Mirto at (313) 577-2226 or

Wayne State University is a premier institution of higher education offering more than 350 academic programs through 11 schools and colleges to more than 33,000 students.