Department of Geography Offering Study Abroad Options Year-Round

Starting in Spring 2023, the Department of Geography will have a continuous study abroad program for the first time. Both Environmental Studies majors and Geography majors can take classes for their major while spending either a semester in Florence, participating in the Florence Summer Institute, or both.  

Course offerings will include Conservation of Natural Resources, Global Climate Change, Geography of Wine, as well as opportunities for an internship.  Spring and Fall courses will be taught by local affiliated faculty in Italy, while summer sessions will be taught by Kent State full-time faculty.

Faculty members are also currently developing some study abroad opportunities to other destinations for upcoming semesters. 

Scott Sheridan

To kickstart the study abroad scholarship program, Scott Sheridan, Ph.D., professor and chair in the Department of Geography at Kent State University, made a personal pledge by donating $5,000 to the Alexander von Humboldt Study Away/Abroad Scholarship Fund.

“I’ve always felt strongly about students having the opportunity to study abroad and I realize that there are very significant financial hurdles for a lot of people to undertake study abroad,” Sheridan said. “So, the idea was to go along with other philanthropic efforts across the university and try to reach out to other donors and see if I could kickstart something specific for Geography.”

To learn more about the Florence Program, visit:

“The Florence Program gives students the chance to actually be able to experience a foreign culture by immersing themselves in it,” Sheridan said. “Students live in apartment buildings next door to Italians and navigate an Italian city. The experience goes way beyond what you can have in the classroom. You also have this wealth of expertise from the local instructors that can truly broaden your horizons.”

Geography of Wine

One of the new courses that will be offered starting in Spring is the Geography of Wine on the Florence Campus. Taught by local instructors, this course gives the student an excellent opportunity to understand winemaking and the culture behind wine in one of the most famous countries on the planet for wine production. Chianti is unique to the Tuscany region. Sheridan said there may be opportunities for students to do an internship at a local winery that has a long-standing partnership with Kent State Florence.

If you are interested in supporting the scholarship fund, visit:

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POSTED: Monday, December 12, 2022 10:27 AM
Updated: Monday, December 12, 2022 03:12 PM
Jim Maxwell