Photos of Italy

Information for Parents

Maymester in Italy 2016

TO:  Parents of Students Interested in the Maymester Study Abroad Program in Carpi, Italy


Barbara Bradley, University of Kansas

Mindy Spearman, Clemson University

Your son or daughter has expressed interest in the Maymester Study Abroad Program in Carpi, Italy. For many students, the main barrier to participating is the cost of the program. Many students will be seeking support from parents to assist in covering that cost.

We know that it is often difficult for parents to manage that expense. However, we would like to offer some perspectives as you consider supporting your child's participation in this program:

  • This is a unique opportunity. We are aware of no other study abroad program for education majors that arranges home stays with local host families, who are carefully screened, and also places students in classrooms to work with children in the host country. Further, it is difficult to imagine such a rich cultural and educational experience outside a study abroad program at a university. In other words, it is unlikely that students will have such an opportunity after they graduate.
  • This is a proven program. May, 2016 will be the 16th year we have taken students to Carpi (approximately 365 students in all). In 2009 this program was awarded the Andrew Heiskell Award for Innovation in the study abroad category. This is a coveted international award that was presented by the International Institute of Education the United Nations. See
  • Safety is our highest priority. Italy and Carpi are safe places to visit. For example, we have local connections for all emergencies, which fortunately we have never had to use. Although there are always risks in traveling abroad, we have never had a serious incident regarding students' safety.
  • This program provides perspectives and memories that last a lifetime. We can think of little else that we do as professors that has such a long-term positive effect on students' professional perspectives and personal growth. The students who have participated in this program typically return with much broader perspectives on education and cultural differences. Often, they also feel an added sense of confidence, independence, and maturity. Many of our students stay in contact with their Italian families, teachers, and students long after they return to the US.

We know that this may be an important financial decision for your family. However, we would encourage you to consider seriously making an investment in an experience that will produce lifelong returns for your son or daughter. Please click here to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Please click here for a printable version of this document.