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Experiential Learning


Students will have the opportunity to be exposed to experiential education during their study abroad experience.


According to the Association for Experiential education, Experiential education is Challenge and Experience followed by Reflection leading to Learning and Growth. Some of the principles of experiential education practice include:

Throughout the experiential learning process, the learner is actively engaged in posing questions, investigating, experimenting, being curious, solving problems, assuming responsibility, being creative, and constructing meaning.

Learners are engaged intellectually, emotionally, socially, soulfully and/or physically. This involvement produces a perception that the learning task is authentic.

The results of the learning are personal and form the basis for future experience and learning.

Relationships are developed and nurtured: learner to self, learner to others and learner to the world at large.

Service Learning

Volunteering while studying abroad is a great way for students to meet new people, to immerse themselves in local Roman culture and to contribute to the local economy as well as to make a difference in the lives of people.Various placements are available depending on the needs of the association and the interests of students. In the past, students have volunteered at:     

  • La casa di Kim: KIM association hosts sick children who cannot receive medical treatments in their native countries. Usually one of their parents is hosted with them and stay for the whole duration of treatment.  
  • Community of Sant’Egidio: Soup kitchen and walking dinners
  • Orme in Rome: The association organizes food service where they prepare and make food available for homeless people.

Many other opportunities to volunteer are available. Please contact Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability staff to let us know of your specific interests.

Co-Curricular Activities

Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability is dedicated to promoting co-curricular activities to experiential learning. The co-curricular activities range from learning about cultural particulars and nuances through the study of daily habits to visiting historic sites and buildings to walking old neighborhoods and comparing their layout, functions, and aesthetics with newer ones, to connecting with people working in the food industry. In all cases, we encourage students to engage actively with such opportunities and to turn them into moments of discovery – exploring the patterns of local life in a second culture. These kinds of observations are essential to nearly all coursework at GLi and often become the basis of fieldwork carried out in restaurants, markets, factories, farms and other settings. Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability also keeps students informed of special activities occurring in Rome and elsewhere in Italy and encourages participation. Be sure to bring good walking shoes and a notepad, you will need them.

Language Learning and Cross-Cultural Communication

Gustolab International Food Systems and Sustainability keeps students informed of intercultural activities in Rome or elsewhere in Italy.  We believe it is important for our students to interact with local people and arrange regular field trips to neighborhoods, historic sites, and institutions in Rome and elsewhere.  We also arrange activities with local Italian students and GLi students take Italian classes at Scuola Leonardo da Vinci.

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