Brianna Arrighi '17 (center) takes a selfie with her classmates in Emerson's Kasteel Well summer program on a trip to Cologne, Germany: Lindsey Gonzalez '17, John Tancredi '17, and friend Charlotte Morrill. (Courtesy Photo)
When Brianna Arrighi ’17 reflects on her five weeks spent in Emerson’s Kasteel Well, Netherlands, study abroad program, she recalls being atop a gorgeous hill in Barcelona, Spain, on her 20th birthday.
“It was way, way up on this mountain and you could see the whole city,” Arrighi said of the breathtaking Guell Park. “It had really cool architecture and gardens. It was a lot of fun.”
Arrighi, a Writing, Literature and Publishing major from North Attleborough, Massachusetts, spent five weeks this summer in Emerson’s “Castle” program, which focused on art history and digital photography, and encouraged students to travel to other parts of Europe.
“We had a solid five days where we could just travel,” Arrighi said. “This was one of those days.”
Guell Park features the elaborate architecture of Antoni Gaudí, who began building residences at the location in the early 1900s, before the government turned it into a city park.
A view of Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Brianna Arrighi '17)
Arrighi visited Belgium and Italy with her 15 fellow Emerson classmates, then toured France and Spain on her own.
The Castle program, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, is one of several summer study abroad programs offered to Emerson students this year as the College increases its global opportunities.
Under the Global Pathways initiative through the Office of Internationalization and Global Engagement, students this summer also studied in Greece, Czech Republic, Mexico, Ireland, and Austria. More opportunities are expected for next summer.
Emerson owns the Netherlands castle, where students live and study—this summer with faculty members Gerlo Beernink and Rob Duckers.
Brianna Arrighi '17 and Jake Stibbe '18 ride bicycles on the campus of Emerson's Kasteel Well in the Netherlands in the summer of 2015. (Photo by Chris Idzal '17)
Arrighi said she particularly loved studying portraiture. She said she enjoyed examining photographs from both ancient and modern times, and discussing whether the photos were a representation of the person’s true reality or an idealization.
Arrighi also raved about visiting the Duomo Cathederal in Florence, Italy, with her instructors and classmates.
“It was pretty surreal to be having class in Italy,” she said.
Arrighi praised the Kasteel Well staff for helping students with travel plans and any other concerns they had.
“They are so smart about traveling,” she said. “It was nice to have them there.”
Arrighi said she bonded with her classmates and learned a lot about herself during the trip.
“This was the best experience I could have had,” she said. “You learn so much about yourself as an individual, and also about how you work with others. Planning travel with a lot of people takes patience. It makes you a stronger team member when you learn how to navigate a foreign country on your own.”
Editor's Note: This article is part of the twice-weekly Global Spotlight Series that examines the experiences of Emerson College students who worked or studied abroad this summer. New articles will appear every Monday and Wednesday in August on Emerson College Today.