Vertigo at the Vatican

The Bramante Staircase is regarded as a hidden treasure of the Vatican. Some tourists miss this wondrous and vertigo-inducing piece of architecture as it is no longer on the main tour paths. Despite the name, this modern double-helix staircase was actually designed by Giuseppe Momo in 1932, who was inspired by the original Bramante Staircase of the Renaissance. This stunning set of individual pathways is regularly used by patrons traveling from the Belvedere Palace to the Cortile del Belvedere.


Momo’s design takes two pathways and intertwines them in a double-helix. Photograph by Ryan Shields

Globalize Your Education: Study In Italy

IUSB is heading back to Florence in 2016! Finals week has come and gone and we at the International Programs urge students to consider studying outside of the United States. Professor Dora Natella is leading students back to Italy in the pursuit of expanding intellect and experience! Students will stay in apartments provided in partnership with the Santa Reparata International School of Art. The program is from May 19th to June 17th 2016. The deadline for applications is February 5th, 2016. It is imperative for students to start the process of getting a passport! Start planning now!


The rolling hills of Tuscany. Photographs by Ryan Shields


A streetview in Florence, Italy.


IU South Bend students at Piazzale Michelangelo.

Exploring the Forbidden City–La Habana, Cuba

On December 17, 2014, President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced the monumental decision to begin normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba.  In doing so, the two presidents initiated the process that will chip away at over 50 years of international discord.


Classic Cuba- Photograph by Hanna Osthimer

A month prior to this historic announcement, I traveled to La Habana (Havana), Cuba aboard a ship along with 500 other students.  This was the final destination of a study abroad program, Semester at Sea, with an itinerary that included 14 other countries.


Along El Malecon- Photograph by Hanna Osthimer

At this time, U.S. citizens were limited in accessing the island nation only 90 miles off the coast of Florida.  A visa granted on the basis of higher education allowed us an exclusive look into the country we had only read about briefly in textbooks.

If you were to ask me about Cuba before I visited, I would have only been able to recount simple phrases, hollowed of any cultural significance: Bay of Pigs, the Tropicana, and Cuban cigars.

Yet, in traveling to the country, I learned of the warmth, openness, and resilience of the Cuban people.  I learned that the Cuban people are divided on their view of the United States, oscillating between resentment and yearning.  Perhaps most importantly though, I learned about myself.

The fact is that Cuba is an impoverished nation where the majority of its people live in a state of hunger and need.  Yet, the collective outlook is one of joy and gratefulness to reside in an island paradise where life moves slowly and without the stress of wanting more, more, more.

The greatest lesson learned from Cuba remains in my heart today as I remember to appreciate all that I am fortunate enough to have.

Now almost a year after my visit, President Obama and President Raul Castro continue their commitment for change.  Just last week the two leaders met at the United Nations in light of Pope Francis’s visit to both countries.  Progress has already been made, with each nation reopening embassies in the capital cities.  I look forward to even more positive change in the months and years to come.

Would you consider traveling to Cuba, either for tourism or educational purposes?

Blog post written by Hanna Osthimer.

Inspiration Comes Easy in Venice

For IUSB students studying in Italy in 2015, the three days in Venice were three of the most exhilarating days.


Venice at sunset. Photographs by Ryan Shields

Each day, students went to a different contemporary art festival or exhibition before being set loose to shoot photography in beautiful Venice.



IUSB students take a much needed rest at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum.


The featured collections at the Guggenheim were that of Charles Pollock (1902-1988) and his brother, Jackson Pollock (1912-1956).


Peggy Guggenheim is buried in her museum, along with her many pets.

The Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice is a collection from some of the most renowned artists in contemporary art. With this caliber of inspirational material at hand, students had no trouble finding the enthusiasm for exploring their own artistic notions.

New Technologies, New Artistic Perspectives: The Venice Biennale

While in Venice, 2015 IUSB Study Abroad students had the privilege of attending the 56th Venice Biennale Festival. This international contemporary art festival embodies the ambiguity that is artistic mode. There are Biennale festivals that take place all over the world showcasing advances in technologies, as well as new perspectives in art. Artists contribute works to specific exhibits that represent their country. The first Biennale took place in Venice in 1895. The Venice Biennale has been held every other year since.

IUSB student Adam Guerra takes in Japan’s Exhibit at the 2015 Venice Biennale Festival. Photograph by Ryan Shields.

IUSB student Adam Guerra takes in Japan’s Exhibit at the 2015 Venice Biennale Festival. Photograph by Ryan Shields.

Around the World With International Programs

During International Education Week (November 16-20), International Programs (IP) and the Study Abroad Society will present, “Around the World with International Programs,” a chance to receive a $5 coupon for Starbucks or other campus restaurant by attending international programs events.


To participate, visit the International Programs table early in the week to obtain a Passport. Attend a minimum of five International Education Week events (find the list of approved events here), have the presenter or IP staff member stamp or initial your passport at the end of the event as proof of attendance.

Once you have attended your events, return your passport to the International Programs table to receive a $5 coupon* valid for the on-campus Starbucks, University Grill, or the Sub Connection. All IU South Bend students, faculty, and staff are eligible to participate and are encouraged to attend as many events as possible.

For further information or questions, please email Lead Intern Jackie Thornton at

*There are only 50 coupons to give away.

International Speaker Series

IUSB International Programs Presents:
International Speaker Series November 2015

Sam Joyce – “Contemporary Race Relations in Brazil and Racial Representations in the Media”  Monday November 9, 11:30am NS 036

Dr. Samantha Joyce is Assistant Professor of Mass Communications in the Raclin School of the Arts. Born in Brazil, she received her undergraduate degree at Universidade Federal Fluminense before moving to the US for graduate work. Dr. Samantha Joyce explores the role of media in cultural formations and cross-cultural communication as well as the role of the media and social change, ethics, class, gender, and sexuality.

Jeff Luppes – “Why Germany Still Matters” Monday November 16, 10am DW 1275

Dr. Jeff Luppes is Assistant Professor of German. His published research focuses on postwar memory, Germany identities, and German sports. Dr. Luppes teaches all levels of German language, literature, and culture. His greatest joy as a teacher is helping students discover what they find most fascinating about German culture.

Monica Tetzlaff – “Ghana Today” Monday November 16, 1pm, DW 1275

Dr. Monica Tetzlaff is an Associate Professor of History. She spent the last academic year as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ghana. In addition to her interest in African History, Tetzlaff specializes in African American History, Women’s History, and the history of social movements.

Aynur Onur “Turkey Today” Tuesday November 17, 8:30-9:45am in WD 1275 and repeats at 11:30-12:45 in EA 1010

Originally from Turkey, Aynur Onur is a doctoral candidate in Anthropology at Indiana University Bloomington. Her research focuses on the relationship between gender equity goals, secularism, and military service in Turkey, a secular Muslim state.

Haiyan Yin and Joe Chaney – China and Hong Kong panel Tuesday November 17, 2:30pm 1290 DW
Haiyan Yin “Doing Business in China Today” and Joe Chaney “Hong Kong Today”

Dr. Haiyan Yin is an Associate Professor of International Business in the Leighton School of Business and Economics. Prior to joining IU South Bend, Dr. Yin conducted research with the World Bank in Washington DC.  She teaches courses in international finance, international business, corporate finance, and financial markets and institutions.

Dr. Joe Chaney is Professor of English and Director of the Master’s of Liberal Studies Program. His published research includes work on Shakespearean drama, Renaissance rhetoric, and eighteenth-century autobiography. He spent the 2009-2010 academic year as a Fulbright Scholar in Hong Kong and advised eight universities on best practices in general education programs. He will be the co-trip leader for a new study abroad opportunity to Hong Kong and Japan 2016.

Dora Natella – “Italy today” Tuesday November 17, 4 pm NS 113

Dora Natella is Associate Professor of Fine Arts in the Raclin School of the Arts. Raised in Italy, she studied figurative sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. Her roots in Italy and Venezuela as well as her experiences learning and teaching in the US have shaped her art. In 2016, Professor Natella will lead a study abroad trip to Italy in 2016

Shawn Nichols-Boyle – “Embracing and Erasing the Past: Exploring the Complexity of Modern Ireland” Tuesday November 17, 5:30 pm DW 1185

Dr. Shawn Nichols-Boyle is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department and Director of the English as a Second Language Program. In 2017, Dr. Nichols-Boyle will lead a new study abroad experience to Ireland. Dr. Nichols-Boyle received her Ph.D. in Anglo-Irish Literature from University College Dublin and lived in the Dublin area for five years.

Anurag Pant – “India Today” Wednesday November 18, 1pm

Originally from India, Dr. Anurag Pant received a BA from Mumbai University and a Master’s degree in International Business from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi. Dr. Pant is Associate Professor of Marketing in the Leighton School of Business and Economics and teaches courses related to consumer behavior and marketing research.

 Eric McGinness – “Teaching English In China,” Thursday November 19 11:30am EA 1019

Eric McGinness is student in the IUSB Masters of Education program. He has traveled widely and has lived in in France and Israel. In his talk, he will discuss his experiences teaching English for three years in China.

Yuri Obata – “Japan’s Shimane Prefecture: The Land of Eight Million Gods” Thursday November 19 2:30pm DW 1290

Originally from Japan, Dr. Yuri Obata received a Ph.D. from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Colorado at Boulder in August of 2005. Her research and teaching interests are communication law and culture, Japanese and international mass media and popular culture, and laws on pornography

Harry Vasilopoulos – “Greece Today” Thursday December 3, 10am EA 1019

Professor Harry Vasilopoulos has expertise in Human Resources, Organizational Development, Change Management, Instructional Design, and Industrial Relations.  Originally from Athens Greece, Professor Vasilopoulos is the trip leader for a new study abroad opportunity in Greece in 2016.