This 4-week summer study abroad program examines the global prevalence of dementia, national responses addressing care practices and policies, and multicultural approaches to care practices and policies. Key components of the program are site visits to multiple programs and dementia friendly communities in countries across Europe (Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, England, Italy and Scotland), where students are able to interact with staff members and individuals experiencing dementia. The program sites demonstrate a wide range of global dementia policy in practice that are considered to be progressive and innovative in their approaches to dementia care. 

Students will stay at the Virginia Tech Steger Center for International Scholarship during the first and last weeks of the program. The Steger Center features dorm-style housing in the villa or local apartments, a cafeteria, study and lounge areas, and a garden. It is located in Riva San Vitale, a small town in the southern Italian-speaking part of Switzerland. Lake Lugano is a short walk away. During these two weeks, students will attend lectures, conduct observations and service at a local senior day center, and have free time to explore. Students will also visit the dementia-friendly city of Abbiategrasso, Italy.

During the second and third weeks of the program, students will travel to various locations, including:

  • Bruges, Belgium
  • Middelburg, Netherlands
  • Cambridge, England
  • Stirling, Scotland

During these program excursions, students will visit several dementia-friendly communities (including Hogeweyk, just outside of Amsterdam) and have opportunities to engage with staff and individuals experiencing dementia, attend lectures, visit museums, and have free time to explore. Students will be housed in a combination of hotels, hostels, and/or student housing at local universities. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change.

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