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Monday, August 15, 2022
ArlingtonEducationMarymount inks partnership with college in Italy

Marymount inks partnership with college in Italy

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Marymount University has signed an agreement with Florence University of the Arts – The American University of Florence (FUA-AUF) that will result in “new, exceptional educational opportunities” for students in Marymount’s School of Design and Art to study in Italy.

Haute couture was born in Florence, and the city is home to many famous designers that include Ferragamo, Gucci, Cavalli and Pucci, Marymount officials noted in announcing the partnership.

A step above what a traditional study-abroad program would provide, the agreement allows FUA-AUF to be a key part of the core experience for students in fashion design, fashion merchandising/marketing, interior design, graphic and media design and studio art. Beginning in the fall 2023 semester, the university expects to send cohorts of 10 to 15 students to Italy once a year through the partnership.

The nature of this agreement will not only help increase academic benefits and marketplace connections, but also offer lifelong cultural benefits that many students would not have had the chance to experience otherwise.

“Marymount prides itself on supporting social mobility while also opening our students’ eyes to the whole world,” said Marymount president Irma Becerra, who said the partnership would provide students with a life-changing opportunity to study abroad.

The agreement between the two universities will allow both institutions to develop a curriculum together that directly benefits students, their progress within their majors and their overall college experience.

For Doug Seidler, who gets to directly see his students’ work as director of the School of Design and Art and professor of interior design at Marymount, the impact of this partnership will be positively felt for current and future generations of students.

“This is a very big and positive step in our dream of making the School of Design and Art one of the top fashion, design and art schools in the United States,” he said.

Jonathan Aberman, dean of Marymount University’s College of Business, Innovation, Leadership and Technology, added that AUF’s approach to experiential learning and career development closely aligns with Marymount’s commitment to career preparation and practical experiences.

“Having our School of Design and Art programs, as well as fashion merchandising and marketing, tightly integrated into AUF’s programs will allow our students to get their education at the center of international art and design,” Aberman said.

What led FUA-AUF officials to promote the Marymount partnership?

“As we look for new partners across the world, we are always considering institutions with a high amount of diversity,” said Grace Joh, vice president for university relations, communications and marketing at FUA-AUF. “We can definitely tell that Marymount’s administrators and staff take the student experience very seriously.”

“It’s not often in academia that you meet systems and processes that are embracing of change and new visions,” Joh added. “We are really looking forward to the further developments that we can create together.”

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