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ODU Faculty, Students Travel to Italy for Counseling in Italy Institute

A group of seven ODU faculty and students recently made the trip to Reggalo, Italy, where they took part in the Counseling in Italy Institute, a two-week exchange between U.S. and Italian counselors.

Organized by Ted Remley, ODU professor of education leadership and counseling, the institute featured workshops and presentations from an American delegation, as well as from Italian counselors, social workers, psychiatrists and teachers. Topics covered included the treatment of mental illness in Italy, counseling methods used for K-12 students and counseling for prostitutes.

The ODU students and faculty were part of the 26-person American delegation, which also included faculty from institutions such as Southeastern Louisiana University, St. Joseph's College, George Washington University and Regent University. The students were a mix of masters and doctorate students, several of which gave presentations at the institute.

Remely said that he thought the trip was an excellent learning opportunity for everyone involved, and that it helped expose the students to a culture they may not have seen otherwise.

"I think it was a good cultural awareness experience," he said. "It's interesting, because the Italians look just like us, so it's enlightening when you see some of the cultural differences."

Following the institute, the group also attended an international counseling conference in Florence in which approximately 100 Italian and 50 American counselors, students and university faculty gathered for two days. Sponsored by the National Board for Certified Counselors and convened by ODU, the bi-lateral conference featured simultaneous translation and further presentations from American and Italian counselors.

This year's institute was the fifth Remley has organized, and he is already planning next year's gathering. He said that the institute is always a popular event, usually filling up months in advance, and that he believes it is making a difference. "As a result of this, I think ODU will have an impact on the Italian counseling community," he said. "In fact, you can already see it. It's really fun."

This article was posted on: July 25, 2008

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