Spring 2017 - Greetings from HUF Newsletter

By now, the Spring 2017 students have completed a third independent travel and made it back home to the States (or in one case, Japan) and their oversees HUF experience has come to a close. Who better to sum up that experience in words than the students themselves. 

So it is fitting that our last Greetings from HUF for this semester include excerpts from several of the student's final writing assignments. Part of the essay is a reflection on the following question:

What was your "Aha" moment of the semester? When did all of what we have been doing come together and somehow cause something to click in your mind?

"There was no A-Ha moment that changed me in the way I expected, rather every seemingly small thing we came into contact with was merely like a chisel to me, a raw block of marble, and sculpted my HUF experience to what it seems like now: a finished and polished beautiful piece of art. When looking at all these creations that the greatest minds on earth have input into the world, I realize what I want most in this life. These men stayed true to Robbie's saying of "aggressively seek beauty in every day" and rather than seeking refuge in nature or something of those sorts, they sold their minds and embodied some of the most beautiful pieces seen in the history of the world. I realize what I want most in my life, and that is to effect the world in a positive way, just as these men have done. I realize that in today’s age, marble working or creating frescoes for churches are still amazing things to do, but today affecting the world beautifully could be done in many different ways. I don't care what I end up doing or what hobbies I will end up taking on, but I know for a fact that I want to aggressively seek beauty in all of it, and I want to put my experience and meaning within in everything I do."

— Evan Rosenzweig

"While at HUF I have experienced many events that will surely stay with me for the rest of my life. Even though I will not always remember every detail from this trip, I will always remember the lessons it has taught me, and the way my view of the world has changed through it. I have yet to experience a single epiphany moment, but looking back I can see the series of revelations that have led to the grand total of my life lesson learned. While in Europe I have been able to see how history has influenced the present, and how that should affect the way I live my life today."

— Caroline Brown

"Using the analogy of a clock, I am but the smallest piece like a spoke on a miniscule cog when it comes to the world going ‘round. I think I have come to some small actuality that I am almost of no consequence to the world. Chances are that I will not change the world by myself, and the world will never know my name. While this may seem like a melancholy thought to dwell on, it just makes me appreciate more and more the love that God has for each of us individually. He knows each of us individually and completely, knows our every dark secret and triumph and loves us regardless. So while I may not be of consequence to the world, I am the apple of my Lord’s eye and that is more than enough for me."

— Leah Johnson

"I have found myself during this trip staring off over a Florentine skyline, watching the sun set into the ocean, and standing at the pinnacle of the island of Capri muttering to myself the question “Where am I?” I am smiling as I say this because I am in complete disbelief of what I am seeing with my eyes. The sheer beauty that God has laid before me and blessed me with, I am experiencing in that very moment. The Amalfi Coast, Capri, Florence, Abetone, the Turkish Steps, and a castle in the middle of Casentino to name a few are some of the places that I have felt this because of how beautiful they are! I try and capture the moments in my camera as quickly as I can because I know just how fleeting the moments are. I have found that during this trip, if I don’t keep myself focused then I will miss those glimpses of God. I might see the sights, experience the art, and meet special people, but if I am not aggressively seeking beauty then it will pass me by."

— Addison Picker

Visiting Faculty Note:

Dr. Shawn and Jennifer Fisher, professors of history and speech-language pathology respectively, were our visiting faculty this Spring semester. Their daughters, Elizabeth and Rachel, also accompanied them on the trip. Shawn and Jennifer were HUFstudents in the Spring of 1996.

For my wife and me it has been 21 years since we have visited Italy, and it is still as beautiful and magical as our first visit. This time things are a little different, of course. Last time we were footloose students, backpacking across Europe with boundless energy and a Eurail pass. This time we are, perhaps, a little slower and not quite as adventurous, and of course we have with us not only 36 students to teach and look after, but also two kids of our own.

Jennifer and I were dating when we came to HUF in 1996, and it was really a serious commitment of our relationship to see if we could tolerate each other for the extent of the semester. It is safe to say that we did! We can honestly say we fell in love in Italy, and we wouldn't be the first to make that claim. But after 21 years of marriage, it's nice to be back here together and reflect on how much closer we have grown emotionally and spiritually. It's not quite as romantic to visit Venice with our two kids in tow, of course, but it's nice to watch them marvel at it, just as we did years ago.

In some ways this has been an even better experience than the last, mostly because we get to experience Italy through the eyes of our children and our "HUF kids." As we visit some of the exciting and interesting places in the world there is a palpable feel of joy and elation. It never gets old. For a history professor like myself, it's also a chance to tick off a few items on the bucket list -- give a lecture about the Colosseum, or at the landing site for the Allied invasion of Italy in 1943, or teach about Paul while walking the streets of an ancient Roman city.

One of the best experiences of the trip has been the HUF students, and we've enjoyed watching our girls interact with their 36 big brothers and sisters. There's been plenty of fun interactions, some laughs and friendly kidding, and a lot of kindness and patience as well. It also been a treat to reconnect with Robbie and Mona Shackleford, who were the directors here in 1996. They have both been so sweet to our family and still have the same level of energy and excitement today as they did in 1996. Grant Schol is a new face, and the ladies Paola and Leda, have replaced Anna and Renatta, but in many ways it's truly been like going home. The Villa is the same, the smells and tastes are just as delightful as we remember.

From an intellectual standpoint, the museums and tours are even more enriching the second time around, even for someone who has been teaching Western Civilization for several years. I have new stories and details to relate in class, of course, but also a broader understanding that comes from advanced study. I have often caught myself making connections in ways that I missed the first time.  You don't have to pull questions out of students; the questions come naturally as we walk together, whether in the Greek temples in Agrigento, or the Roman Forum, or the Uffizi. Students learn as easily as breathing, and as educators, we have come to value that perhaps most of all.

Another semester has come and gone and another group photo is in the book. But the importance of the significant life changes and world-view shifts that have taken place in the past three months are no less noteworthy. These students now join the ranks of over 3,000 HUF Alumni, all of whom have had a similar experience to what these students have just finished. Many of whom are still having "aha moments" about something they may have learned during their time in Italy. The program is over but the learning has just begun.

From everyone at the Harding University in Florence program, we hope and pray that somehow the students have been affected by this experience. Because through them we hope that they can help make this world a better place. 

Posted on April 26, 2017 .

Spring 2017 - Greetings from HUF Newsletter

Things here at HUF seem to have become busier and busier as the semester comes closer to the end. Since our last message, we have been on our group trip to Sicily and the students have completed their second independent travel to other parts of Europe. 

Sicily is like no other place in the world. It has been a crossroad of different cultures for thousands of years, linking different peoples together to form a place so unique that the only thing it could simply be is Sicilian. This Italian island in the Mediterranean is quite literally a place of legends, as it is the mythological home to the cyclopses and land of adventures for the Greek hero Odysseus. As a strategically located trading post, Sicily has been a land of the passerby since the beginning. The Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Elymians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Normans, Turks and Spanish have all called Sicily home at one point in time and their memories still live on as the same island continues to captivate people today. 

The Italians call it a "land of contradictions" because right when you think you have Sicily figured out, a curve ball gets thrown at you. The Italians also call it "L'imbarazzante delle scelte," or an embarassment of choices, because Sicily has so much to offer, one simply cannot do it all in one trip. During our trip to Sicily we try to highlight the absolute must see places on one's first trip to the island. 

The Straits of Messina were our first stop then the ancient, medieval and modern city of Syracuse. Agrigento and the Valley of the Temples were next where we also enjoyed some time by the water at the Scala dei Turchi, or Turkish Steps. Next we traveled by bus across the island to Monreale and Palermo. We returned to mainland Italy via overnight ferry to Naples. After disembarking the next morning, the entire group elected to use our trip back to Florence as an opportunity to visit the island of Capri in the Bay of Naples.

Student's Note:

The following story is a real-life account of Friday, March 17th, 2017 – a day that some HUF students have referred to as “the best day ever.”

After spending the morning in Agrigento for an on-site class exploring some of the largest and best preserved Greek temples in the world, the group hopped back onto our bus and headed to a place known as “La Scala Dei Turchi,” or the Turkish Steps, a beautiful set of white cliffs made of a sedimentary rock called marl which has the appearance of plaster.

Once getting off the bus, we had a group lunch at a restaurant right on the beach where most of us had swordfish (which was very good) before going about fifteen minutes further down the beach to the Steps. We had incredible weather and could not have asked for a sunnier day to spend out by the sea. When approaching the steps, you only can see the one side of them, a large white slope of rock with people walking up. Moving up to the top of the cliffs, there are indentations all along it that make for the perfect spots to lounge in and soak up some rays. Walking along the steps and climbing up to the top made for some great picture opportunities as well as an overall relaxing time after several consecutive busy days of on-site classes.


Being the ever adventurous young boys at heart, some of us decided that we wanted to run along the steps and go all the way down them to a secluded beach on the other side. Shortly after, many of the girls of the group followed. Once one of us got the idea that we should go swimming in the water in 60 degree weather we all had to do it (more than likely it was to impress the ladies). After the initial shock of being submerged in cold water subsided we were able to swim around and have a good time, and we convinced most of the girls to get in the water, too (“convinced”/ “splashed” what’s the difference?). Later we dried off and climbed back up and just spent the rest of our time hanging out and enjoying the beautiful area around us.

If there is one thing I have learned from this experience at HUF, it’s that sometimes the places you know nothing about can become some of your favorite places on earth. This is definitely the case with the Turkish steps and our day there and the fun times together will be something I will never forget.

Hi Mom and Dad. Hi everyone else’s Mom and Dad. We are having the time of our lives and we still don’t want to come home (yet). Ciao for now and see you in less than one month!

–Blake, HUF Student

Student's traveled all over Europe for their second independent travel. France, The Netherlands, Germany and the Czech Republic were all popular destinations. 

Student's Note:

I would like to address a few cities that have changed my life within the course of a week.

Munich. You were very good to me. My preconceptions of Germany were a little rough around the edges before I met you, but you showed me that this is the most incredible country I could have ever chosen to spend time with. The Neuschwanstein castle is truly like walking through my favorite childhood fairytale. The evening presented us with delicious food and a walk around the city center. The next morning in Dachau was much more somber and reflective of mankind. Thank you for allowing me to explore worlds I can hardly imagine.

Prague. You were my favorite. You are like the whimsical old-fashioned city I’ve always imagined in another world. You’ve got quite a history, and I was thankful for the cute tour guide who told us some quirky stories and hidden gems about you. I walked about twelve miles to explore how cool you were, from the Charles Bridge to the castle to the Lennon Wall and back again. I hate physical activity, but I would do it again if it meant I got to go back.

Berlin. You were not what I expected. I knew that you had been destroyed and rebuilt over the past several decades, but never had I dreamed you would still be so breathtaking. Our hostel was lively with interesting roommates, and those are memories that will remain with me. Your people are so creative and modern. The East Side Gallery held me captive from one end to the other. P.S. Thank you for the cheap Birkenstocks and an English movie theater so we could see Beauty and the Beast.

Amsterdam. You were a real treat. With less than a day to get to know you, I struggled with how to make the most of my time. We walked around exploring the canals and little shops nearby and found your cool new “I *heart* Amsterdam” sign. I woke up early the last morning to explore the Van Gogh museum. I could have spent hours there with one of my favorite artists, but choosing the museum instead of renting a bike created a long yet beautiful walk back to the station.

Europe. You are continually teaching me. I have learned not to treat my study abroad experience as the only time I will ever be able to check things off my bucket list. This only causes stress and disappointment over the things I didn't do. Instead, I have found that the most rewarding moments are those in which I take a deep breath and embrace the unforgettable experiences I have.

– Maleah, HUF Student

Up Next...

On Tuesday we leave for our last group trip of the semester. We are going to an area of Tuscany called the Casentino, a river valley rich with history and dotted with castles on the hilltops.

Final Shot

Paola and Leda, or "The Ladies," cut up strawberries the afternoon students arrived back at the Villa from independent travels. Paola and Leda help keep the students fed by preparing meals and snacks, using the fresh foods of the season.

Posted on April 1, 2017 .

Spring 2017 - Greetings from HUF Newsletter

We have had a busy past couple weeks here at HUF! Students have already been on their first independent travel, they went to places all over Europe: Hungary, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and Switzerland were all visited by our students. 

The students had a full day on Saturday with a visit to the Pitti Palace, Brancacci Chapel and the Uffizi Gallery - all a part of the group on-site class experiences we participate in as a part of the HUF program.

We had a great visit to the Bay of Naples area last week and we will be departing for a trip to Sicily tomorrow. 

Be the Difference

On March 2nd, we joined students from Kent State University and participated in a service at the Florence American WWII Cemetery to honor those buried there. This visit is apart of a larger project called "Be the Difference - Never Again." This is a semester long project where each student is given the name of a soldier buried in the Florence American Cemetery and are asked to research that person in order to find more information about the individual. Oftentimes, students find far more information about their soldier than they expected. The visit to the cemetery is the pinnacle moment of the project: each student visits and places a flower on the grave of the soldier to which they have been assigned. More information about the "Be the Difference - Never Again" can be found here

Meeting David

Last week we had an on-site class at the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence and finally got to meet Michelangelo's masterpiece, the David. Much of what we do in our on-site class experiences follows (often, quite literally) in the footsteps of the great Florentine Renaissance masters such as Michelangelo. Taking three years to finish, the 17 foot, seven-ton colossal statue of the Biblical hero, David by Michelangelo is considered to be at the pinnacle of sculpture in marble. Carved out of a single block of stone, the statue was at the time of it's completion, in 1504, thought to be a miracle. Michelangelo's contemporary, Georgio Vasari, wrote in his famous Lives of the Artists that the David has become greater than "all ancient and modern statues, whether Greek or Latin, that have ever existed ... certainly a miracle that of Michelangelo, to restore to life one who was dead."

Last week we spent four days in and around the Bay of Naples as a part of our Southern Italy trip. The first two days we visited the ancient Roman city of Pompeii and had a free day to explore the Amalfi Coast while staying in the beautiful town of Sorrento. After that we visited the village of Campagna as a part of our participation in the "Be the Difference - Never Again" project. Campagna is the sight of a Jewish internment camp from WWII what was housed in a former convent. After our time there we moved to the coastal town of Paestum and spent the afternoon in the ancient Greco-Roman city. We were able to enjoy a beautiful sunset on the beach together that evening.

Sometimes the visiting faculty to HUF have families and children who also get to experience all the program has to offer. Oftentimes the kids are learning just as much as the students. This semester we have Liz and Rachel as a part of our group. Below are their reflections from our time in southern Italy.

From Liz:

I will always remember my experiences in southern Italy. I learned so much and loved every minute of it. Those four days taught me more than any classroom could. The beauty and history from that area is almost so overwhelming, it’s hard to digest it all. However, at the same time, I never stopped drinking it in.

Learning about the ancient Roman Empire while standing in Pompeii or Paestum is an amazing way to learn. I was able to use all of my senses: from touching ancient temples, to seeing the Roman roads, to running through a gladiator’s arena, it all allowed me to better understand the places and people that I’ve been learning about. On-site classes are a new experience for me and I have loved all of it.

Not only are the history of these places interesting, but their culture and people today are so different and beautiful. For me, seeing beaches, mountains, volcanoes, lemon and olive trees, it is all different and exciting. Walking down streets with fresh produce, clothing and other goods makes me feel like I’m in some sort of fantasy. I have loved seeing all the museums that always open up another door for me to look into.

The trip to southern Italy taught me so much but it was also so much fun. I hope I can go back again someday.

From Rachel:

Southern Italy was a very fabulous trip. I thought it was fun and well planned. Although rainy at times, the sights were breathtaking. Pompeii was beautiful, my favorite site in Pompeii was The House of the Satyr. When we were driving to the the hotel the views were so cool. My family, Robbie, and Grant went to the Amalfi coast on the free day, it was so beautiful! The coast was my favorite part. The last hotel we stayed in was my personal favorite, it was right by the ocean. The sunset was so beautiful but the water was very cold, some of the students actually jumped in the water, but I just put my feet in. Some of the students, my mom, my sister, and I went to see the water buffalo farm. Surprisingly, the buffalo were really funny and sweet. Then we ate some water buffalo mozzarella cheese, some of us liked it but it was too juicy for me. I was really sad to leave southern Italy. Three days were definitely not enough. I would really like to return to southern Italy someday and spend more time exploring all there is to offer.

Final Shot

A time of worship is a part of every day in the HUF program. Last night we worshiped together with song in the cellar of the Villa. The walls of the cellar are painted with murals done by past HUFgroups dating back to the early 1990's. 

A time of worship is a part of every day in the HUF program. Last night we worshiped together with song in the cellar of the Villa. The walls of the cellar are painted with murals done by past HUFgroups dating back to the early 1990's. 

Posted on March 13, 2017 .

Spring 2017 - Greetings from HUF Newsletter

From the Director:

Parents, family and friends:

We have had two great weeks since I last wrote.

I was worried about having snow for skiing in the Abetone mountains, but we were blessed with great weather and good snow. Many took lessons, over 20 that had never skied or skied very little before. My son, Jonathan, went with us and took the experienced skiers to the Val di Luce slopes and showed them how to get to all the different areas. I stayed behind to introduce the beginners to their teachers.

For over 25 years we have stayed at the Excelsior Hotel, the oldest hotel in Abetone. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw photos of the hotel and the family that own it. Ms. Lea is 83, her brother Mauro just turned 80 and their little sister is 69. They are always so kind to us: they feed us well (breakfast and supper) and let us lounge and enjoy the common areas of the hotel.

Saturday, February 11th, we had our first onsite class outside of Florence. We went to the hill towns of San Gimignano and Siena. When friends, family or other guests come to visit I often take them to San Gimignano, I love sharing some of the highlights of the town with the students. The Collegiata, main Cathedral of San Gimignano, has medieval frescos that line the side aisles and nave and are very well preserved. They depict scenes of the Old and New Testaments as well as a last judgement scene in the nave. San Gimignano has some delicious gelato that a friend Sergio makes. We walked up to the castle tower together for many photo opportunities. The students continued on to Siena with Grant and the Fishers where we have been using the same onsite teacher for years now. Her name is Donatella and she is Sienese and she loves sharing her city with visitors.

The HUF men have been very helpful at worship with the Florence Church. They have helped with prayers and with song leading.

Monday, February 13th, the students went to visit the Santa Croce (Holy Cross) church. Santa Croce is the largest Franciscan order church in the world. Michelangelo, the artist and architect; Galileo Galilei, astronomer and scientist; Macchiavelli, the writer and statesman; Rossini, the composer, and many others are buried in this church. They also visited the Bargello museum (also called the National Sculpture Gallery when Florence was capitol of Italy after the Unification of Italy in the mid 1800's) where they saw works by Donatello, Brunneleschi, Ghiberti, Verocchio, Michelangelo, Gian Bologna and others.

Tuesday, February 14th, at lunch we had a super Valentine's day party. Mona loves organizing our special holiday parties. Grant and our staff and many of the students worked hard to make our Valentines lunch special.

Our Rome trip was super with incredible weather. Riccardo "Fotopulman" (not his real last name but the name everyone calls him) and his wife Patrizia joined us for the Rome trip. Riccardo has taken every HUF group photo since the begining of HUF in 1980. He is a great friend. Patrizia was so moved when we had our devotional in the lower level of the church of San Clemente that she was tearing up and she shared with the students a few words of what that moment meant to her. After our visit in the main Roman Forum area, several HUF students with Riccardo, Patrizia and I went to the Capotoline museums. We shared a cappuccino at the museum café that has an incredibly beautiful panoramic view of the city of Rome. We were there at sunset! Gorgeous!

Tuesday, February 21, we experienced and learned about a Catholic mass and shared in a hymn service at one of the oldest catholic churches in Florence, Santi Apostoli.

The students are making final preparations for their first independent travel. I am excited for them. Please keep them in your prayers as they travel next week,

God bless you,

Robbie, HUF Director


Every Spring HUF semester packs up and heads to Abetone, Italy in the Apuan Alp mountains at the northern edge of Tuscany for a ski trip. This semester, the trip was planned for about 10 days into the program. But even before the group first arrived in Florence, the ski trip looked as if were going to dissolve away.

Before the students arrived this semester, Abetone was having an unseasonably warm winter. There was a snow base but it was melting fast with the rains that started to fall just a few days before our trip.

Just two days before we were suppose to leave, things did not look good. But we decided to wait until the very last minute to call it off. So, by noon the day before our 6am departure, a decision was going to be made.

Robbie called our friend and ski-gear renter Maurizio to get the latest weather update. We were all but certain we knew what the answer would be but to our surprise, our friend from the mountains called with good news. It had started snowing overnight and with no clear end it sight, the slopes would be covered the next day, ready for our first runs down the mountain. So with 20 centimeters of freshly fallen powder, to the mountains we went.

I am by no means an experienced or expert skier, I had only been once before this trip and I had told myself, “Well, that was fun (and painful), glad I tried, but never again.” I sort of checked skiing off my bucket list of things to try in my life and retired my ski socks along with the memory of many bruises.

I had tried skiing once. I decided I wasn’t good at it and thought I would never do it again. But that’s not the right outlook to have for skiing. After thinking about it some more, I had a few realizations. Everyone falls down. Everyone face-plants into the snow. And everyone somehow accidentally and unintentionally ends up going down the mountain backwards. It’s like riding a bike: the more you try, the better you get. But you don’t get any better without making a few mistakes along the way. So with this new found perspective, I strapped two fiberglass boards once again to my feet and slid over the mountain’s icy edge.

In my life so far I’ve learned that sometimes you have to just throw yourself over the edge of a mountain and figure things out on the way down, metaphorically speaking of course. The greatest lessons I’ve learned have been while doing, not while watching.

And I think that’s what this whole study abroad experience is about: plunging head first into an entirely new place and culture and figuring it all out along the way. There is no guidebook or website or travel blog that can fully prepare someone to experience a brand new way of life and thinking. Yes, we may fall down and icy patches will be along the way but we have to pick ourselves up, learn from the problems and bumps in the road and keep going on down the trail. Just like in skiing: the more times you try, the more you will learn.

We had three great days on the mountain. I fell. But I got up and I learned and I am no longer as afraid to slide down a mountain as I was before.

Today, the students leave for their first independent travel experience. In the same way I went off the edge of a mountain, they are leaping from the relative comfort of our home in Florence and in to the foggy unknown of traveling to unfamiliar places. It is inevitable: things will not go exactly as planned and problems will happen. But that is a part of the learning experience. Just like I put two skis on my feet and went for it, they too have to leap headfirst and learn along the way.

I am so excited to see what the students learn from this travel experience. I can’t fully put it into words but somehow traveling changes us. I guess it’s one of those “you have to do it, to understand it” kind of things.

Grant, assistant to the director

Our trip to Rome consisted of four intense days visiting sites all over the city including St. Paul Outside the Wall, the Roman Forum, Colosseum, St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican Museums, the Borghese Gallery and many other sites. 

Our trip to Rome is unlike any of our other group trips in that we do not use onsite teachers. Instead, each student is assigned a site or topic to research beforehand and then has to teach the rest of the group when we arrive in their given location while in Rome. Each student becomes the information source for the rest of the group to learn from. 

We are together during the mornings and some afternoons but the students are given free time each of the days to explore the city on their own so they can experience The Eternal City. 

From Mona:

Almost every time I am in Rome with the students, someone asks me, "How many times have you done this, Mona?"

This semester, as I was standing in front of the church, Saint Paul Outside the Walls (San Paolo Fuori le Mure), I was asked this question. I don't know exactly how many times I have been to Rome or the church of Saint Paul but it must be over a hundred times.  Typically the next question is, "Do you ever get tired of it?"  I think, "How could anyone ever get tired of Rome?"

Saint Paul Outside the Walls is also one of those churches that leave a normal person with their mouths open in awe or their eyes full of wonder at the majesty of the church. The nave is bigger than a football field! In my less sacred moments I have thought it would be fun to roller skate inside.  But in my more thoughtful moments I think what a magnificent offering to God those people of the 5th century gave.  To build a cathedral in such proportions in a world that did not have the modern building techniques of today must have been quite an undertaking.  And to think that Paul is buried just under the alter.  After walking the vast expanse of the nave you can visit his tomb. 

I enjoy seeing everyone's reaction to this amazing building.  Being in Rome with a different group of people makes Rome different. It changes every time I go.  Sometimes the small stones that the Romans so appropriately call "pietrine" (or "little Saint Peters") are wet with rain.  Sometimes the pietrine are covered with colorful confetti that the children have left behind from their Carnevale celebrations. I sometimes look at the the pietrine as an obstacle to my weak knees but still try to soldier on because I know that around the corner there will be something special or wonderful to see. Traveling with the students is such a joy and I am always happy to see their reactions and see their appreciation grow for a city that is one of the loveliest cities in the world.


HUF Birthdays!

Happy birthday, Leah J!

Florence Legacy

Be sure to check out the article about HUF in the most recent Harding magazine. It is a beautiful piece that brings the HUF experience full circle by sharing perspectives from a mother, who participated in the program 16 years ago, and her children, who come this past fall semester.

Final Shot

We had an unusual experience at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Wall this semester: we were the only people there! When you walk inside, you are overwhelmed and humbled with an intense sense of space due to the architecture of the church.

We had an unusual experience at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Wall this semester: we were the only people there! When you walk inside, you are overwhelmed and humbled with an intense sense of space due to the architecture of the church.

Posted on February 23, 2017 .