Parent & Student Testimonials

Dear Carla,

We want to thank you and tell others about the amazing Bel Camino gap year program.  Our daughter, who is not known to gush, characterized her semester in Siena as ‘the best thing I have ever done!’  She had a wonderful experience all around, from the family stay (which she had always been nervous about) to the language classes, opera lessons and stained glass making.  The small size of the program, weekly get-togethers and opportunity for weekend travel excursions with new friends created a wonderful and friendly environment while learning to navigate within a foreign culture.

Above all, you and Bel Camino provided an atmosphere and culture that was all about learning to appreciate life to its fullest, something that our highly competitive academic experience often forgets.

Thank you for giving our daughter the time of her life and sending her home with a renewed love of learning and a new self-confidence.

Warmest regards,

Donna G B-V (mother of participant in Fall 2011)


Our son truly enjoyed his experience during his GAP Semester in Siena. His beautiful journey was all he could have hoped for and more.  He immersed himself in the culture, language and beauty of Tuscany and reaped the rewards of being in a foreign country.  He learned so much about himself in his time there and came back with not only an appreciation for the culture and cuisine of Italy but most importantly with a stronger sense of self and his future.  Grazie mille Carla and Bel Camino!

Tonina A. (mother of participant in Fall 2011 program)

Ciao Carla!

I remember when I was on my flight home from Frankfurt to Philadelphia, I could not stop thinking about the excitement of finally seeing my family and friends.  However, now that I am back to a somewhat normal routine, I cannot stop thinking about how much I miss Italy.  While the food, the people and the culture left an indelible impression on me, I know that the time would not have been the same without Bel Camino.  Your program has allowed me to mature in ways that my parents and close friends can see, but most importantly, I feel the changes in myself.  All of the experiences that I encountered during my stay in Italy have allowed me to appreciate and understand the significance of ‘living in the moment.’ The most relevant lesson that has appeared every day since I have come home has been the value of slowing down.  While life in American does move at a brusque pace, I am practicing the art of slowness despise the fast-paced world in which I live.

I have learned a great deal from your personal attention to our group as well as all the group activities and travels with Bel Camino.  I am so appreciative that my parents and grandparents provided me the opportunity to experience such a wonderful and unique program.  I will forever cherish the memories, the friendships and the experiences that your program provided me.

Charles ‘Carlo’ Seltzer (Fall 2011 participant)