An EXE′DRA (ἐξέδρα) in the classical world was an open-air, often semi-circular seating area attached to a gymnasium, used for the lectures and discussions of rhetoricians and philosophers. Exedra Associazione Culturale was created in 2004 with this spirit, as a meeting place for debate and study, where the theoretical and practical could exist side by side, looking back for inspiration to the classical past but always ready to move forward and to promote and explore new ideas. Over the years, Exedra Associazione Culturale promoted cultural events such as concerts and exhibitions in and around Siracusa.
In 2015, Exedra Associazione Culturale began to work in the field of study-abroad programs, promoting a project, the Sicily Center for International Education (SCIE Center), and taking up the mission to provide quality study-abroad experiences for undergraduate students in Siracusa after the closure of the Arcadia University Center where Exedra staff had been working for many years. The association has now decided to rename the project, recently creating Exedra Mediterranean Center, with a name that emphasises Sicily’s classical heritage again, but also places the center in its geographical context – the Mediterranean Sea, for millennia a place of exchange and cross-cultural dialogue.
Exedra offers students in Siracusa a unique experience, one that will help them learn not only in the classroom but in the wider Sicilian environment. An immersive experience in a new culture can be daunting but incredibly enriching, and the Exedra team enjoy accompanying their students in this journey of discovery of Sicily and themselves. Under the experienced guidance of director Susi Kimbell, who has worked in the field of study-abroad since 2002, the team makes every effort to give students an excellent educational experience and a genuine taste of local life and culture.
Exedra can boast of a network of contacts from the local academic environment and experts and professionals in areas such as business and the medical profession. Lectures and meetings with local lecturers and professionals can be arranged to enhance the experience of visiting students and faculty and to give them a more Sicilian, Italian and European perspective. Exedra also invites international experts to hold specialist courses in Siracusa and welcomes suggestions for courses, workshops and conferences from faculty and professionals in all subject areas from all over the world.
Exedra promotes academic excellence in education and experiential learning, and cultural events of notable importance. It works to guarantee the Standards of Good Practice of the Forum of Education Abroad of which it is a member, with particular attention paid to Health and Safety, Security and Risk Management. Exedra staff are encouraged to pursue their own professional development in the field of study-abroad, as we believe in life-long learning for ourselves as well as for our students!
The trustees, faculty, staff, associates and partners of Exedra Mediterranean Center are dedicated to accomplishing this mission, to which they pledge their individual and collective efforts, determined that the Center shall play an important role in the personal and intellectual development of students and the community, and contribute to local, national and international understanding.