Learning has no age barriers, even when it involves studying abroad.
Timothy Cass, a 65-year-old student at California State University, Long Beach, shares that message from Italy, where he is spending the 1999-2000 academic year pursuing his interest in art at the CSU Florence Study Center and the Academy for Studio Art.
"From my early teens, I have wanted to become an artist and learn Italian," said Cass, an Anaheim resident who began his studies at CSULB in 1995. "The first goal was thwarted by my perception that artists couldn't earn a living, the second stalled by limited school curricula."
Since retiring in 1991, Cass has slowly worked toward his original goals by taking drawing and painting classes. This is his fourth visit to Florence, the first being 41 years ago. In the spring of 1998, he participated in a three-month program in Florence, Italy through El Camino College.
"It was a great experience," Cass noted. "My Italian improved and my painting was the best I'd ever done -- but the program wasn't long enough. The Cal State one-year program to Florence was just what I had been seeking. It is long and intensive enough for me to get a good handle on my Italian and should have profound effects on my artistic production."
Continuing, he said, "The city attracts me because I feel so alive here. There are always things to see and do. Last year I did my best artistic work."
During his career as an educator, Cass taught elementary grades in the Los Angeles Unified
School District and also taught sociology and education courses for the Los Angeles Community College District and California Lutheran College.
He earned a B.A. degree in history from Yale University, an M.S. in education from USC and a Ph.D. in education and sociology, also from USC.
CSULB students have the opportunity to participate in overseas study programs through the International Programs (IP) of the CSU and through the campus' Bilateral Student Exchange. IP is affiliated with more than 50 distinguished universities and other institutions of higher education in 16 countries where participants pursue coursework for CSU resident credit. The CSULB exchange program offers course credit for study abroad programs for one or two semesters at 15 universities in nine countries.
Public Affairs Offices/Campus News