When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch
eyes on the U.S.

The Amanda Knox Factor: U.S. Students Shy Away From Study Abroad In Italy After Perugia Murder Case

A new survey asks U.S. students about the high-profile case of the American convicted of murder in Perugia. A surprisingly high number say they consider Amanda Knox's fate when weighing whether to study abroad in Italy.

(Amanda Defense Fund)
(Amanda Defense Fund)
Francesco Semprini

Study in Italy? No grazie. Young Americans seem to have grown less attracted by the opportunity to spend a semester or two at an Italian university. And according to a new survey the Amanda Knox case is partly to blame.

Conducted by the Rome campus of Loyola University and the Italy-USA Foundation, the study "American Students' Thoughts on Italy" looked into overall attitudes of potential young visitors to Italy. But the poll also specifically tried to gauge the effect on prospective exchange students of the high-profile case of the Seattle native convicted for the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher, while the two were part of a study abroad program in the Italian city of Perugia.

A sampling of 800 American students were asked if the Knox case would affect their decision of whether to study in Italy. Twenty-seven percent of respondents said that it wouldn't affect their choice at all, 13% thought it would, and 47% said that it would have some impact, but would not be a determining factor.

The case has been a blow to the image of foreign study in Italy, historically one of the preferred destinations for American university students, drawn by the country's lifestyle and cultural heritage. But ill will has apparently been spread by the December 2009 conviction of Knox for the murder committed two years earlier, for which her Italian boyfriend and fellow student Raffaele Sollecito and a Perugia resident, Rudy Guede, were also found guilty.

In the United States a so-called "Party of Amanda," has formed around the convicted co-ed, including family, friends, judges, politicians and businessmen who see her as a "victim" of the Italian judicial system and of a media lynching. Supporters have asked for the intervention of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and even Donald Trump has proposed a boycott of Italy until Knox is freed from jail.

The new study finds that attitudes about Italy have suffered because of the comments by Trump, who has recently indicated a desire to run for president in 2012. The billionaire's call for a boycott feeds negative attitudes about the U.S., as a place where "innocent Americans are persecuted," with 24% of respondents saying their view on Italy has been affected by the comments.

More generally, the study shows a recent overall decline in Italy's share of the US travel dollars. In 2007, Italy had a market share of 19.3% of all American tourism abroad; in 2009, it fell to 17.5%. The main reasons cited are neither Knox nor Trump, but the weak U.S. economy and strong euro. For those who have decided not to come to Italy for vacation or study abroad, the strength of the euro is given as the main reason (16%), with others citing the threat of terrorism in Europe (6%), and political instability (5%).

Read the original article in Italian

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.


The Colonial Spirit And "Soft Racism" Of White Savior Syndrome

Tracing back to Christian colonialism, which was supposed to somehow "civilize" and save the souls of native people, White Savior Syndrome lives on in modern times: from Mother Teresa to Princess Diana and the current First Lady of Colombia, VerĂłnica Alcocer.

photo of a child patient holding hand of an adult

Good intentions are part of the formula

Ton Koene / Vwpics/ZUMA
Sher Herrera


CARTAGENA — The White Savior Syndrome is a social practice that exploits or economically, politically, symbolically takes advantage of individuals or communities they've racialized, perceiving them as in need of being saved and thus forever indebted and grateful to the white savior.

Although this racist phenomenon has gained more visibility and sparked public debate with the rise of social media, it is actually as old as European colonization itself. It's important to remember that one of Europe's main justifications for subjugating, pillaging and enslaving African and American territories was to bring "civilization and save their souls" through "missions."

Even today, many white supremacists hold onto these ideas. In other words, they believe that we still owe them something.

This white savior phenomenon is a legacy of Christian colonialism, and among its notable figures, we can highlight Saint Peter Claver, known as "the slave of the slaves," Bartolomé de Las Casas, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Princess Diana herself, and even the First Lady of Colombia, Verónica Alcocer.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest