This program can accommodate a wide array of students including those studying Sociology, Anthropology, European Studies, History, as well as those interested in food studies and travel/tourism.

This program is open to all sophomores, juniors and seniors in good social and academic standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students will be required to have successfully completed SOC 101 Introduction to Sociology and an introductory Italian language course before departure. Students will also take a Reader’s College orientation course during the spring semester preceding the program. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.

Program-related excursions vary from year to year depending on the courses offered and the interests of the faculty director(s). The program typically includes a combination of overnight excursions outside Rome, designed to provide students insight into other areas of the country, and day trips to important sites in and around Rome. Visits to Venice and Calabria are tentatively planned for Fall 2015.

Courses - Fall 2015

Students participating in this program will take one course taught by the HWS Faculty Director and three courses arranged through our partner institutions, the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci and the Gustolab Institute.

Italian Language and Culture (1 credit)
This course will build upon the foundation of Italian language study completed at HWS prior to the program. A variety of visits to local sites will complement in-class instruction and a series of “labs” will introduce students to various aspects of Italian culture and society. Students with more advanced Italian skills will be placed in an upper level class.

Food and Culture in Italy (1 credit)
The saying “A tavola non s’invecchia” (“One doesn’t age at the supper table”) expresses the importance of food and eating for Italians. In this course, we will examine the relationship between food and culture in Italy from pre-historical times to the present, through a variety of readings, class discussions and some personal and practical experience. The study of food culture is interdisciplinary—even though the historical point of view will be primary, during our readings, class discussions and lectures we will touch upon many fields: sociology, literature, art, music and philosophy. In addition students will undertake a group-learning project around Rome that will enhance their classroom experience. Field trips (cheese, wine and olive oil production) and cooking classes will be included in the experience.

Contemporary Italy (1 Credit)
This course is an overview of the history, culture, society and politics of Italy from the end of World War II to the present, with special attention to contemporary issues. Italy is not a settled place, with strong regional differences and interests. It has an economy that is not well, with a significant unemployment rate especially among young Italians. Its more recent politics has been quite turbulent. Students will be introduced to some of the foremost experts in the topics presented. Students will be expected to take extensive notes on these talks and provide substantive reflections on what they learn about Italy (from readings, films, discussions, that will be provided) Students will complete an intellectual portfolio of written recordings and reflections and material cultural artifacts with which to frame a concluding long essay, presentation and/or performance. There will be extensive use of Rome and sights in Italy that leverage the texts towards a better understanding of contemporary Italy.

Fall 2015 Director's Seminar: Rome, Italy: the Eternal Tourist City (1 credit)
Italy is the fifth most popular tourist location in the world. Over 60% of Italy's GDP is derived from tourism. In virtually every major Italian city, from Venice to Rome to Calabria, tourism is in evidence, and is often overwhelming. History, art, religion, architecture, cuisine: these are woven together for tourists, as a theatrical and commercial production, into a narrative that is factual and fictional, and into a complex fabric that sweeps the tourist through the historical and contemporary, the ancient and modern, and the sacred and the secular. The course takes a critical reflexive perspective and challenges the students to ask questions about destination branding, identity construction through representation and story, and how these express the interests of the tourism industry and shape the tourist experience. The course challenges our acceptance at face value of authenticity, and to look through the sociological and anthropological lenses to see the socially constructed narratives, the theatrical productions and performances, and the economic and social frameworks that sustain Rome's and Italy’s cultural imagery. It challenges the student to seek non-touristic experiences and to reflect on their own consumption and production as students of Rome and Italy.


  • The Rome program is offered every semester, with a different academic focus, depending on the faculty director.
  • Applications are available at the Center for Global Education.
  • Applications are due at the CGE office at a selected date in October (for fall programs) and March (for spring programs).

NOTE: This information is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.






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