Courses - Fall 2014

Students participating in this program will take two courses taught by the HWS Faculty Director and two 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.

Ancient Mysteries/Modern Solutions in Italy (1 credit)
This course will examine the strategies and techniques used by archaeologists - especially those developed in collaboration with modern scientists - to reveal the secrets of ancient cultures. Scientists and archaeologists develop new tools at a dizzying rate that allows them to ask and offer answers to ever more challenging questions about ancient civilizations. We will focus on a series of case studies (including visits to sites like Pompeii and Ostia Antica) through which students will learn about these tools but, more specifically, about what these tools can tell us about what life was like during various historical periods. Archaeological digs, experiments, evidence, uncertainty, and hypothesis-testing as applied to the past cultures of Italy are central to the course as we explore the mysteries of these cultures and the strategies being used to solve them.

Life in Ancient Rome: Technology and Environment (1 credit)
As one of the three major civilization centers that ultimately led to modern Western society, Rome is an ideal location for studying ancient technologies and their contributions to the cultures and lives of ancient (and modern) peoples. Technology is the perfect foundation for a study abroad program because an understanding of ancient technologies requires an understanding of culture, history, and geography. The museums, ruins, catacombs, palaces, and cathedrals that we will visit each illustrate a rich mixture of these topics. Through this interdisciplinary course, students will explore life in Imperial Rome (generally defined as spanning 27 BC to 476 AD) from the perspective of technology: what would life be like in Rome 2000 years ago? What impact did the technologies developed during this period have on the environment? The course is designed to appeal to students who are interested in ancient civilization and culture, history, food, anthropology, science, and environmental studies.


  • The Rome program is offered every Fall 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 March. For specific date contact the CGE.

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