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Italian Studies, Deparment of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Study Abroad

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Study Abroad

The Italian Studies Program offers several opportunities for study abroad to meet the curricular needs of students, whether they are interested in fulfilling language requirements or expanding their knowledge of Italian Studies by spending a year at a prestigious Italian University.

A. Food & Culture Summer Program in Rome

Overview: UMass has recently approved a new Food & Culture Summer Program in Rome, Italy. The 5-week program will run this year between May 21 and June 29 and will offer language courses at all levels and a course on Food & Culture in English. The F&C course consists of a lecture series and a number of co-curricular activities including visits to farms and vineyards, wine tasting and food pairing workshops, a kitchen workshop with a professional chef and a three-day trip in the region of Cilento with a stay on an EDU-Farm.

6 and 9 credits options - All credits transfer to UMass.

The program is offered, at a very competitive cost, in collaboration with the Gustolab Institute and the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci in Rome. Read more.

Download the program brochure

B. Italian Studies in Siena

Overview: The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a Spring semester program of Italian Studies in Siena, a remarkably preserved medieval city that is one of the richest cultural and historical centers of Tuscany. The program is offered in collaboration with the Università di Lingua e Cultura Italiana per Stranieri, whose emphasis is on language acquisition and cultural literacy.

Location: Siena is a classic medieval hill town in Tuscany and has one of the best preserved city centers in all of Italy. The shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, the red brick town square, is the heart of Siena and is the home of Siena's famous summer horse-race, known as Il Palio. Surrounded by architectural treasures, the Piazza del Campo is also the site of numerous restaurants and cafes and the center of social life in the city. Cars are strictly prohibited within the walls of town, and the roads and alleys create a labyrinth through the city. The University of Siena is one of the oldest in Italy, founded in 1240, and is one of the first publicly funded universities in Italy. Siena is only 60 km south of Florence and 200 km north of Rome, and the land in between the cities is famous for producing some of the finest wine in Italy.

Academics: Students earn 15 credits per semester, at least 6 of which comprise intensive, daily Italian language courses; an additional 3 credits may be taken in language or the student may opt to take all the other 9 credits in English-language culture courses. The culture course offerings for spring 2009 include art history taught on-site in various historic places in Siena (Architecture, Painting, Sculpture in Italy from the XIII to the XVII century), Italy in the 20th and 21st centuries, and an Introduction to Italian Cinema (films in Italian with English subtitles). Students accepted into the program will be placed in language sequences at the appropriate level following placement testing in Siena.

The program is organized and overseen by the Italian Studies program faculty at UMass Amherst in conjunction with an on-site director, Dr. Elena Monami, in Siena. Language courses are taught by native-speaking faculty from the Università per Stranieri. The language courses are composed of students from around the world, giving the UMass students an opportunity to expand their cross-cultural connections during the program. The culture courses are taught either by UMass faculty in Siena or by Siena faculty contracted by UMass.

Eligibility: UMass Amherst applicants from the College of Humanities and Fine Arts should have completed at least one year of college-level Italian or the equivalent (3 semesters are recommended) by the time the program begins. However, students from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, wishing to fulfill the Global Education requirement through successful completion of the Siena Program, may apply with no prior knowledge of Italian. Students from other faculties and other institutions should consult the Italian Studies Program concerning eligibility requirements. All applicants should have a "B" average in college Italian (where applicable) and a GPA of 3.0. Students will be interviewed either in person or by telephone.

Living Arrangements: Apartments scattered throughout the inner city provide housing for students in the program. Students mostly share double bedrooms and have kitchen facilities for meal preparation.

Application: Students from both UMass and other universities are invited to apply to the Program through the International Programs Office.

Costs: The 2009 program fee is $9,500 for in-state UMass Amherst students, $10,500 for out-of-state UMass Amherst students and $11,500 for all other students. The fee includes tuition, housing, specified group excursions (as a minimum, weekend excursions to Roma and Venice), and a catastrophic health plan provided by the Italian Government (ASSITALIA). A $500 non-refundable deposit will be due upon acceptance to the program. A required housing deposit of 100 Euro is due upon arrival in Siena.

C. The Bologna-Forlì Exchange Program

The new exchange program between UMass Amherst and the Forlì campus of the University of Bologna was launched in the spring 2008. This competitive program is designed for the most qualified and motivated Italian majors who intend to spend one or two semesters at the University of Bologna - Forlì. The Italian side of the exchange program, housed at the prestigious Scuola Superiore di Lingue Moderne per Interpreti e Traduttori (SSLiMIT) in Forlì, allows UMass students to take courses at the Forlì campus as well as at the main campus in Bologna, thus providing an incredibly rich study abroad experience.

The Program: the program is based on an exchange principle. For each UMass student going to Bologna-Forlì there is one student coming to UMass Amherst from the SSLiMIT. Exchange students will have access to all services available to local students at the host University and will be considered students of the host institution in every respect for the duration of the exchange.

The city: Forlì is the most important city of the region called Romagna (part of Emilia-Romagna) in Central Italy, and is located 37 miles west of Bologna and 40 minutes east of some of the most lively and sought-after seaside destinations of Italy's Adriatic coast such as Rimini, Riccione and Cesenatico. A city full of history and art, Forlì was founded in Roman times and had a key role in Italian history during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Indeed, Dante Alighieri refers to it in canto XXVII of his Inferno and mentions the city's name explicitly in Inferno XVI. With a population of roughly 115,000, Forlì sits outside the major tourist routes, a fact that sets the stage for the ideal full immersion Italian cultural experience in a cozy and elegant urban environment, which provides a remarkably high quality of life. Its strategic central location along major train and highway routes guarantees easy access to all major cities in Central and Northern Italy, from Rome to Venice, from Florence to Milan. The L. Ridolfi airport offers easy connections to many European destinations. Libraries, museums and its elegant architecture make Forlì an ideal university town and an inexhaustible source of cultural and leisure activities for foreign students.

Credits: Credits earned abroad count toward the degree at UMass. Credits earned through courses related to Italian Studies count toward the Italian major at UMass (but must be pre-approved by the exchange coordinator before registering). Credits will be transferred to the home institution at the end of each semester.

Application: Students interested in participating in the exchange should e-mail Prof. Roberto Ludovico, indicating the semester(s) they would like to spend abroad. Candidates will meet with Prof. Ludovico and will be asked to provide two letters of recommendation and a one-page long statement describing what motivates them to participate in the exchange and how such an experience would contribute to their academic curriculum as Italian majors. The Italian Foreign Programs Committee will then evaluate the applications and choose the candidates based on their academic success, the strength of their motivation and their commitment to Italian Studies. Preference will be given to students applying for a stay of two semesters. A limited number of spots are available for a total maximum amount of six semesters per year. Students may not participate in the program during their last semester before graduation.

Costs: The program is organized to keep costs as close as possible to those of students attending UMass. Students participating in the exchange will therefore register at UMass and pay their regular tuition. SSLiMIT exchange students will do the same at their home institution; the exchange guarantees the possibility to attend the host institution at the same tuition cost as the home institution. The host institution also guarantees accommodation in a double room in its dorms to students who request it. Housing and food expenses in Forlì are comparable to UMass Amherst, when taking into account the monetary exchange fluctuation. Additional costs for students participating in the exchange are: flight to Italy, Education Abroad Fee ($750), health insurance ($72) and residency permit ($120). Students on financial aid can apply for a student loan adjusted to the additional costs of the program abroad.

D. Internships in the High Schools of Lombardy, Italy

Through the Italian Consulate in Boston, the Italian Program recently signed an agreement with the schools of the Region of Lombardy, in Italy. The agreement guarantees the Italian Program of UMass Amherst two English Teaching Assistant internships in the high schools of Lombardy every year. Two students, graduate or undergraduate, have the opportunity to assist local teachers as native-language English speakers as well as to teach classes in specific content areas that relate to their areas of competence and specific interests. The internship provides participating students with the opportunity to gain valuable experience as foreign language teachers. This internship also allows students to spend a prolonged period of time in an Italian-speaking work environment. Students participating in the internship receive a stipend from the regional government of Lombardy but must pay for their own flight to Italy. The program is geared toward students interested in pursuing a career as teachers of Italian in U.S. schools.

Those interested in this initiative should contact Prof. Roberto Ludovico, indicating: the period in which they would like to participate in the internship program, for how long, as well student status at the time of the internship. The agreement requires that preference be given to graduating students who have achieved excellent results in Italian Studies and who intend to continue the study of Italian at the graduate level at UMass with a M.A.T. in Italian or who are interested in obtaining the state certification as teachers of Italian in K-12 schools after their B.A. Students accepted in the M.A.T. program and whose native language is not Italian are also strongly encouraged to apply for the internship.

E. ‘Business in Italy,’ UMass Isenberg School of Management

This is a three-credit course sponsored by the School of Management (SOM) that entails enrollment in a fall-semester course offered by the SOM, and a subsequent January field trip (approx. 12 days) to several Italian cities, during which industrial sites, a fashion school, the Bocconi School of Business, the American Consulate in Florence, and various cultural sites/events are experienced. Students are expected to keep a detailed journal of their activities and formulate a project that will be presented to the group in the spring.

The course is organized and co-taught by a SOM professor and a professor from the Faculty of Humanities and Fine Arts. Course enrollment is limited; no prior exposure to Italian is required, though some knowledge would be helpful. Fees are determined by the School of Management in consultation with the International Programs Office.

F. ‘Journalism in Sicily,’ Department of Journalism

This is a spring semester course involving a March (spring break) trip to Sicily for students interested in journalism and photojournalism. Interested students should consult the Dept. of Journalism. Enrollment is limited. Prior coursework in Italian is encouraged, but not required.

G. Department of Classics

The Classics Department periodically offers short-term excursions to sites in Italy as part of their regular programs. Interested students should consult the Department of Classics regarding upcoming opportunities. Although some knowledge of Italian is desired, none is required.