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Study Abroad Seminar in Italy

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, University-sponsored faculty-led study abroad programs are on hold. We look forward to the return of a robust travel program schedule at WNE.

Discover a unique ITALIAN experience! 

Do you want to study in Italy this summer? Now is the time to plan for enrollment! The College of Arts and Sciences is offering two outstanding opportunities in two dynamic summer Study Abroad Programs in Italy. Students will live and attend classes in either Florence or Sorrento and obtain 6 WNE credits. Both programs include amazing tours, spectacular site visits, and allow students to immerse themselves into the Italian culture.

Ciao—and we hope to see you in Italy this summer!

Students interested in participating should contact Professor Dan Bevacqua at daniel.bevacqua@wne.edu for details on Florence or Professor Brenda Garton-Sjoberg at bgarton@wne.edu for information on Sorrento.

Courses Offered: Florence

Art History

This course explores artwork produced in Italy from the 14th century until 17th century. It will focus on the relationship of the works of art to their cultural and historical importance in the time period of when they were produced. Emphasis will be placed on the function of the artwork as well as its relationship to the artworks patron, artist and/or location. In particular, this course will focus on four different spaces and audiences of patronage: the public piazza, the family chapel, the guilds and the domestic space. Our objective is to understand the goal—and thus ultimately its meaning—for each different patron (the city, a group, a religious leader, a family or a female) in relation to its space and its audience. Finally, because we are in Florence, when possible, the works of art will be studied through on-site observation and lectures.

Italian Culture Through Language

The course will teach the main grammar topics of Italian language and will be put into practice either in classrooms (conversations, role plays, games, songs) or in selected locations. The program will also include excursions and academic activities in markets and supermarkets, restaurant and cafeterias, exhibitions and museums, historical buildings and locations of cultural interest. By the end of the course the students will communicate using proper grammar in the written and spoken language: ask questions, ask for information, do descriptions, talk about their life and family, order in a restaurant, talk about present, past and future events. They are also able to understand easy Italian. They will reach level A1 according to the rules of Quadro Comune Europeo (European Framework)

Travel Photography

This class is an introduction to photographic technique and photo management through the visual experience of some of the main aspects of Italian culture displayed in Florence, one of the most important Italian cities. Weeks 1, 2, and 3 will begin with a technical and theoretical lesson introducing the weekly program; followed by field trips and photo management in class. Three field trips will be organized concerning Italian culture, covering 3 topics: architecture, people, still-life. Week 4 will be dedicated to organizing the best images in a short presentation which will be displayed at school at the end of the course.


This course teaches the fundamentals of painting through the study of the great masters of the past: student will analyze and reproduce masterpieces of the past and learn how to paint while understanding different methods from the Classical Renaissance to the period of the Italian Risorgimento, with a special focus on the Macchiaioli movement.

Courses Offered: Sorrento

CUL 224: Italian Culture

Since the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, historical and political events manifested a wide range of cultural phenomena and transformations leading up to the Unification of Italy in 1861. The demographic, economic, and sociological differences and complexities leave Italians still attempting to establish a national identity. This course will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of ancient and modern Italy, Italian culture, and the Italians.

COMM 340: Business Communication

This course focuses on the importance of all communication in the workplace. Students will assess their own career goals, strengths, and weaknesses by exploring principles of effective professional communi- cation with assignments on business style writing and by delivering presentations. This section of BUS COMM has emphasis on cultural communication with this travel component to Italy.

Start Packing: Here’s What You Need To Know

What will the trip cost?

The estimated cost is currently being determined.

Space is limited. For more information, contact: Professor Brenda Garton-Sjoberg at bgarton@wne.edu or Professor Dan Bevacqua at daniel.bevaqua@wne.edu.

What will I see in Italy?

Excursions in Sorrento include:

  • Amalfi Coast
  • Naples and Sorrento
  • Olive Oil Factory tour
  • Gelato Laboratory
  • Pompeii ruins
  • Capri
  • Rome
  • Positano
  • Colosseum
  • Italian Cooking class

How can I participate?

Students must be in good academic standing to participate in study abroad opportunities. Students participating in year-long or semester-long study abroad programs must satisfy the specific grade point average required by the foreign university they will be attending.

Want to Learn More?

For more information, contact:

Dr. Josie Brown-Rose, Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Assistant Director of the Study Abroad Program

Phone: 413-782-1279

Email: jbrownro@wne.edu

Dr. Saeed Ghahramani, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Director of the Study Abroad Program

Phone: 413-782-1218

Email: sghahram@wne.edu

Got Your Passport? Don’t forget to apply now for your passport to be ready to take advantage of this unique educational/travel opportunity.