Study Abroad in Rome, Italy

Study Abroad in Rome: Courses

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A minimum of 10 students must enroll for classes to be offered.


Italian Language Course

ITL 103/ITL 3831 (3) | Elementary Italian I (A1 CEFR)

A thorough, basic introduction to the Italian language for those with little or no previous experience, the course teaches essential vocabulary and grammar and develops students’ ability to communicate in an authentic linguistic context – key to making the most of the experience of their stay in Italy.

Courses Taught in English

ARH 305/AVC 5810 (3) | Introduction to Renaissance and Baroque Art in Rome

This course examines the development of painting, sculpture and architecture in Renaissance and Baroque Italy from the fourteenth to the mid-seventeenth centuries, four centuries marking the passage from the Middle Ages to Modernity. Students examine key works, consider the historical and cultural context in which the art was produced and consumed, and how this art has been approached and analyzed historically. The course focuses on Rome and normally includes field trips to view works by, for example, Michelangelo, Raphael, Caravaggio and Bernini. Students should budget approximately 30 euros for admission to museums and galleries not included in the program fee.

HST 314/HST 5815 (3) | History of Food and Table Manners

This course explores food and food habits in human history from early civilization to the Modern period, via the Classical world and the Middle Ages. Themes such as the social function of banquets, dietary rules, food models, cultural identity and table manners are considered. Students examine evidence based on written sources and on archaeological and artistic remains in order to compare the dining habits of different social groups across different historical periods (e.g. Romans vs. Barbarians; nobles vs. peasants; lay vs. religious; urban vs. rural). The social, political, economic and cultural history of food and table manners are studied within the spaces in which the people lived and ate - including the interiors of households, palaces and monasteries. Students should budget approximately 50 euros for admission to museums and galleries not included in the program fee.

RLG 300/RLG 5810 (3) | Comparative World Religion

Explores the monotheistic religions of the Near East (Judaism, Christianity and Islam), those of India and the Far east (Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism) and the “new age” faiths. The history and practice of each is studied. Special emphasis is laid on the philosophical and psychological basis of each religion and common themes such as “the self,” suffering, free will, and ethics. Primary and secondary sources are studied, along with an examination of methodology in comparative religion.


These 45-hour courses are taught at the Rome Study Center by highly-qualified local instructors. CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) level is indicated in parentheses.

Italian Language Courses

ITL 103/ITL 3831 (3) | Elementary Italian I (A1 CEFR)

A thorough, basic introduction to the Italian language for those with little or no previous experience, the course teaches essential vocabulary and grammar and develops students’ ability to communicate in an authentic linguistic context – key to making the most of the experience of their stay in Italy.

ITL 104/ITL 3832 (3) | Elementary Italian I (A1/A2 CEFR)

Designed for students who already have some knowledge of Italian, the course revises basic grammar and vocabulary before progressing to more complex structures and functions leading up to the next, Intermediate, level. Classes are conducted mainly in Italian, with ample opportunity for student oral practice.

ITL 203/ITL 4831 (3) | Intermediate Italian I (A2/B1 CEFR)

This course helps students to develop their ability to communicate effectively and accurately, using an expanded range of vocabulary. Conversation practice improves listening and interpretation skills for better understanding and response. Reading and writing exercises improve skills in understanding prose and writing letters and simple messages. Prerequisite: successful completion 3/4 semesters of Italian.

ITL 204/ITL 4832 (3) | Intermediate Italian II (B2 CEFR)

This course builds upon the skills gained in ITL 203 and develops them to enable students to understand and respond to quite complex lines of argument, both in oral and in written form. Students are introduced to more complex forms of grammar and more sophisticated vocabulary, to give them the ability to carry out and refine tasks within the world of Italian, using the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

ITL 303/ITL 5830 (3) | Advanced Italian (B2/C1 CEFR)

This course introduces students to advanced structures and vocabulary, which will enable them to interact with the Italian world at a sophisticated level. It enables them to understand lectures and complex lines of argument, including various attitudes and viewpoints, both in oral and in written form. They should become fluent and spontaneous in verbal interaction, and well able to present and sustain an argument, both orally and in evidenced-based writing.

The following courses are taught in English

Art, Design and Media

ADM 308/ADM 5875 (3) | Sketchbook of Rome

This course is designed to give students a deeper understanding of the role of drawing as an investigative process as well as an expressive means of communication. Drawing is used as a basic exploratory tool to examine Rome as the site for both subject – in particular, the river Tevere - and as a research resource for the practice of drawing - especially in the Roman churches, galleries and museums. The course is divided between working in the studio and on location in Rome. The sketchbook is an essential aspect of the course in helping students to document the city, stimulate and develop ideas and as a reminder that drawing is a portable medium. A studio fee is levied on this course.

ADM 341/ADM 5860 (3) | Photography for the Media

Recommended for Communications and Journalism majors as well as photographers, this course develops knowledge and experience in photojournalism via the study of the work of major practitioners and the production of assignments typical of today’s photojournalists. Students will need to provide a DSLR (digital reflex) camera and a laptop (with any basic photo editing software). A studio fee is levied on this course.

Art History

ARH 273/AVC 4800 (1) | Introduction to Italian Art

This course examines developments in early Italian painting and sculpture leading up to the Renaissance and Baroque. Students consider early Italian art from the Etruscans and Romans up to the Renaissance, in art historical context, particularly in terms of patronage and the key social, religious and philosophical events. It is normally taught during field study visits, which include Florence, Pompeii, Naples and Capri. A field project paper is normally required.

ARH 308/AVC 5840 (3) (7-week or Internship Program only) | Art and Culture in Rome: 800 BC - 2000 AD

This course examines the history and society of Rome and its architectural and artistic expression as it developed over a period of 3,000 years. Students study key examples of architecture, monuments and art from Classical Rome through to the Renaissance and Baroque, and the modern period. Much of the course is taught on site with visits to churches, palaces and museums.


COM 315/FLM 5800 (3) | History of Italian Cinema and Society

This course explores the history of Italian cinema and society as represented in film, with particular focus on the wide range of films to emerge after the Second World War. Students study Italian cinema within the context of world cinema to assess realism as an aesthetic convention as well as gain insight into Italian culture and ways of thinking.


HST 311/HST 5805 (3) | Rome through the Ages

This course covers the history of Rome from its reputed founding by Romulus and Remus to the establishment of the Roman Republic and the creation of the Roman Empire, leading up to conversion to Christianity and the appointment of the first Christian emperor. The course explores themes such as the changes in Roman politics, the causes of the misgovernment which brought down the Republic, how the hollow skeleton of the Republic was used to house the Principate of Augustus, the rise of the Roman Empire, and the success of Christianity.

HST 326/HST 5820 (3) | History of the Italian Mafia

This course explores the history of the Italian Mafia from the national unification of Italy until the present day. Topics studied include relationships within the organization, those between the Mafia and Italian Politics, and those between the Italian and the American mafia.


SCL 266/SCL 5855 (3) | Culture and Style in Italy

The course focuses on aspects of post-war Italian culture including cuisine, fashion, religious beliefs and the persistence of superstition. Lectures cover topics such as the role of women, food and wine as cultural traditions, the effect of social change, and culture and style. Lectures are supported by field visits, food and wine tasting sessions, and audio-visual materials.