Duke in Bologna

A 6-Week Summer Italian Language & Culture Program


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Offered in cooperation with the University of Bologna, one of Europe’s oldest universities, this six-week, two-course summer pro­gram provides you the opportunity to improve your Italian language skills, become acquainted with advanced topics in Italian studies through a culture-based course, and develop your cultural knowledge by utilizing Bologna in a “city as classroom” capacity to explore the richness of Italian society, art, and literature. Via the program’s project-based experiential pedagogy, students actively engage with the city and its multiple communities and institutions, (from museums and ancient medical labs to urban gardens and soup kitchens), participate in the complexity of Italian society and explore, its multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-lingual past and present. Bologna, known for its exciting and forward-looking intellectual and cultural life is the setting for these discoveries. The program will be staffed by one Duke faculty member as Program Director and a lecturing fellow or advanced graduate student. The faculty member will direct the program and teach the advanced culture course. The lecturing fellow or graduate student teaches the language course and assists in the coordination of the program.


Location: Bologna, Italy

Term: Summer I

Dates: May 6 - June 17, 2022

Application Deadline: February 1

Academic Theme(s): Italian Language and Culture

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: Must have completed the equivalent of two semesters of college-level Italian. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Co-sponsored by the Duke Department of Romance Studies

Housing: Apartments

GEO Advising: Request an appointment 

  • Bologna as seen from Asinelli tower

  • Duke in Bologna group

  • Basilica Bologna

  • Porticos in Bologna

  • Piazza Santo Stefano

  • Bologna market


Students will enroll in both a language course and a culture-based content course, each offering one Duke credit. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted for either course. 

Accelerated Intermediate Italian

(FL, CZ) 1.0 Credit

Pre-requisite: Italian 102 or 112 (the equivalent of two semesters of college-level Italian), or have the consent of the Italian Language Director, Luciana Fellin.

This course is the equivalent of Italian 203 and 204 together. The course is project-based and fosters students’ speaking, reading, and writing abilities through immersion and exploration of the city. Bologna will be used as a classroom with which students engage to develop their linguistic and intercultural competencies.


Urban Space and the Politics of Everyday Life in Italy

(CZ, CCI) 1.0 Credit

Prerequisite: None

This course offers an introduction to Italian cities, exploring the complex relationship between urban space, everyday life, and social transformation. Throughout the semester we ask: What are the defining spaces of the Italian city? How do these spaces shape social practices? How do social practices in turn transform urban space? To answer these questions, we take an interdisciplinary approach that combines contemporary ethnographic research in Bologna and other cities, urban history, and analysis of Italian literature, art, and film about urban spaces. Through readings, discussion, and experiential learning, students will explore key phenomena of Italian urbanism, including the legacies of Roman architecture and the ideal urban planning of the Renaissance, the reorganization of space under the fascism, and contemporary resistance movements organized through occupied centro sociali. 

In the first part of the semester, we examine key theoretical frameworks for thinking about urban space and everyday life. We then apply these frameworks in ethnographic activities that immerse students in the specific social spaces of Bologna. We then contextualize our observations by exploring the historical phenomena that have shaped urban social spaces since the Roman era. Site visits to cities around Italy, such as Ferrara, Verona, and Firenze, serve as case studies for exploring these phenomena in greater depth. Finally, we explore how representations of the city in art, literature, and film attempt to reimagine Italian space in the context of globalization and environmental crisis.


As part of the program there will be several excursions within Italy to take advantage of Bologna’s location. Some possible destinations could include Florence, Rome, Venice, Verona, or Ravenna, but final itinerary will depend on the particular content of the courses being offered.

Given its central location in Europe and status as a travel hub, Bologna is a great base for further travel throughout Europe both by rail and by plane. Students typically take longer trips before or after the program, and shorter ones on some weekends during the session.


You'll be housed in apartments in central Bologna, with two or three students per apartment. Students will be responsible for their own meals, either purchasing food at grocery stores and markets and cooking in the apartment kitchens or frequenting restaurants and cafés.


These costs are estimated based on previous years’ programs and the current exchange rate. All costs are subject to change.

Summer 2022

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $5,200 $5,200
Program Fee $4,500 $4,500
Transcript Fee N/A $120
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $14,590 $14,710

Explanation of Costs

Financial Aid

Duke students receiving institutional need-based grant aid are eligible for aid for this program; work-study funds are converted to grants. Students are individually responsible for making the necessary arrangements with the Karsh Office of Undergraduate Financial Support and the Duke Bursar’s Office.

Non-Duke students are not eligible to receive financial aid at Duke and should contact their home institutions for financial aid information.


This program offers the following scholarship opportunities:


Attendance is required at all classes, excursions, and group events. Given the intense nature of this program, late arrival and/or early departure is not permitted.

  • Arrival: May 6, 2022
  • Departure: June 17, 2022


You will make your own travel arrangements to and from the program site. You are expected to arrive on the arrival date cited above, which usually means departing the U.S. one day prior. Once you have a flight itinerary, log in to MyExperientialEd to update your travel registry.

Housing Before/After

You will need to make your own housing arrangements if you will be arriving before the program start date or leaving later than the program end date.



No visa is required of U.S. citizens to participate in this program. Non-U.S. citizens should pay special attention to the visa requirements for their specific citizenship by contacting the country embassy to find out if any visa restrictions are in effect.


All participants must have a valid passport. Make sure your passport has at least six months of validity beyond the program end date to avoid unintended disruptions. For instructions on obtaining or renewing your U.S. passport, visit passports.state.gov.

International Student Identity Card

An International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is optional. ISIC is the only internationally recognized form of student ID, endorsed by UNESCO. If purchased in the U.S., the card also carries with it a supplemental insurance policy, which can prove to be very helpful in the event of serious injury. You may purchase this card through www.myisic.com. Processing of the card takes between 4-15 days. 


Program faculty director(s) can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the GEO representative listed.

Mattia Begali

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Romance Studies

Susan Pratt

GEO Asst. Director


Deadline: February 1

This program has rolling admission. Applications will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis until the program fills; after that, qualified students are added to a waitlist and notified of openings. Applications must be received by the deadline to be considered. Application opens November 1.

PriorityPriority is given to applicants who apply early and meet the prerequisites.

Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.

Non-Duke studentsNon-Duke students are welcome to apply for this program. You must be a degree-seeking student in good standing at an accredited college or university. Consult your university’s registrar and/or study away advisor for assistance with transfer credit. Students who are not matriculated at a college or university are not eligible to participate in Duke’s study away programs.


Start your application early to ensure that it is complete by the deadline! Incomplete applications will not be forwarded to the program directors for consideration.

Submit the following items using MyExperientialEd:

  1. Online application
  2. Official transcript(s) from all colleges and universities attended. First-year students should wait for fall semester grades to be posted before submitting their transcript.
  3. Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate
  4. One academic letter of recommendation, preferably from a language professor noting your linguistic and academic abilities. If you have not taken a language course at Duke, please request a letter from a Duke professor who knows you well. Letters from high school teachers will not be accepted


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