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 12, 2023 - June 24, 2023

Application Deadline: Extended to February 15th

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

Primary Contact: Kayla Soltis-Katella

  • 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.


Performing Italy
(ALP, CZ, CCI) 1.0 Credit

Italy’s vibrant musical-theatrical  traditions  make  it  one  of  the  most  sonorous  and  captivating  places  on earth. This six-week course immerses students in the rich history of the Italian performing arts, from the birth  of  opera  in  Florencein the early seventeenth century to Venice’s spectacular carnival culture still alive today. Course materials are both textual and architectural: students will have  the  opportunity not only to read about the intertwining histories of performance, politics, gender, and diplomacy from 1600 to 1900, but will travel to some of Italy’s most historic theaters and opera houses for occasional performances and backstage tours.

Using  as  our  base  the  harmonious  city  of  Bologna—the first “Wagnerian” city in Italy—students  will experience the international dynamism of the country’s performing arts traditions. How and why have Italian communities long come together to perform art in front of audiences, both local and global? How can performance act as an instrument of politics and history-making, especially in times of resistance and change? In what ways do gender dynamics play out in staged representations of heroes, heroines, villains, and divas? And what role do the performing arts hold today in Italian cultural and national identity?

The timing of the course overlaps with some of Europe’s most celebrated summer music festivals. Possible site visits (depending on schedule and availability) may thus include Vivaldi’s Venice and the historic “La Fenice” theater, Cremona’s Museum of the Violin and Monteverdi Festival, Verona’s Arena Opera Festival in the city’s stunning Roman amphitheater, and Milan’s world-renowned Teatro alla Scala.

No specific training in music or performance is required


As part of this unique program, we will take advantage of Bologna's central location and enjoy excursions to other cities across Italy. Possible destinations include Venice, Cremona, Verona, and Milan. The final itinerary will depend on ticket availability and performance calendars (TBD), as well as other scheduling factors.

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 $5,410 $5,410
Program Fee $6,500 $6,500
Transcript Fee N/A $120
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $14,800 $14,920

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 12, 2023
  • Departure: June 24, 2023


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.

Kate Driscoll

Assistant Professor of Romance Studies

Kayla Soltis-Katella

GEO Assistant Director


Deadline: Extended to February 15th

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. 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 recommendation from a language professor noting your linguistic and academic abilities. Letters from high school teachers will not be accepted


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