Duke in Venice



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Taught in English

The program is designed to provide you with the opportunity to study aspects of Venetian history and culture, which have been particularly important in the shaping of European civilization. The city of Venice, with its scenic canals and islands, will serve as your outdoor classroom for this 4-week summer program. Venice International University, which is located on the island of San Servolo in the spectacular Venetian lagoon, will be the site for both student residences and indoor classroom facilities.

Program Fast Facts

Location: Venice, Italy

Term: Summer

Dates: May 27–June 30, 2018

Application Deadline: February 15, 2018

Academic Theme(s): TBD

Language of Instruction: English

Credit Type: Duke Credit

Eligibility: No prerequisites. Suitable for all majors. Non-Duke students are welcome to apply.

Duke Affiliation: Duke English Department

Housing: Residence Hall

GEO Advisor: Alayne Wood

  • Photo Credit: Ge Jin, Duke in Venice student

  • Photo Credit: Ge Jin, Duke in Venice student

  • Photo credit: Amarie Bremel, Duke in Venice student

  • Bridge of Sighs. Photo Credit: Lei Zhang, Duke in Venice student

  • Photo Credit: Ge Jin, Duke in Venice student

  • Duke in Venice students

  • Photo Credit: Ge Jin, Duke in Venice student

  • Aerial photo of San Servolo Island

  • Aerial photo of San Servolo Island


All students enroll in the program's signature course offering one Duke credit. No pass/fail option or auditing is permitted. 

Art, Food, and Finance in Venice: An Immersive Experience
(ALP) 1.0 Credit
Instructor: Prof. Marianna Torgovnick

Prerequisite: None

Venice really is that beautiful: a magical, soul-inspiring place, for which you will feel nostalgic even before you leave. Art, Food, and Finance in Venice aims to immerse you in the Venetian experience, which you will be living during Summer Session I.

We will spend one day a week (two, maximum) in a seminar-style class (2.5 hours, as at Duke), with three units: In the Beginning; Trade, Empire, and Power; and Modern Venice—all with coordinating, on-your-feet, weekly two-hour tours of the city that highlights an artistic or public policy issue, as well as a coordinating excursion.

We will also range further afield to understand Venice in its imperial contexts (with a trip to Ravenna and/or Roma), in its artistic ones (Firenze [Florence] and/or Verona), and in terms of finance today (Padova or Milano).

Throughout, we will take our study of Venetian food seriously, with class excursions to Malamocco (an ancient fishing village), accompanied by a seafood feast, to the famous Venetian food market, and to Bologna, a nearby gustatory capital. We will also visit Venice’s stunning collections of art, not just in museums, but also in sites such as palazzos and churches (including, we hope, a concert in the Frari).

Finally, we will consider, in an ongoing way the financial underpinnings of the Venetian experience: commerce and trade; money-lending and banking; and tourism, which we will both share and analyze. In 2018, we will also ponder ongoing, and increasing, threats to Venice’s fragile environment, visible at many of the sites we will visit.

Coursework: One weekly reading or viewing; one oral report; and one final paper or experiential project     



You will be housed in double rooms in a residence hall of Venice International University (VIU), located on the scenic island of San Servolo. Each room will have a private bath. There are no kitchen facilities in the dormitory.


Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be served in VIU's cafeteria Monday through Friday. You will also be given a set of vouchers/meal passes that can be used in the VIU cafeteria and also in a wide network of cafés, restaurants, and supermarkets. The vouchers are valid nationwide, so students can use them while traveling in Italy.


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

Summer 2018

  Duke Students Non-Duke Students
Tuition $3,390 $3,390
Program Fee $4,600 $4,600
Transcript Fee N/A $40
Other Costs Other Costs Other Costs
TOTAL (Estimated) $11,515 $11,555


Explanation of Costs

Financial Aid

Duke students receiving financial aid are eligible for aid for this program (work-study funds must be converted to loans). 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 27, 2018
  • Departure: June 30, 2018


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 MyGlobalEd 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.


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 & Staff

The faculty director can assist with questions related to program academics, admissions, on-site needs, etc. For all other inquiries, please contact the Global Education Office.

Marianna Torgovnick

Professor of English

Susan Pratt

GEO Asst. Director & Regional Manager


Deadline: February 15, 2018

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.

Priority: Priority is given to applicants who apply early.

Minimum GPA: There is no minimum GPA.

Non-Duke students: Non-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 MyGlobalEd

  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.
  3. Personal statement, no longer than one page, explaining why you would like to participate
  4. Academic letter of recommendation (one)