Viterbo, Italy
USAC
1-866-404-USAC1-775-784-65691-775-784-6010studyabroad@usac.unr.edu

Course Information

Viterbo, Italy | 2017-18 Yearlong

Studying abroad can be a more meaningful and invigorating learning experience than at home—both inside and outside of the classroom. You may be more curious and alert than you usually are so use this heightened energy to enhance your studies as well as your cultural and geographical explorations. You may also encounter different teaching styles and course processes; be prepared to adapt and to learn.

Academics

You will enroll in 12 to 18 credits per semester comprised of language study plus electives in Italian language, art, culture and Mediterranean studies. Course availability is contingent upon student enrollment and is subject to change.

Italian Language Tracks

USAC offers intensive language courses grouped into tracks in which courses are taught sequentially (back to back) within one semester. If you have already taken the first course in a track, you do not have to take it again for credit, but you must audit it to be prepared for success at the next level. Language courses are small and typically have a maximum enrollment of 15 students each. Students who do not enroll in a language track must take either Elementary I (if they have never taken Italian) or Italian Conversation (if they've completed at least two semesters of Italian) to assimilate more effectively into Italian culture and their new living and learning environment.

Track I (14 credits total)—Prerequisite: none

Track II (12 credits total)—Prerequisite: two semesters of college Italian

Track III (9 credits total)—Prerequisite: four semesters of college Italian

Track IV (6 credits total)—Prerequisite: six semesters of college Italian

Fall Semester

Art, History, Mediterranean, and Italian Studies

Taught in English unless noted in Italian

Spring Semester

Field Studies

Deepen your academic experience through a 1-credit field study course where you will explore the art, cultural, historical, and natural features of a distinctive region of Italy through carefully planned excursions. These experiences combined with academic components (readings, research, written assignments, reports, etc.) deepen your understanding of the sites and locales visited. This course cannot be taken as an audit and counts as part of your credit load. Optional field studies have an additional fee and are subject to meeting minimum enrollment requirements to run. In the fall semester, the field study will go to the south of Italy; in spring the field study will travel to Tuscany, the heart of Italy.

Internships

USAC internships are rich resources for your academic and professional development. They are considered courses and count as part of your credit load. Depending on the level of Italian language at the beginning of the internship, the student will be working in an English or Italian speaking environment, with high exposure to Italian culture and language. Interns earn credits but no financial compensation. The schedule and the number of work hours will be determined by the schedule of USAC courses.

Viterbo internship opportunities include:

  • Local Schools: Students have interned as English teachers, tutoring or assisting children and adults in learning English as a foreign language. The internship in some schools at Elementary and Middle grades also includes a project done in collaboration with  FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) as part of their YUNGA project on Environmental and Sustainability topics.
  • Online Magazine: A local online magazine which advertises events, excursions, tourist attractions, and itineraries in the Town and the Province of Viterbo. Intern students have also utilized journalism and photography skills to talk about their study abroad experience and cultural differences. Journalism Major preferred.
  • Online Travel Agency: Local online travel agency looks for interns to implement their social media and to write newsletters about Viterbo and the surrounding area. Marketing, communication and writing skills required.

  • Viterbo USAC office: The Viterbo program office is located at the host university, Università degli Studi della Tuscia. Intern students have carried out activities in translation, and created and implemented informative and marketing material.

  • Environmental Studies Department: Intern students have assisted in activities and research of the Environmental Studies Department in a lab specialized in dendrology collecting and analyzing data to reconstruct climate models. Major in Environmental Studies required.
     
  • Language and Culture Exchange:  Interns will have language exchange sessions, they  will be paired to have a one-to-one relation. Functionally oriented conversational themes and related vocabulary and phraseology will be introduced for discussion and intensive practice. In addition to the linguistic elements, cultural aspects such as non-verbal language, cultural references, where it is spoken, whether it is used in all contexts, etc. will also be taken into consideration. No pre-requisites.
     
  • Website - Translation:  Intern students have provided translation from Italian into English of material regarding the monuments in Viterbo and the surrounding area. Intermediate level of Italian language required.

  • Art Lab: Interns have helped a local artist in his atelier. This is a great opportunity to have a hands-on experience in the world of art especially for interns who would like to consider art as a future career. No pre-requisites.

Placement is not guaranteed by USAC, rather it will be determined by your application and supporting materials and an interview on site with the internship sponsor.

Eligibility: enrollment in the Viterbo program, a minimum GPA of 3.0, and junior standing at the time of the internship. A refundable fee of $100 is charged and returned upon successful completion of the internship.

Host University Courses

Taught in Italian

Intermediate and Advanced Italian students may take one 3-credit course offered by Tuscia University in the fields of Italian Literature, English Literature (partially taught in English), English/Italian Translation, History (Byzantine, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance, Modern, Contemporary), Music History, Economics, Marketing, Political Science, Sociology, Tourism, Environmental Studies, Forestry, or Biology. In addition, all USAC students (including those with less advanced Italian) may take 1- or 2-credit workshops offered by Tuscia University in subjects such as "Ceramic Restoration" or "Archeology Excavations."

Italian universities follow a different calendar, with final exams in January (fall semester) and June (spring semester). It may be possible to organize early exams (December and May) on an individual basis, but USAC cannot guarantee this. Courses taken at the host university are taken in addition to your USAC classes and do not replace USAC credits. Tuscia University courses are reported on letterhead or a certificate of completion with the grade earned. Work with your home academic advisor to determine whether such courses will be accepted for credit.

US Professors

Local faculty teach most USAC courses; however, the following US professors are also teaching as Visiting Professors.

Fall Semester:

Dr. Elspeth Whitney, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Courses offered:

Elspeth Whitney (Ph.D. City University of New York) teaches medieval history, the history of sexuality, and early modern history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. In 1997, she taught at the University of Reading (UK). She is the recipient of a Distinguised Teacher Award (2008) and in 2012 taught in the USAC program at the Universidad del País Vasco in San Sebastián, Spain. She has published in the field of medieval science and technology, as well as gender studies.

Spring Semester:

Prof. Eunkang Koh, University of Nevada, Reno

Courses offered:

Eunkang Koh received her B.F.A. from Hong-Ik University in Seoul, South Korea and M.F.A. from California State University, Long Beach, California. The relationship between humans and the society in which they live is the main source of inspiration in her artwork. She works in various media- printmaking, bookart, drawing, and installation to address social phenomena in our contemporary consumerist society.

Course Descriptions

Advanced Italian I

Fall (Italian; 400-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Italian; 400-level; 3 credits)

Advanced Italian I is a three-credit course for students who already have a solid foundation in the language and want learn how to use the language with increasing syntactic complexity and grammatical accuracy, paying special attention to the change of time-frames, as well as the expression of hypothesis and different degrees of certainty.

Classroom activities are guided by the communicative approach based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language. As a result classroom activities are characterized by trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels;

 Different teaching techniques and strategies will be used to accommodate different learning styles;

 There may be more emphasis on skills than systems;

 Lessons are more learner-centered, and authentic materials will be used;

 Grammar is taught in a communicative way;

 The classroom atmosphere will be positive, encouraging, and enjoyable in order to increase students´ motivation for the learning process;

 All in-class oral activities, as well as the activities carried out by students at home in preparation for the oral section of the exams, encourage team work and create an environment of solidarity, peer exchange and mutual support.

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Advanced Italian II

Fall (Italian; 400-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Italian; 400-level; 3 credits)

Presented through the use of theoretical and practical materials that permit the student to consolidate some of those grammatical aspects of the Italian language that, because of their difficulty, require frequent review and further development. A comprehensive revision of the grammatical points that present the most trouble in Italian. Care will be taken on understanding and practicing the use of all grammatical forms in both the written and spoken Italian. Prerequisite: seven semesters of college Italian.

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Beginning Drawing: Drawing Viterbo (Drawing I)

Spring (3 credits)

This course is centered on the sketchbook as an instrument for developing drawing and painting techniques and for learning how to observe and understand visual information. The majority of classes will take place around the medieval city of Viterbo and surrounding areas. Students will use a variety of materials to document historic sites, building up a unique and personal record of the world around them. Students will receive individual instruction throughout on drawing and painting techniques, and will be guided through the process of creating an informative and attractive sketchbook up to the development of a final artwork project based on work done in the sketchbook. Content will be an important factor and the course will place an emphasis on techniques of observation and concise capturing of the world around you as well as concentrating on the technical aspects of drawing and painting.

The course will use the following methods:

Lecture and demonstration


Studio instruction and skills practice

In-situ observation in the community

Informal and formal critique of student work

The course is suited for students without previous drawing experience as well as students with experience. It can adapt to the particular students’ needs.

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Contemporary Italian Cinema

Fall (Art, Film, Italian; 400-level; 3 credits)

The Italian film course serves as a key to understanding Italian society. It introduces contemporary Italian film and its major genres, studies film in relation to performing arts, culture, politics, and society and examines Italian film production from the Eighties to the present. Taught in English. (Fall semester)

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Drawing and Painting Italy I

Fall (100-level; 3 credits)

This course is designed for students who are interested in the practical experience of art. Students will need to work outside the classroom, as well as in class. This course is designed to generate competence in individual aesthetic style. The interrelation of painting and drawing with other media and disciplines will also be encouraged and issues on the interpretation of drawing and painting will be addressed. Taught in English.

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Elementary Italian I

Fall (Italian; 100-level; 4 credits)
Spring (Italian; 100-level; 4 credits)

Elementary Italian I is a four-credit language course offered to students who are enrolled in USAC and have not taken any Italian courses at college-level before. This course is designed to help non-native speakers of Italian to acquire basic communicative competence by providing the opportunities to develop the basic skills of a language: listening, speaking, interacting, reading and writing.

The main emphasis of this course is on communication and, therefore, class attendance is essential. Classroom activities are guided by the communicative approach based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language.

As a result classroom activities are characterized by trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels;

• Different teaching techniques and strategies will be used to accommodate different learning styles;

• There may be more emphasis on skills than systems;

• Lessons are more learner-centered, and authentic materials will be used; grammar is taught in a communicative way;

• The classroom atmosphere will be positive, encouraging, and enjoyable in order to increase students´ motivation for the learning process;

• All in-class oral activities, as well as the activities carried out by students at home in preparation for the oral section of the exams, encourage team work and create an environment of solidarity, peer exchange and mutual support.

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Elementary Italian II

Fall (Italian; 100-level; 4 credits)
Spring (Italian; 100-level; 4 credits)

Elementary Italian II is a four-credit language course offered to students who are enrolled in USAC and have already taken one Elementary Italian course before. This course is designed to help non-native speakers of Italian to improve their basic communicative competence by providing the opportunities to develop the basic skills of the Italian language: listening, speaking, interacting, reading and writing. The main emphasis of this course is on communication and, therefore, class attendance is essential.

Two field trips will be scheduled according to the local cultural events in order to discover some important and meaningful aspects of Italian culture and history.

Classroom activities are guided by the communicative approach. The communicative approach is based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language.

As a result, classroom activities are characterised by trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels; different teaching techniques and strategies will be used to accommodate different learning styles;

 There may be more emphasis on skills than systems; lessons are more learner-centred, and there may be use of authentic materials;

 Grammar is taught in a communicative way;

 The classroom atmosphere will be positive, encouraging, and enjoyable in order to increase students´ motivation for the learning process;

 All in-class oral activities, as well as the activities carried out by students at home in preparation for the oral section of the exams, encourage team work and create an environment of solidarity, peer exchange and mutual support.

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From Saints to Selfies: Documentary Photography

Spring (Art, Historic Preservation; 300-level; 3 credits)

We will analyze the visual paths that created our collective identity through the study of the "culture of the gaze" (Western), to finally arrive to the historical moment in which we live, strongly marked by the images. Each image, without distinction, is in respect of the memory more effective than the word, making it a fundamental tool for the documentation of cultural assets.

Documentary photography serves to preserve the memory of an object and make it visible, even in its absence. The photographer has the task of having to create documents that represent in a fair and objective way the cultural assets, but at the same time also has the role of creating new readings for a better understanding of the work, with the knowledge of a translation that respects aesthetic and historical values.

Students will analyze, research, and study monuments – mainly but not limited to sculpture and architecture – learning its history, style, origin, author(s) and learning concepts of restoration.

Students will learn the “visual language” for the cultural heritage, also the use of contemporary tools of creation of images: smartphones and tablets.

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Gender and the Arts

Spring (Art, Women's Studies / Gender Studies; 300-level; 3 credits)

Why does gender matter in the study of the arts? Artists have long been considered a “special” ungendered category of humanity. Only when we study the HIStory of the arts we notice that something is missing: to start with, where are the women? Some would say that women are central in the life of (male) artists, only they mostly feature as inspirational muses. Where are female painters, musicians, performers? Have they disappeared into thin air or is there a reason for their absence/disappearance from the HIStory of art? A course investigating the relationship between gender, and gender imbalance in the arts, is therefore more than necessary first, to help recover all those artists neglected just on the base of their gender, second to understand that the field arts should never be “exclusive” but inclusive, not “elitarian”, but simply special in its status. Gender often used as a discriminatory tool can be thought of, more than anything, as a new way of looking at the world.

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Heart of Italy Field Study

Spring (Italian; 200-level; 1 credit)

This field study course is designed to optimize the benefits of the tour by providing a solid historic and artistic base for studies of Italian culture, art and architecture. The point of departure for the course will be the sites visited on the five-day tour: Tuscany, Florence, Pisa, Lucca, and Siena.

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Intermediate Drawing: Drawing with History (Drawing II)

Spring (3 credits)

This course is intended for students who have some previous experience in drawing and painting and are looking for the opportunity to refine their skills and explore new materials and styles. It is also suited to students who are majoring in any discipline connected to the visual arts. Classes will be focused on the use of the sketchbook to collect information and to develop methods for representing a variety of subjects and ideas. Each student will choose a theme on which to concentrate, this theme will be explored and developed in the sketchbook as the course progresses and will eventually be the basis for an end of course project consisting of a painting in watercolor or oil (acrylic also possible.)

The medieval city of Viterbo will serve as a backdrop and as inspiration for these studies, offering a vast treasure of fine architecture and mysterious symbols. Medieval culture is ideal for understanding the power of visual language, in a society where few were literate and most messages were communicated through images and symbols. Understanding and using this iconographical vocabulary can be invaluable to anyone thinking of a career that involves making and working with images. For this reason the teaching of drawing and painting techniques will be combined with instruction on understanding the content and meaning of images.

The course is suited for students without previous drawing experience as well as students with experience. It can adapt to the particular students’ needs.

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Intermediate Italian I

Fall (Italian; 200-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Italian; 200-level; 3 credits)

Intermediate Italian I is a three-credit course for students who already have a solid foundation in the language. The course is intended to further develop Italian language skills, both oral and written. Conversation, reading, and writing focus on culture and modern literature. Particular emphasis on oral skills.

Classroom activities are guided by the communicative approach based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language. As a result classroom activities are characterized by trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels;

 Different teaching techniques and strategies will be used to accommodate different learning styles;

 There may be more emphasis on skills than systems;

 Lessons are more learner-centered, and authentic materials will be used;

 Grammar is taught in a communicative way;

 The classroom atmosphere will be positive, encouraging, and enjoyable in order to increase students´ motivation for the learning process;

 All in-class oral activities, as well as the activities carried out by students at home in preparation for the oral section of the exams, encourage team work and create an environment of solidarity, peer exchange and mutual support.

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Intermediate Italian II

Fall (Italian; 200-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Italian; 200-level; 3 credits)

Intermediate Italian II is a three-credit course for students who already have a solid foundation in the language and want learn how to use the language with increasing syntactic complexity and grammatical accuracy, paying special attention to the change of time-frames, as well as the expression of hypothesis and different degrees of certainty.

Classroom activities are guided by the communicative approach based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language. As a result classroom activities are characterized by trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels;

 Different teaching techniques and strategies will be used to accommodate different learning styles;

 There may be more emphasis on skills than systems;

 Lessons are more learner-centered, and authentic materials will be used;

 Grammar is taught in a communicative way;

 The classroom atmosphere will be positive, encouraging, and enjoyable in order to increase students´ motivation for the learning process;

 All in-class oral activities, as well as the activities carried out by students at home in preparation for the oral section of the exams, encourage team work and create an environment of solidarity, peer exchange and mutual support.

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Introduction to Photography I

Fall (Art; 100-level; 1 credit)
Spring (Art; 100-level; 1 credit)

The course provides a basic approach to how the camera works. Students learn how to express themselves and their ideas in a foreign environment and use their cameras and the techniques acquired as an exciting tool of documentary record, cross-cultural understanding, artistic expression and self-discovery.

Students gain a broad knowledge of the history of photography and an appreciation of aesthetic concerns that enable them to use the camera in a more cohesive and creative manner. Basic classic photography skills including an understanding of focal length, aperture, shutter speed, composition and quality of light are integrated with techniques specific to digital capture and the manipulation of images in Photoshop. Specific assignments help students to learn all basic photographic techniques. A broad view of contemporary photographers work help develop students' critical eye and a clear understanding of what it is that makes a photograph great. During the course students will create a portfolio of images that will both showcase and celebrate their whole unforgettable study abroad experience. Throughout the course they will be able to post their best work on the course website to record and display their experiences.

Students are expected to bring their own camera. Compact cameras are accepted although they do not allow to put in practice all the technical aspects discussed in class. The ideal camera for this class is a digital SLR camera.

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Italian Art: Baroque and the 1800's

Spring (Art; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course will examine the development of Italian and European art and architecture from the early 17th Century to the middle 19th Century, focusing on the major artists and architects in the Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism and Romanticism. Baroque Italy produced some of the greatest artists in world history including Caravaggio, Pietro da Cortona, Borromini and Bernini. Students will study the art work in its physical space and cultural context. Visits in and around Viterbo as well as in Rome will give students the opportunity to experience first-hand what is covered in class.

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Italian Art: Etruscan and Roman Art

Fall (Art; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course will examine art and architecture from Etruscan through the Roman times. The course will focus on the historical development of the art in Italy by studying the art work in its physical space and cultural context. Visits to nearby locations and museums will allow students to experience first-hand the topics covered in class and may include Etruscan tombs in Tarquinia, Roman Forum in Rome, Early Christian art and architecture in Viterbo and Rome

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Italian Art: Italy in the Middle Ages

Fall (Art; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course will examine art and architecture in the Middle Ages. The course will focus on the historical development of the art in Italy by studying the art work in its physical space and cultural context. Visits to nearby locations and museums will allow students to experience first-hand the topics covered in class. (Fall semester)

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Italian Art: Italy in the Renaissance

Spring (Art; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course will examine the development of Italian art and architecture from the later 14 th Century to 16th Century, focusing on the major artists and architects in the Renaissance and Mannerism in central Italy. Renaissance Italy produced some of the greatest artists in world history including Donatello, Piero Della Francesca, Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo. Students will study the art work in its physical space and cultural context. Visits in and around Viterbo as well as in Rome will give students the opportunity to experience first-hand what is covered in class.

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Italian Composition I

Fall (Italian; 300-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Italian; 300-level; 3 credits)

Designed to continue expanding accuracy in writing Italian, this course covers advanced Italian grammar, syntax and idiomatic usage. Emphasis is placed in improving the students´ writing abilities with the analysis first, and the subsequent production of different types of texts. In addition, a number of grammatical topics are reviewed in order to enhance and improve learners´ grammatical competence. The extensive reading of literary texts (extracts from novels, short stories, etc) will accompany and strengthen the formal instruction.

Classroom activities are guided by the communicative approach based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language. As a result classroom activities are characterized by trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels;

 Different teaching techniques and strategies will be used to accommodate different learning styles;

 There may be more emphasis on skills than systems;

 Lessons are more learner-centered, and authentic materials will be used;

 Grammar is taught in a communicative way;

 The classroom atmosphere will be positive, encouraging, and enjoyable in order to increase students´ motivation for the learning process;

 All in-class activities, as well as the activities carried out by students at home in preparation for the exams, encourage team work and create an environment of solidarity, peer exchange and mutual support.

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Italian Composition II

Fall (Italian; 300-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Italian; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course is designed to reinforce students' accuracy in writing Italian by introducing them to basic research concepts and techniques and emphasizing critical reading and the subsequent production of different types of texts. Assignments include critical examination of literature and compositions using research and documentation. Emphasis is on writing as part of the processes of thinking and learning (a foreign language and culture). In addition, a number of grammatical topics are reviewed in order to enhance and improve learners´ grammatical competence. The extensive reading of literary texts (extracts from novels, short stories, etc) will accompany and strengthen the formal instruction.

Classroom activities are guided by the communicative approach based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language. As a result classroom activities are characterized by trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels;

 Different teaching techniques and strategies will be used to accommodate different learning styles;

 There may be more emphasis on skills than systems;

 Lessons are more learner-centered, and authentic materials will be used;

 Grammar is taught in a communicative way;

 The classroom atmosphere will be positive, encouraging, and enjoyable in order to increase students´ motivation for the learning process;

 All in-class activities, as well as the activities carried out by students at home in preparation for the exams, encourage team work and create an environment of solidarity, peer exchange and mutual support.

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Italian Conversation

Fall (Italian; 300-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Italian; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course facilitates the acquisition of language necessary to express oneself in daily situations as well as in more difficult contexts. Functionally oriented conversational themes and related vocabulary and phraseology will be introduced for discussion and intensive practice.

Classes are organized around a series of linguistic functions, selected according to students´ needs in a study abroad contexts. Students will learn to use the linguistic functions in levels B1 and B2. Through these activities students will develop their grammatical competence, as well as their sociolinguistic and discursive competences.

Classroom activities are guided by the communicative approach based on the idea that learning language successfully comes through having to communicate real meaning.Class is conducted in Italian and students are expected to interact actively in Italian. When learners are involved in real communication, their natural strategies for language acquisition will be used, and this will allow them to learn to use the language. As a result classroom activities are characterized by trying to produce meaningful and real communication, at all levels;

 Different teaching techniques and strategies will be used to accommodate different learning styles;

 There may be more emphasis on skills than systems;

 Lessons are more learner-centered, and authentic materials will be used;

 Grammar is taught in a communicative way;

 The classroom atmosphere will be positive, encouraging, and enjoyable in order to increase students´ motivation for the learning process;

 All in-class oral activities, as well as the activities carried out by students at home in preparation for the oral section of the exams, encourage team work and create an environment of solidarity, peer exchange and mutual support.

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Italian Cuisine

Fall (Nutrition; 200-level; 1 credit)
Spring (Nutrition; 200-level; 1 credit)

The course includes a cooking workshop where students will put in practice the theory acquired by preparing different dishes, using and combining different ingredients in order to comply with specific dietary needs and/or restrictions, learning more about regional differences and tasting freshly prepared real Mediterranean and Italian food. This course is based on the principle that cooking is a way to understand the culture and understanding the culture is a way to better appreciate the cooking. It has both a theoretical and a practical side.

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Italian Cuisine and the Mediterranean Diet

Fall (Anthropology, Nutrition; 300-level; 3 credits)
Spring (Anthropology, Nutrition; 300-level; 3 credits)

The course will provide a general introduction to Italy and Italian food and wine with an emphasis on regionality. We’ll proceed to contemporary issues, such as the Mediterranean diet, public health, food production and distribution, and Italy’s role in the global food economy. Specific food products, both artisanal and mass-produced, will be discussed and tasted (whenever possible). We’ll visit wineries, food producers, factories, farms, or other places of interest for foodies and nutritionists. The goal is to use Italy as a case study, in order to both experience a separate and distinct food and nutrition culture, and to provide a window of understanding into our own.

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Italian Culture and Society

Fall (200-level; 3 credits)
Fall (300-level; 3 credits)
Spring (200-level; 3 credits)
Spring (300-level; 3 credits)

This course will give students an overview of the multiple issues addressed by Cultural Studies on Italy at present. The object of the course is to present students with a picture as complete as possible, and angled from a multiplicity of perspectives, of Italian culture and lifestyle, and aims at providing the tools to better understand and compare, in a cross-cultural perspective, Italy as a post-modern, complex, layered society.

Questo corso affronta vari aspetti della cultura italiana attraverso lezioni frontali, letture, video, discussioni, e osservazioni sul campo. L’obiettivo principale è la comprensione della società italiana, includendo la storia più recente, le differenze regionali, le principali istituzioni, e questioni d’attualità. Agli studenti sarà richiesto di riflettere sulla loro formazione culturale, e di condividere le loro esperienze in Italia con il resto della classe. In particolare, si analizzeranno gli stereotipi più comuni allo scopo di rivelare la realtà dell’Italia odierna.

***The 200 level class is taught in English and the 300 level class is taught in Italian***

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Italian Hill Towns: History through Urban Form

Fall (Architecture, Art, History; 300-level; 3 credits)

The splendid hill towns of Italy will be the focus and actual setting for this course. Students are introduced to the development of town-form in Italy from the Roman times through the Medieval and Renaissance periods, by visiting and studying towns and their architecture of walls, towers, piazzas, abbeys and palaces. From Viterbo we will visit towns noteworthy for their rich architectural and historical sites, and experience how these unique towns are lived in today. Visits may include the towns of Orvieto, Siena, Pienza among others. There is a fee of $200 in order to help defray costs of excursions.

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Italian History: Italy in the Medieval Era

Fall (History; 300-level; 3 credits)

"The Middle Ages: no more than a transition age between the splendor of the Hellenistic-Roman civilization and the magnificence of the Renaissance?" Modern historians do not agree with this negative opinion of the thousand-year period between the 5th and 15th centuries. Far from being a “dark age”, it was an important age when Roman, German and Christian cultures mixed with each other and produced a new civilization, from which we can see some of the fundamental roots of modern European history. In Italy, especially, the society and culture of the medieval Italian city-states led directly to the emergence of the Renaissance. This course will examine the main historical events of the age, giving an overview of its society, economy, politics and culture, with an emphasis on Italy. We will pay special attention to intersections between religious culture and attitudes toward gender and sexuality. Guided trips around Viterbo will encourage students to take advantage of their experience of living in a typical medieval city. Taught in English.

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Italian History: Italy in the Renaissance

Spring (Art, History; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course examines the changes that Italy underwent from roughly 1350 to 1600. The Renaissance was a break with the traditions of the Middle Ages and the harbinger of what is called Modernity. Through an archeological method it will be studied the origin of some of the categories that have built modern western culture. Particular attention will be given to the intellectual life of Renaissance, in order to use literary and artistic works as historical sources. The course will also focus on some items of Florentine social economic history on the basis of documents.

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Man and the Global Environment

Fall (3 credits)

Global change is quickly pressing societies to review their lifestyle and the sustainability of environmental management practices. Human population growth, biodiversity losses, climate change, resource depletion, and pollution – these are pressing global issues. The course will examine the ecological laws that shape ecosystems through the infinite interactions between plants and animals communities with their physical environment, and how human societies have been manipulating ecosystems to obtain goods and services through time. Using examples from many cultures around the world, but with an emphasis on Southern Europe and the United States, we investigate what is the global impact of our lifestyle, how natural resource issues developed, alongside with the ethical, social, political and technological challenges faced for building a more sustainable Planet.

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Modern Italian History

Spring (History; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course will cover and analyze the history of Modern and Contemporary Italy (end of XVIII century til present times). We will focus on and analyze the events which lead to the process of Nation Building, the spread of ideals such as Liberalism and Nationalism, the unification of Italy under the Kingdom in 1861, the Great War, the rise of the Fascist Regime, the Italian Republic, relations between State and Church, Emigration and Immigration, the Mafia. By attending this course students will be introduced to the knowledge of modern Italian history and will acquire critical and methodological tools needed to discover and to read the roots and the signs of change of the society, institutions, politics, economy, culture and religion. The analysis of the historical events will also be read to value and compare the different realities of other European countries.

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Mountain Biodiversity and Habitat Conservation

Spring (Biology, Geography; 300-level; 3 credits)

Global change is quickly pressing societies to review their lifestyle and the sustainability of environmental management practices. Human population growth, biodiversity losses, climate change, resource depletion, and pollution – these are pressing global issues. The course will examine the ecological laws that shape ecosystems through the infinite interactions between plants and animals communities with their physical environment, and how human societies have been manipulating ecosystems to obtain goods and services through time. Using examples from many cultures around the world, but with an emphasis on Southern Europe and the United States, we investigate what is the global impact of our lifestyle, how natural resource issues developed, alongside with the ethical, social, political and technological challenges faced for building a more sustainable Planet.

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People, Places, and Landscape: Cultural Geographies of Europe

Spring (Anthropology, Geography; 300-level; 3 credits)

This course is designed to introduce students to the nature of Human Geography. Students will learn, or develop pre-acquired skills, to reflect upon cultural diversity, landscape development, environmental change and degradation, globalization and overpopulation to name a few. By using the methods of geographers – observation, mapmaking, data gathering and technical writing – students will learn how to employ spatial concepts and landscape interpretation to locations and situations around Europe with a focus to the Italian scenario. Via fieldtrips and direct observations exercises, students will have a better comprehension of how the Italian map and more specifically regional areas are defined within the European framework.

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Roman Civilization

Fall (History; 300-level; 3 credits)

The story of the events and people of Roman history is available to us in fascinating detail: we know much more about the Romans than about the Egyptians or Carthaginians, or even about the Greeks, despite their many books. This is a result of the Roman habit (learned from the Greeks) of recording their events in histories, and because of the survival of the Latin language as the main language of educated discourse in Europe until the 17th C., partly because people could read Latin, much was preserved. We shall read the history of Rome, as modern historians reconstruct it, and also many original sources. We will study the lives, customs, and beliefs of the Roman people from the founding of the city to its development into a Republic and finally its rule under the Roman emperors. In doing this we aim to become critical and observant readers.

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South of Italy Field Study

Fall (Italian; 200-level; 1 credit)

This field study course is designed to optimize the benefits of the tour while serving as a complementary activity to the regular academic courses by providing a solid historic and artistic base for studies of Italian culture, art and architecture. The point of departure for the course will be the sites visited on the four-day tour: Sorrento, Napoli, Pompei, Amalfi and Caserta. Requirements include pre-departure readings, a daily journal of the tour (which depending on the course that each student chooses to apply the credit to may contain short essays, drawings and sketches, photographs), completion of a comprehensive study guide.

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The Mediterranean and Italian Coastline Environment

Fall (Environmental Science, Geography; 400-level; 3 credits)

This class will explore the environmental features of the Mediterranean landscape, analyzing the natural as well the cultural factors which have shaped it throughout its history. We will start with a description of the environmental drivers of the diversity in Mediterranean landscapes by studying the control of climate and geography over the features of the Mediterranean environment as it changes moving from the coastline to the inner mountain chains. This will lead to a discussion of the distinctive traits of the vegetation of the Mediterranean region in contrast with the patches created by land use. We will study the concept of biodiversity and its extent in the Mediterranean landscape, we will analyze human impact on natural environments and study the key points for conservation of natural resources and typical landscapes in the Mediterranean basin. The final part will put together all the information acquired to discuss about the conservation of the Mediterranean landscape under the threats of the current global change and human pressure. The ecology of the Mediterranean natural components will be discussed and displayed also during fieldtrips to various sites in the surroundings of Viterbo (Capalbio, Uccellina Regional Park, Tarquinia salt marshes, etc).

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Travel Photography

Fall (Art, Journalism; 300-level; 3 credits)

A camera is really an excuse to delve deeper into a place than we otherwise would. Looking for a good shot forces us to seek out the unique features and scenic beauty of a location, to explore further, and to interact with our surroundings. Taking pictures is also a very accessible art form. With a little thought and effort, you can create captivating images of your own creation and interpretation. This course will help you in capturing memories, telling a story and expressing a sense of place. In particular the course will go through the basics of exposure, lighting and composition as well as finding your own style in visual communication and expression.

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Travel Writing

Spring (English, Journalism, Speech Communications; 400-level; 3 credits)

The basis of this course is the development of creative writing skills by focusing on the genre of travel writing. Students will read and discuss extracts from the great classics of travel writing as well as current travel journalism published in newspapers magazines and on-line. Most of all this class is a writing workshop, and we will be writing for nearly every class and often in class, too. Assignments will focus on helping the student find an individual voice, on developing ideas and honing them through revision and drafting, on writing for different audiences, and on the inclusion of photographs in their written work. Emphasis will also be placed on the students´ ability to evaluate and critique their own work and that of others.

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Women in Early Modern Europe

Fall (300-level; 3 credits)

This course explores the social, economic, political, and culture roles of women in late medieval and early modern Europe, with special attention to Italy. We will examine women's roles within the family, as well as their influence as artists, consumers, heads of state, businesswomen, and workers. We will also look at the lives of important Italian female figures, including the mystic St. Catherine of Siena, the poetry and courtesan Veronica Franco, artists Artemisia Gentilleschi, Sofonisba Anguissola and Isotta Nogarola and shopper and power broker, Isabella d’Este. We will take the opportunity to visit sites in Viterbo that reflect women’s lives in medieval and early modern Italy.

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Quick Details

2017-18 App. Cycle

Summer II (5 weeks): Contact USAC

Fall: Filling quickly

Yearlong: Filling quickly

Spring: Open

2018-19 App. Cycle

Application opens 9/1:

Summer I (5 weeks)

Summer II (5 weeks)

Summer I & II (10 wks.)

Eligibility

Minimum GPA: 2.5

Program Type

Specialty

Credits

U.S. Credit

Program Capacity

60 students

Instruction

English | Italian

Member

AACUPI--Association of American Colleges and Universities in Italy