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Programs : Brochure
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*Dept HDFS: HDFS in Italy (Florence - Summer)
Florence, Italy; Rome, Italy (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: PSU applicants only
Budget Sheets Summer
Fact Sheet:
Apartment, Dormitory
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
3 - Junior
Courses Offered:
Architecture, Culture, Health Sciences, Italian
Type of Program:
Faculty Led
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
0 - none
Education Abroad Adviser:
Kathleen Fox
Internship Available:
Non-Penn State Students:
Global Programs Scholarships:
Diversity Grant-in-Aid, Grant-in-Aid
Program Description:

                        ISI Florence Logo

May 11, (departure from U. S)  to June 27, 2014
This program is expected to run in 2015.  Dates and cost will be available in Fall 2014

Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, is today one of the world's most visited sites. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982 and is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Situated in beautiful Tuscany, Florence contains many museums and art galleries, as well as also being one of the top fifty fashion capitals in the world.

The international program in Human Development and Family Studies offers a unique opportunity for students in HDFS and related fields to explore the sights, sounds, history and culture of contemporary Florence, while taking courses on family and childhood in Italy. With activities that include learning to buy fresh fruit and vegetables in the mercato, playing with children in Italian schools, seeing masterpieces in the Uffizi Gallery, Penn State students will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Italian life.Student Looking Out Window in Italy

Students will take courses led by Penn State faculty members in conjunction with the Institute at the Palazzo Rucellai in Florence. Classroom work will be enhanced by trips to places of historical and artistic importance, such as Rome, where they will see the magnificent Coliseum, the Forum, the Vatican, and the Pantheon. Other field trips will include Naples, Pompeii, and hilltop Italian towns in other parts of Italy that will allow students to see first-hand the communities that families and children have lived in, and do live in today.

This program was designed for undergraduate students majoring in Human Development and Family Studies. All the courses being offered can be used as supporting courses for that major, or as fulfilling a General Education requirement. However, students in Early Childhood or Elementary Education would benefit from the program, as would students in developmental psychology or sociology.

Education Abroad Credits
Please note the suffixes of these courses may change; they are assigned individually each summer to a course. You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas of a Pass/Fail basis. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.

Pre-Requisites: Students should have taken a previous HDFS courses (HDFS 129 or 229) or a PSYCH equivalent (PSYCH 212) in order to be academically prepared for the 400-level HDFS coursework covered in the summer program.

Program courses:

HDFS 499A: Early Childhood in Italy
This course will give students the opportunity to examine the way in which Italians structure the early childhood years, and the social policies that support this structure. Students will observe children in public, as well as having the opportunity to visit preschool and day care programs for young children.

Students and Staff at ISI Palazzo RucellaiHDFS 499B: Historical Roots of the Modern Italian Family

The purpose of this course is to examine the historical roots of the Italian family system as it has evolved from antiquity to modernity. Issues to be explored include the implications of economic, political, religious, and social factors, the status of Italian women over time with regard to legal rights, roles, societal expectations and cultural values, and the attitudes toward and practices regarding child rearing.

HDFS 499C: Italian Relationships, Both Cultural and Familial
The purpose of this course is to examine the cultural factors affecting business, friendship, and family relationships in Italy. Issues to be explored include the implications of economic, political, religious, and social factors on Italian families, and the influence of the Catholic Church on family and social roles in Italy.


Courses are taught by

John Rapano, Senior Instructor, HDFS, is the Program Coordinator of HDFS at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus, where he has taught for twelve years. In 2010, he earned his Ph D at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in the Administration and Leadership Studies for Non-Profits program.  He is a third generation Italian-American, but he learned through his first HDFS in Italy program, last summer, that much has changed in that wonderful country since the forebears of today's Italian-Americans immigrated.  His research/professional interests in families include community based participatory approaches to the fields of early childhood, aging, wellness and behavioral health.

Robin Yaure, Senior Instructor, HDFS, is the Program Coordinator of the baccalaureate program in HDFS at Penn State Mont Alto and also the Program Coordinator of the HDFS in Italy program.  She has taught at Penn State for over twenty years.  Her teaching has focused on lifespan and child development as well as helping students gain experience in the human services.  Her area of research focuses on infant sleep, particularly addressing emotional availability of parents and their fillings of competence as parents. She has taught in Italy for five years and loves to address basic issues of children and their families relating to culture and cognition.

Housing and Meals
HDFS Rome 2You will live in an apartment (ISI Palazzo Rucellai) with other program participants. Apartments are scattered around the city and are within walking distance of ISI Palazzo Rucellai (where courses will be taken) and furnished with kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and communal living space. You will be responsible for providing your own meals.

Program Costs
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Budget Sheets listed above. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information.

Financial Aid & Scholarships
Students can also request financial aid for the summer semester through the Penn State Office of Student Aid. Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships. Students can also request financial aid for the summer semester through the Penn State Office of Student Aid.

The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please see Funding Study Abroad.

For More Information
For more information about this program and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program.  If you're not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.

To learn more about the specifics of this program, schedule an appointment with Kate Fox, the education abroad adviser for this program.

For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2014 02/01/2014
02/27/2014 05/12/2014 06/27/2014

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