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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Restrictions: PSU applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Courses Offered:
Art, Photography
Type of Program:
Faculty Led
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
0 - none
Education Abroad Adviser:
Erica Nikolaisen
Internship Available:
Non-Penn State Students:
Global Programs Scholarships:
Diversity Grant-in-Aid, Grant-in-Aid
Program Description:
Rome Photo & Film, Will Yurman

Program Overview

June 14, to July 22, 2017
Students will arrive in Rome June 14.

Known as the Eternal City and the City of the Seven Hills, Rome is rich in history and culture.  Visitors and students alike quickly recognize many of the artistic, historical, and cultural landmarks in this center of Western culture: Vatican City and St. Peter's Basilica; the ancient sites of the Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Arch of Constantine and Baths of Caracalla; the Early Christian Catacombs; Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain in Piazza Navona, and the renowned Trevi Fountain, to name a few.  Museums and archaeological sites abound throughout the city.  Rome is also a city of churches, mainly from both the Early Christian and Baroque eras. Economically, the city has become a center for tourism, banking, insurance, printing, publishing, and fashion. Perhaps most important, Rome is one of the world's great centers for art and culture................and a photographer's dream.  

Trevi FountainStudents participating on this program will be enrolled in two courses for a total of six credits.  They will take a photography course offered at both the beginning and advanced levels, taught by a Penn State faculty member from the College of Communications  The course will use the city as a classrooom.  Photographically, students will gain experience in shooting the city and its many important architectural and historical sites, as well as the people, places and daily life that they encounter during their stay.  Assignments will ask students to explore and record their experiences of the art, architecture, politics, food, religion, people and other aspects of Roman life.  In addition to providing students with a record of their experiences, their journals will also stand as a photographic gallery of their work.

The second course is a film class titled 'From Viewing to Making a Film on Rome'.  Similar to the photography course, the class is designed for students at both the begining and advanced levels.  The course will analyze selected Italian films from a comparative perspective.  These films all take place in Rome and offer a different representation of Italian life and culture over the past sixty years, according to the personal point of view and cinematographic style of outstanding Italian directors.  Depending on the choice of films, themes range from post-WWII life, the ethical and social issues of Italian 'New Realism', and films that offer an approach to Italian contemporary mores and social behavior.  In the second half of the course, the class will choose a scene from one of the films and re-film it.  After visiting the sites where these scenes were actually shot, the students will act, direct and perform as a film company.  Finally, they will be taught simple editing techniques in order to presend the chosen scene.  The film course will be taught by Elisabetta Lodoli, a director, screenwriter and writer who lives and works in Rome.

Some classroom meetings and program-related activities will take place at the IES Rome Center.  Situated in the heart of Rome along the Tiber River and across from the Castel Sant' Angelo and the Vatican, the IES Center is a newly renovated 1920s-era building within walking distance of Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and the Vatican.

In addition to the many varied excursions in and around Rome, students will travel, as a group, to Venice and Florence.  The program fee includes transportation, lodging and entrance to several sites.  Students will also have some free time in each city.

To view a list of other programs available in this region, visit our Education Abroad Regional Program Brochures.

Program Quicklinks     

Course Offerings
Housing and Meals
Program Costs
Financial Aid & Scholarships
More Information
How to Apply
Other Useful Links


Education Abroad Credits

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 on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not take sport or physical activity courses (e.g. sailing, bowling, yoga, etc.) abroad. These courses will not be credited at Penn State.

This Digital Photography and Film  program in Rome is open to students in all majors. The courses are designed to be of interest to students in all disciplines and will require no prior background in art, architecture, or photography.  Students are required to have at least a 2.5 GPA and be in good academic standing. Students will need a digital camera and a laptop (with Adobe Photoshop).

All students will enroll in INART 299 for three credits and then choose one course from the following: PHOTO 299, PHOTO 499, COMM 269 or COMM 299.

INART 299: From Viewing to Making a Film in Rome (3 credits)

St. Peter's Basilica with light shining through window

This course studies Italian cinema post- World War II to 2013 with a short film production component.

PHOTO 299: Photographing Italian Culture (3 credits)

Using digital photography, students will create a portfolio of photographs that record and reveal their reactions to and interactions with Italian culture.



PHOTO 499 or COMM 299: Photo Independent Study (3 credits)

Advanced students may choose to pursue independent study in Photography while in Rome with the instructor's permission.  Students must have prior approval from faculty to enroll in this advanced course.

COMM 269: Photojournalism (3 credits)
This course will focus on photography as a medium for communication, creating visual content for newspapers, magazines, and online publications; digital camera and editing techniques. Students complete a series of assignments that help them learn to produce visual content for newspapers, magazines, and online publications. Major topics of the course include fundamentals of digital photography for multimedia and print, ethics, composition, caption writing, photo editing, and the use of electronic imaging software.Through individual and class projects, students critically evaluate their own work and the work of others. Students use class assignments to create a portfolio. 

For Communications Majors and Minors:  With the Integrative Arts designation, this course will count as one of the following: Gen Ed Arts, BA knowledge domain or an elective for any COMM major.  This course is a good fit for Photo Journalism, Telecommunications, Film/Video, or Media Studies students doing the Film/TV option, the International Studies option or the Society and Culture option.


Rome FA16 PhotoContest Final 1Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program leader. 

  • Minimum of 2.5 GPA and be in good academic standing.
  • Students will need a digital camera and a laptop (with Adobe Photoshop)

Housing and Meals

Students will live in an apartment (arranged by the host institution) with other program participants. Apartments are scattered around the city and are within walking distance of the IES Center 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 Summer budget sheet. 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 carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

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.
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 visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

For More Information

For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact 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 are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative

For more information regarding this program, please contact Eric Roman, the faculty leader for the program. You may also schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.

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

How to Apply

If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page. 

You must complete the following materials in your application:

  •  Education Abroad Questionnaire
  •  One academic recommendation
  •  Signature Documents
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

Application deadline: February 1, 2017

Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.

Other Useful Links

Getting Started
Schedule an Appointment
Cost & Funding
Health & Safety
Parents & Family
Education Abroad Regional Program Brochures


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2017 02/01/2017
02/15/2017 06/14/2017 07/22/2017
NOTE: Start dates, June 14, indicates the date that students must arrive in Rome.

Indicates that deadline has passed