Total cultural immersion in the heart of Italy is the cornerstone of the Todi program. Since 1986, families in Todi have been welcoming Penn State students into their homes during the six-week program. The experience provides students with a chance to become part of the fabric of the family and of the town. Since few residents speak English, students also have the opportunity for continuous language development.
Todi is a picturesque Umbrian town with a history dating back to Etruscan times. The historic center, with 6,000 residents, is built on a hill, sits around an intact medieval piazza, and includes outstanding examples of Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
The program is designed to combine classroom studies with travel through famous Italian cultural treasures: churches, museums, and archaeological sites. Students depart from the U.S. on May 18, and arrive in Rome on May 19, 2018. The instructors will meet the students at the airport in Rome and the group will travel together to Todi, where they will be based for the duration of the program. From there, day trips are planned to cities within the region of Umbria, including Perugia, Siena, Orvieto and Assisi. Extended trips to Florence and Naples are also on the tentative itinerary. While site visits are considered extensions of the classroom experience, they are structured to allow independent exploration too. At the end of the program, the group will travel back to Rome together where they will spend the last 4 days of the program.
Day trips are planned to cities within the region of Umbria, including Perugia, and Assisi. Extended trips to Florence and Naples are also on the tentative itinerary. While site visits are considered extensions of the classroom experience, they are structured to allow for independent exploration.
All participants will take 8 or 9 credits, depending on the Italian course they enroll in. Equivalent competency may substitute for specific course prerequisites. Students will be charge tuition according to the number of credits they take.
Students depart from the U.S. on May 18, and arrive in Rome on May 19, 2018. The instructors will meet the students at the airport in Rome and the group will travel together to Todi, where they will be based for the duration of the program. At the end of the program, the group will travel back to Rome together where they will spend 3 to 4 days.
*International students who are interested in studying in Italy during the summer semester should contact the Education Abroad Adviser for Italy concerning the immigration processes for international students.
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There will be three lectures per week, excepting the first week in Rome. Lectures are designed to amplify the reading assignments from the text, and to provoke discussion by exploring certain themes and ideas related to these readings. The lectures will presuppose the assigned readings; therefore, it is necessary to complete the reading assignments before the corresponding lectures. During the remainder of the week we will be taking field trips or an extended excursion. Whenever possible lectures and readings will relate to these trips; or we will have a lecture or discussion at the site. All field trips are considered to be an extension of the regular class meetings, and you will be required to accompany the faculty to sites and museums while on these trips.
Participants are required to take 8 or 9 credits. Equivalent competency may substitute for specific course prerequisites. Students electing to take the 9 credit option will be charged an additional $785 of tuition.
LANGUAGE (select one course)
IT 001 Beginning Italian (4 credits; no prerequisite)
This course is designed for students who have little or no knowledge of the Italian language. It will provide an introduction to the written and spoken language through a variety of written and oral exercises. The goal is to develop a basic oral/aural and written proficiency in Italian. The skills acquired from this course are needed for higher-level language study, if you should decide to continue your study of the Italian language. The class will be conducted mostly in Italian. You will be challenged in this course to better communicate in Italian.
Methodology: Since communication is the course objective, this course combines a content-based language instruction with an interactive task-based approach. Students will be expected to actively participate in a variety of interactive small and large group activities. This course is not based on lectures, but rather on active learner participation in multiple task types that require students to use Italian in various situations that reflect normal use of different varieties of Italian.
Course Goals: Italian 001 students are expected to develop and improve their communication skills. Since communication is carried out in many ways and in many different contexts, students will be required to develop specific communication skills that reflect an ability to appropriately use Italian under a variety of conditions (e.g. setting, task, medium, genre, etc.)
IT 003 Intermediate Italian (4 credits; prerequisite: IT 002)
Benvenuti al corso di Italiano 3! This course is designed for students who have successfully completed Italian 001 and 002 at PSU, or the equivalent level at another university, or who have taken four or more years of high school Italian. The purpose of the course is to continue the development of communication skills in written and spoken Italian. Italian 003 offers students the opportunity to expand their vocabulary, to use the language in a variety of contexts and to review the grammar learned in Elementary Italian as well as completing the acquisition of more complex grammar skills. It is vital that each student actively participate in class and complete the necessary preparation outside of class. By the end of the course it is expected that the student will be able to understand (through reading and listening) and communicate (in writing and orally) effectively in both formal and informal situations. The course will be conducted in Italian.
IT 399 Independent Study (3 credits; prerequisite: IT 003)
Benvenuti al corso di Italiano 399! This course is designed for students who have successfully completed Italian 003 at PSU, or the equivalent level at another university. The purpose of the course is to continue the development of communication skills in written and spoken Italian and prepare students for advanced conversation and composition at the 400 level. Italian 399 offers students the opportunity to expand their vocabulary, to use the language in a variety of contexts and to review the grammar learned in Elementary and Intermediate Italian as well as completing the refinement of more complex grammar skills. It is vital that each student actively participate in class and complete the necessary preparation outside of class. By the end of the course it is expected that the student will be able to understand (through reading and listening) and communicate (in writing and orally) effectively in both formal and informal situations. The course will be conducted in Italian.
ART HISTORY (select one course)
ART H 299 Foreign Study -- Survey of European Renaissance Art and Architecture (3 credits)
This course focuses on the art and architecture of Italy. We will concentrate on the Renaissance period and will, as much as possible, follow the itinerary of our day trips and longer excursions. We will also take advantage of cities on our program that offer Etruscan, Roman, Medieval, Baroque and Modern artistic sites. Lectures and readings will survey the variation in art production during the Renaissance and the lives of individual monuments and artists.
ART H 499 Foreign Study -- Individual Research Project (3 credits) Students taking this course will write a research paper upon their return to the United States. They will receive a deferred grade.
ITALIAN CULTURE (all students select this course)
IT 299 - Culture of a Hill Town (2 credits)
Benvenuti in Italia! This two-credit course, taught in English, is designed to give you a deeper understanding of your experience in Italy. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to Italian history and culture, the course will study literature, architecture and cuisine to showcase the multifaceted reality of contemporary Italy. Our approach invites you to bring in personal experiences and observations about what it means to be Italian in an increasingly multicultural national space that is still beholden to authentic cultural traditions and arts with deep historical roots. We will ask you experience Italy first-hand, interacting with the environment, visiting cultural landmarks, discovering remnants of the past as well as ruminating on the present and imagining what is to come.
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.
Successful applicants will satisfy the pre-requisites established by the program.
Final enrollment decisions will not be made until shortly after the February 1 application deadline.
Housing and Meals
In Todi, students will stay in homestays and meals will be provided. On field trips, students will stay in hotels and will be responsible for paying for their own meals.
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 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 Brunella Brizzi, the faculty leader for this 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:
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
Application Deadline: February 1, 2018
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.
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