Padua Italian and European Studies Program

The Padua Italian and European Studies Program offers a semester of study in the historic and lively university town of Padua (Padova) Italy, located 20 miles west of Venice. Designed for students with no previous background in Italian, the program combines a beginning Italian language course with elective coursework in English in a variety of fields. All courses are taught by local faculty either at the BU Padua Academic Center or at the University of Padua. Excursions within Padua and to neighboring sites complement the curriculum for a truly immersive experience in this historically and artistically rich Italian region. Upon successful completion of a semester, students earn 16 Boston University credits.

Program Curriculum

All students enroll in a beginning Italian language course and select a total of three elective courses from among the courses offered at the BU Padua Academic Center and English-taught direct enrollment courses at the University of Padua. Each course carries four credits.

Required Course

CAS LI 111 First-Semester Italian (4 credits)

Grammar, conversation practice, written exercises, and compositions. Conducted in Italian. Syllabus

Elective Courses at the BU Padua Academic Center

CAS AH 349: Between the Lily and the Lion: Art in Renaissance Padua (4)

This course presents Padua as case study for Renaissance art given its unique geo-historical position: physically between two artistic giants (Florence and Venice), and rooted in Roman origins. Includes critical analysis of works of Padua and the Veneto region from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries with reflections in contemporary history and culture. Class excursions include visits to museums and churches in Padua. Syllabus

CAS HI 263: Modern Italian History (4)

This course follows the history of Italy’s rapid transformation from agricultural economy to industrial and post-industrial country. Starting from Italy’s “liberal” period of 1870s through World War I, the course then introduces students to Fascism and the Mussolini era. From post-war republicanism, the course moves on to the 1970s, and traces the historical roots of current economic crises and issues. Syllabus

COM FT 315: History of Italian Cinema (4)

There has always been a profound relationship between cinema and the City, and nowhere is this more evident than in Italian film. The course will be about the history of Italian cinema, with specific attention to the function of cityscapes and landscapes in the films of some relevant Italian directors, from 1943 to the present day. With a special focus on Neorealism and the comedies of the 50s and 60s, the course will study films by Fellini, Antonioni, Pasolini, Moretti, and many others. Syllabus

SHA HF 323: The Italian Food Industry: Economics, Culture and Society (4)

The Italian food industry from economic, cultural, and social perspectives. Special attention paid to producers, product quality and certification, and relationships to the land and regional cultures. How is the industry evolving to offer consumers up-to-date products while remaining anchored in Italian tradition? Taught through a combination of lectures, seminars by industry experts, case studies, and company visits. Syllabus

Elective Courses at the University of Padua
Students may choose to enroll in up to three English-language electives at the University of Padua. Course offerings at the University of Padua are available in a wide variety of fields including international relations, political science, european studies, international law, economics, psychology, and natural science. Please refer this sample list of courses that are typically taught in English. University of Padua course offerings are not finalized until the start of the semester, so syllabi are not available in advance.  Students need to be flexible with their course selections.  

Program Details

Program Dates
  • Fall Semester: late August to late December
    • Spring Semester: mid-January to late May
    • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn sixteen Boston University credits. Students must enroll for a total of sixteen credits.
    • Students live in Italian households. Households selected for program participants represent a wide range of incomes and situations, from a grandmother living alone to a couple living in the city to a suburban family with young children. Students are given a monthly stipend toward the cost of meals. They are encouraged to eat at the university cafeterias, called “mense,” where meals are available at nominal cost. Students eat breakfast every day and four evening meals a week with their hosts. Students are given an ID from the University of Padova, which allows them to access department libraries and mense, and to have discounts in cinemas and stores in Padua, as well as in a number of museums.
    Application Deadlines
    • Fall Semester: March 15
    • Spring Semester: October 1

    Download a description of the Padua Italian and European Studies Program.

    Program Faculty & Staff

    The Boston University Padua programs are administered by staff in both our Boston and Padua offices. In Boston, a program manager facilitates the admissions and pre-departure procedures, and maintains contact with students prior to their arrival in Padua. The office also houses administrative personnel who are responsible for everyday operations. In Padua, the staff comprises a director and administrative, academic, and housing personnel.