BU’s four Padua programs take place in a lively town that’s home to one of the oldest universities in the world. Classes are either taught at the BU Padua Academic Center or the Università degli Studi di Padova (UNIPD), where students have the option to take an elective course or two in English or Italian. The Padua Italian and European Studies Program, offered Fall and Spring Semesters, is designed for students with all levels of Italian language. Students take an Italian course at their level, along with electives in a wide variety of fields, including Italian art and history.

  • Open to students of all levels of Italian
  • Admissions requirements for all programs
  • Students wishing to take electives in Italian need to have completed fourth semester Italian or the equivalent
  • Some courses may carry prerequisites
All students must complete the full 16-credit program, enrolling in four academic courses. Please note that a minimum enrollment is necessary for a BU Padua course to be offered for the semester, and availability is subject to change. All courses are taught by local faculty from BU Padua, University of Padua, or other local institutions.

Required Course

All students are required to enroll in an Italian course at the appropriate level (students completing all electives in Italian may be exempt from this requirement).

  • CAS LI 111 First-Semester Italian (4 credits)
    • Grammar, conversation practice, written exercises, and compositions. Conducted in Italian.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LI 112 Second-Semester Italian (4)
    • Prerequisite: CAS LI 111; or placement exam results.
    • Continues the CAS LI 111 basic text: grammar, conversation, compositions. Conducted in Italian. Lab required. Four hours weekly.
  • CAS LI 211 Third-Semester Italian (4)
    • Prerequisite: two semesters of college-level Italian, or placement exam results.
    • Intended for students with a satisfactory background in elementary Italian who require extensive review of basic structures, verbs, and related essentials. Review, emphasis on composition skills, and conversation. Reading and discussion of short articles and stories. During the intensive language period (September or February), class work is complemented by small, informal conversation groups led by students from the Università degli Studi di Padova.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LI 212 Fourth-Semester Italian (4)
    • Prerequisite: three semesters of college-level Italian, or placement exam results.
    • Intended for students who wish to build active use of Italian in speaking, writing, and reading. Discussions in Italian on everyday themes. Development of reading and writing skills through analysis of contemporary texts and conversation. During the intensive period (September or February), class work is complemented by small, informal conversation groups led by students from the Università degli Studi di Padova.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LI 303 Self-Expression in Italian (4)
    • Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Italian, or placement exam results.
    • Building and expansion of vocabulary through development of writing skills and discussion in Italian on topics of current interest. Review of fundamental grammatical topics and idiomatic patterns. Reading of a contemporary Italian novel or short fiction and articles from Italian magazines and newspapers. During the intensive period (September or February), class work is complemented by small, informal conversation groups led by students from the Università degli Studi di Padova.
    • Syllabus
    • Watch a video from this course, of students reading an interview with world-known writer and director Pier Paolo Pasolini.
  • CAS LI 306 Advanced Italian Practicum (4)
    • Fine tunes a student’s ability to use Italian through emphasis on written and oral proficiency. Reading and discussion of a novel, non-fiction, and magazine articles.
    • Syllabus

Elective Courses

Elective courses can be selected from the BU Study Abroad Padua course as well as UNIPD offerings. Course availability varies based upon enrollments, class schedules, and each student’s Italian language proficiency and requirements.

Students will select a combination of two or three BU Padua and one or two University of Padua courses. Individual advising available at the BU Padua Academic center.

For University of Padua courses, a high degree of flexibility is required. Students must be aware that they are enrolling in an institution abroad that will function in a different way and with different regulations.

  • 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
  • CAS IR 334 European Politics and Migration Policies (4)
  • 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
  • CAS IR 334 European Politics and Migration Policies (4)
  • CAS HI 259 Italian Emigration and Immigration (4)
    • Section A1 taught in Italian. Section B1 taught in English.
    • Overview of the history of migration in and out of Italy since the mid-nineteenth century and its impact on contemporary Italian society. Special focus on the role of the cinema in the history of Italian immigration.
    • 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

Courses taught in Italian are only open to those students who have completed at least 4 semesters of college-level Italian, or the equivalent. All other students should enroll in electives taught in English.

  • CAS HI 259 Italian Emigration and Immigration (4)
    • Section A1 taught in Italian. Section B1 taught in English.
    • Overview of the history of migration in and out of Italy since the mid-nineteenth century and its impact on contemporary Italian society. Special focus on the role of the cinema in the history of Italian immigration.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS HI 260 The Venetian Republic (4)
    • Traces the rise of Venice from its scattered settlements to the height of its imperial glory. Lectures and detailed guided visits to sites in and around the city illuminate the history of Venice through its rich cultural heritage.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS IT 344 Topics in Italian Music History (4)
    • Examines the history of music in Italy from 1600 to 1850. The course is based on listening comprehension and the discussion of various excerpts with different functions (religious, secular, and theatrical music) and the composers and institutions to which they are linked.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LI 354 Contemporary Italian Literature (4)
    • Spring semester only
    • Study of essential authors and works of contemporary Italian literature, with an aim to understand the many challenges of this literary period. Emphasis on the representation of the post-war situation, industrial development, cultural identity, social problems, and the female condition.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LI 355 Migrant Italian Literature (4)
    • Fall semester only
    • Recommended: previous coursework in literature
    • Study of contemporary Italian literature emerging from Italy’s immigrant populations and non-native Italian speakers. Explores how these works engage with the “Italian experience” and forge a new Italian identity. Includes guest visits from contemporary authors.
    • Syllabus

Courses taught in Italian are only open to those students who have completed at least 4 semesters of college-level Italian, or the equivalent. All other students should enroll in electives taught in English.

The list of courses below are courses that have been offered in past semesters, and is subject to variation from one semester to another. There is no guarantee that the courses below will be offered during your desired semester of enrollment. It is highly suggested that each student identify alternate course choices in addition to their primary choices.

Courses Taught in English

Courses Taught in Italian

Please note that the UNIPD course listings are not available until shortly before the beginning of the academic year in October for the Fall Semester, or March for the Spring Semester. For this reason, BU Padua cannot guarantee the availability of a particular course in a given semester. BU Study Abroad students have taken courses in the following UNIPD departments in past semesters:

  • Archaeology
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Business
  • Economics
  • Film
  • Geography
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Management
  • Music
  • Natural Science
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology


The Global Learning Experience: An Online Course

Students in all Fall and Spring programs have the opportunity to enroll in The Global Learning Experience at no additional cost.

  • CAS IP101: The Global Learning Experience (1 credit)
    • All program participants have the opportunity to make the most of their semester abroad with The Global Learning Experience, a self-paced, Pass/Fail course with brief readings and experiential assignments that accompany them while living and studying in a country and culture different from their own. Students post their work, experiences and observations to an online platform to trace and articulate their achievements abroad from an academic, personal and professional standpoint. The course links students with the faculty instructors as well as peers studying on other BU Study Abroad programs around the world. Students earn one credit in addition to the total program credits mentioned below at no additional cost.

Local Homestay

  • 1 - 2 students per household. Shared home with Italian host family including bathrooms.
  • Kitchen available for occasional use with permission from host family.
  • Full board included - four dinners and seven breakfasts with host family per week. Students receive a stipend for remaining meals, disbursed at several times throughout the semester.
  • All students given a student ID that allows them access to University of Padua, including their cafeterias. No dining hall at BU Padua Center.
  • Laundry facilities available in host homes.
  • Study facilities available at BU Padua Center and libraries around University of Padua. Athletic facilities available for an extra charge locally.
  • Fall Semester: early September to mid-December
    • Spring Semester: late January to early May
    • Fall Semester: March 15
    • Spring Semester: October 1