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, Italy. The program combines study of Italian language with elective coursework in either Italian or English in a variety of fields. All courses are taught either at the BU Padua Academic Center or the Università degli Studi di Padova (UNIPD). Excursions within Padua and to neighboring sites complement the curriculum for a truly immersive experience in this artistically and historically rich Italian region. Upon successful completion of a semester, students earn 16 Boston University credits.

Students are invited to take one or two elective courses at the University of Padua (Università degli Studi di Padova), and to participate in the life of the university. A growing number of courses are available in English in a variety of disciplines, such as political science, international relations, economics and management, psychology, natural sciences and biology. Students also take part in the Tandem language partner programs offered through UNIPD.

Program Curriculum

All students must complete the full 16-credit program, enrolling in four academic courses. Courses meet four hours per week and are four credits. Please note that a minimum enrollment is necessary for a BU Padua course to be offered for the semester. All courses are taught by local faculty either from BU Padua or UNIPD.

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)

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 courses as well as UNIPD offerings. Students planning to enroll in a UNIPD course select two BU Study Abroad Padua electives. Course availability varies based upon enrollments, class schedules and each student’s Italian language proficiency.

BU Padua Elective Courses: English

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

BU Padua Elective Courses: Italian

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)

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) 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

CAS RN 327: Jews and Christians in Italy: A Historical Perspective (4)

A social history of the relationship between the Jewish and Christian communities in Italy, from early modern times to today. Fosters an understanding of this relationship in cultural, economic, social, and religious contexts. Includes site visits. Syllabus

UNIPD Elective Courses

In addition to the BU Study Abroad Padua courses, students may choose either one or two courses from UNIPD, taught in English or Italian. 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. Tutorials are offered to all students taking classes at UNIPD.

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

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.

Program Details

Program Dates
  • Fall Semester: late August to late December
    • Spring Semester: late January to early May
    • 2015/2016 Tuition and Fees: $31,145
    • Cost includes tuition, housing, board, round -trip group airfare from a designated U.S. city, excursions, overseas medical insurance, and emergency travel assistance coverage. The cost for 2016/2017 has not been announced and will be subject to approval by the Board of Trustees at Boston University.
    • Download the 2015 to 2016 academic year budget sheet, including cost of living expenses.
    • 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.