BU’s Padua programs take place in a lively town that’s home to one of the oldest universities in the world. The Padua Italian and European Studies Program, offered Fall and Spring semesters, is designed for students with all levels of Italian language ability. Students will take elective courses in English or Italian at the BU Padua Center or at the Università degli Studi di Padova.

Upon successful completion of the program, students earn 16 Boston University Credits.

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

Students with no previous knowledge of Italian are required to enroll in CAS LI 111 First Semester Italian.

  • CAS LI 111 First-Semester Italian (4 credits)

Elective Courses

Elective courses can be selected from the BU Padua Center as well as the University of Padua course offerings. Course availability varies based upon enrollments, class schedules, and student's Italian language proficiency and requirements.

Students will select a combination of two or three BU Padua Center courses and one or two University of Padua courses. Individual advising available at the BU Padua 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 differently from a US institution.

All language courses are held at the BU Padua Center.

  • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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

All courses below are held at the BU Padua 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 monuments in the Veneto region and in other main Italian cities.
    • 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. On-site classes are part of this course.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS IR 334 European Politics and Migration Policies (4)
    • The course deals with European politics and uses a comparative approach to explore concepts such as that of government, parliament, parties, organized interests and social movements, and the European institutional framework. The European integration process, the quest for democracy in the EU, and the gender gap in Europe are investigated together with important key policies such as trade, monetary and environmental policies, foreign and security policies, human rights and migrants integration in comparison with the US. On-site classes are part of this course.
    • 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. All courses below are held at the BU Padua Center.

  • 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. On-site classes are part of this course.
    • 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. On-site  classes are part of this course.
    • 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. On-site classes are part of this course.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LI 354 Contemporary Italian Literature (4)
    • Fall 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. On-site classes are part of this course.
    • Syllabus
  • CAS LI 355 Migrant Italian Literature (4)
    • Spring 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. On-site classes are part of this course.
    • Syllabus

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

Please note that the University of Padua 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.

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 recommended that each student identify alternate course choices in addition to their primary choices.

Courses Taught in English

Courses Taught in Italian

BU Study Abroad students have taken courses in the following University of Padua 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.
    • Syllabus

Local Homestay

  • 1 - 2 students per household
  • Students will have a private bedroom with shared bathroom, kitchen, and living spaces
  • Kitchen available for occasional use with permission from host family
  • Full board included - four dinners with host family per week and breakfast provided.  Students receive a stipend for remaining meals, disbursed at set intervals throughout the semester.
  • All students apply for 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 mid-May
    • Fall Semester: March 15
    • Spring Semester: October 1