Padua Italian Studies Program (Summer)

A thriving and ancient university city with few tourists, Padua offers a unique opportunity for study abroad. The program is headquartered at the BU Padua Academic Center, located in the heart of the historic center.

Program Curriculum

Students enroll in two courses from either list below:

CAS AH 349: Between the Lily and the Lion: Art in Renaissance Padua
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. Taught in English. Syllabus

CAS HI 261: The Venetian Republic
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. Taught in English. Syllabus

CAS HI 262: Modern Italian History
(Prerequisite: CAS LI 212, fourth-semester college-level Italian, or the equivalent. Formerly CAS HI 330.) From Unification (1860-1870) to the founding of the Republic (1947-1948). Enlightenment, Restoration, the Risorgimento; nation-building and the liberal parliamentary government; the Great War; Fascism; Resistance; fall of the monarchy; founding of the Republic. Taught in Italian with discussion sections in English. Syllabus

CAS LI 355: Migrant Italian Literature
(Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Italian.) 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. Taught in Italian. Syllabus

CAS XL 470: Love and Death in Venice
Venice as a concept, as a place for adventure, for escape, for dreams realized and those shattered, has been at the heart of the European consciousness for centuries. This ancient city, with its crumbling and decaying canals, its sinking land mass and incomparably beautiful palaces and waterscapes, is a study in contrasts and extremes. A perfect reflecting pool for cultural identities not its own, Venice has been the stuff of legends for cultural figures including well known writers such as Henry James and Thomas Mann. The course examines the myth and reality of Venice in the modern period by looking at how writers talk about the city and its mystique and the ways in which they invest it with their own consciousness and desires. Readings include James’ “The Aspern Papers,” a modern detective novel by Donna Leon that uses Venice as a backdrop for corruption and intrigue, and a Wilkie Collins Gothic mystery. Other sources to be explored include the films “Death in Venice” and “Bread and Tulips,” Shakespeare’s “Othello,” and Verdi’s opera “Otello,” which illustrate the cultural appropriation of the city as a locus for love and death within its watery streets. The course includes field trips to Venice.

Please note that students who select CAS LI 211 Third-Semester Italian will automatically be enrolled in CAS LI 212 Forth-Semester Italian. These courses are offered in tandem and allow a student to complete Second-Year Italian during the summer.

CAS LI 111: First-Semester Italian (4)

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

CAS LI 211/212: Third-/Fourth-Semester Italian (8)

(Prerequisite: CAS LI 112, second semester college-level Italian, or the equivalent.) Intended for students with a satisfactory background in elementary Italian, who require some review of basic structures, verbs, and related essentials. Review, emphasis on composition skills, and conversation. Reading and discussion of short stories, poetry, and plays. Syllabus

CAS LI 303: Self-Expression in Italian (4)

(Prerequisite: CAS LI 212, fourth-semester college-level Italian, or the equivalent.) Expand vocabulary through development of fluent discussion in Italian on topics of current interest. Grammar review, readings drawn from Italian literature and the media. Syllabus

Program Details

Program Dates
  • Summer Term: Mid-June to late July
  • Upon successful completion of the program, students earn eight Boston University credits. Students must enroll for a total of eight 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. Some students may be placed in a household with another BU Study Abroad student, but each will have their own bedroom. For many students, living in an Italian home and commuting to classes on local transportation is an important part of experiencing local life. Students are provided a single room, continental breakfast, four dinners a week with the host family, and a stipend for meals not taken with the hosts.
Application Deadlines
  • Summer Term: March 1

Download a description of the Padua Italian Studies Summer Program (updated form coming soon).

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.