Padua Italian Studies Program

A thriving and ancient university city with few tourists, Padua offers a unique opportunity for study abroad. Headquartered at the BU Padua Academic Center, the program is run in cooperation with the University of Padua. The BU Padua Academic Center is located in the historic center of Padua and within walking distance of most university departments. The program includes excursions in and around the Veneto region, as well as to other major Italian cities.

Program Curriculum

In order to be admitted to the Padua Program, students are required to have completed at least two semesters of college-level Italian or the equivalent. Students with no Italian background should check out the new Padua Italian and European Studies ProgramNote: Syllabi are for course approval and reference only. Students will receive up-to-date syllabi when their courses begin.

Language Courses at the BU Padua Academic Center

Students enroll in up to four of the courses listed below. Students who have not yet completed five semesters of college-level Italian language coursework (or the equivalent) are strongly advised to enroll in an Italian language course. Please note that only one language course may be taken in a semester in Padua.

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 at the BU Padua Academic 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. 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 LI 354: Contemporary Italian Literature (4)

(Spring semester only. Prerequisite: four semesters of college-level Italian.) 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. 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. 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 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

Elective Courses at the University of Padua

In addition to the BU courses, students may choose one to two 4-credit courses from the University of Padua. Students who wish to take a course in Italian at the University of Padua should be fairly confident in their language skills. 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, Boston University Padua cannot guarantee the availability of a particular course in a given semester. In any given semester, the University of Padua offers more than 200 courses in the humanities and social sciences. For more information about the courses offered by the University of Padua, please visit their website or email us directly.

Some courses that have been taken by students at the University of Padua in the past are listed below:

Linguistic Studies and Literature:
  • Medieval and Renaissance Literature
  • Contemporary Italian Poetry
  • History of Modern and Contemporary Italian Literature
  • Italian Literature of Gender and Women
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures (German, French, Spanish)
  • English Literature
  • Dialectology
History, Geography and Antiquities
  • Early Modern European History
  • Medieval History
  • Modern History
  • Greek History
Political and Legal Sciences and International Studies
  • Contemporary Italian History
  • European Political Organizations
  • European Studies
  • International Relations
  • International Law
  • History of Political Thought
  • History of Political Institutions
  • Political Parties and Pressure Groups
  • Political and Economic Geography
  • History of Journalism
  • Social Philosophy
  • Many courses are taught in English and after checking prerequisites, and with consent of professor, can be available for BU students.
Historical and Cultural Heritage: Archaeology, Art History, Film and Music
  • Roman Archaeology
  • History of Classic Art
  • History of Italian Cinema
  • History of Photography
  • Film Studies
  • History and Criticism of Italian Cinema-Cinema and Revolution
  • Modern Art History
Philosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy and Applied Psychology
  • General Sociology
  • Study of Cultural Processes
  • History of Moral Philosophy
General Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

Courses Taught in English

If you are interested in taking a course taught in English, please refer this sample list of courses that are typically taught in English at the University of Padua.

Program Details

  • Minimum of two semesters of college-level Italian language or the equivalent
  • Some courses carry prerequisites
  • Admissions requirements for all programs
Program Dates
  • Fall Semester: late August to late December
  • Spring Semester: late 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 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.