Graduate Study Abroad

Study the Mediterranean Diet in Italy

Graduate students have the opportunity to study abroad and earn graduate-level credits while immersing themselves in the Mediterranean way of life in Padua, Italy. The course, Mediterranean Diet: Food, Culture and Health, allows students to delve deeply into and experience firsthand what has become known as the healthiest eating pattern in the world.

BU’s Padua programs take place in a lively town that’s home to one of the oldest universities in the world. The Padua Mediterranean Diet: Food, Culture & Health program will immerse students in the food, agriculture, culture, cuisine, and lifestyle of the Mediterranean region while studying the evidence-based research on the Mediterranean diet and health outcomes. Students will participate in hands-on activities, learn from BU Nutrition Professors Paula Quatromoni and Joan Salge Blake as well as expert guest lecturers , and take field trips to vineyards, farms, and marketplaces. The course will be taught in English at the BU Padua Academic Center.

Best timing for BU graduate nutrition students to enroll:

  • MS Nutrition: the summer prior to beginning the degree program
  • BU MS+DI: the summer prior to beginning the degree program
  • BU MS + DI Partnership Programs: the prior to beginning the MS or the summer after completing the MS, before beginning the DI
  • DPD/MS +DI: the summer after semester 2 or semester 4


SAR HS 608 Mediterranean Diet: Food, Culture and Health (4 credits)

Pre-requisite: An introductory 4-credit Nutrition course such as SAR HS 551 Human Nutrition Science or the equivalent.

This graduate study abroad course immerses students in the Mediterranean lifestyle to study its relationship to health promotion and disease prevention. Students gain exposure to Italian food culture and industry, agriculture and sustainability, health policy and communications, and the scientific evidence demonstrating the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet.

Review the program syllabus.


Local Homestay

  • 1 student per household, 2 occasionally.
  • Students will have a single or double room with shared bathroom and living spaces.
  • Partial board included – four dinners with host family per week, breakfast included. All other meals are paid for by the student, out of pocket.
  • No dining hall at the 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