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Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Semester Minimum GPA: 2.5
Class Eligibility: Junior, Senior, Sophomore Academic Area/Focus: Architectural Studies, Art History, Media and Society, Studio Art
Language Courses Offered: Italian Language Prerequisite: Italian 1 semester
Language of Instruction: English
Program Description:

Rome, Italy

Rome exhibits layers of history going back over two millennia—Etruscan tombs, Republican meeting rooms, imperial temples, early Christian churches, medieval bell towers, Renaissance palaces and baroque basilicas—but it is also a very modern, vibrant, multicultural city.

In this one locale, a phenomenal concentration of history, legend, and monuments coexists with an equally phenomenal concentration of people busily going about their everyday lives.

While tourists visit the Vatican, the Forum Romanum, and the Trevi Fountain, many visitors often miss the many other sights that make the whole of Rome a museum—a living museum with a population of three million, with rich art, literary, music, theatre and culinary traditions.

About the Program
Courses & Academic Focus
Money Matters
Application Information
Program Handbook


About the Program

The HWS program in Rome, Italy utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to explore different aspects of Italian culture and society. While the program is designed to immerse students fully in the experience of being in Rome, excursions will provide a wider perspective on the history, culture, and daily life of Italy as a whole. Students will live in furnished flats, providing opportunities to develop their Italian language skills and to experience Roman daily life.

Courses and program-related activities are arranged through our affiliation with the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci, one of the leading language schools in Italy, and the Gustolab Institute. 

Courses & Academic Focus

Courses—Spring 2018
Students take 2 required courses:
ITAL 102: Italian Language and Culture (1 credit)
This course, offered through our partner institution, the Scuola Leonardo da Vicnci, will build upon the foundation of Italian language study completed at HWS prior to the program. A variety of visits to local sites will complement in-class instruction and a series of “labs” will introduce students to various aspects of Italian culture and society. Students with more advanced Italian skills will be placed in an upper-level class.

Inventing Rome, Inventing Romans (1 credit)
In a course both analytical and creative, students use key moments in the history of early modern and modern Rome to examine ways in which cultural actors use the mass media of their times to formulate notions of Roman and Italian identity. The media we will consider include Baroque art, early print media, Fascist acrhitecture, post-War film and advertising, and contemporary television. 

Students choose 2 of the following electives:

ROM 231: Imaging Rome (1 credit)
In this course, students will use photography to observe, capture, and artistically interpret Rome. Students will visit great works of art and architecture and use these media to reinterpret and re-imagine these works and sites. In addition, we will visit working photographers and artists and see great works of contemporary art and photography. Students will be asked to consider how their contemporary perspective and use of photography allow a re-visioning of universal themes, and where photographic imaging fits into artistic culture.

ROM 219: Italian Food, Culture, and Society (1 credit)
This interdisciplinary course examines the relationship between food and culture in Italy from pre-historical times to the present. Students will participate in excursions in and around Rome to meet food producers and to see food production first-hand.

ROM 241: Layers of Rome (1 credit)
Students in this course treat Rome as an enormous palimpsest - a manuscript page erased and rewritten with layer and layer of words and images, fragments of which show through the gaps between the current top-level text. We will examine Rome, especially in its built environment, from ancient times through the Baroque to the modern for continuities, reuses, and invention.

This program will be of particular interest to students in Architectural Studies, Art History, Studio Art, and Media and Society as well as those in European Studies focusing on Italy.


This program is open to all sophomores, juniors, and seniors in good social and academic standing with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Students will be required to have successfully completed ITAL 101 and the Reader's College "Italy Now" during the fall semester preceding the program. Due to the challenging nature of study abroad, student academic and disciplinary records will be carefully screened.


Students reside in independent apartments arranged by the program while in Rome and will stay in hotels or hostels during excursions.
Kathleen Henke - Vatican


Program-related excursions vary from year to year depending on the courses offered and the interests of the faculty director(s). The program typically includes a combination of overnight excursions outside Rome, designed to provide students insight into other areas of the country, and day trips to important sites in and around Rome. Visits to Venice, Naples, and Herculaneum are tentatively planned for Spring 2018.

Money Matters

Students will be charged standard HWS tuition and fees, room fees, and a $600 administrative fee. This will cover tuition for a four-course semester, health insurance, program-related activities and excursions, and housing. Students should plan to bring their board fee to cover meal expenses throughout the program. While meal expenses will vary according to individual tastes, we estimate $2000-$2200 should be sufficient for students who prepare their own meals.

Additional expenses not covered include airfare, books, visa, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1000-$1200 from the East Coast, visa at $30-$40, and books at $250. It is difficult to give an accurate estimate of personal expenses because student spending habits differ considerably. We would suggest a minimum of $1500 above and beyond meal expenses. However, students on a tight budget should be able to manage with less. Those concerned about finances should speak with the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on the specific situation. 

Application Information

HWS students must complete all components of the Global Education application in order to be considered for admission to this program.

  • The Rome program is offered every semester. In the Fall semester the academic focus will vary depending upon the expertise of the faculty director while Art and Architecture is the focus in the Spring semester.
  • All components of the application must be submitted online by the published deadline. Specific deadline dates are set each semester and will be in October (for Fall programs) and March (for Spring programs).

Program Handbook

IMPORTANT: The handbook(s) below is/are the most recent handbook(s) published for this program. A new version, with updated information, will be made available each semester. Program participants will receive their updated handbook approximately 2-3 months prior to their program’s start date.

SPRING 2018 Program Brochure

Please DO NOT MAKE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS until you have received final confirmation of the program start/finish dates for the specific semester you are attending. Dates included in versions of the program handbook intended for previous semesters do not necessarily apply to future programs.

NOTE: The information above is subject to change. Please see the CGE for more information.                    

Resources for Smart Travelers 

Rick Steve's Packing Tips!

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 02/28/2018 04/02/2018 TBA TBA