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  • Locations: Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Semester Minimum GPA: 2.5
Class Eligibility: Junior, Senior, Sophomore Academic Area/Focus: Architectural Studies, Art: Art History, Entrepreneurial Studies, Environmental Studies, European Studies, Italian Language Culture, Media and Society, Studio Art, Urban Studies
Language Courses Offered: Italian Language Prerequisite: Italian 1 semester
Language of Instruction: English Reader's College Required: No
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 Borromini Institute. 

Courses & Academic Focus

Courses—Spring 2025

Students participating in the program will take four required courses:

ITAL 102: Beginning Italian II (1 credit)
This course 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.

ARTS 309: Watercolor Painting (1 credit)

This course is both a survey of art historical trends as well as a hands-on practicum of still life, figure, historical buildings and Italian Landscape practices and principles. The emphasis will be on the study of the fundamentals of watercolor into the modern era. This course will be of interest to students studying in any of the three primary areas: Studio Art, Art History, or Architectural Studies. (It is recommended that students complete ARTS 105 Color and Composition and/or ARTS 125 Introduction to Drawing prior to taking this course.)

Drawing on Rome (1 credit)
In this course students will visit many of the important sites in Rome as both a lesson in art history and a hands-on visual investigation of the art and architecture of the city. The course blends lectures and discussions with writing and studio-based drawing explorations, enabling students to build their knowledge of culture, history, and art history while expanding their skills of artistic expression through observation and understanding. We will take the course chronologically beginning with Classical Rome, learning about the history and drawing on site of the Ara Pacis and then move on to the Pantheon and other sites, and ending with more contemporary structures like Nervi's Olympic arena and Hadid's Museo Maxxi. (It is recommended that students complete ARTS 125 Introduction to Drawing, ARCH 110 Introduction to Architectural Studies, or any other Art History course prior to taking this course.)

Sustainable Rome (1 credit)
This course will examine Italian culture and society through the perspective of sustainability. Students will be introduced to Italy and its regional traditions and will explore contemporary issues of sustainability related to urban space, waste, energy, mobility, water, and agriculture with lessons devoted to the success of the Mediterranean diet, food production, distribution, and consumption, as well as the ways in which architecture and design of the built environment can contribute to (or impede) the preservation of cultural heritage
Rome will serve as a laboratory for studying urban sustainability in an increasingly urban world in which cities account for the vast majority of the world’s wealth and population growth, as well as its energy use. Amidst the clamor to redesign urban environments, we will look at not only technological solutions and “smart cities” strategies but also traditional approaches to improving social, economic, and environmental conditions. Other topics include new trends in urban agriculture, community gardens and activist movements such as “guerrilla gardening”, advanced integrated urban agriculture systems, and innovative projects that can deliver high-quality products and address problems of food security.
Through the course, students will develop a rich understanding of the operational technologies of cities and the impact these technologies have on our environment.

This program will be of particular interest to students in Studio Art, Art History, Architectural Studies, Environmental Studies, Urban Studies, Media and Society, Entrepreneurial Studies, European Studies, and Italian Studies.


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 (with a C- or better) ITAL 101 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 locations in Northern Italy (including Florence, Carrara, Pietrasanta, and Venice) are tentatively planned for Spring 2025.

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, housing, and program-related activities and excursions. Note that no HWS board fee will be charged. 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 $2300-$2500 should be sufficient for students who prepare their own meals.

Additional expenses not covered include airfare, visa, books, and personal expenses (laundry, entertainment, ground transportation and independent travel). We estimate airfare for this program at $1100-$1250 from the East Coast, visa at $50, 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. If you are concerned about finances, we strongly encourage you to talk with the CGE staff who can offer information and advice based on your 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 typically will be in late September/early October (for Fall programs) and late February/early 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.


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:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.