Italy High School Summer Abroad Program Overview
Our summer abroad program in Italy for high school students offers a five-week intensive immersion experience which includes a homestay with a local family, daily classes, and cultural and extracurricular activities. Included are field trips to Rome where students will visit the Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican Museums, Spanish Steps, Pantheon, etc. They will also become acquainted with various villages in Tuscia, the region surrounding Viterbo. There will be a longer trip to Florence, including visits to the Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery (home to Michelangelo’s David), and the Boboli Gardens. The final week of the program is dedicated to Sicily’s Palermo, Monreale, Segesta, Cefalù, and an incredible experience of a No-Mafia tour with the volunteers of Addiopizzo.
Upon their arrival in Rome, students will go on a three-day orientation trip to a beach resort in Terracina to become acquainted and immerse themselves in Italy’s language and culture. Students will begin their study of Italian and Greco-Roman history and culture, enriched by visits to the emperor Tiberius’s villa and discussions of cultural differences. After orientation, students will arrive in Viterbo, meet their host families, and spend a relaxing afternoon at a local resort with a swimming pool.
Students will take two mandatory courses: Italian and Art History. They may then take one of two electives: Classics or Global Studies. CoursesIn Italian, students will encounter the basic structure of Italian grammar and will be given specific vocabulary that will allow them to navigate most of the situations they will encounter. Students will work in the mornin
g class on the communicative situations they will experience during the rest of the day. Since language acquisition is essential to enjoying their experience in Italy, students are expected to try to use it in all occasions possible, both in and out of school.
In the Art History course, students will interact with Italian art by visiting the places and viewing the masterpieces for which Italy is world-famous. In addition, students will visit lesser-known, local sites such as an Etruscan necropolis. They will cap off their course by spending a week exploring some of the most spectacular sites of the gorgeous, multicultural island of Sicily. This class will be conducted both indoors and “in situ”, allowing the students to meet and interact with the art in person.
Classics is offered to all students as an elective. Those who have never encountered Latin before will receive a brief introduction to the language and culture of the ancient Romans, including shortcuts to understanding Latin inscriptions which they will encounter throughout their travels. More experienced Latin students will study excerpts from Latin authors that are related to the sites they will visit. Readings will be scaffolded so as to be accessible to intermediate and advanced students.
Global Studies Through the Lens of Italy - also an elective, will offer the students the chance to explore Italian culture by delving into Italy’s history and reflecting on anthropological aspects, such as local habits, social relations, religious influence and folk traditions. Students will study some of the most pressing global issues affecting Italy, including immigration, the sociopolitical and the geo-political impact of the Ukraine war, abortion, gender discrimination, and other topics proposed by students.
To become further immersed in Italian culture, the students will be encouraged to engage with their Italian peers as they partake in activities and projects in order to guarantee an authentic experience.