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  • Locations: Budapest, Hungary; Prague, Czech Republic; Rome, Italy; Vienna, Austria
  • Program Terms: Winter Quarter
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Quarter
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:

Locations Rome, Italy
Vienna, Austria
Budapest, Hungary
Academic Term Winter Quarter
January 3- March 10, 2019
Estimated Program Fee $8,150
Credits 15 UW credits
Prerequisites N/A
Program Directors Ruggero Taradel |
Vicente Rodriguez Fernandez |
Program Manager Darielle Horsey |
Priority Application Deadline May 15, 2018
Information Sessions Contact Program Director(s) for more information.
General The study and exploration of the legacies of these empires will allow students to acquire new and more refined intellectual and experiential tools and instruments to analyze and comprehend many of the challenging contemporary issues (religious and ethnic conflict, racism, xenophobia, etc.) marking the beginning of the 21st century.
Visas This country is part of the Schengen area. Note that there are strict rules and restrictions for foreign visitors to this area that may impact a student's ability to travel within the region before or after their program, or to attend two subsequent programs in this area. It is critical that the student reviews the information and scenarios here to learn more about Schengen area visa requirements.

Program Description

The world of independent nation-states identified with a single and unified people, language, and culture is now being challenged by increasingly accelerated processes of economic and political globalization. Europe, in particular has experienced in recent years the most notable migrant and refugee crisis since WWII, which has strained the political and institutional fabric of the EU. The goal of this program is to show how this world, which we consider as normal and relatively stable, is a very recent and fragile historical phenomenon. For many centuries, vast empires comprising diverse peoples ruled and determined their lives and their destinies. Many of the ideas, ideals, ideologies and policies of the Roman, Byzantine, Hapsburg, and Ottoman Empires are still relevant and often essential in order to understand the often contradictory and unresolved issues of today’s world.

What is Power? What is Authority? What is Religion? What is a State? What is a people? What is a culture? What is a nation? What is cultural and ethnic diversity? What is a just or unjust war?

Rome, as the capital of the Roman Empire and later the center of Western Christianity and of the religious and political power of the Catholic Church, provides an unparalleled location to study the crisis and fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity as a new world religion and its role in shaping the culture, art, and literature of the West. It is also an ideal location to study the complexities and unresolved contradictions of Italy as a country, as a cultural area, and as a recently formed nation-state.

Vienna, the former Imperial Hapsburg capital, is the capital of Austria, and one the most culturally rich and fascinating cities of the world: its complex and intricate urban setting, its monuments, museums, and cultural and artistic life are a strong and powerful testimony of its central role in the history of Europe, and of its contemporary crucial position in the cultural life of the Western world. Vienna also provides the students the possibility to better understand and connect together, at several levels, many elements of their experience in Rome and in Budapest, the former second capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the capital of Hungary.

The former Kingdom of Hungary and Budapest for centuries stood on the fault line of friction and confrontation between the Holy Roman (and later Hapsburg) and the Ottoman Empires. Budapest is today the capital of Hungary, another recently formed nation-state with one of the most unique and peculiar languages and cultures of Europe. Hungary struggled for centuries to establish, preserve and maintain its ethnic and cultural identity, often at the expense of relevant ethnic minorities. It is a fascinating location to carry out the study of the clash between imperial systems and the theme of the quest for national identity and independence. In each of these locations, the courses will be integrated with a coherent and structured program of guided tours to historical, artistic, and cultural sites, museums, etc. Special emphasis will be placed on allowing the students to constantly connect historical events and dynamics to their everyday life and experience in Italy, Austria, and Hungary.

The study and exploration of the legacies of these Empires, and the resulting complexities of these nation states should also allow the students to acquire new and more refined intellectual and experiential tools and instruments to analyze and comprehend many of the challenging contemporary issues (religious and ethnic conflict, racism, xenophobia, etc.) marking the beginning of the 21st century. A relevant part of the program will give the students the possibility to establish direct contact and develop relations with the Roma communities and their representatives (activists, artists, intellectuals) in Rome, in Vienna and in Budapest in order to have a direct experience and a better understanding of a transnational minority, appreciate their heritage and culture, and understand their often difficult situation and challenges in a nationalistic and post-imperial Europe.

The Legacies of Empires program embodies CHID’s educational goals in multiple ways. There is a strong emphasis on the historical, political and cultural connection between the ideas, ideals, and political and religious ideologies that shaped the empires of Europe, their crisis and collapse, and the subsequent rise of nation-states in Western, Central and Eastern Europe. Special emphasis will placed on contemporary and unresolved national and international issues, exploring the rich and diverse cultural legacy and social landscape of Italy, Austria, and Hungary. The goal is to encourage the students to widen and deepen their experience of diverse and contrasting cultures and to encourage them to challenge in a critical and constructive way the way through which unconscious stereotypes and prejudices and what we instinctively perceive as culturally obvious and “natural” shape our perception of ourselves and cultural otherness. The students will also have the possibility to encounter representatives of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities in these countries and to see how their sense of identity changes according to different social and political contexts. The students will also be encouraged to shape their academic work (research, papers, and discussions) on the basis of their personal interests and inclinations.

The Identity course on the Roma people incorporates a forum for discussion and reflection on the ways in which we imagine and define our own identities—individually and collectively. In each destination students and faculty will engage with Roma and non-Roma communities – and examine the ways in which these communities define themselves and the ways in which they are defined by the non-Roma communities in which they live. We will explore the limits of our notions of identity and alterity. Regarding pedagogy, the course focuses on student-facilitated discussions and Anu Taranath’s T.I.P.S. letters as reflexive tools to reconcile our academic, experiential, and dialogical engagements.




Rome, Italy
Vienna, Austria
Budapest, Hungary


Students in Rome will be staying in apartments selected and provided by the UWRC, located in the central area in Trastevere or Piazza Campo de' Fiori. Lodging for other locations of the program (excursions and field trip) has been selected in order to ensure for students and faculty central and safe location; internet access; good level of service; competitive pricing, cleanliness, friendly and professional staff, 24 hour concierge service.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements



15 UW Credits


CHID 471A: Empires: Cultural and Historical Legacies (5 Credits)

The course will be focused on the structure, significance, and historical evolution of the ideas that shaped the religious, cultural, economic, and military policies of the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and Holy Roman/Hapsburg Empires. Special emphasis will be placed on the ideas and ideals of authority, power, commonwealth, just and unjust war, peace, integration, tolerance, and/or repression of ethnic and religious diversity within the territories of these empires.

Learning goals include:
The goal of this course is to analyze why and how many of these ideas are still relevant for contemporary, still unresolved issues in Western and Eastern Europe. Special emphasis will be placed on how many of the ideas and policies elaborated in the age of empires are still relevant and important in order to understand social and political dynamics and processes in Europe and in the West. The objectives of the course will be assessed through group discussion with the students, written essays, and student evaluations.
VLPA, Diversity

CHID 471B: Power, Modernity, and Diversity (5 Credits)

The course aims at providing a description and analysis of the processes through which the crisis and the dissolution of empires led to territorial and political fragmentation, to the birth of the idea and ideology of the nation-state, and to the development of specific national cultures and political systems. The course will also focus on the conflicts between national identities sprung from the collapse of empires and minority groups and on the dialectic between national sovereignties and their integration within supranational and international structures, with references to the crisis of World War II, the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the contemporary tension between nationalisms and the attempt to strengthen the integration of the European Union.

Learning goals include:
The goal of this course is to provide the students with the ability to critically analyze complex modern and contemporary political and social processes and to understand their connection with historical background and context. The objectives of the course will be assessed through group discussion with the students, written essays, and through student evaluations.
VLPA, Diversity


CHID 470: Deconstructing Identities: Roma Identity Discourse (5 Credits)

This class will focus on the genesis of perceptions, attitudes, and notions of self and others. The Roma population represents a unique case of a minority that for centuries and in all the major countries in Europe has struggled to maintain its complex cultural identity enduring prejudice, xenophobia, deportations, and persecutions. After suffering enormous losses during the Holocaust, the Roma communities are still often perceived as alien and foreign in several European countries, and, to various degrees, still marginalized. As we examine the roots of contemporary issues of religious and cultural tolerance and intolerance, the program will incorporate a forum for discussion and reflection, based on our contact and exchanges with Roma scholars, activists and communities, on the ways in which we imagine and define our own identities - individually and collectively.

Learning goals include:
Examining Roma identity discourse and personally connect with Roma communities in each destination in order to explore the limits of our notions of identity and alterity. Class will comprise small group discussion and will incorporate readings from multiple fields including Orientalism, media studies, and anthropology – with an emphasis on authors of Roma origin.
VLPA, Diversity



Ruggero Taradel, Comparative History and Ideas, Part-Time Lecturer

Vicente Rodriguez Fernandez, Co-Director



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $8,150

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad Fee
  • $350 CHID Fee
  • Instruction
  • Housing
  • Program activities and program travel
Not included in the program fee:
  • Airfare (average price subject to when and where your buy your ticket - $1,600)
  • Food (about $30/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: January 25th, 2019

Program fees will be posted to your MyUW student account and can be paid the same way that you pay tuition and other fees. Check your MyUW Account periodically for due dates.

Financial Aid

  • A large percentage of UW students utilize financial aid to study abroad. Most types of financial aid can be applied to study abroad fees.
  • You can submit a revision request to increase the amount of aid for the quarter you are studying abroad. These additional funds are usually awarded in the form of loans.  To apply, fill out a revision request form, attach the budget sheet (available via the link at the top of this brochure) and submit these documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid.  For more information about this process, consult the Financial Aid section of our website.
  • Consult the Financial Aid section of our website for more information on applying for financial aid, special considerations for summer and early fall programs, and budgeting and fundraising tips.


  • There are many scholarships designed to fund students studying abroad. The UW administers a study abroad scholarship program and there are national awards available as well.
  • Scholarships vary widely in their parameters. Some are need-based, some are location-based, and some are merit-based.
  • For UW Study Abroad Scholarships fill out a short questionnaire on your UW Study Abroad program application to be considered.  You must apply by the priority application deadline for the program in order to be considered for a scholarship.  Click the Overview tab to view application deadlines.
  • Consult our Scholarships page to learn about UW-based and national scholarships. The Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards can help you learn about additional opportunities.

Budgeting Tools

We understand that figuring out your finances for study abroad can be complicated and we are here to help. Here are some ways to find additional support:

  • Click on the Budget Sheets link at the top of this brochure to view the estimated budget of all expenses for this program.
  • Contact the Global Opportunities Adviser at to learn more about how to pay for study abroad.
  • Attend a Financial Planning Workshop offered by UW Study Abroad – more information is on the Events page of our website.
  • Visit the Finances section of our website.



Application Process

The study abroad application includes a personal statement, three short answer questions, one recommendation from a professor or TA, and electronic signature documents related to UW policies and expectations for study abroad. Following the online application process, you may be contacted by the program director for an in-person interview. Once an admission decision has been made regarding your application, you will be notified by the study abroad system via email.


To be eligible to study abroad, you must complete the mandatory pre-departure orientation facilitated by UW Study Abroad. You must also attend program-specific orientations offered by the program director.

You must register for the UW Study Abroad orientation. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current schedule and to register for an orientation session.

Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.


UW Study Abroad is not responsible for obtaining visas for study abroad program participants. The cost and requirements for obtaining visas vary. It is your responsibility to determine visa requirements for all countries you plan to visit while abroad including countries that you plan to visit before or after your study abroad program. This is an especially important consideration if you are planning to do more than one study abroad program. You can research visa requirements by calling the consular offices of those countries or checking the following website:

Note: If you are not a U.S. citizen, consult the embassy or consulate of the countries you will visit to learn their document requirements. You can check the following website to find contact information for the consulate of the country you will be visiting:

For non-U.S. citizens, the procedures that you will need to follow may be different than those for U.S. citizens. It is important to initiate this process as soon as possible in order to assemble documents and allow time for lengthy procedures.

Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, and education for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation for this program, contact Disability Resources for Students at least 8 weeks in advance of your departure date. Contact info at


$350 of the total program fee and the $450 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable once a contract has been submitted. Students withdrawing from a program are responsible for paying a percentage of the program fee depending on the date of withdrawal. More details about the withdrawal policy are included in your payment contract. No part of the program fee is refundable once the program has begun. The date of withdrawal is considered the business day a withdrawal form is received by UW Study Abroad. Notice of withdrawal from the program must be made in writing by completing the following steps:

  1. Provide notice in writing to the program director that you will no longer be participating in the program.
  2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to UW Study Abroad.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.