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  • Locations: Florence, Italy; Rome, Italy; Venice, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer A-Term
  • Budget Sheets: Summer A-Term
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Affiliated Department: Honors Foreign Language Required: None
Primary Language(s) of Instruction: English UW Credits: 12
Estimated Program Fee: 4900 UW Program Director: Cecilia Strettoi, Ryan Kelly
UW Study Abroad Program Manager: Ruby Machado Shields UW Program Staff Email:,
Program Information:

sociology italysociology italy
Location Rome, Venice, Florence, Italy
Academic Term Summer Quarter (A-Term) 2018
June 19- July 20, 2018
Estimated Program Fee $5,350
Credits 12 UW Credits (3 credit preparation seminar spring quarter)
Prerequisites Preparatory 3 credit seminar during Spring quarter 2018
Program Directors Cecilia Strettoi; Ryan Kelly
Program Manager Ruby Machado |
Priority Application Deadline January 31, 2018
Information Sessions Thursday, Nov 30,1:30 pm, MGH 206 & Tuesday, JAN 9, 2:20, MGH 206
General The program offers an interdisciplinary curriculum revolving around environmental studies, history, and Italian literature. We will analyze reciprocal interactions between people and the environment, and how this relationship has changed over the centuries.
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

Water is one lens through which we understand environmental challenges, and is frequently a focal point for assessing human-ecosystem interactions. In this course, we use stops in multiple cities in central and northern Italy to explore case studies of these interactions, analyzing and reflecting upon them using literary/historical (HON 213) and environmental science (HON 223) techniques. Italy provides a panoply of historical and modern examples of humans coming to terms with environmental limits, from ca. 2000-year-old sewerage in Rome to present-day water/energy/power tradeoffs in a cogeneration facility in Bologna. As we tour these and other sites, we will build a synthetic understanding--across the traditional disciplinary boundaries that divide the sciences and humanities--of the reciprocal relationship between humans and the world in which we live. From a humanistic perspective, we will look at works of Leonardo’s inventions, Italian literature about Rome during WWII, and Boccaccio’s novella set during the Black Plague, each reflecting human-environment interaction. d

Throughout the course, students will develop qualitative and quantitative skills useful for approaching complex social-ecological tradeoffs such as those we highlight here. They will hone critical thinking skills through experiential learning and through independent inquiry, as they are challenged with a wide range of historical and present-day examples of people trying to live with one another and within their environmental limits.

The Program will include excursions to main historical sites of Rome, Venice, Florence and their surrounding areas. One-day field trips will include: Pompeii, Bologna, Pisa, Vinci, Padova.




Rome, Venice, Florence, Italy


Rome: We will stay in private apartments that are walking distance from the UW Rome Center. Venice and Florence: We will stay in non-profit B&B that offer a warm and welcoming environment in the heart of the cities. In Venice, the lodging is situated just a few minutes away from St. Mark’s Square and Rialto Bridge, in a genuine eighteenth century Venetian palace. In Florence, we will stay in the seventeenth century palace Salviati surrounded by its peaceful garden, just a short walk from Ponte Vecchio. Students will share quadruple rooms in Venice and double rooms in Florence.



Prerequisites and Language Requirements

The program involves a lot of walking, and traveling by train, bus and boat. Students on a wheelchair would have substantial difficulty participating in most of the activities, particularly in Italy, where the infrastructure often lacks facilities for those with limited mobility. We do not anticipate major limitations for students with disabilities unrelated to mobility. Visas: Yes; American citizens will not need a visa if they stay in the Schengen area up to 90 days. Students from different countries may need a visa. Students who will need a visa (e.g. Chinese students) will be assisted with the visa application.


12 UW Credits (3 credit preparation seminar spring quarter)


HONORS 223: Water and Society in Italy (5 Credits)

This is a 5-credit class that uses a combination of experiential learning and classroom work to look at human-ecosystem interactions in Italy using water as a focal area. Water is one lens through which we understand environmental challenges, and is frequently a focal point for assessing human-ecosystem interactions. Here, we use stops in multiple cities in central and northern Italy to explore case studies of these interactions. Highlights include:

  • The development of municipal sewerage in Rome (allowing for an increase in sustainable urban density)
  • Analysis of ecosystem services and social/ecological tradeoffs surrounding a wetland south of Rome The use of water for strategic defense and clean drinking water in Florence (historically)
  • Reducing water-energy tradeoffs via a multi-use waste/water/power facility in Bologna
  • Coping with the challenges of sea-level rise in Venice, a city that remains closely tied to the use of water for transportation

Learning goals:
Students will develop qualitative and quantitative skills useful for approaching complex social-ecological tradeoffs such as those we highlight here. They will hone critical thinking skills through experiential learning and through independent inquiry, as they are challenged with a wide range of historical and present-day examples of people trying to live with one another and within their environmental limits.

Students will take away the following:
1. A Body of Scientific and Policy Knowledge.
2. The Ability to Competently Draw Cross-Cultural Comparisons.
3. Critical Reasoning. Examining any kind of information – be it air-quality samples, or state government enforcement expenditures – requires a level of critical reasoning. Honing this skill set will be an important part of this class, and the class will demand a significant level of synthesis and independent thought. NW

HONORS 213: Connections between Environment, History and Literature (5 Credits)

Connections between Environment, History and Literature is a 5-credit course within the program that will take place in Italy during term A of summer 2018. The program evolved from an interest in scientific-humanistic overlap and aims to investigate the interdisciplinary relationship between people and the environment, with its chronological and geographic specifics.

The course is divided into two branches, one related to the theme of water, the other linked to the literature born in the cities we will visit. In the first, we will analyze how the ocean, rivers, drinking and wastewater in urban centers have led to various social behaviors over the centuries. Among other things, we will study the use of thermal baths, aqueducts, and sewers of the ancient Romans and the passion of Leonardo da Vinci for water. In addition, we will observe the changing role of the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, from the cradle of the Roman Empire, to path of current migration from Africa.

Rome, Florence, and Venice have been home to remarkable poets and writers who have produced memorable literary works. Students will have the opportunity to visit the ghetto of Rome and read excerpts of novels describing the deportation of Jews on October 16, 1943. Excerpts from the works of Machiavelli, Boccaccio, and Pratolini will be examined in Florence, while in Venice the students will learn about a famous typographer of the 16th century Aldo Manuzio, the writer and adventurer Girolamo Casanova, and the playwright Carlo Goldoni.

Instruction will take place through lectures, discussions, readings, film screenings, and site-relevant visits.

Learning goals include:
At the end of the course, students will have learned relevant historical notions related to Italy and will have read a broad spectrum of literary works. They will be able to discuss about these works and connect them to specific geographic and chronological situations.

From that knowledge and exposure, students will have the opportunity to establish connections and evaluate the relationship between man and the environment. VLPA


HON 381: Foreign Study: Independent Study (2 Credits)

This is a 2-credit independent-study course in which students will take individual initiative during the study abroad program to customize learning and maximize the benefit of experiential learning. Students will take responsibility for planning, executing, and reporting their investigation on a topic or project of particular interest that is connected to the theme of the program. This course may include assigned readings, coverage of special topics, and other independent studies, and learning outcomes might involve creative means of reporting back to classmates (e.g., video blog, photo stream, etc). Individual topics and learning objectives -- as well as methods of evaluation -- will be determined between the student and the advisers.

Learning goals include:
Each project will have specific learning goals, but all the students will gain a deeper understanding of the chosen topic improved skills in academic writing and in presenting knowledge to a peer group experience with various sources VLAP/NW/I&S



Ryan Kelly, College of the Environment

Prof. Kelly has taught undergraduate and graduate classes in environmental studies, environmental policy, and related fields at UW and Stanford, and has a deep background in both basic science and law/policy. He holds both a PhD in Biology and a JD in Law. Read more:

Cecilia Strettoi, Department of French and Italian Studies

Born, raised, and educated in Italy, Cecilia Strettoi has personal connections most of the sites that will be visited. She earned a Master Degree in Italian Literature and Language from the University of Pisa, and has been teaching for over two decades, the last fourteen at the UW. Read more:



Program Expenses

Estimated Program Fee: $5,350

Included in the program fee:

  • $450 Study Abroad 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 - $1,700)
  • Food (about $40/day)
  • UW Student Abroad Insurance ($1.74/day)
  • Other health expenses/immunizations
  • Personal spending money

Payment Due Date: July 6, 2018

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 attend an in-person 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.