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

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Program Information:
sociology italy
 Location Rome, Italy/ Vienna, Austria/ Budapest, Hungary/ Prague, Czech Republic
Winter Quarter 2018
January 3 – March 12, 2018
 Estimated    Program Fee $7,200 (includes $350 CHID fee)
 Credits 15 UW credits
 Prerequisites N/A
 Program      Directors Ruggero Taradel, Vicente Rodriguez Fernandez
 Program Manager Darielle Horsey |
 Application    Deadline May 15, 2017
 Information  Session(s) Contact Program Director 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.
Where You Will Study
Expenses, Financial Aid, & Scholarships

  Visas This country is part of the Schengen area. Please click here to learn more about important rules and restrictions for foreign visitors to this area.

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. The goal of this program is to show how this world, which we consider as obvious 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?

We also reflect on the very meaning of Central Europe. Does Central Europe even exist? The question has for over a century occupied European intellectuals like Walter Benjamin or Milan Kundera, and continued to be reframed by the World Wars, a divided Europe during the Cold War, and the contemporary European integration. We travel to Vienna, Krakow, Budapest and Berlin to explore the commonality and diversity of Central Europe and to see how, as Christa Wolf expressed it, today is the last day of the past.

Rome, as the capital of the Roman Empire and later the center of Western Christianity, 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 of Italy as a country 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 central 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. 

Budapest for centuries stood on the fault line of friction and confrontation between the Holy Roman (and later Hapsburg) and the Ottoman Empires and is today the capital of Hungary, a recently formed nation-state with one of the most unique and peculiar languages and cultures of Europe. Hungary struggled for centuries to preserve and maintain its ethnic and cultural identity. 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 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 part of the program will give the students the possibility to establish direct contact and develop relations with the Roma communities in Rome 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.


Rome, Italy/ Vienna, Austria/ Budapest, Hungary/ Prague, Czech Republic


In Rome, students and faculty will be in apartments in the area near Piazza Campo de' Fiori and Trastevere, near the University of Washington Rome Center. In Budapest, students and faculty will be staying in a residence apartment building in a central location near the Budapest Opera, Andrassy Avenue, and the main metro line of the city. In Austria, students and faculty will stay in apartments located in the central district of Vienna in the vicinity of Karslpatz and the Stepandhom.


Pre-Requisites/Language Requirements

The program is designed for undergraduate and graduate students and for majors who have specific interests in the fields of history, history of religions, sociology, art, literature, cultural anthropology, international affairs, civil rights, minorities' rights, and social and global justice. A student who would be a good match for this program is a student willing to accept the challenge of experiencing, in a relatively short period of time, diverse national, cultural, and linguistic environments bound by a common and complex history of relations, exchanges, and confrontations. 

There is no language requirement, and there are no special prerequisites. The selection criteria will be based on the previous academic performance of each student and the consistency of the program with their curriculum and/or future projects.


15 Credits


CHID 417A (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

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.

CHID 471B (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 Cold War, and the contemporary tension between nationalisms and the attempt to strengthen the integration of the European Union.

Learning Goals

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.

CHID 470 (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

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.

Program Directors & Staff

Ruggero Taradel, Department of French and Italian Studies and CHID, Program Director

Vicente Rodriguez Fernandez, Program Coordinator

Program Expenses

Cost: $7,200 (includes $350 CHID fee)

Estimated Program Fee of $7,200, the UW Study Abroad Fee ($350), airfare, food (about $30/day), UW Study Abroad Insurance ($62/month), other health expenses/immunizations and personal spending money.

Average Airplane Ticket Price

$1,200 - $1,600* roundtrip

*Subject to when & where you buy your ticket

Payment Schedule

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.

Payment Type Payment Amount Payment Due Date
CHID Fee $350 January 19, 2018
Non-Refundable Study Abroad Fee $350 January 19, 2018
Program Fee Balance $6,850 January 19, 2018


There are a variety of scholarships available to help fund your study abroad experience. Visit the Global Opportunities page for more information and application deadlines.


To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Study Abroad office as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program director.

You must register for orientation through your online study abroad account in order to attend scheduled orientations. You can visit the Orientation section of our website to view the current orientation schedule.

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

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most forms of financial aid can be applied to study abroad. You can verify that your financial aid award will apply to your program costs by contacting the Financial Aid Office. Financial aid or scholarships awarded as tuition waivers or tuition exemptions might not apply so you will need to verify that these funds are eligible for use with study abroad by contacting the funding office.

Financial aid and most scholarships are disbursed according to the UW academic calendar (at the beginning of the quarter). If your program starts before the start of the UW quarter, your financial aid will not be available to you prior to your departure. If your program starts after the first day of the quarter, your financial aid will be disbursed at the start of the program. In either of these cases, you will have to finance any upfront costs such as airfare, health insurance and the start of your time abroad on your own. Please take this into consideration when you are making plans.

Revision Request

In some instances you may qualify for an increase in your financial aid award (typically in loan funds). Check with the Financial Aid Office about your options. To request a revision in your aid, you will need to submit the following paperwork to the Financial Aid Office:

  1. Revision Request Form
  2. Budget of student expenses for your program: The UW Study Abroad Office will upload this budget to your study abroad account after a signed contract has been submitted to the UW Study Abroad Office. You can request an unofficial copy of this budget by emailing

Visit the Finances section of our website to learn more about disbursement, revising your aid package, short-term loans and scholarships.

Application Process

The 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 on-line application process students 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.


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. You can do so 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 $350 UW Study Abroad Fee are non-refundable and non-revocable once a contract has been submitted, even if you withdraw from the program. 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 date (business day) a withdrawal form is received by the UW Study Abroad Office. 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 for which you have signed a contract and accepted a slot.

2. Submit a signed withdrawal form to the UW Study Abroad Office, 459 Schmitz Hall.

Visit the Withdrawals section of our website for more information.