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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs

Italy: Siena

Semester: Spring
Offered: Every other academic year, odd years
Estimated Dates: Mid-January to late April
Program Focus: Regional Area Study with Language Component
Prerequisites: WLL 101: Italian (offered semester prior to participation) 3.0 GPA in course.                        
Housing: Host Families
Spring 2019
Program Leader:
Michael Broide
Associate Professor of Physics
broide@lclark.edu, 503-768-7581

Program Design

In cooperation with Siena Italian Studies (SIS), Lewis & Clark offers a program of regional area study in Italy. Using Siena as a base, students will explore Italy through the study of its language, history, literature, and art. The program includes an optional community service component, allowing students to volunteer at a variety of community-based organizations in Siena. Over the course of the semester, the group takes excursions to regional areas of interest, particularly Tuscan hills towns, Florence, and Perugia that include walking tours of major sites with an art historian.

The program begins with a three-day orientation, designed to help students get to know the city of Siena, their peers, and the SIS staff. The orientation will also cover health and safety and logistical information, and help students develop a basic understanding of Italian culture. Students will start exploring the various intriguing, though sometimes contradictory, characteristics of Italian society today. The orientation days also include a series of cultural activities, a welcome reception with the host families, faculty and staff, and a group historical tour of the ancient city.

After the conclusion of orientation, the Intensive Italian Language Course begins. During the first three weeks of the semester, students dedicate their time to improving their Italian language skills, exploring the city, visiting the community service sites, and getting to know their host families. Following the Intensive Italian Language Course, the group takes a break with a 4-day group excursion to a selected destination. Past trips have been north to a spa in the Italian Alps, to Genova and the Cinque Terre and to Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast to the south. After the group excursion, the regular semester begins. During the semester, students take Italian Language and choose a series of elective courses.

Onsite Staff:

The Resident Director of SIS is Lavinia Bracci. Lavinia is the founder and director of Siena Italian Studies – Intercultural Education and Study Center, which hosts educational exchange programs for undergraduate students as well as the Italian portion of the Graduate Program of International Development and Service organized by the International Partnership for Service-Learning (IPSL). Her research focus and interests are centered on innovative pedagogies in the field of Intercultural Studies and IC assessment. She holds a degree in Translation and Simultaneous Interpreting in German and Russian and taught foreign languages and Italian as a second language for many years. Currently she is teaching Reflective Writing for both undergraduate and graduate students at Siena Italian Studies.

The Service Learning Coordinator and Host Family Coordinator is Michael Manchester. Mike is originally from Denver, Colorado. He attended Lewis and Clark College, earning a B.A. in Communications. He has been with Siena Italian Studies since its beginning in 2004 and has lived in Siena since 2002. Currently Mike is the Service-Learning Coordinator for SIS and he is also one of the main coordinators for all homestays for the program. He has experience as a translator for the AC Siena professional soccer team and as an English language teacher for children ranging from kindergarten through high school. In his free time Mike enjoys cooking, brewing beer, basketball and anything and everything about the outdoors and mountains.

About the Spring 2019 Program Leader: Michael Broide has taught physics at Lewis & Clark College since 1992. He led the Italy program in 2006 and is thrilled to be returning to Siena. Professor Broide did his undergraduate work at UCLA and received his PhD from MIT. He conducted post-doctoral research at the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) before coming to Lewis & Clark. Professor Broide enjoys biking, hiking, poetry, and stand-up comedy.

Academics

Requirements Fulfilled: IS 272, IS 274, IS 275 and IS 276 fulfill the 8-credit International Studies general education requirement. IS 273 fulfills the 4-credit Creative Arts general education requirement. WLL 201 fulfills the World Language proficiency general education requirement.

Credits: 16 credits (4 courses)

Curriculum:

Language Courses: Students attend the initial three week intensive course for 75 hours. They will study the main grammar and vocabulary structures of the language and practice the communicative functions needed for an effective interaction in the host community. Students take weekly written and oral tests and engage in many language-based activities (such as task-based projects, visits to museums, etc.).

During the regular semester, students continue to attend Italian language courses for 8 hours a week. They continue learning language and culture, delving more deeply into grammar, vocabulary and in practical communicative functions. At the end of the semester, depending on their level, students will be able to achieve primary linguistic competencies such as speaking, understanding and interacting with local native language speakers. Students also take either Topics in Art History or Modern Italian History, depending on the semester, as well as their choice of electives from the options listed below.

Course List:

**Please note: all courses are taught in Italian

FL 102:  Beginning Italian

FL  201: Intermediate Italian

IS 273: Topics in Art History OR IS 272: Modern Italian History

Choice of:

IS-274  Religious Cultures and Traditions in Italy

IS-275  Introduction to Sociolinguistics

IS-276  Emigration in Italy and Europe

Course Descriptions:

IS 272 Modern Italian History (4 credits)
On March 17, 1861 the Italian Parliament convened for the first time. That date, symbolic of Italian unification, could also be taken as the beginning of the long process, which ended in the creation of a government and a nation. By looking at the most significant periods of Nineteenth and Twentieth century Italian history (Unification, birth of Sovereignty, the Great War, Fascism, the Second World War, the Resistance, the constitution of the Republic), we will trace the profound social, political and economic transformations that changed the face of the population and its sense of national identity throughout over 150 years of history.

IS 273 Topics in Art History (4 credits)
This course offers on rotation a series of different topics of Italian Art History. Based not only on specific time periods but also on themes that tie various historical or cultural eras together, each semester offers an opportunity to explore topics ranging from a brief but exhaustive panorama of Italian Romanticism, to a specific theme-based topic such as the use of the portrait in the Renaissance. For each historical and cultural era or topic, we’ll examine major themes and artists, thus opening windows onto the cultural and historical worlds of each topic or period.

IS 274 Religious Cultures and Traditions in Italy (4 credits)
This course explores foundations and contributions of Christianity in the cultural development of Italy, in particular in the Tuscany region, from the Roman Empire to the twentieth century. Study focuses on how religion is expressed and shaped through art history, literature, and popular media.

IS 275 Introduction to Sociolinguistics (4 credits)
This course focuses on history, regional variety, and structure of the Italian language through a study of sociolinguistics. Key course themes include Latinate origins of the language, study of dialects and diastratic variation, and Italian in mass media and as an “ethnic language” abroad.

IS 276 Emigration in Italy and Europe During the Globalization Era (4 credits)
This course provides a wide overview of the migratory processes and movements from and to Italy in the past thirty years. Students analyze the reasons and consequences of this transformation. Key course themes include Italian emigration in the twenty-first century, extra-European emigration, and the impact of movement on Italian society.

Excursions: Each semester program includes a 4-day group excursion to a chosen location. This excursion follows the Intensive Italian Course and includes some relaxation time as well as visits to culturally significant sites. Students will also attend several half-day and full-day excursions that are designed to give students a wide-ranging and meaningful experience of Tuscany (and other regions of Italy) of the sort tourists rarely have. We visit farms that produce wine, olive oil and pecorino cheese; relax in one of the region’s many natural hot springs; experience traditional Tuscan festivals such as Carnevale in Foiano della Chiana. Each semester also includes a visit to Florence and the Uffizi Gallery, as well as an Italian Opera in Florence or Pisa as well as a day trip hiking along to Tuscan coast to an unspoiled beach in the Maremma Region of Tuscany. Excursions vary from semester to semester.

Student Life

Housing: All participants are accommodated with local host families. The home-stay is an integral and indispensable part of all SIS programs, offering students the opportunity to make lifelong friends, reinforce the language skills acquired during daily lessons and to experience modern Italian culture from “the inside.” The carefully selected families, whether a single mother, a young married couple with children or an elderly widow, are all experienced in hosting American students. The host families view this experience as a form of cultural exchange and are eager to share their version of Italian culture with program participants.

Conversation Partners: Students have the opportunity to practice their spoken Italian language with the help of Italian native speaker language partners. Students and partners take part in some activities and meetings, usually once a week at school or in the city. When needed, students also can contact tutors (Italian students serving internships at Siena Italian Studies) to receive help studying for their language or content courses.

Community Service: Participants in SIS programs are encouraged to perform service in the community through the IC partner Ulisse Cultural Association. This service can range from 1-5 hours a week and opportunities are in a variety of different service sites. Students might set tables at the city soup kitchen, visit with the elderly at a nursing home, teach English to local elementary school children or volunteer on the city ambulance. Volunteering in the community is an unparalleled way to improve language skills, get involved in the local social fabric and make a genuine contribution to the host community.

Cost

Fee Breakdown:

Total Fee (includes Tuition & Program Fee): $32,334

Tuition: $25,287

Program Fee: $7,047*

*Included in the program fee are room/housing, board/meals, field trips, administrative fees, and supplemental health insurance. Not included are airfare, passport and visa expenses, primary insurance coverage, photographs, books, immunizations, and incidentals.

Stipend: Students will receive a stipend to cover the cost of meals and transportation costs not covered by the program fee.

Estimated Airfare (Round Trip PDX to PSA): $800 - $1,500

Estimated Travel Document Fees: $50 - $70

Estimated Health Insurance Fee: $1,275.50*

*All students participating in overseas programs are automatically enrolled in iNext, a supplemental travel insurance program. The fee for iNext is covered in the program cost. However, students are also required to have comprehensive health insurance during their time abroad. All students participating in overseas programs, both abroad and domestic, are automatically enrolled in the College’s student health insurance program. Similar to a regular semester on-campus, students participating in overseas programs may waive enrollment in the student health insurance program if they have other comprehensive health insurance (e.g., through a parent, guardian or employer) that 1) provides coverage for them in the geographic region in which they will be studying and 2) includes mental health benefits. Click here for more information regarding health insurance & overseas programs.  

Program Preparation

Application Process: This program has a dual application process. Student must first submit a Lewis & Clark Application one year before the start of the program. Once admitted by Lewis & Clark, the students will receive instructions for submitting their secondary application to SIS and will receive a separate notification letter of admission.  Please keep a digital copy of your essays and other application materials as you will need to submit these similar materials to SIS. Please note that this secondary application process can be as late as the semester preceding your scheduled participation.

The semester before the program, students who have been accepted will meet regularly for orientation. This orientation is meant to prepare the students for life in Siena by exploring literature and culture, and provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the logistical details of the program.

For more information about the application process, click here.

Travel: Students usually fly into the Pisa airport (PSA), where they are met by SIS staff and will travel to Siena as a group.

Visa: Students will be required to apply for a visa in order to participate in this program. More information will be provided upon admission to the program.

Country-Specific Health Information: Click here to view specific health information for people traveling to Italy.

State Department Country Information: Click here to visit the State Department’s Italy page.

Italy, Siena