Ferrara, Italy

Liberal Arts

Click to scroll down and read more

Information for term Liberal Arts

Application deadline, and cost information.

Application Deadline

May 1, 2020

Program Deadlines and Pricing Info

  • Deadline: May 1, 2020
  • Dates: Sep 9 – Dec 19, 2020 (14 weeks)
  • Credit: 15 - 18 semester hours / 22.5 - 27 quarter hours
  • Eligibility: 2.5 Overall GPA


Click to Open

Take your intermediate to advanced Italian language skills to the next level while exploring Italy’s rich culture, history, cinema and society at CIEE Ferrara. Located in Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, Ferrara is filled with old-world charm, Renaissance architecture, and the magnificent Romanesque Cathedral. With intensive language study and courses taught in Italian you’ll make dramatic strides in your proficiency. Students with a high level of Italian can take classes at CIEE’s partner school, University of Ferrara. All courses are complemented with CIEE co-curricular activities and excursions beyond the city to enhance classroom learning and provide intercultural understanding.

Unique Experiences

  • Ramp up your Italian

    language skills with an innovative program for intermediate and advanced students.

  • Explore more beautiful Italian cities

    like Florence, Ravenna, Bologna, Siena, Venice, Verona, and Padua.

  • Enroll in University Courses

    and study alongside Italians, depending on the strength of your language skills.

  • miles of medieval defensive wall

  • residents

  • UNESCO World Heritage Site


Location & Culture

Click to Open

Surrounded by walls that have stood for centuries, Ferrara feels like a charming, small fortress, complete with wide streets, Renaissance palaces, and moats. The city developed as an intellectual and artistic center on the River Po. Now it’s all that and more. Midway between Venice and Florence, yet lesser known to tourists, the city is safe and clean, with a small-town feel – plus world-class art treasures and exhibits, a vibrant student presence, and an active LGBT community.

The Culture


  • Take day trips to Bologna, renowned for its cuisine; Ravenna, former Byzantine capital; Padua, home of Giotto’s celebrated Arena Chapel frescos; Venice, known for glassblowing at Murano, and Verona, enchanting city of Romeo and Juliet.
  • See more Italian treasures with multi-day trips to Tuscany, Campania, or Sicily.
  • Discover Ferrara’s medieval and Renaissance sections of Ferrara.
  • Attend concerts, operas, festivals, and dinners. Meet with local personalities from the art, food, and sports scene.


Volunteering. Give your energy and time, teaching English to the children of immigrant families, helping at a women’s resource center, and more.

University choir: Join the University choir and meet local students while practicing your Italian.

Program Blogs

Click to Open

Program Blogs

Daily Life

Click to Open

    Homestays Living with an Italian family is the best ways to drastically improve your language skills, experience authentic Italian culture and customs, and form lasting relationships. Expect to spend time with your hosts, share American culture, and adapt to a different lifestyle.

    Apartments Two CIEE students share a double room, bathroom, and kitchen.


    Homestay: Hosts provide two meals a day. Apartments: Students are responsible for meals.

Ferrara, Italy

Where You'll Study

  • A

    Getting Around

    Many locals ride bikes from place to place.

  • B



  • C



Like what you're seeing so far?

Program Details

Click to Open

What you need to know

The program details

CIEE Ferrara opened in 2003 and launched the Liberal Arts program just three years later. The program allows students with intermediate to advanced Italian language skills to progress with intensive Italian language study and content courses taught in Italian, while they explore Italian culture. Students with a very high level of Italian can also enroll in a regular university course at the University of Ferrara.

University of Ferrara Founded in 1391, the university’s faculties and departments include history, philosophy, languages and literature, education, law, and natural sciences. The university hosts more than 12,000 students and a teaching staff of more than 600. CIEE students have access to libraries, computers, the canteen, and sporting facilities.

Students agree to speak only Italian during the program, to encourage language and cultural acquisition. CIEE Ferrara is a five-minute walk from Castello Estense, the moated medieval castle in the center of Ferrara, and a nine-minute walk from the Ferrara Cathedral in the city center. CIEE courses are taught by faculty from local Italian universities.


Click to Open



    Classes take place Monday through Friday. Students should expect a blend of lectures, group seminars, visits, and practical work. CIEE classes are only open to CIEE students. Students may elect to direct enroll in a course at the University of Ferrara with eligibility determined by the Academic Director upon arrival. Typically, students must have completed at least 4 semesters of college-level Italian in order to be eligible.


    Assessment is based on overall performance. Students are evaluated on class participation and academic work, including essays and exams, throughout the semester. All courses have written and oral assignments, some include a written final exam and paper. Language courses include written tests and numerous writing assignments.


    Courses are designed for U.S. undergraduates and the teaching and learning methods will be familiar to most. Courses are taught by Italian faculty and require students to work independently outside of class.



    Students must have a GPA of at least 2.5.


    4 semesters of college-level Italian (or equivalent)


Click to Open

Course Information

Program Credit
Total credit: 15-18 U.S. semester/22.5-27 quarter credits

Course Credit

  • CIEE courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits;45 contact hours
  • University of Ferrara courses: 3 U.S. semester/4.5 quarter credits; 45 contact hours, unless otherwise noted

Language of Instruction

Students are required to take five courses including:

  • Two language courses:
    • One two-week intensive Italian language course at the beginning of the term
    • One semester Italian language course
  • Three semester elective courses

Course Notes

  • CIEE elective courses are taught in Italian with Italian texts.
  • Students with advanced language skills may be able to take an elective course at the University of Ferrara pending the results of an on-site language placement exam and approval from the Center Director.

Fall 2020 CIEE Courses

Click to Open

History, Philosophy, Religion

Semester Credit

Languages and Cultural Studies

Semester Credit

Literature, Linguistics, and Writing

Semester Credit

Visual and Performing Arts

Semester Credit

Host Institution Courses

Click to Open


The following list is a representative sampling of courses available. Information regarding the UNIFE course offerings for the semester will be provided upon arrival.

Typically, students must have completed at least 4 semesters of college-level Italian in order to be eligible. Students can take one of the following courses taught in Italian at the University of Ferrara once approved by the on-site Center Director.


Italian Linguistics: Students will be introduced to the main elements of the history of Italian language, with special regard to the development of literary language. The syllabus is focused on the writing Italian language from the first centuries of our era to the Italian post-unification.
Children’s Literature: The course aims to build highly specialized expertise around the capability of educational intervention. The syllabus is focused on the creative and reflective space of each person, through the analysis of relational and emotional capabilities that the narrative, applied with pedagogical sensitivity, can and must activate. Students will be provided with lexical coordinates and the discipline’s epistemological framework. The final written test will be focused on one of the program’s topics.
New Media Languages and Codes: The course aims to provide methodological expertise appropriate to the study, interpretation, and use of new media. It will start with the historical methodological introduction to the world of communication and marketing showing the key developments and the stratification of the methods that is now history and practice. Later will be introduced concepts and theories from the Internet to the new frontiers of the convergence of various media underlining their impact on social reality, as well as on its representation and construction in various fields.


Contemporary History: The course ensures greater awareness of historical events of the 19th and 20th centuries, focused on political events, economic factors and cultural dynamics. Students will increase the knowledge of the basis of historical method and language, and develop a personal and well-reflected point of view on important historical issues in contemporaneity.


History of Cinema: The course aims to make students familiar with topics and themes regarding film history and aesthetics through an in-depth study of the works made by appraised and significant film directors. Students acquire a full knowledge of specific periods, outstanding figures, and definite matters concerning the history of film, both classic and contemporary.
Forms and Genres of Audiovisual Narration: The course aims to make students familiar with concepts, terminology, and methodology required to describe and analyze films from a technical and stylistic perspective. Students will develop the necessary skills to further specialize in the field of film history and criticism, or in the field of teaching audio-visual subjects. The course can also offer a theoretical support to practical activities in the field of film directing, camera operating, or editing.
History of Performing Arts: The course aims to provide a general knowledge of theater history from Ancient Greece to 20th century Europe. Analyzing different historical periods, students can acquire the main concepts of theater for each period, so they will look at theater as a complex phenomenon, not just as a literary fact but social and anthropological too.


History of Renaissance Music: The first part of the course will be focus on the different meanings of the concept of "Renaissance music,”", and on the alternative definitions resulting from the modern musicological debate, which restricts the chronological delimitation to ca. 1450-1600. Therefore, the role of writing in the transmission of musical thought will be dealt highlighting elementary terms, without requiring any previous technical-musical knowledge. In the second part, the main musical forms of the Renaissance will be examined in a diachronic perspective and considered in relation to their functional and social contexts, through the analytic listening of significant pieces.
Contemporary Music: The course aims to provide an overview of the music of the 20th and 21st centuries and to analyze in depth one of its main aspects. At the end of the course students will be able to classify the main musical events of the 20th and 21st centuries by chronology and style, and to recognize the most important features of the chosen repertoire.


Clinical Psychology: Through the study of cases, workshops, and group activities, the course introduces students to the epistemological and methodological foundations of clinical psychology, through an analysis of the main basic and applied constructs of the discipline. The first part of the course will focus on the relationship and relevance of early relationships in the understanding of Human psychic functioning. In the second part, strong emphasis will be given to the study of family relationships and of the plurality of the family/parenting models with a specific reference to the foster, adoptive family, and family with homosexual parents.
Urban and Territorial Sociology: The contents of the course are directed to transmit the fundamental basis of urban sociology in a theoretical, historical and empirical perspective and to discuss the current urban issues. The course takes advantage of a shared teaching method and open to the discussion with students. The aim is to promote a critical reflection among students and to assess the level of learning achieved. Students who wish to enroll in this course should have taken at least one Sociology class.
General Sociology: The course aims to provide basic knowledge of the main sociological theories, from founders to current tendencies. Students will analyze gender identities, social interactions in everyday life, the role of mass-media and social network in the social life, inequality and social stratification, the globalized society and dynamics of social change in the contemporaneity. Seminars will be organized on sociological issues and the visual methodology applied to social research. Students will develop a personal point of view and argued on relevant social issues in the contemporary world, they will also develop analytical skills on specific social issues.


Cultural Anthropology: The course aims to introduce qualitative research in anthropology and anthropological theories and interpretations in studying media and employing them to produce ethnographic research. Students will learn analytical tools to understand the complexity of communication processes from an anthropological point of view; also, they will be able to analyze specific and different communicative environments.
Geography: The course will analyze the dynamics of eco-geography, with an emphasis on demographic characteristics, population statistics and pressure of population; increase in population; density and distribution of population; urban and rural population; age pyramid and ageing of population; working and non-working population; world famine; urban migrations; types of modern agriculture; industrial activity; service sector; political geography; great migrations; human evolution. It is required a previous knowledge of human geography.


European Union Law: The course aims to provide to the students the knowledge of the European Union Law accomplished mainly throughout the study of the EU’s legal framework, of its founding Treaties, and of the judicial dicta of the European Court of Justice. Great attention will be also directed to the specific mechanism of implementation of the National law to the European Union law. Students must possess a good knowledge of the Italian constitutional law.
History of Communication Policy: Students will learn how to distinguish the main interpretative theories and paradigms of the science of communications, as well as how to relate the historical events of the 20th century with the evolution of mass communication tools. In order to understand information related to the history of political communication within a precise historical framework, it is recommended to have attended a contemporary history course.

Note: This course listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract between CIEE and any applicant, student, institution, or other party. The courses, as described, may be subject to change as a result of ongoing curricular revisions, assignment of lecturers and teaching staff, and program development. Courses may be canceled due to insufficient enrollment.


Click to Open

Scholarships & Grants

CIEE offers more than $8 million in scholarships and grants annually to help students like you make your study abroad dream a reality.

Students who apply to this program are eligible for the following scholarships and grants:

  • Ping Scholarships for Academic Excellence
  • Global Access Initiative (GAIN) Grants
  • CIEE Gilman Go Global Grant
  • MSI Grant

To be considered, submit the CIEE Scholarships & Grants application within your CIEE program application. Learn more at the Scholarships & Grants section of our website.

See more scholarship info

Dates & Fees

Click to Open

Dates & Fees

You get more for every dollar when you study abroad with CIEE, because our high-quality programs include everything from excursions to insurance. There are no hidden charges, and no disappointing surprises when you arrive.


  • Tuition
  • Housing
  • Advising before you depart to set goals and answer questions
  • Optional on-site airport meet-and-greet
  • Three-day orientation – an introduction to Italian culture, your academic program, and the city, plus practical information about living in your host city
  • Full-time program leadership and support in your host city
  • Cultural and/or Co-curricular Activities
  • Excursions and/or Study Tours
  • Insurance and other travel benefits, with CIEE iNext
  • 24/7 emergency on-site support


Application Due

Start Date

End Date

Fees & Housing

Fall 2020 14 weeks May 1, 2020 Sep 9, 2020 Dec 19, 2020
Click to Close

Program Fees

CIEE offers the most student support of any provider in its program fee, including an airport greeting, full-time leadership and support, orientation, cultural activities, local excursions, pre-departure advising, and CIEE iNext travel insurance with benefits.

Participation Confirmation = $300 *

Educational Costs = $15,293 **

Housing = $3,190 ***

Insurance = $167

Total Fees = $18,950

Estimated Costs

Students are responsible and manage costs related to travel, meals, books, and personal expenses. Below are estimates for consideration.

Meals not included in program fee = $1,700

International Airfare = $1,250 ††

Local Transportation = $150

Books & Supplies = $150

Personal expenses = $1,500

Total Estimated Costs = $4,750

Financial Aid

CIEE offers the most grants and scholarships of any study abroad organization, including $8 million/year in travel grants, merit-based scholarships, institutional and MSI grants, and Gilman Go Global Grants.

See Scholarships

This breakdown has been prepared from the program budget for the purpose of calculating eligibility for financial aid. During the course of program operations, actual figures may vary. It should not, therefore, be used as a basis for calculation of refunds. CIEE reserves the right to adjust fees at any time.

Students required to study on CIEE programs through a School of Record will be charged a $500 administrative fee in addition to the Program Fees listed.

* non-refundable

** direct cost of education charged uniformly to all students

*** Includes two meals per day for homestay students. No meals are included in the residence option.

for students staying in the residence option; homestay students should budget $950 per semester for meals not included in fees

†† round-trip based on U.S. East Coast departure

To help you budget, keep in mind that students are responsible for the cost of international airfare, local transportation, books and supplies, visas, and personal expenses. In addition, ask your college or university study abroad advisor if your school charges additional fees for study abroad.

Looking for funding?

Our Staff

Click to Open

Get Started

Here's what you need to do to take the next steps:
  • 1

    You're one step closer to an amazing study abroad experience! 

    Apply Now
  • 2

    Share your plans and confirm you're on track to meet all required steps to go abroad. 

  • 3

    Contact Us

    Send us an email if you still have questions or need information about applying to this program.