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.
CIEE Study Center Syllabi
To view the most recent syllabi for courses taught by CIEE at our Study Centers, visit our syllabi site.
Required Language Courses
ITAL 1501 FERR
Intensive Italian Language, Beginning I
ITAL 1502 FERR
Intensive Italian Language, Beginning II
ITAL 2501 FERR
Intensive Italian Language, Intermediate I
ITAL 2502 FERR
Intensive Italian Language, Intermediate II
These courses provide students with basic skills needed to communicate on a daily basis. They include grammar, conversation, listening, and reading comprehension. Students are placed according to language background.
ITAL 1002 FERR
Semester Italian Language, Beginning II
ITAL 2001 FERR
Semester Italian Language, Intermediate I
ITAL 2002 FERR
Semester Italian Language, Intermediate II
ITAL 3001 FERR
Semester Italian Language, Advanced I
In these courses, after being placed in the appropriate class, students continue their language study during the semester.
CIEE Elective Courses
AHIS 3003 FERR
Symmetry, Harmony and the Human Being: Italy and the Arts through the Renaissance
The course introduces students to the world of art through art historians’ methods. It particularly provides skills and techniques needed to read a Renaissance work of art, as well as appreciate it aesthetically. As a work of art is a complex phenomenon, all of its aspects must be analyzed to be understood. Which colors, shapes, and lines are used? What is the meaning? But also, who is the artist? What is his cultural background? What materials and techniques are used? What was its original setting? And finally, for whom was it done? All these questions need to be answered in order to have a deep and critical awareness of an artwork. The course acquaints the students with major protagonists of Italian Renaissance Art. It examines the evolution and development of Western Art, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance, focusing on a selection of centers, great artists, and their masterpieces. Moreover, Ferrara with its outstanding monuments is our case study, giving students a great opportunity to examine artworks within their original settings.
HIST 3005 / RELI 3001 FERR
The Italian Jewish Culture. A Journey through History from the Renaissance to the Present Time
The course will examine the history of Italian Judaism, through its cultural and religious peculiarities. It will survey the history, from the Renaissance period to Modern times, the current condition of this cultural minority and its ties to Italy. The course will focus on the history of the Jewish communities of Ferrara and Venice, two notable examples of Italian Jewry, from the first Jewish presences to the golden Renaissance period, through the so called “era of the Ghettos”. Furthermore, the course will provide the skills to analyse the Emancipation that characterise Italian Judaism, from the Fascist Regime to our times. The course provides the students with basic notions of Judaism and it examines the evolution and development of the relationship with the cultural majority. It presents the major Jewish protagonists of Italian history and literature, such as Dona Gracia Nasi, Giorgio Bassani and Primo Levi. The city of Ferrara, the area of the former Ghetto, its monuments, the place and the Museum of National Judaism and the Shoah, will be an integral part of the lessons.
INRE 3002 FERR
Italy and the European Union: Progress and Challenges
This is an introductory course on the European Union and the shifting European context in the framework of post 1945 historical development. The process of European Integration is posing new challenges to nation states, both at the level of their functioning and role and at the level of national identities. This course explores the evolution of the project of European integration from the small European Economic Community of 1957 to the continent-wide European Union of today. Alongside it will explore the critical areas of EU policy from migration policy to the democratic and public opinion deficit and economic convergence of the European area. The weight of geographical difference and of local identities, etc. will be examined. The necessary theoretical background will be provided, supported, and discussed through empirical examples.
ITST 3001 FEIT – La Bella Vita: Italian Food, Culture and Society
The course provides an introduction to the main aspects of contemporary Italy, from the 1950s to the present day, across a range of artistic media (e.g., film, literature, and comic books). The course material, which is presented thematically rather than strictly chronologically, exposes students to a wide variety of topics including: the art of Italian cuisine, its distinctive features, and its multiple functions in contemporary culture; the modernization and industrialization of the country in the 1950s and 1960s; the call for radical changes in ethics and laws (Student and Women Movements in the late 1960s and 1970s); the internationally-recognized uniqueness of Italy in fashion and design; the impact of television on Italian society; the re-elaboration of postmodern thought in Italian literature and comic books. The course also deals with some of the most controversial and unfortunate peculiarities of Italy nowadays, such as the corruption of politics and the power of organized crime.
ITST 3006 FERR (ENG) The Relationship Between Language and Culture in Italy and the U.S.
This course, taught in English with Italian texts, aims to take an in-depth look at contemporary Italy through modern and contemporary texts and artifacts. The opportunity for profound appropriation of texts offered by the experience of translation serves as a tool for greater appreciation of Italian society and, at the same time, offers a chance for students to develop a practical life skill and deepen their linguistic awareness and abilities. Students are expected to take an active role in their personal linguistic and cultural explorations and to present their discoveries and findings to the class.
ITST 3007 FERR / SOCI 3002 FERR – Gender, Race, and Representation in Italy
This course will explore issues of ethnicity and race in Italy over the last hundred years and more, investigating how these have interacted with concepts of Italian national identity. We shall range from Fascist ideas of womanhood to Pasolini's ideas on homosexuality and from Italy's fraught relationship with Ethiopia to the contemporary reporting of migration. The most celebrated of phrases on Italian national identity is perhaps that attributed to d’Azeglio, ‘We have created Italy. Now we have to create Italians.’ The ultimate aim of this course is to explore the implications of this quote over the last hundred years.
ARCH 3002 FERR – Shaping Italian Cities: A History of Architecture
The course will guide the student through western architecture history from the Middle Ages to the early 20th century. Some highlights from Greek and Roman architecture, mainly taken from Vitruvius, will help to fully understand orders and proportions and their survival and revival through the centuries, before and after their blooming in Italian Renaissance art and architecture.
To fully experience architecture, several lessons will focus on Ferrara city and its buildings with on site lessons. With its medieval castle and Renaissance palaces and churches, Ferrara is one of the first examples of modern urban planning and it offers a unique opportunity to study remarkable architectures in their original setting.
The course will try to highlight connections and distinctions between civil and ecclesiastical architecture, from a medieval castle to a Romanesque abbey or a Gothic cathedral, settle the differences in public and private buildings (like palazzina Marfisa d’Este and Casa Romei in opposition to Palazzo Schifanoia and Palazzo dei Diamanti), discover urban planning from its beginning with the “Herculean Addition” that in 1492 enlarged the medieval city walls, developed the fortification system and supplied the city with a new Renaissance center; and study the life of buildings across the changes in taste, like the 15th century Palazzo Renata di Francia, with its 18th century monumental staircase and Rococo frescoes.
The course will also show the connections of Italian Renaissance architecture to Neoclassicism and its flourishing in England and United States with Palladianism. The latest lessons will address some examples of contemporary architecture like Liberty or “Floral” style villas, and the Fascist buildings, in order to give broad overview on architecture history.