Bologna, Italy


The city of Bologna is home to one of the oldest universities in the world and the Dickinson in Italy: Italian Studies program. Launching in Fall 2018, the Italian Studies program is Dickinson’s newest program at its oldest site—the Bologna program first began in 1965. With Bologna as their classroom, the goal of this program is to support language and cultural immersion. Students on this program will explore Italian culture and practice their language through coursework at the University of Bologna, language exchanges, involvement in the local community and civic engagement projects all through the lens of pressing social issues such as immigration, sustainability, food studies and human rights.

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The University of Bologna is the oldest university in the world and one of the most prestigious academic institutions in Europe. 

Bologna, Italy


  • Core course taught in Italian at the Dickinson Center by the Italian Studies Resident Director and direct enroll opportunities at the University of Bologna
  • Homestays or Italian language apartment with a native Italian student and cultural guide
  • Civic engagement opportunities using a rich network of local community contacts.


The Italian Studies program aims to facilitate the perfection of our students’ language and intercultural skills by offering courses in Italian. All students enroll in four courses each semester. Students will take courses taught in Italian at the Bologna Center and at the University of Bologna. Courses taken at the University of Bologna may be used to fulfill many of the major and minor requirements—this program is open to students from all disciplines. Students will commit to using Italian in all aspects of their lives in Bologna and outside the classroom. Traditionally, internships have only been allowed for year-long students, but short-term internships will be offered for one-semester students with a high level of maturity, cultural awareness, and the linguistic skills to excel in such an environment. When internships are not possible, civic engagement volunteering activities will be encouraged. 


The Italian Studies program offers several excursions to areas of cultural, political and historical interest both in and around Bologna and throughout Italy. In the past, faculty have taken students to Assisi, Urbino, Perugia, Trieste, Siena, the Tuscan countryside, and other interesting sites. Given Bologna’s central location and Italy’s richness in art and culture, students can easily discover many beautiful towns that are worth visiting. Full-year students participate in an additional excursion to Poland. 


Because the Italian Program encourages direct contact with the Italian language and culture, students have the option of living in a homestay or in an Italian language apartment with other program participants as well as a native Italian college student who will also serve as a cultural bridge. Students who choose the homestay option will eat meals with their host family while students residing in an Italian apartment receive a food stipend to buy and cook their own food. 


Bruno Grazioli serves as Resident Director and Faculty of the Italian Studies Program in Bologna. His interests span from 19th century Italian culture (national identity, unification process, historical novels) to 20th century Italian design. He is also interested in language teaching pedagogy, and has received 4 Mellon grants to develop blended-learning material for beginner and intermediate Italian courses. He is assisted by Administrative Director and Dickinson alumna Ellen Laird ’02 and Program Associate Elena Giulia Dall’Acqua. The on-campus Coordinator is Senior Lecturer of Italian Luca Lanzilotta. 



Academic Year, Fall, Spring 

Academic Year: Late August to early June. Applications are due by February 25. 

Fall: Late August to late December. Applications are due by February 25. 

Spring: Late January to early June. Applications are due by September 21. 


3.0 GPA 

Completion of Italian 201 (or the equivalent of 3 semester of college level Italian). 


Bruno Grazioli  
Resident Director and Faculty 

The on-campus coordinator is Senior Lecturer of Italian Luca Lanzilotta. 


“The experience of a new and different University and community activities offered in the city was what I feel made my experience worth it, and made me feel part of a different community than I had been part of previously.”

—Sean Dowd ’20 (political science and Italian studies)

Dickinson majors that are a good fit for Dickinson in Italy: Italian Studies
  • Art & Art History 
  • Economics 
  • International Business and Management 
  • International Studies 
  • Internships 
  • Italian 
  • Law and Policy 
  • Music
  • Policy Studies 
  • Political Science 
  • Security Studies  

Don’t see your major? Connect with us. This program could still be a good fit for you. 

Non-Dickinson Student Information

This program is open for non-Dickinson students. Contact Marissa Mitchell (, in the Center for Global Study and Engagement, with any questions about this program. More information on programs available to non-Dickinson students can be found here


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