Brown in Bologna
The Brown in Bologna Program is designed to provide students with a full-year or one-semester immersion program in an Italian university. At the Università degli Studi di Bologna, you will be able to enroll in regular university classes with your Italian peers and other international students. Brown University maintains an office in Bologna which provides on-site support and plans activities and excursions for the program participants. Brown professors also conduct an intensive pre-term program in language and contemporary culture.
Bologna, with a population of just under half a million, is the capital of the Emilia-Romagna region and the most important city of northern Italy between Florence and Milan. A major agricultural and commercial crossroads and railroad center since the 19th century, the city lies at the foot of the Apennines, in the center of the Emilia plain, on the left bank of the Reno river. Because of its location, Bologna is an ideal base for short excursions to Venice, Milan, Florence and Ravenna. Bologna dates back to the Etruscans in the 6th century B.C. and retains much of the flavor of its Roman and medieval past.
The Università degli Studi di Bologna celebrated its ninth centennial in 1988. It can claim to be the oldest continuing institution of higher learning in Europe and possibly the world. Among its alumni are Thomas Aquinas and some of Italy's most famous writers such as Dante, Petrarch and Torquato Tasso. The Università is a large public institution with over 80,000 students. It is divided into eighteen facoltà, or schools, which are in turn subdivided into different departments. These facoltà at Bologna include: Agriculture, Industrial Chemistry, Economics and Business, Pharmacology, Law, Engineering, Humanities, Education, Medicine, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, as well as Political Science and Sociology.
The Program begins with a one-month orientation in Bologna, which runs from the end of August to the beginning of October. Program participants are required to take two intensive Brown-taught courses in Italian language and Contemporary History and Culture during this time. Throughout the orientation period, a series of guided excursions will be organized as a part of the academic activities. These will include guided tours of Bologna and neighboring cities of interest - among them Ravenna, Mantua, Urbino and Siena. This aspect of the program is designed to familiarize students with Italy and Italian culture in general. Students are expected to participate as part of the program requirements.
From October to May, students will attend intensive semester courses (some year-long courses are available) at the University of Bologna. They can choose courses from any of the eighteen facoltà. Brown program participants may also take one course at the Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts) if they can provide a portfolio of their previous work. Participants must take at least six intensive semester courses (or the year-long equivalent) from the regular university in order to maintain full academic status in the program. A possible combination of courses from the Accademia di Belle Arti and the University is also acceptable.
A sample of courses that students have taken at the Università degli Studi di Bologna in the past includes the following: Art History, History of Architecture, History of Cinema, The Italian Risorgimento, Modern and Contemporary History, History of Political Parties and Trade Union Movements, Italian Literature, The Literature of Humanism, Theory and Methodology of Literature, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Psychology of Communication, the Sociology of Groups, Moral Philosophy, History of the Italian Language, Cultural Anthropology, Semiotics, Urban and Rural Sociology, Painting and the International Organization.
The intensive pre-term program begins in late August, followed by the regular university year which begins in early October and ends in late May or early June. There is usually a two/three week vacation at Christmas and approximately one week in March or April.
You will receive a Brown transcript listing as "S" (Satisfactory) for the courses you have successfully completed with the equivalent of C- or better. The normal course load of two pre-university courses and six intensive semester courses from the regular university will count for 8 Brown University credits (the equivalent of 32 semester credit hours).
For participants in the fall or spring semester programs, three intensive semester courses at the University are required in order to earn 4 Brown credits (16 semester credit hours).
The Brown office is staffed by an Italian administrative assistant, a teaching assistant in Italian Studies from Brown who acts as site coordinator and a Brown faculty member as the resident director. The staff members assist students with problem-solving and provide support and teach during the pre-term program. The office staff also arranges meetings with students on a regular basis throughout the year and guided excursions during the pre-term period.
The Bologna office staff handles all housing arrangements for students. All students live in a Brown University rented apartment with fellow students from the program and with at least one or two Italian students. All apartments are fully furnished and are located in beautiful and conveniently situated areas of town.
All Brown-in-Bologna participants must be in good academic standing (3.0 GPA or better). In addition, they must have completed at least three semesters of Italian at the university level or the equivalent for the semster- or full-year program (all students need a minimum of IT 30).
Application Deadline and Where to Apply
Applications for the Fall, Spring, and Year program are due March 15. A personal interview may be required for acceptance. All students who are accepted into the program are required to attend a mandatory pre-departure orientation program or its equivalent by phone in late April. Further information and application forms may be obtained from The Office of International Programs, Box 1973, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912. Tel: (401) 863-3555.
Brown Summer Program in Bologna
Information on Brown's Summer Program in Bologna can be found at Summer Studies @ Brown.