Harvard Summer Program in Venice, Italy

Liberal arts studies in Italy’s city of canals

Faculty: From Harvard and Ca’ Foscari Universities

The lagoon city of Venice, la Serenissima, has for centuries been the cultural and commercial nexus of eastern and western Europe. Now it is the site of an educational crossroads as well with a multidisciplinary program that brings together students and faculty from Harvard University and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. The program offers courses in a range of fields, including art history, economics, English literature, Italian, and sociology. In addition to classes, a carefully designed program of activities brings students into the local community and promotes their understanding of Venice as a city with a rich history and an environment unlike any other.

In this program, Italian students study and learn alongside Harvard students so that all may develop a deeper knowledge of the city and of each other. Through a range of guided activities, students are encouraged to investigate the culture, art, and history of the city.

During the first two weeks of the session, students participate in projects designed to give a hands-on experience of Venice, such as traditional arts and crafts and activities, guided visits to places of historical interest, and other activities that give insight into the city. Past programs have included workshops in fashion, design, and Venetian masks; lessons on the traditional rowing technique Voga; and classes on Venetian cooking.

Watch a video by a former Venice program participant documenting her experiences in Italy.

Course of study

All courses are limited enrollment. Students enroll in two courses. Course enrollments are dependent on availability, and final course enrollment is issued from the Summer School Registrar’s Office following acceptance to the program.

Courses to be announced in December.

Course credit

See Study Abroad Credit Information.


Faculty to be announced in December.


Before applying, review the Admission and Policies and FAQs pages.

Students must be at least 18 years old and have completed at least one year of college or be a first-year student in good academic standing to apply.

The application materials, outlined below, are due January 29, 2015:

  • A completed online application that includes:
    • A $50 nonrefundable application fee.
    • A statement describing your overall academic interests and your reasons for wanting to study in Venice this summer. In your statement you should discuss any relevant coursework you have taken and address how you think your experience in Venice will shape your intellectual and social development.
    • Transcripts (student record accepted for Harvard students).

Students will be notified of admission decisions by mid-February.


There is a nonrefundable $50 application fee. The cost of the program is $0 and includes the following:

  • Tuition
  • Room and breakfast
  • All scheduled excursions and extracurricular activities

In addition to the program fee, students are responsible for:

  • A health insurance fee (waived if students have US insurance that provides coverage outside the United States)
  • Transportation to and from Venice
  • The cost of passports and visas (if the latter is needed)
  • Any immunizations
  • Meals (lunch and dinner)

How to pay and funding options

See Payment and Funding for payment deadlines, deposit amounts, and more information, including funding options for Harvard College students.


Students stay in the newly restructured dormitories “Ai Crociferi.” All rooms are doubles or triples and have air conditioning and Internet. With the exception of breakfast, which is provided in dorms, students are responsible for their own meals. All bedrooms are provided with a kitchenette so that students have the opportunity to cook their own meals.

Venice has many restaurants, bars, cafes, and pasticciere. Students have the opportunity to shop at the local markets and frequent the restaurants and bars in their neighborhood. Cafeterias offering low-cost meals are another option.

Additional information

Contact the Venice program coordinator, venice@dcemail.harvard.edu.

Watch this video, made by a student during the 2013 session, which shows her experiences and activities she did while abroad.

Students with disabilities

Students should contact the disability services coordinator as soon as possible. See Students with Disabilities for more information.