Harvard Summer Program in Calabria, Italy

Dates and tuition for the program will be posted here by November. 

Master the Italian language in the heart of southern Italy.

The Harvard Summer School Program in Calabria, Italy will catapult you forward in your study of Italian, covering one year of language study in eight weeks, whilst immersing you in the natural beauty and cultural vibrancy of Southern Italy.

You will benefit from traditional classroom instruction situated within an environment abundant in opportunities for experiential learning through interaction with local community members, visits to sites of historical and cultural importance, and artistic production.

Program Structure

The program includes six weeks in Reggio, Calabria, a small but animated coastal city located just south of the Strait of Messina, and two weeks in San Demetrio Corone, an idyllic village nestled in the mountains, yet still within sight of the Ionian Sea.

You spend mornings in the classroom reviewing the structures of Italian and working to raise your cultural awareness and refine your reading, listening, speaking, and writing abilities. Afternoons will be dedicated to creative projects that both hone these skills and aim to foster engagement with the local community. To maximize your progress, you sign a pledge to speak only Italian for the duration of the program.

Major excursions may include visits to Scilla (where the Greek myth of Scylla from Homer’s Odyssey originates), Stilo (home to a ninth-century Byzantine church), and Tropea, which is renowned for its reef-lined beaches, turquoise waters, and fine weather. The program may also include an excursion to Sicily on a tour of Taormina, the Aeolian Islands, and Mt. Etna—Europe’s largest active volcano.

Course information to be announced

The 2018 Calabria, Italy program courses will be announced here when available. 

Where You Live and Study

A vibrant region characterized by coastal and mountain communities both urban and rural, Calabria (the toe of the Italian “boot”) is often overlooked by tourists, making it the ideal location for a language immersion program. Calabria has a uniquely rich cultural heritage, with its historical roots in the societies of ancient Greece, Albania, Normandy and Byzantium. Its distinctive and delicious cuisine earned it a special feature in The New York Times as one of the top places to visit in 2017.

Reggio is renowned for its relaxed, safe atmosphere, its outstanding seafood, and its lively, scenic boardwalk. While in Reggio, you will study at a local university situated just outside the city center. Reggio’s geography and regional importance make it the ideal starting point for journeys throughout Southern Italy.

A village of fewer than 4,000 people, San Demetrio Corone is a warm, welcoming community which sits at the crossroads of the historical Calabrian, Arbëreshë, and Byzantine cultural spheres. Here, while continuing your studies, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Italian village life. You have opportunities to paint; learn how wine, cheese, and olive oil are made; and cook (and eat) specialties of regional cuisine alongside some of the village’s best chefs.


Students will be housed in two bed and breakfasts. Breakfast will be included and students will benefit from a myriad of options for lunch and dinner, from inexpensive options such as supermarkets, university cafeterias, and pizzerias to more high-end cuisine at local restaurants.

How to Apply

The application will be available in early December 2017. 

Review How to Apply before submitting your application.

Application materials include: 

  1. A statement of interest in the program
    • In 350 words or less, please explain what you hope to get out of spending a summer in southern Italy, as well as what you feel you can contribute to the summer program community.

  2. An academic reference from an Italian language instructor
    • Include the reference's name and telephone number
  3. A personal reference from a member of your residential community 
    • Harvard College applicants: Please submit a reference from a Tutor, Proctor, or Dean.
    • Include the reference's name and telephone number
  4. Transcripts
    • Harvard College applicants: You may submit an unofficial transcript accessed from my.harvard.edu.
    • Non-Harvard applicants: Submit an official transcript from your university.
  5. A $50 nonrefundable application fee

Note: Interviews may be requested.

All application materials are due January 25, 2018. You will be notified of admission decisions by mid- to late-February.


The program fee, to be announced, includes tuition, accommodation, scheduled excursions and activities, and some meals.  

See Payment and Funding for information on how to submit payments and funding options. 

Additional information