Harvard Summer Program in Calabria, Italy
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.
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.
ITAL S-20X Study Abroad in Calabria, Italy: Mastering Italian through Artistic Expression (34092)
This course uses the communicative method of language instruction to provide a structured review of grammar comparable to that offered in third- and fourth-semester Italian at Harvard. Students are assigned real-world tasks that facilitate the use and concretization of advanced grammatical forms. Reading skills are developed through engagement with excerpts from the literature of the Italian Mezzogiorno, such as the journalistic crime nonfiction of Roberto Saviano, the memoir of Elena Ferrante, and the mystery novels of Andrea Camilleri. Students also plan, shoot and edit a documentary video project which requires them to interface with the local community and culture, utilizing and refining oral communication skills during both the production (subject interviewing) and critical evaluation phases. The course provides over eighty hours of instruction in eight weeks.
Prerequisite: Harvard students must have completed Italian 10 and 11, or Italian 15, or received the equivalent score on the Harvard University placement test. Other students must have completed one year or one accelerated semester of college-level beginning Italian.
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:
- 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.
- Two letters of recommendation
- One letter from a current or recent Italian language instructor
- One letter from a personal reference from a member of your residential community
- Harvard College applicants: Please submit a reference from a Tutor, Proctor, or Dean
- The letters can be submitted either via mail to the Study Abroad Office (Harvard Summer School, 51 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA 02138) or e-mailed as a PDF directly from the recommender to email@example.com
- Harvard College applicants: You may submit an unofficial transcript accessed from my.harvard.edu.
- Non-Harvard applicants: Submit an official transcript from your university.
- 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.
In addition to the program fee, you will need to budget for a number of personal expenses:
- International airfare ($1,300 to $1,600)
- Local transportation ($250)
- Some meals ($1,200)
- Personal expenditures, laundry, communications, and miscellaneous ($300)
Please note: The amounts are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not listed here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including your personal spending habits and currency exchange rates. If you have specific questions about budgeting, please contact the program directly.
- Adam Muri-Rosenthal, PhD, Lecturer on Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University