Harvard Summer Program in Calabria, Italy

June 9, 2019 to August 3, 2019
Apply by: 
January 31, 2019
Bed and breakfast

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 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. Students can easily take advantage of the proximity of Sicily to visit such places as the Greek Theater at Taormina, the Aeolian Islands, or Mt. Etna—Europe’s largest active volcano.

To learn more, visit the Calabria program website.


ITAL S-20X counts as one full-year course (8 credits) of degree credit and as two half-year courses towards the foreign language citation. It also fulfills the Harvard foreign language requirement.

ITAL S-20X Study Abroad in Calabria, Italy: Mastering Italian through Artistic Expression (34408)

Adam Muri-Rosenthal
8 credits
UN, GR Limited enrollment.

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 novels of Elena Ferrante, and the mysteries 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.


Early application is strongly encouraged. Each program has unique requirements included in the online application. Beginning your application early is the best way to ensure that you have sufficient time to review and complete the application requirements by the deadline.

A complete online application includes:

  • Basic personal information
  • A statement of interest
  • Your most recent transcript
  • Program-specific requirements (if applicable; may include letters of recommendation, audio or video submissions, etc.)
  • A $75 application fee (per program)

Interviews may be requested at the discretion of the program.

Apply Now 

The summer 2019 application period is now closed. Harvard College students applying for funding from the Office of Career Services (OCS): Please note that the OCS funding application is separate.

If you have questions about the application, please contact the Harvard Summer School Study Abroad Office by email at summerabroad@summer.harvard.edu, or by telephone at (617) 998-9602.

Cost & Expenses

The program fee includes:

  • Tuition
  • Accommodations
  • Scheduled program activities
  • Some meals (the program will provide further details)

You will also need to budget for a number of expenses not covered by the program fee. The amounts listed below for these out-of-pocket expenses are approximate, and you may incur additional expenses not noted here. Your actual expenses will depend on a number of factors, including personal spending habits and currency exchange rates.

  • International airfare ($1,300 - $1,600)
  • Ground transportation ($200)
  • Meals ($1,500)
  • Personal expenditures, communications, course materials, and miscellaneous ($500)

If you have specific questions about personal budgeting, please contact the program directly.

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

Additional information


  • Adam Muri-Rosenthal, PhD, Lecturer on Romance Languages and Literatures, Harvard University