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Springtime in Italy

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      Mr. Charles Olson 
      Fine Arts Center 2012

      The Springtime in Italy program provides students with unique experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime. During the program, students live in residence halls in Parma, Italy where they take classes from Saint Francis University professors. Because tourism is not a large industry in Parma, students are able to experience true Italian culture and cuisine. The rental of a bicycle is included in the program cost, so each student can explore the city easily by pedaling around town just like the locals. Students are able to find their own favorite restaurants and gelaterias, so by the end of four weeks Parma truly feels like home. The trip takes place following the Spring semester and is under the direction of Mr. Charles Olson, Associate Professor and Chair of the Fine Arts Department. 

      Students may take up to 7 credits (minimal of 5 credits) while studying in Parma. Classes may inlude Fine Arts, Italian I & II, Exploration in the Arts, Photography, Guitar, Hand Drumming and several others. On the weekends, students are free to travel on their own with their six-day TrenItalia Pass, allowing them to plan their excursions based on their own interests. This ensures that each student will have a unique experience while studying in Parma. 

    • Academic Offerings

      Classes are held Monday through Thursday in one of the two residence halls where students are housed. Students can enroll for 5-7 credits. Classes are taught by SFU professors and may included some listed below.

      • Exploration in the Arts (1 credit) A general education required class
      • ART 201 Art History II (3 credits) Hands-on references
      • Italian 112 (3 credits) Students may complete their foreign language requirement with this class
      • Italian 201 or 202
      • ART 115 Photography (3 credits) Limited class size. Students must provide their own digital cameras 
      • History 263 Global History of Fashion
      • MUS 011 Guitar (1-2 credits) 

      Students are housed in two residence halls in Parma. Each room normally accommodates two students and is equipped with a bathroom and kitchen. In addition, a free washing machine on the bottom floor and maid service is provided. The front doors of the residence halls are locked at all times and must be accessed by a room key.


      Each student is given a TrenItalia Pass which is good for six days travel by train to anywhere in Italy. With this pass, students are free to plan their own excursions and to have a completely unique Italian experience every weekend. Due to the flexible nature of the TrenItalia Passes, students can taylor their experience in Italy to their interests and travel desires. Popular sites for weekend travel include Rome, Venice, Florence, and Cinque Terre.

      Visits to sites within Parma such as the National Gallery and the Castello di Torrechiara may be included depending on which classes the student chooses to take.

      Dates and Costs

      Departure: May 20, 2016
      Return: June 19, 2016

      Application and application fee ($200) due A.S.A.P. 
      Preliminary payment for program fee ($1,000) due by March 11. 
      Final payment (balance) for program fee due May 6. 

      Program Costs : costs are approximately $3,600 plus the cost of tuition (minimum of 5 credits). Price subject to change based on airfares. 

      Cost includes:

      • Round-trip transportation to and from Parma, Italy.
      • Housing
      • TrenItalia 6 Day Pass
      • Bicycle rental
      • Textbooks
      • Course materials
      • Health Insurance
      • Optional cooking lessons

      Not included: tuition, meals, admission to attractions/events, incidental supplies, gifts, transportation other than specified above, additional fees for change in airline tickets. 

      Reimbursement: In case of cancellation by the student a full reimbursement will be given until 60 days before departure; full reimbursement minus cost of the airline ticket will be given within 60 days of departure. 

      Financial Aid

      Students may apply for any student loans for which they would normally have eligibility. It is imperative that students applying for financial aid apply by specific deadline dates in order to facilitate the financial aid process. The financial aid office will assist students needing information about financial aid.

      Financial Aid Office 
      Padua Hall, Room 228 
      Saint Francis University 
      PO Box 600 
      Loretto, PA 15940 
      (814) 472-3010

    • Springtime in Parma: Student's Reflections