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Students find authentic Italian cultural experience with summer program in Castelraimondo

December 31, 2012

The School of International Letters and Cultures’ study abroad programs are among the longest running and most prestigious at Arizona State University. Founded in 1981, and directed by knowledgeable, world-class faculty, the programs offer students the opportunity to experience and study international humanities and learn languages firsthand while earning credit toward their degree.

This summer, the school is adding a new program to its already impressive study abroad offerings. The “Italian Language and Culture in Castelraimondo” program gives students the unique opportunity to study Italian in an area of Italy that has been referred to as “the next Tuscany,” without the overflow of tourists.

The program takes place in the town of Castelraimondo in the east-central region of Le Marche in Italy. Castelraimondo, a town of only about two thousand inhabitants, was chosen because it offers students an authentic Italian experience and quality instruction. 

For an entire month, students completely immerse themselves in Italian language and culture in an area of Italy that is relatively uninfluenced by expatriates and tourists. During the program they earn six credits of intensive language and culture instruction with 20 hours of small classroom (12 students max.) language instruction per week at Edulingua, an international school of Italian where all teachers have advanced degrees in the teaching of Italian as a second language. Courses are offered at the beginner to advanced levels. Students are placed in the appropriate course based on a proficiency test administered upon arrival.

In addition to classroom work, students complete an independent study course with ASU faculty director, Juliann Vitullo, requiring students to reflect on and analyze their linguistic and cultural experiences in Italy through various mediums such as blogs or video diaries.

The program includes daily cultural activities in Italian with focuses on art, cinema, history, music, and gastronomy via cooking classes, a film series, a karaoke night, and other events. Students also go on five guided half-day trips to renowned localities in central Italy, as well as three exciting guided weekend excursions to Venice, Florence, and Rome. “The trips are designed to improve the student’s understanding of Italian history and culture, as they learn the language,” says Vitullo.

Program participants live in fully-equipped apartments in a residence close to the school with students from all over the world and communicate exclusively in Italian. Each apartment features three-bedrooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, and nearby laundry facilities, which are shared between six students. Wi-Fi is available for a small fee in the apartment and free at the school. The residence is within walking distance to classrooms, stores, farmers’ markets, restaurants, and the train and bus stations, which connect the town to the beach, other cities in the region, and all the major historical sites in Italy.

Applications accepted through the ASU Study Abroad Office. 

The School of International Letters and Cultures is an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.