Program Overview

Explore Italian society and culture through the Neapolitan Novels series of Elena Ferrante and key works of Italian cinema. Students will read the four novels in the Neapolitan Novels series that address issues of female friendships, poverty and crime in contemporary Italy and social movements through the lives of two sisters as they make their ways through life. This course is complemented by the Italian cinema course taught by Dr. Li, which uses cinema to present a cultural geography of Venice, Rome and Naples. You will travel to Venice and Naples to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural and social currents of the cities.

Academic Details

You will enroll in the Elena Ferrante's Italy:  Family Saga & National History literature course and Cinematic Italy: Sight and Sound of Three Cities taught by Unviersity of Oregon English professor Dr. David Li, plus at least one additional elective offered at the GEO Siena Center taught by Italian faculty and the required Cross-Cultural Communications course.

All courses offered in Siena are recognized and approved for academic credit by various GEO partner institutions. Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information. The service learning experiences are not offered for credit, but are an optional extracurricular activity of the Cross-Cultural Communications/Cross-Cultural Perspectives course.

Faculty and Staff

Dr. David Li is the Collins Professor of the Humanities in the University of Oregon Department of English. Professor Li is an internationally recognized scholar of American literature, theory of global cultures, and contemporary Chinese cinema. He was the Fulbright Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Arts in London in 2013. In addition to teaching at various American institutions, he has taught in several Western European countries and been invited to lecture in the UK and Germany, as well as in Italy (In two separate years, he lectured from Trento in Northern Italy to the southern city of Naples, and down to the island of Sicily). His expertise and familiarity with Italy will ensure an exciting learning and life experience for students in the Siena program.

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Housing Description

Experience life as part of an authentic Italian neighborhood, living in apartments with other GEO and/or International/Italian students or students’ residence (small dorm) with other American, Italian or international students throughout the town of Siena. Some apartments are within walking distance of the GEO classroom within the old city walls, while others are in neighborhoods just outside and accessible by public transportation. No matter where you live, close by you can find small local grocers, restaurants, and cafés unique to your neighborhood. Each apartment is fully furnished with beds, desks and a kitchen table and chairs. You will share a bedroom with one or two other students, as well as the common spaces (bathroom, kitchen, etc.). The kitchens are equipped with utensils, plates, glasses, cookware, an electronic oven and a gas stove. You will also receive two sets of linens and each apartment has access to a washing machine and drying rack.

Dates and Deadlines

TermYearPriority DeadlineDeadlineArrival DateDeparture Date
Fall Quarter20183/15/20185/4/20189/20/201812/8/2018

Course Equivalencies

Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.

UO students, please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.