University of Technology Sydney

MAJ09437 Italy

Italy (population 60 million) is a country of south-central Europe, occupying a peninsula that cuts deep into the Mediterranean Sea. The mountainous landscape had a profound impact on the country's political and economic development, fostering throughout history the creation of many independent states. Italy's history as an independent, democratic state is relatively recent, dating back to 1946. Since World War II, increasing numbers of Italians have moved from the countryside to the rapidly industrialising cities, thus generating significant and often abrupt transformations of traditional ways of life. Italy is often dubbed the world's 'living art gallery', where history and culture surround you on every step. At the same time the countryside preserves most of its poetic beauty and agriculture still plays a substantial role in the overall economy.

Students spend two consecutive semesters studying language and culture at a university in Italy through arrangements made by the Institute for International Studies. Students are assessed on each semester separately and assessment is based on the subjects undertaken at the host institutions, as well as project and essay work administered by UTS: International Studies.

Students may expect that slightly greater costs will be incurred through undertaking a period of In-country Study in Italy than are involved in living away from home in Sydney and that these costs vary from location to location and fluctuate with exchange rates.


The Italy major has provision for both beginners and those who have previously studied Italian. The choice of location depends primarily on the level of Italian language proficiency attained by each student prior to their period of In-country Study.


Bergamo (population 140,000) is situated in central Lombardy, 50 km east of Milan, at the foot of the Alps. Città alta, the old part of the town, built inside the 16th-century Venetian walls, is rich in historical and artistic sites, while città bassa, the lower part of the town, is built on the edge of the Po Valley. The province of Bergamo is one of the richest in Italy. Relatively modern, Bergamo bassa is connected by a funicular railway to spectacular and historic Bergamo alta, 400 m above the plain. Bergamo alta is the main attraction for tourists and a weekend destination for the Milanese. Local particularities include a complex dialect, now spoken mainly by older natives of the town.

Università degli studi di Bergamo has been a state university since November 1992. Before then it was the Istituto Universitario di Bergamo, set up in 1968. It is a relatively small university with about 7,000 students and 147 teaching staff. It has three faculties: Foreign Languages and Literatures, Economics and Business Administration, and Engineering. Two courses of particular interest for International Studies' students are History of the Italian Language and Italian Literature.


Bologna (population 380,000) is one of the most vibrant Italian cities. Nestled at the centre of the rich and lively Emilia-Romagna region, Bologna boasts splendid monuments, a lifestyle well above the Italian average and a huge offering in terms of culture, sport and entertainment. The students in the city provide a dynamic atmosphere that is missing in smaller Emilian cities. Originating as an Etruscan town in the 6th century BC, Bologna became a European intellectual centre with the founding of its University in 1088. The historical centre is one of the best preserved in Italy, with churches and palaces dating back to the Renaissance, the Baroque and the 18th and 19th centuries. Bologna is also a very important industrial centre. The climate can be very cold in the winter. Bologna is also close to the Riviera Adriatica, with seaside resorts attracting numerous tourists in the summer months.

Università degli studi di Bologna, founded in 1088, is one of the oldest universities in the world. With around 80,000 students, it is also one of the biggest in the country. Among its teaching staff are world-famous public figures such as Romano Prodi and Umberto Eco. The faculties are Agriculture, Cultural and Conservation Studies, Economics, Education, Engineering, Foreign Languages and Literature, Industrial Chemistry, Law, Literature and Philosophy, Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, Medicine and Surgery, Pharmacy, Political Science, Psychology, Statistics and Veterinary Science. Of particular interest are the courses offered by Discipline delle Arti, della Musica e dello Spettacolo (DAMS) (Performing Arts, Music and Mass Communications), as well as the Faculty of Law, the oldest in the world.


Milan (population 1.6 million) is the capital of Lombardy, the richest, most industrialised and populous northern region of Italy and arguably the most important commercial and design centre in Europe. Milan carries both the advantages and the disadvantages associated with living in a big city, but the advantages outweigh the potential drawbacks by far. The rich cultural life in Milan offers valuable experiences to students interested in art, film and theatre. As a major European rail hub and a city serviced by two international airports (Linate and Malpensa), Milan provides for easy travelling both within Italy and internationally. Public transport is also excellent.

The Catholic University of the Sacred Heart is the largest private university in Italy, with approximately 35,000 students and 11 faculties (including Business, Law, Arts, Languages, Education and Political Sciences), some of which are located in the nearby cities of Brescia and Piacenza.


Dating back to the Roman times, Modena (population 180,000) became a free city in the 12th century. Modena was home to Italy's favourite tenor, the late Luciano Pavarotti and car manufacturers such as Ferrari, who test the Formula 1 cars on the racetrack at nearby Florino. Although only 40 km away from Bologna, Modena has a character of its own. The old city's fortified walls, now converted to promenades, give it a pentagonal shape. Notable buildings include the cathedral (begun in 1099), the bell tower (completed in 1319) and the imposing ducal palace (begun in 1634), now a military academy. The Palazzo dei Musei houses the municipal collections, including the Este Gallery and Museum, rich in Renaissance paintings, and the Este Library, noted for its collection of illuminated manuscripts.

Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia was founded in the first half of the 12th century, after the death of Countess Matilde of Canossa in 1115. Nowadays it has 15,000 students, nine faculties (Law, Arts, Conservation of Cultural Heritage, Medicine and Surgery, Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences, Agriculture, Pharmacy, Economics, Business and Administration, and Engineering) and two campuses (Modena and Reggio Emilia). Of particular interest is the area of cultural studies, offered through the Faculty of Arts, which includes courses in cultural anthropology, comparative social systems, history of philosophy, etc.


The Università di Siena was established in 1240 and is the second oldest university in Italy (and eighth in the world). It has a strong standing, being ranked first medium-sized university in the prestigious Italian ranking Censis-Repubblica, and in the top positions in several others. It is located in Tuscany in the small city of Siena, a UNESCO World Heritage Site visited annually by more than 163,000 tourists interested in art and medieval heritage. The countryside near Siena is also famous for its rolling hills, produce and ancient villages. University students (20,000+) comprise almost half of the city population. Students can feel part of a learning community: academic staff are approachable and the several libraries offer excellent service and are important social meeting points. Siena offers 38 undergraduate degrees in Economics, Pharmacy, Law, Engineering, Arts and Humanities, Arts and Humanities in Arezzo, Medicine and Surgery, Mathematical, Physical and Natural sciences and Political Science, as well as several interfaculty degrees. The Faculty of Arts and Humanities is known for its degrees in History, Art History, Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, Anthropology and Communication.


The Università di Torino was founded in 1404. It is one of the largest universities in Italy (ranked number 1 best Italian university according to U-Multirank). It holds a cohort of around 70,000 students and 4000 academic and professional staff. The university has a strong tradition of involvement with city institutions, public initiatives and communities, including local museums, industry, art and media production units. Turin is one of the most important cultural and business centres in the north of Italy and its exciting lifestyle makes it very popular among young people and students. Cultural initiatives held here include the Salone Internazionale del Libro book fair and the Torino Film Festivals. The city offers the opportunity to explore historical sites as well as contemporary venues, festivals, markets and concerts. The university has 27 departments. It is particularly renowned for its excellence in STEM education, and it also has a long tradition in the fields of arts and social sciences.


Università Ca' Foscari Venezia was founded in 1868. Its main building, Palazzo Ca’ Foscari, is located in the heart of Venice, in the sestiere of Dorsoduro between the famous Rialto Bridge and Piazza San Marco. The university is listed in the QS World University Ranking by Subject among the top 150 universities for Arts and Humanities, and Languages, and among the top 200 for History. It has 13 research centres and eight departments and has a cohort of around 20,000 students. It is internationally renowned for its excellence in research and teaching in the arts and social sciences. Venice is the capital of the Veneto region and it is one of the most acclaimed tourist destinations in the world due to its unique landscape, history, art, and architecture. The city is built on the Venetian lagoon, and has more that 100 small islands connected by a network of bridges and canals. Ca' Foscari extensively promotes networks and liaisons with other institutions and key events held in the Venetian areas, such as the Art and Architecture Biennale.

Completion requirements

976431  Contemporary Italy  8cp
977430  In-country Study and Fieldwork Project 1: Italy  24cp
978430  In-country Study and Fieldwork Project 2: Italy  24cp
CBK90486  Italian Language and Culture  32cp
Total  96cp