Stony Brook Academic Year

Program in Rome

Overview and General Information

The Rome Program, founded in 1985, is open to all qualified undergraduates, both majors in Italian as well as non-majors, at Stony Brook and other colleges and universities. It is committed to high academic standards and to the furthering of a liberal education to which the University at Stony Brook is dedicated. Students may opt to study in Rome for a full year or for the Spring semester only.

The program offers courses in Italian language and literature, cinema, social, political and intellectual history, theater, and art taught by distinguished members of the University of Rome faculty. Courses in literary criticism, philosophy and the social sciences provide students with opportunities to study, in depth, aspects of modern Italian civilization and contemporary intellectual life. All courses and course work are exclusively in Italian.Total immersion in the language, customs and culture of Italy enhances the students’ general education while heightening awareness and understanding of another culture.

The program is administered by University at Stony Brook’s Office of Study Abroad. The Resident Coordinator is appointed by the University at Stony Brook.

The Program

The Stony Brook Program in Rome during the academic year and Spring semester is part of a student exchange agreement between the University at Stony Brook and the university of Rome La Sapienza. As such, it is possible for American college and university students to enroll in any of the hundreds of regularly scheduled courses at the largest Italian university, and taught by some of the most prominent Italian scholars.

A study abroad experience in Rome is an opportunity to experience the many splendors, past and present, of the region which has made important contributions to Western Culture. Living and studying in Rome is an exciting and intellectually stimulating experience because learning takes place inside and outside the classroom. The Stony Brook Program in Rome provides a stable framework and a structured curriculum. Students take classes with Italian students in Italian academic settings. Exploring the unique wealth of cultural opportunities Rome offers for personal enrichment, including new friendships, will have an impact which will open up new possibilities and ideas to students from all academic majors.

Living in another country is a rewarding experience especially for those students who set out in a spirit of discovery and open-mindedness and with a genuine desire to understand a way of life different from their own. In both academic settings and living situations, students will have greater individual responsibility for organizing their work, their budget and their leisure.

The Curriculum

The curriculum consists of two parts: (1) Language and Culture Orientation; and (2) University of Rome Courses.

1. Language and Culture Orientation:

Approximate dates:

October 1 - November 15
January 10 - February 28

This is an intensive six-week program designed to help students adjust quickly to their new linguistic and cultural environment. It emphasizes the communicative skills necessary to understand and to respond to everyday situations. It also seeks to improve the writing skills students will need in their other courses. Class participation is essential. There will also be frequent written exercises and compositions. Students who have an excellent command of the language may be given permission to substitute an independent study course for part of the workshop. The workshop, for which students earn six credits, must be taken in addition to the regular program.

2. Courses at the University of Rome

(Spring Option) The opportunity to study in an Italian university should be of particular interest to students spending a full academic year in Rome. Course registration will take place at the University of Rome in early November or January. Students are expected to sign up for three or four courses, which last for an academic year spanning from the middle of November to the end of June. Students studying in the Spring only will join classes already in progress, but need not worry about the content covered in November and December.  The resident director will make appropriate arrangements with our student's professors. Therefore, in making return travel arrangements, students should note that all university courses continue to the end of June.

Exact Course Schedule of Italian universities are not available until October. Students will be able to obtain them in Rome. Course selection occurs during the registration period in Rome, with the help of the Resident Coordinator.

The following is a sample of courses taken by past students in the program:

Ancient & Modern Italian Culture
Contemporary Italian Art
Morphology and Syntax (Italian)
Introduction to Phonology (Italian)
Sociolinguistics (Italian)
Advanced Phonology (Italian)
Archeological Field Research
Studies in 18th-century Literature
Studies in 17th-century Literature
Leopardi Seminar in Italian Literature
Italian Phonetics Roman Sculpture (1600)
Italian Baroque Art
Mannerist and Early Baroque Art
History of Political Parties
Reformist Thought
Capitalism and Society
Studies in Italian Romanticism
Italian Studies in Modern Novel
Contemporary Italian Poetry
Roman Art and Architecture
Laboratory Techniques in Archaeology
Skills & Art of Translation
Dante’s Divine Commedia I, II
Roman Archaeology
Greek Archaeology
Laws of European Community
Sociology of the Family
International Economics
History of the Afro-Asian Countries
The World of the 20th-century
Italian and its Dialects Museology
European Diplomatic History
Geographical Economics
Seminar on Boccaccio
Modern and Contemporary History of the Church
The Development of Linguistics in the 20th-century
High Renaissance & Mannerism in  Central Italy
Contemporary Italy: From the Unification to the Present
Short Stories and Italian Writers of the 15th-century
Italian Theater in the Illuministic Period
Theory and Technique of Mass Communications
Authoritarism, Myth & National Identity
Seminar in Italian Humanism & Renaissance Literature
Seminar: Pier Paolo Pasolini & His Novels
Modern Art History from Gothic International to Neo Classicism
Piero della Francesca in the 15th & 20th-centuries
Art in Culture from the Early Renaissance to Post Modernism
History of the Italian Grammar & Language
The Processes & Development of Peasant Traditions

Some of the Professor who have taught program participants:

Clementina PANELLA
Political Science
Francesco MALGERI
History of Art
Maurizio CALVESI
Italian Language & Literature

Academic Credit

Students pursue programs leading to the equivalent of 30-36 Stony Brook academic credits for the academic year and 15-18 for the Spring semester. Italian university courses will range from 3 to 8 credits each, depending on course content and format. Students are evaluated by Italy’s traditional year-end oral examination system. The Resident Coordinator receives grades from the Italian professors and reports them to Stony Brook. All completed work is reflected on an official Stony Brook transcript supplement. The Study Abroad Office will provide assistance in the process of obtaining credit at the student’s home university. Students who wish to take courses to fulfill university or departmental requirements should consult with the relevant office at their home university before leaving for Italy.

Housing Arrangements and Meals

Program participants requesting accommodation will be placed in “program housing” which Stony Brook has contracted. These are apartments in Trastevere, located in the heart of Rome, well-known for its Roman charm, restaurants, and squares. Weekly housekeeping (with the exception of the kitchen) and linen service are provided at no additional cost. Meals may be cooked in apartments or obtained at the student cafeterias which are heavily subsidized by the government.

Students have the option of making their own arrangements (pensione with or without full board, independent rooms, studio apartments, etc.). Students making their own arrangements must give their addresses immediately to the Resident Coordinator and must inform her in advance of any anticipated change of address. Past participants recommend that future participants live in the “program housing” as it is a “good buy.”

Social and Cultural Activities

The Resident Coordinator arranges for guided visits to various sites of interests. For example, each year program participants generally visit the Italian Parliament. Excursions outside Rome include a trip to Venice during Carnevale, when the city's old traditional outing in masks comes back to life.

Opportunities are provided for students to meet young Italians. Information about other cultural activities — choirs, cultural centers, clubs — is available in the offices of the university of Rome.

Vacation travel is at the students’ expense. Students are free to travel during the vacation periods but must inform the Resident Coordinator of their plans.

Resident Coordinator

Dr. Simonetta Simone is responsible for overall academic and administrative supervision of the Program in Rome. Her responsibility includes: preparing documents for student registration at the University of Rome; making arrangements for “program housing;” advising students on course selection; planning for and accompanying students on field trips; serving as instructor for the language and culture orientation workshop; assisting students in obtaining required residency permits; meeting frequently with professors of courses in which Stony Brook students are enrolled; monitoring students progress; being attentive to students’ academic and personal welfare; being attentive to students’ academic accomplishments, including translation of course titles and conversion of grades to the American letter-grade system.


The program is open to qualified students in good standing. At least two years of college level Italian with a minimum grade of B, or the equivalent, is a prerequisite. Students are selected on the basis of academic qualifications, motivation, and seriousness of purpose.

Application for Admission

The application must be supported by a college transcript, three references, a personal statement, and a language proficiency form. Applications and information may be obtained from the Study Abroad Office. Applications may be submitted at any time but no later than March 15 for the Academic Year and October 15 for the Spring. Early decision may be requested if needed for planning for the year abroad. Normally students will be notified regarding admission at the end of March and October.

Expenses and Fees

Students and their families should be aware that the cost of living abroad is affected by fluctuations in the strength of the American dollar and by personal preference. When in Rome, students are responsible for managing their daily living costs for room and board, daily travel within the city, vacation trips, course books and materials. Students living in “program housing” must pay housing costs in full before leaving for the program site

Application material is available at the following web page: admission.htm


Students are responsible for Stony Brook tuition, no tuition or fees are paid to the University of Rome. As with all other universities, tuition and fees are subject to change.

Program Fee

Stony Brook makes every effort to keep costs as low as possible, consistent with essential program quality. The program Fee represents the differential cost, beyond Stony Brook tuition, of conducting the academic program in Rome. It includes housing, the orientation and language program and scheduled field trips and excursions.


All students must have proof of health and accident insurance either from Stony Brook or through their own or family’s plan.

Refund Policy

Upon acceptance into the program, students are required to submit a $200.00 non-refundable deposit to hold a place in the program. The deposit is applied towards the program fee. “Program housing” fees are non-refundable because they cover a contracted service.

Financial Aid

Students are registered full-time at the University at Stony Brook and therefore are eligible for financial aid if they ordinarily receive it. We suggest that students contact the “home” institution financial aid office early in the application process to determine the procedures to follow so the aid will be processed and disbursed on time.

Passport and Visas

Application for passports should be made well in advance of departure. It takes from two weeks to a month to obtain a passport. The location of the nearest Passport Bureau can be obtained from any Post Office. Participants need their passport to apply for a student visa. The visa may be requested at the Italian Embassy or at the closest Italian Consulate.

For additional information and application, please contact:

Office of Study Abroad
Melville Library E-5340
SUNY at Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3397
Tel.:(516) 632-7030 /Fax (516) 632-6544
On the Web:
Professor Mario B. Mignone
Center for Italian Studies
University at Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3358
Tel.: (516) 632-7444