Villa Le Balze’s summer study abroad programs offer something for all undergraduates. Whether you wish to deepen your knowledge in Italian studies, approach other academic interests through the lens of a new discipline, or simply explore a new language and culture, the Villa’s summer offerings provide a range of options. A signature element of the Villa’s programs is greater interaction among faculty, staff, and students through academically rigorous courses, shared meals, and the opportunities these provide for developing interpersonal relationships.

Machiavelli Seminar

Following Machiavelli’s concept of a “discussion with the ancients” with relevance to modern issues, highlights of this 3 credit seminar include:

  • In-depth study of Machiavelli’s writings and an appreciation of the Florentine environment in which he wrote them;
  • Actively applying Machiavellian teachings through student involvement as decision makers in a “balance of power” laboratory created by two “Nth Power” political-military simulations. The “Nth Power” simulation is an interactive role-playing, geo-spatial simulation that has been used to brief strategic planners in the Department of Defense.
  • The application of Machiavelli’s insights to the contemporary world through simulations and interactions with senior policy makers and military leaders during the European-American Workshop on Global Security Affairs (held concurrently at Villa Le Balze).

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive credit for a 3-credit Government seminar (GOVT-486-62) that can count toward their major, minor or general education elective requirements.

For more information regarding the program, view the Machiavelli brochure. Hear from the professors firsthand in this short video: Georgetown University: Florence Machiavelli Seminar

A Microscopic View of Tuscany

Both wine and cheese production depend on harnessing the biochemical potential of a variety of different microorganisms. This course will be a rigorous exploration into the characteristics of microbes important for the development of these foods, with an emphasis on the biochemical pathways necessary for the production of ethanol and other products that are responsible for the unique flavors and textures associated with these foods. Part of the course will involve hands-on activities comparing genes for these processes among different organisms; using tools of bioinformatics, a relatively new field that combines biology, computer science, and statistics.

Encounters with Italian Language and Culture

Join us in Florence and Fiesole to continue your language studies in the “birthplace” of the Italian language. You will be fully immersed not only in the language but also in the culture. While classes will be held daily at Villa Le Balze, you will live with a local Italian host family for the duration of the 4-week program. You’ll step outside of the traditional classroom setting and accelerate your learning through excursions and events with local Florentines throughout the city.

For more information regarding the program, view the Advanced Italian brochure.

International Journalism: Reporting from Florence

With the constant blare of a 24/7 news cycle and endless pings from Instagram, Twitter and various app alerts, it is easy to become desensitized to the news, and yet it has become increasingly important to adopt a broader global perspective to discern what’s real, what’s right, and what’s truthful. Join us this summer where you will be in the role of the reporter, learning how to quickly navigate unknown places, people and points of view.

You will hear from global correspondents, interact with local Italians, and simulate the real-world experience of a foreign correspondent writing for a major news organization. You will also get to research, write, and compose articles in various different media formats, such as print, podcast, and vlogs; all culminating in a portfolio of work.

Plague, Tuscany, & the Globalization of a Disease

This class presents both micro and macro histories of plague. On the one hand, you will learn about and visit multiple plague sites in northern Italy, private and public spaces (like hospitals, foundling homes, churches) constructed to help contemporaries cope with the disease and medieval and early modern art that conveys the magnitude of the mortality Italians witnessed firsthand. Florence and Siena in particular are used as an ‘open book’ on the pre-modern plague experience. On the other hand, the Black Death is presented not as an Italian or European disaster but as an Afro-Eurasian catastrophe. You will be introduced to plausible evidence of the demographic ruin from regions as disparate as East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Greenland.

This course is thus deeply multidisciplinary. It is at once a history, biology and art history class. You will be introduced to the written and architectural sources for plague as well as to the evolutionary biology of Yersinia pestis, the bioarchaeology and detection of pre-laboratory disease, and the methods of the paleopathologic and paleogenetic sciences. In other words, they come face-to-face with the urban fabric of pre-modern public health, the written record of mass death, and the bones of medieval plague victims.

For more information regarding the program, view the Plague & Tuscany brochure.

Academics

Most summer programs at the Villa are taught in English, although there are opportunities to engage with the Italian language on a daily basis. All courses offered on Villa summer programs are Georgetown courses, and students will receive credits and grades that will transfer automatically to their GU transcript and GPA. Additionally, courses offered at the Villa may fulfill major, minor and certificate, or other degree requirements, with appropriate approval from a student's Dean or academic advisor.

Non-Georgetown participants are issued a GU transcript with grades and a semester GPA.

Eligibility

Students are eligible to participate in a Villa summer program anytime during their GU career - from the summer after their freshman year to the summer after graduation.

All students applying to summer programs should have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.7, unless the program requires a higher GPA. Additional program requirements can be found on each program’s webpage. Students whose GPA is currently below a 2.7 are encouraged to speak with an OGE advisor early in the process to learn about their options for summer study abroad.

Additionally, applicants are expected to be in good academic standing at Georgetown University or their home university. Students must maintain a strong, consistent academic record and meet the academic standards set forth by the University. Students are not eligible to participate in a study abroad program while on active academic probation.

Applicants are also expected to be in good disciplinary standing at Georgetown University or their home university. Students are not eligible to participate in a study abroad program while on active disciplinary probation.

Summer Program Scholarships

Villa Le Balze Dual-Program Scholarship

We are excited to announce that students who participate on two (2) summer 2018 programs at Villa Le Balze will receive an automatic $500 credit towards the second program.

OGE Summer Scholarships

Each spring, the Office of Global Education awards a few, small fellowships to participants on summer study abroad programs. These awards range from $500 to $2,000 and are made according to need and merit. Students who are currently receiving financial aid are immediately considered for these awards.

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program

Students receiving Pell Grants during the regular academic year may be eligible for additional Pell Grant support for summer study abroad. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Services for more information. Pell Grant recipients are also eligible for Gilman Scholarships for summer study abroad. Gilman Scholarships are open to students of all majors who receive Pell Grants and planned to study overseas for at least three weeks in the same country. Students should check the program website for more information.