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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language Prerequisite: No Language(s): English
Click here for a definition of this term Type of Program: GU Faculty-Led, GU Villas Non-GU Students May Apply: Yes
Housing Options: Onsite Level of Support: High (Comprehensive onsite support)
Application Deadlines: December, February Fields of Study: Anthropology, English, European Studies, International Studies
OGE Advisor: Mia Pezzanite
Program Description:

Georgetown at Villa Le Balze

Cultures of Italian Migration

Brochure Header Florence

At a Glance

Location: Fiesole, Italy

Program Length: 3 weeks
Arrive on: June 4, 2019
Depart on: June 26, 2019

Georgetown welcomes participation in this course from all qualified university students (non-Georgetown students are welcome) with good academic and disciplinary standing.

Number of credits: 3 credits

Program Description

Surrounded on three sides by water, Italy has long been a zone of transit, refuge, and intercultural encounter. Tourists have visited Italy in large numbers from the mid-17th century to the present while Italians have flowed out - 13 million alone between 1880 and 1915 - making Italy the scene of the largest recorded voluntary emigration in world history. In Cultures of Italian Migrations we will explore this dichotomy, examining cultural delineations of the global, the transnational, and the transatlantic by focusing on Florence and Italy.  Specifically, we will address the three major categories of what scholars call “Italian mobilities": tourism and the “Grand Tour”; emigration from Italy, especially to the U. S.; and the contemporary migration and refugee crisis.

You’ll be hosted at Georgetown’s own Villa Le Balze, where you will analyze perspectives of migration in literature, film, and art to assess the role of migration in Italy’s past and present.

Georgetown Faculty Director(s): Dr. Lori Merish (Associate Professor, Department of English)


In this course students will consider crucial issues in contemporary Italy while examining their own experiences, preconceptions, motivations, and desires as border-crossers and travelers in Italy. Starting with a few theoretical works on travel, cosmopolitanism, and mobility, the course will explore how Italy’s history of migration, travel, and cultural mixing has been recorded and imagined. The course focuses on the period from 1800-present, examining literary text and films that address the following: Anglo-American encounters with, and presence in, Italy; the mass-emigration of Italians in the decades after Italian Unification; and the contemporary wave of immigration to Italy from Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Upon successful completion of the program, students receive 3 GU undergraduate credits for the following course: ENGL-275. This course can count for the English major or minor.  The course also fulfills the Comparative Approaches requirement for Comparative Literature majors, and is can count as an elective for the Justice and Peace Studies major.

Non-Georgetown participants will receive an official transcript from Georgetown for their completion of academic coursework and should discuss transfer of credit with a dean or academic adviser at their home university.


The program includes several organized excursions designed to engage students with major course topics as well as to explore the culture and history of their host country in a direct, hands-on manner. Past excursions have included:
  • Day trip to Prato and Pisa
  • Day trip to Lucca
  • Day trip to Siena


You will live on-site at Georgetown’s historic Villa Le Balze where you will be placed in in double, triple or quadruple rooms with private bathrooms. Visit our website for more information on housing.


All meals are provided and included in the program cost, with the exception of Saturday lunch, Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch. The majority of these meals will be provided at the Villa and prepared by our on-site cooks. We are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and students are encouraged to speak with an advisor if they have any concerns.

Program Cost

The program fee for Summer 2019 is $4,995. This amount, billable to your GU student account, includes: tuition, academic fees, accommodations, some meals, program excursions, local public transportation, and supplemental insurance.  The program fee listed above does not include: airfare to/from your program site, passport and visa fees (if applicable), and other individual expenses.

For more information on total costs of this program, please visit the program's budget sheet


The Office of Global Education awards need-based scholarships on a competitive basis to participants on summer study abroad programs. OGE Summer Scholarship awards range from 20% to 50% of billable program cost and are scaled in proportion to program price and demonstrated financial need. Students who are currently receiving financial aid are automatically considered for this scholarship; there is no application process.

OGE advises students to research and pursue a wide range of available funding opportunities. To find scholarships applicable to your program, browse the scholarships section of OGE’s website.

Commitment and Withdrawal Policy

A student’s commitment to a study abroad program confirms his or her intention to participate in that program.  Students who notify the Office of Global Education of their intention to withdraw from their overseas program after the stated Commitment Deadline will be assessed a withdrawal fee of $300, in addition to all non-recoverable costs that have been paid on their behalf, as determined by the Office of Global Education and its overseas partners.  These costs may constitute as much as twenty-five to one hundred percent of the program fee.

A committed student’s decision to withdraw from a study abroad program is effective from the date on which the Office of Global Education receives a written confirmation of the student’s decision to withdraw.  All withdrawal fees and refundable program costs will be calculated from the date the Office of Global Education is notified in writing of this decision.  No refunds will be given for the education abroad insurance fee.  

Georgetown University is not responsible for indirect costs paid directly by the student including, but not limited to, passport fees, vaccinations, and transportation costs.  Georgetown University reserves the right to cancel programs without prior notification; however, every effort will be made to provide participants with information on cancellations in a timely manner.  In the event of a non-voluntary cancellation, Georgetown University will refund application fees as well as all recoverable program costs.

The Office of Global Education is committed to making study abroad accessible to all interested and eligible students. OGE hopes that students with accessibility needs will pursue study abroad opportunities and use the available support services on campus for assistance and advice when necessary.

With over 200 approved-programs, OGE is confident that you will find a program that fits your interests and goals. Programs offer varying degrees of academic and lifestyle support. Please make an appointment with the OGE advisor specializing in your geographic area of interest to discuss how to best support any special needs you might have on programs that may interest you.

To learn more about the resources for students on campus and also for advice on how to request accommodations overseas, please visit the Georgetown Academic Resource Center’s website. Additional support can be found on the Mobility International website.

Contact Information

Office of Global Education
Car Barn, Suite 210
Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057
(202) 687-5687

Prof. Lori Merish
Department of English
Georgetown University
Washington, DC 20057
(202) 687-7518

Video Course Introduction

Professor Lori Merish introduces her brand new summer course - Cultures of Italian Migration - at Villa Le Balze.

Useful Links

Course Description & Tentative Schedule
Villa Le Balze website

Student Voices

Join Bella for a walking tour of the Villa's grounds from when she studied at the Villa during Summer 2016.

Open Application Deadlines & Dates

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

When applications open, you will see an "Apply Now" button. Please check back at a later date.