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  • Locations: Milano, Italy; Turin, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Budget Sheets: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.25 Language of Instruction: English
Housing: Other Number of Credits Offered: 6
Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate Type of Program: Faculty-led
Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:
Milan Duomo

Italian Media, Society and Culture in Milan

This study abroad program gives students from all majors the opportunity to learn more about Italy, and its rich history and people through lectures and excursions.  People interested in learning about Italian art, politics, culture, society, food, history, film, media, and engaging in intercultural communication daily should consider this trip.

Each day, Monday through Friday, participants are introduced to new elements of Italy, with the goal of having a well-rounded understanding of what it means to be Italian in the 21st century when they return home.  Weekends are free for participants to travel to famous cities like Florence, Rome, Venice, and Verona (home of Romeo and Juliet). 

Italian professors, who are experts in their field, have warmly welcomed participants for 10 years and thoroughly enjoy sharing with us what they know!  All professors are fluent in English and have traveled the world, including the U.S.  They love learning more about who we are, what you we studying, and what we are learning in Italy.

To enhance the lectures, participants engage in numerous excursions weekly.  Participants are guided by English-speaking experts in their field while we learn about the historic city of Turin and the Roman city of Pavia.  We learn about the Black Plague and its importance not only to Milan, but to the world as we know it today.  We have a special visit to see Leonardo daVinci’s The Last Supper, with a guide who knows it intricately. 
One of the favorite days of previous participants is our day-long personal cooking lesson overlooking Lake Como with Chef Moreno!  There, we will learn to cook Italian dishes such as gnocchi and pasta, and will learn how to make tomato sauce from scratch.  This day will change the way you think about food and its place in our culture!

We spend time in Milan experiencing its rich history and remarkable sights.  Much overlooked by tourists, this northern Italian gem boasts some of the best art and exciting world history in Europe.  We have a guided tour of Milan’s art museum where we can see some world-renowned pieces such as a Caravaggio, Raphael, and Mantegna.  We will spend time in the Castello Sforzesco, where we learn about life and treachery in a medieval settlement. 
Yet, some of the most exciting moments in Milan happen when you have time during lunches or after lectures to explore the city!  Whether it’s lunching near the Duomo, having aperitivo by the Navigli, or shopping during the month-long sales, you will find yourself feeling caught up in the excitement that is Milan!

How the program works

This program is worth six credits.  Students and the Faculty Director attend all lectures and excursions together in order to gain a well-rounded understanding of Italy.  The way that the student focuses on his/her main class is through the three, short papers written about their subject.  For example, if you take ARTH 303, your papers will focus on specific art pieces found in Milan.  During the excursions, you will have the opportunity to speak to an expert about those paintings in order to learn more and to write a comprehensive paper.  If you are interested in Media or Film, you will have the opportunity to watch television, to watch films, and to engage with lecturers about these topics.  From these experiences, your research, and your interactions with the experts, you will be able to write a comprehensive paper. 

The program is broken up in to two parts, both equally important. 
  • The first part of the 6 credits (worth 3 credits) is written work.  Each student will write three short papers about their topic area. 
  • The second part of the 6 credits (worth 3 credits) is a creative project.  The student will, depending on his/her course, create a photobook or a video.  The papers and creative project are supplemented by worksheets, textbooks about Italy, and two exams over the lectures in which everyone in the class participates, regardless of course number.

You will learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible when you take this study abroad trip!  This trip is designed to appeal to all majors with an interest in Italy and learning new things!  Please email the Academic Director, Dr. Wright for more information. 

Student Videos

Program Details

Seeking Approval for the Following:

  • Art History (ARTH) 303: National Traditions
  • Art History (ARTH) 398: Study Abroad in the History of Art 
  • Communication (COMM) 307: Field Study in Communication
  • Communication (COMM) 396: Special Topics in MPC Media Production and Criticism Concentration
  • Communication (COMM) 452: Media Production Practicum
  • English (ENGH) 309: Topics in Literature
  • English (ENGH) 362: Global Voices (satisfies Mason core requirement in global understanding)
  • Film and Video Studies (FAVS) 399: Special Topics in Film and Video Studies (up to 6 credits)
  • History (HIST) 398: Historical Study Abroad (up to 6 credits)
  • Honors (HNRS) 122: Reading the Arts
  • Integrative Studies  (INTS) 399: Study Abroad in Special Topics (eg: Fashion)


This program is open to all undergraduate students including students who do not attend George Mason University.


Double or triple occupancy in dormitory style housing

Program Cost $4,770. Summer 2017

  • Tuition (6 credits)
  • Double or triple occupancy in dormitory style housing
  • Daily breakfast and dinner
  • Unlimited metro/bus pass for transportation within Milan during July
  • Walking tour of the area around the University of Milan and student residence
  • Excursions to Lago Maggiore, Castello Sforzesco, National Museum of Cinema, Armani | Silos, Milan Duomo Terrace, and Turin.
  • Personal Guided Tours of the Last Supper, Certosa di Pavia, Pinacoteca, di Brera, city of Pavia, and Milan Black Death Tour.
  • All day Personalized cooking class with Chef Moreno on Lago di Como.
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • International Travel Insurance
Not Included:
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Other transportation
  • Lunches
  • Personal spending

Program Itinerary*

Date Description
1-Jul      Benvenuto a Milano!
2-Jul      Exploring the neighborhood & Getting to know each other
  Welcome dinner at Pizza Pazza (which means Crazy Pizza!)
3-Jul      Milan Market
  Neorealism movie
  Elisa for Italian language lesson.
4-Jul      Luisa Leonini:  Introduction to Italian Society
  Chiaravalle Abbey
5-Jul      Federico Boni: Italian Pop Culture
  Italian Comedy movie
6-Jul      Edoardo Fleischner: Italian Media Landscape
  Italian Giallo
7-Jul      Certosa di Pavia
8 & 9 July Weekend free
10-Jul      Cinema Museum and Fashion Tour in Turin, Italy
11-Jul      Stresa on Lake Maggiore
12-Jul      Castello Sforzesco at Sunset:  Tour of the Covered Street of the Ghirlanda and the Walkway of the Battlements
13-Jul      Armani | Silos
  Pre-symphony gathering
14-Jul      Exam 1
15 & 16 July   weekend free
17-Jul      Religion & History of Milan through the ages, visit Duomo Rooftop Terrace
18-Jul      Dominic Holdaway, PhD from University of Bologna will visit to discuss film
19-Jul      Silvia Mazzucotelli:  Italian Fashion Industry.
20-Jul      Alessandro Uccelli Italian History & Art at the Pinacoteca di Brera. Time, tbd
Jul 21, 22, 23  Long weekend
24-Jul      Massimo Scaglioni:  Italian media System:  Television
25-Jul      Luca Barra:  Italian Music
  Guided tour of the Last Supper
26-Jul      Chef Moreno welcomes us to Il Caminetto
27-Jul      Black Death Tour
28-Jul      Exam 2
  Farewell Dinner
29-Jul      all participants depart Milan 

*Instructor reserves the right to modify the course schedule as needed

Links and Resources

Contact Information

Program Officer

Denise Elles-Mdahuar

Academic Director

Catherine Wright

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.