What’s planned for next year?
The 2014 Summer Language Institute in Castelraimondo will be led once again by our exceptional lecturer in Italian language and culture, Prof. Iva Youkilis. Prof. Youkilis holds an M.A. in Italian from the University of Virginia. She has extensive experience in language teaching and has led our Institute since 2005.
You will have the option to enroll in one of two language courses:
- Italian 1017, Elementary Italian. This is a beginning language course stressing rapid acquisition of spoken ability with some attention to the development of reading, writing, and listening skills as well. It is designed for students with no prior knowledge of Italian or minimal experience in another Romance language. 5 units.
- Italian 2017, Level III. This is our third-semester course, open to students who will have completed Italian 102 and/or 107 before or in Spring, 2014. The course offers an extensive review of basic grammar structures as well as a guided introduction to reading, and lessons in contemporary Italian culture. 5 units.
and you will also enroll in:
- Italian 350, Special Project. The focus here is on Italian culture in all of its richness. You will complete an independent project that will allow you to explore further one aspect of Italian culture that intrigues you. Past projects have ranged from the art of Michelangelo to a day in the life of a street artist, to shoe design in Florence. You will have the opportunity to confer, in Italian, with a local expert in the subject you have chosen, for your oral presentation, which you will deliver (very capably) at the end of the Institute in Italian! One certain source of cultural inspiration in the past three years was the 2-day course led by Prof. William Wallace, Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History at Washington University. Prof. Wallace conducted walking tours of some the greatest cities of the Italian Middle Ages and Renaissance. A highlight of the trip! 1 unit. Check for the surprise itinerary for the next summer!
All students at the Institute will take one of the two language courses plus Italian 350, receiving a total of six units of credit for their five-week course of study.
What are the dates?
The Institute begins following the spring semester and final exams. The 2014 Summer program will begin on May 13 and end on June 16. This schedule offers several advantages:
- The early departure date enables you to fly at lower fares, thereby keeping your travel costs to a minimum.
- We can help keep your costs down through off-season hotel and travel prices within Italy.
- Since the Institute ends in June, you will still have about two months left in which to return home to a job, or to travel around Europe.
- The pleasant weather and fewer tourists make this the ideal time to be abroad.
Where would I be?
The Institute is located in Castelraimondo, a small but lively city in the hills of Marche. This beautiful region of east-central Italy is situated alongside Tuscany and Umbria. Pronounced "lay markay," the name is sometimes translated into English as "The Marches," and it comes from the Frankish word for “frontier.” Tucked between the Adriatic Sea and the high Apennine mountains, much of it remains unspoiled by the ravages of mass tourism. While the Adriatic coast has been a mecca for "sun ’n sand" tourism for centuries, perhaps more so than anywhere else in central Italy, you will find places where time really has stood still. Vast stretches of green hillsides accented with native trees and flowers, centuries-old town and villas will greet you as you travel, providing breathtaking photo-ops and indelible memories.
The history of Le Marche stretches back to Paleolithic times. The Piceni tribes ruled the area starting in the 4th century BC, and were later absorbed by the growing power of Rome. The Franks later conquered the area in the name of the Church. Le Marche then served as the boundary between Papal and Imperial lands, until Napoleon defeated the Papal army in 1860. Le Marche was absorbed into the new nation of Italy shortly thereafter in November of 1861.
The region is famous throughout Italy and the rest of Europe as a leader in the paper, furniture and leather industries and in clothing manufacture, as well as in excellent wine and cuisine, including black truffles, river trout and wild boar. Le Marche is renowned for its many medieval festivals, held throughout the region, and in the beginning of June there is a spectacular event, the Infiorata del Corpus Domini, in our town of Castelraimondo. Castelraimondo also boasts some of the best gelaterie, or ice cream parlors, and its pizzerie never disappoint. Students can thus observe and participate in the Italian lifestyle at its enjoyable best. The cordial citizens of Castelraimondo help make this an ideal city in which to live.
You will of course want to travel elsewhere in Italy during your stay in Castelraimondo, and your schedule will allow you two trips in addition to our planned weekend excursion to Florence. Our weekend begins on Thursday after lunch, at which time you are free to leave town for a few days or stay in Castelraimondo if you prefer. You must be back at the villa in time for late Sunday afternoon classes.
Nearby you’ll find:
- Perugia: 1½ hours.
- Rome: 2½ to 3½ hours, depending on the type of train you take.
- Venice: 5 hours.The seashore: one to two hours.
- And beyond! If your wanderlust demands it, you can find your way as far as Sicily or Paris for a quick look around.
Where would I stay?
Students are housed in the Villa Casabianca, in Castelraimondo. The construction date of the villa is uncertain but its history goes back to 1573 when it belonged to an ancient organization of the Vatican State which owned the property for approximately three centuries. Today the renovated villa is a truly modern facility which offers comfortable, sunny rooms with sufficient closet space, spotless bathrooms, an outdoor swimming pool, indoor gym, plenty of green space, and beautiful views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains. Best of all, the villa boasts an excellent location: quietly situated on the edge of town, it allows easy access to the city on foot or by shuttle. In past years we've enjoyed the privacy of the second floor which we share with no one. Rooms accommodate from two to six people.
Where and what would I eat?
Meals take place in the dining hall at the villa. Meals always provide a warm and informal setting in which to discuss our weekend plans, our classes, and our experiences. The food is plentiful and carefully prepared.
Breakfast is served at around 8:30, lunch at around 12:30, and dinner at around 7:30. A typical menu might include the following, with mineral water and wine served at lunch and dinner:
- Breakfast: tea or caffellatte, slices of Tuscan bread with butter and jelly, home-made cakes, biscotti and many delicious creations with Nutel
- Lunch and dinner are similar: pasta, risotto, soup, polenta-proteins in many forms and shapes (meat, fish, omelettes, cheese), plus salad or vegetables (sliced tomatoes with fresh basil are always a hit) and fruit, if you have room for it
What would my day be like?
The day begins with breakfast, followed by the grammar lesson. After a break, we spend an hour in conversation section. After lunch you are free for the rest of the afternoon. You may choose to spend the afternoon shopping or wandering through town, or you may go to smaller towns in the region, or simply relax in the sun. Whatever you do, you must return to the Villa for dinner. Naturally, you will also have to set some time aside to study. Students often study together and help one another master the material.
How much contact would I have with Italians?
Lots! Classes are held in the morning, and the rest of the time students are encouraged to venture out on their own. Among other reasons, we picked Castelraimondo for the Institute because the city is not frequented by tourists, so when you’re in town you’ll be meeting Italians and talking to them in Italian. Your travels as well will bring you into frequent contact with Italians.
Will there be organized trips?
Ma certo! In addition to our trip to Florence with Prof. Wallace, we’ll spend our last week at the seashore, in Rimini. The June weather is perfect for a trip to the beach, and evenings at the disco (after studying for your final exam, of course) will help you burn off some of your gelato calories.
Amazing! How much does it all cost?
The cost for the 2014 program is $6100 and will include:
- Room and board
- Tuition for six credits
- All expenses for organized trips, including trains, hotels, breakfast and dinner (lunches excluded)
The price does not include airfare, books, or personal spending money. Airline tickets bought far in advance are available at reasonable rates. Students from past summers could help you find the best bargains on travel. A minimum number of students are required for the Institute to take place.
Once accepted, a non-refundable down payment of $750 is due by December 3, 2013.
It sounds fantastic! How do I apply?
Application deadline is November 1, 2013. Please follow the links below to download all necessary forms. Please note that your application is not considered complete unless you have submitted all of the following documents: 1) application form, 2) waiver of responsibility signed by you and your parents/guardians, 3) one recommendation letter, 4) language assessment form from your current or former Italian teacher, if you studied Italian before, and 5) current transcript (nor required for freshmen). Applications received by November 1, 2013 will be given full consideration. After November 1, students will be considered on rolling admissions, as space permits. Once accepted, a non-refundable deposit of $750 is due by December 3, 2013 to secure your place in the program. In addition to financial support students may be already receiving from the University or other sources, the Department has a limited number of small, competitive awards for students with demonstrated financial needs accepted into the Institute. Important note: financial aid will be based on applications received by November 1st. We do not anticipate funds being available for applications received after the deadline.
It sounds fantastic because it is fantastic. Click here to read testimonials from some of our former students.
Your application must include the following:
- A completed application form, available on this website or from the Romance Languages office.
- One copy of your college transcript (freshman: please supply your high school transcript; order it from your high school or consult your college advisor for a copy)
- A signed and dated waiver form
- One letter of recommendation (can also be from high school teacher)
- Italian Teacher Evaluation (printable pdf)
- Italian Teacher Evaluation (online form)
For further information, contact the Director of the Institute:
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