Coastal in Tuscany - Coastal Carolina University
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Coastal in Tuscany

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Italy is home to several of the world's most significant cultural legacies, and chants who participate in this faculty-led program will explore Italian history and heritage via first-hand encounters with sites and objects that date all the way back to ancient times. The group will reside at Accademia dell' Arte located in the hilltop city of Arezzo, one of Tuscany's oldest and most scenic walled cities. Students will attend classes and grow familiar with local ways of life ( customs, language, theater, history, nightlife, and of course the food!), and faculty will organize co-curricular activities tailored to each course. VPA 103 students will examine the craft and history of music (specifically) and the arts (generally) by attending performances and viewing architecture of the region to gain an understanding of how these spaces helped create the art performed in those spaces.  MUS 410Q students will have the opportunity to perform in Arezzo and will work with the VPA 103 students in modeling various aspects of performance practice. ARTH 398 students will be stunned by the splendor of Italy’s famous frescos, paintings mosaics, and statues. HIST 492 students will trace changes in the country from the ancient Roman Republic and Empire through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Daily life amidst the olive groves is complemented by weekend excursions to Rome and Florence plus day trips to surrounding towns so we can benefit from direct contact with artistic and cultural monuments, thoroughly contextualizing the beauty and history before us. This program positions students to experience Italy under the expert tutelage of accomplished CCU faculty. With ITAL115 students will acquire basic language skills to engage in daily conversations and carry out simple tasks in the target language. In ITAL 310 intermediate level students will further enhance their language skills while learning about current events and engaging in conversations with native speakers.

Physical Requirements: Due to Italy’s natural terrain, a considerable amount of walking (approximately one to three miles per day), at times on uneven surfaces, will be required on each day that involves a field-trip or outing. Religious sites will be visited often as these include or contain some of the country’s greatest treasures. Students will be expected to wear suitable footwear, and on days when we will visit churches or synagogues, to wear modest clothing covering shoulders and midriff, with hemlines not higher than mid-thigh. Most cities and cultural heritage sites in Italy are not ADA compliant. There are few elevators in Italy, and many historic sites have steep stairways and narrow doorways. Regular travel on trains and buses.

Course Information

MUS 410Q and VPA 103 cannot be taken together; and ITAL 115 and ITAL 310 cannot be taken together. Students are allowed to enroll in a maximum of 8 credits.  

ITAL 115 - Italian Studies I
Course Instructor: Arianna Fognani
Credits Offered: 5
Prerequisite: None

This is a hybrid course which introduces students to the Italian language and the many facets of Italian culture. This course also helps students to develop the basic language skills of speaking, listening, and communicating in everyday situations in Italian culture. As a hybrid course, three credit hours are delivered face-to-face and the other two credit hours are via distance learning activities when students return home. Note: Students who enroll in ITAL 115 will be required to complete online work upon return to the United States during the Summer I term. Satisfies Core Goal 5A.

ARTH 398 -  Study Abroad
Course Instructor: Stephanie Miller
Credits Offered: 3
Prerequisite: None

This course immerses students in the art, art history, and design of the host country, introducing them to its visual, cultural, and historical traditions and contemporary practices. Through first-hand experiences and applications, students learn how these traditions and practices compare to those of the United States. This course may be repeatable under different topics for up to 6 credit hours.

VPA 103 – Topics in Fine Arts
Course Instructor: Philip Powell
Credits offered: 3
Prerequisite: None

This course is designed to provide the student with the basic understanding of how the arts critically influence and culturally enhance our everyday experience. Each section will present a variety of modes that are rooted in artistic expression. Topics will draw from one or more of the following disciplines: Created Writing, Music, Theatre, and the Visual Arts.

MUS 410Q – Music Study Abroad
Course Instructor: Philip Powell
Credits Offered: 3
Prerequisite: Music Major

A course requiring travel to a foreign country that prepares students to between understand and evaluate their musicianship though immersion in culture and music. Focus will be on the sociocultural, historical and nationalistic music of a foreign country, including how performance practices differ from those used by musicians and composers here in the US.

HIST 492X1  -  Special Topics: Italian History in Italy
Course Instructor: Brian Nance
Credits offered: 3
Prerequisite: None

This course uses a rich variety of written sources to supplement students’ experiences of historically, culturally, and archaeologically significant sites in country. Students will learn to understand and distinguish six periods of Italian history: Etruscan, Republican, Imperial, Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern.

ITAL 310 - Italian Language Experiential Learning Italian Through Current Events
Course Instructor: Arianna Fognani
Credits Offered: 3
Course Prerequisite: ITAL 115

Taught in Italian, this course explores typical aspects of current Italian life through the analysis of texts taken from contemporary Italian media, cinema, and music. Through a task-based approach, student will have the opportunity to learn about fundamental socio-cultural aspects of Italy by reading and analyzing short passages and to expand their perspective by interacting with local people and attending events. This combination will contribute to build a more complete picture of the changing Italian cultural context as well as gaining invaluable first-hand authentic experiences on site.

Program Leaders 

Arianna Fognani 760 JPEG (Added 10/23/19) MCD Arianna Fognani, Assistant Professor, 843-349-2779
Fognani, a native of Arezzo, completed part of the undergraduate and graduate education in the U.K., France, Egypt and the U.S. In the past she took American college students to different parts of Italy, including Siena (Vassar Summer Program), Urbino (Rutgers Summer Program). In summer 2017 and 2019 she co-led the “Franklin and Marshall immersive program in Tuscany,” where she also taught an intermediate language course. Fognani has extended experiences in teaching Italian language and culture courses adopting authentic material, task-based activities, and encouraging students to critically reflect on their international learning experience.  Fognani received her Ph.D. in Italian Studies from Rutgers University and she is Assistant Professor of Italian in the department of Languages & Intercultural Studies at CCU. Her research has an intercultural perspective and lies at the intersection of the fields of literature, cultural studies, and human geography. She is interested in transcultural subjects’ mobilities and the ways they represent alien spaces in their narratives. Italy and the Mediterranean area are the primary locations of her research.

Phillip Powell(760) MusicPhilip Powell, Professor, 843-349-2515
Dr. Powell is a professor of music and has been a faculty member at CCU since 1998, teaching piano and piano pedagogy. Since moving to South Carolina, Dr. Powell has maintained an active performing schedule with concerts frequently heard on South Carolina Public Radio. Locally, Dr. Powell has performed with the South Carolina symphony Orchestra, the Jupiter Symphony, playing concerto repertoire ranging from Mozart to Gershwin. As a collaborative pianist, Powell has appeared with artists such as Kennedy Center Honors recipient Martina Arroyo, soprano; Ignat Solzhenitsyn, piano; Sungwon Yang, cello; Jasmine Choi, flute; David Jolley, French horn; and Grammy nominated Tinc Thing Helseth, trumpet. He has served as President of the Coastal Concert Association, Music Director of the Musicale de Geneve series and a member of the Board of Directors of the Litchfield Dance Arts Academy and of the Long Bay Symphony. Dr. Powell holds the BMA from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied with Drs. Todd Welbourne and Edward Gates. He also attended the Aspen Summer Music Festival as a student of the late Edith Oppens. Dr Powell holds a Masters of Music from Indiana University, where he was a student of both Karen Shaw, and Shegio Neriki and the Doctorate of Music also from Indiana University where he was a student of the late Michel Block. He has led multiple international trips as part of the Litchfield Class and Life-Long Learning programs.  Dr. Powell first participated in the Coastal in Tuscany program as a mentee in 2016.  He subsequently served as a trip advisor for the Summer 2016 Coastal Small Jazz ensemble tour in the International Jazz Festivals in Montreax, Vienne, and Umbria.  Dr. Powell led the study abroad to Arezzo during Maymester 2017.

‌‌Stephanie Miller(760) Visual ArtsStephanie Miller, Assistant Professor, 843-349-2630
Miller received her Ph.D from Indiana University, specializing in Italian Renaissance art history and her research interests include the tin-glazed terra cotta sculpture of Andrea della Robbia, the living and work arrangements of art producing families of the Italian Renaissance, and the domestic material culture of women and children in early modern Italy.  Professor Miller has traveled to Italy several times for research as well as for numerous study abroad programs at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and CCU.  At CCU, she co-led a program with Easton Selby to Italy (Rome and Florence) for the 2011 Maymester, a month-long program to Florence in Maymester 2013, and most recently co-led the 2016 Arezzo program.

Faculty Profile Photo (760)Brian Nance, Professor, 843-349-2461
Nance earned his PhD in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with specializations in Early Modern Europe and the History of Science. His publications have focused the history of medicine, and specifically on Latin medical case histories from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He teaches a wide variety of upper-level history courses, including a course in Renaissance Europe that focuses heavily on Italian history and culture. He has served as Chair of the Department of History and Director of Graduate Studies for the Edwards College at CCU. Professor Nance lived in Rome for four months in 2008 and has led three previous study abroad trips to Italy. He is the author of numerous publications, including Turquet de Mayerne as Baroque Physician: The Art of Medical Portraiture. Wellcome Series in the History of Medicine (Clio Medica, 64).  Amsterdam and Atlanta: Editions Rodopi, 2001.


Cost to Participate = Program Fee ($3110) + Airfare ($1500 estimated/Purchased by Student) + Tuition (Number of Credits X Tuition Rate)) + Technology Fee (Varies) + Out-of-pocket Expenses ($876)

The tuition for this program is for Maymester term.

Included in Program Fee: Accommodations while in country; most meals; local transportation; planned excursions; and emergency medical insurance.

Not Included in Program Fee:

  • Tuition
  • Airfare (Esimated $1500)
  • Estimated out-of-pocket expenses: $531 for meals, $145 passport cost and $200 for COVID-19 testing (as required for entry/reentry).  
Discounted Tuition for Education Abroad Students: $416/credit
CCU credits  Program Fee Tuition  Technology Fee
Expenses (estimate)
Cost to
3 credits $3110 $1248 $15 $2376 $6749
5 credits $3110 $2080 $25 $2376 $7591
6 credits $3110 $2496 $30 $2376 $8012
8 credits $3110 $3328 $40 $2376 $8854


Payment Schedule

Payment Due Date Amount Due
Deposit Oct. 27, 2021 $300 (refundable until commitment deadline Dec. 4, 2021)
Remaining Program Fee Payment  Feb. 11, 2022 $2810
Tuition and Technology Fee Payment May 7, 2022 Varies (see above)

After acceptance to the program, the payment of the program fee as well as payment of tuition can be made online through WebAdvisor or in-person/by phone through Student Accounts. Tuition charges are distinct and different from program fee charges. Please note that payments made with a debit or credit card will be charged a non-refundable service fee of 2.7 percent. For more information about methods of payment, visit Student Accounts.

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