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CLAHS: VT in Rome and Riva
Riva San Vitale, Switzerland; Rome, Italy (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer Session 1
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Budget Sheets Summer Session 1
Fact Sheet:
Language(s) in which classes are available:
English Max credits offered: 06
Language Experience required for admission:
0 none Program Type: VT faculty-led
Minimum Cumulative GPA:
2.5 Areas of Study: Classics, History
College Sponsor: CLAHS Min credits offered: 03
Virginia Tech Steger Center:
Program Description:
VT in Italy

Italy & Switzerland

VT logo

College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences

Field of Study

Classics, History

Program Flyer

Additional Information

Virginia Tech course, VT faculty led, VT credit (3-6 cr.)

Italy & Switzerland
Rome & Riva San Vitale
Summer I 2017


Study Roman History for two weeks this summer in Switzerland and Rome. The first week we are based at Virginia Tech’s 200-year old Villa Maderni in Riva San Vitale, Switzerland. Riva is located in Italian speaking southern Switzerland, a few miles away from the Italian border. The second week we are based in Rome and we study the ancient, Renaissance, and modern city, and the in between.
This course examines the history of Rome and its influence in creating and shaping Europe. In particular, the course examines the city of Rome and its influence on one Roman province, the region of modern Switzerland. Though often at great distance from Rome, the capital of the empire, provinces regularly displayed Roman forms of architecture, art or other clear signs of Roman presence. We understand Rome better and indeed more correctly when we look at how life was lived in the Roman empire not just in the big city but in the smaller towns and provinces far away.
Class time is 24/7, almost. Students will be required to attend every class (held in the classroom, held on site, held on buses). Debriefing sessions will occur most nights during which we will recap the day's learning and preview the next day's activities. Handouts, maps, etc. will be distributed during these times. Textbooks will be posted closer to our departure date.
Tentative plans include study in Riva San Vitale and Rome, and further study, site visits, and trips:
  • Explore and study the three medieval castles of Bellinzona, Switzerland.
  • Follow the Roman route across Lake Lugano & study the history of Lugano.
  • Visit the Roman town of Como (home to George Clooney!)
  • Recreational activities in Riva: swim in Lake Lugano, climb Monte San Giorgio.
  • Study the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Pantheon, the Circus Maximus, Trajan’s Column, the Campidoglio and museums, St. Peter’s, and much more
  • Study Roman history, literature, and art.


Villa Maderni in Switzerland
In Riva San Vitale, students stay at Virginia Tech's Steger Center for International Scholarship (Casa Maderni, a 200 year old villa). In Rome, we stay at Grand Hotel Palatino.

Students will purchase their own airfare to Milan Malpensa and home from Rome. A chartered bus will pick us up at the airport in Milan (included). In Riva, we will visit sites either by train or by chartered bus (included). Travel to Rome from Riva will be by chartered bus (included). In Rome we will walk (be prepared) or use the buses or subway.


No prerequisites; open to all majors. Students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5. Contact faculty program leader for exceptions.


Participants will earn 3 semester hours of Virginia Tech academic credit for:
CLA 3954: Rome, Past, Present, and Future (3 credits).

By substitution/permission of your advisor, this study abroad course may be counted as Area 2 or 3 or 7.

There is an optional 3 credit pre-course, available to those who need to do six credits in the session in order to qualify for financial aid. The pre-course is not mandatory. If you need to do the pre-course, please contact Trudy Harrington Becker ( or Andrew Becker ( The pre-course will be done on-line and does not require residence in Blacksburg.


Program Fee

Estimated program fee is $3200. This includes:
  • Program fees
  • Room and board in Riva
  • Travel by bus and train
  • Hotel rooms and some meals in Rome
  • Entrance fees for most museums and archaeological sites
  • Guides at sites
  • Tours of sites
The program fee does not include VT tuition and airfare to/from the USA.

University Tuition & Fees

Tuition and university fees are billed separately from the program fee according to University Bursar policy. See here for credit hour rates for the appropriate term:

Program Leaders

Trudy Harrington Becker,
Senior Instructor and Associate Chair,
Department of History
Winner of the Alumni Award for Teaching Excellence, plus awards for undergraduate mentoring and international initiatives.

Andrew Becker,
Associate Professor & Associate Chair,
Deparment of Foreign Languages and Literatures
Program in Classical Studies, winner of the Wine Award for Teaching Excellence, plus awards for undergraduate advising and international initiatives.

Contact Information

Dr. Trudy Harrington Becker
431 Major Williams Hall
(540) 231-1733

Dr. Andrew Becker
Foreign Languages and Literatures
337 Major Williams
(540) 231-5362

Dates / Deadlines:
There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
This program is currently not accepting applications.

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