For over 20 years, Vassar College, Wellesley College, and Wesleyan University have offered a study abroad program at the University of Bologna in Italy.  The program is committed to high academic standards and to providing opportunities for students to develop their knowledge of the Italian language and culture in one of the most venerable and prestigious academic environments in Europe.


Applications are welcomed from sophomores, juniors and seniors in good standing at their home institutions. To be eligible for the program, students must already have completed the equivalent of at least two semesters of college-level Italian for fall semester or full-year entry; and at least three semesters of college-level Italian for spring semester only.  A “B” average in Italian language courses is required. Students with fewer than four semesters of college-level Italian are required to attend a three-week intensive Italian course ECCO offers in Lecce in the Apulia region of Italy, prior to the beginning of the fall semester in Bologna. The course is a three-week intensive review of grammar and an introduction to Italian culture. Although students with two full years (or equivalent) of college-level Italian may be exempted from the Lecce session, it is highly recommended for all.  Participants are subject to specific requirements laid down by their home institutions for study abroad.

Undergraduates wishing to study humanities, sciences and social sciences may enroll for the fall or spring semester or for the full academic year. Typically, students enroll in one course per semester at the University of Bologna and in two courses offered by the ECCO program.  The University of Bologna offers a wide range of courses in all disciplines.  Students who opt to enroll for a full year may enroll in two courses at the university in the spring semester. Students are guided by ECCO staff and by the Resident Director in their selection of university courses. In addition to university and program courses, students also take an intensive Italian for Academic Purposes course in either September or January and a Writing Workshop course.

Features of the Program

An extensive program of cultural events and volunteer activities is designed to use local resources to introduce students to the local community and enhance their experience abroad.

Accommodation is supplied in University of Bologna student housing.  ECCO students share apartments with Italian or Italian-speaking roommates.