The University of Chicago Bologna program lets undergraduates live for nine months in the medieval/modern city of Bologna while studying at the venerable University of Bologna, Europe’s oldest university, founded in 1088. The program is operated by the Bologna Consortial Studies program (BCSP), comprised of eight universities: Chicago, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Northwestern, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. It begins in September with an orientation session built around an intensive language review. Once the academic year begins, students take a combination of University and program courses, taught in Italian.
Bologna is the capital of Emilia-Romagna, northeast of Tuscany. It was at one point the fifth most populous city in Europe, and an industrial powerhouse. Recognizable by its rolling hills and red roofing, present-day Bologna’s historic center retains much of its signature Medieval architecture, and architectural treasures such as the spectacular Basilica of St. Dominic. Bologna is also celebrated as one of Italy’s great food capitals, known for its signature pastas, cured meats, and excellent gelato.
Bologna is also one of Italy’s major train hubs, forming the crossroads between Italy’s major metropolitan centers, making it easy to travel for a day or weekend to Florence, Rome, Venice, Milan, or any of Italy’s historic cities.
Students in the Bologna Consortial Studies Program (BCSP) take a combination of BCSP and University of Bologna courses, directly enrolling in classes corresponding to their area of study. All courses are taught in Italian, predominantly lecture-style, and the oral exam prevails. This language-intensive program may appear daunting, but BCSP students receive support from an on-site Resident Director and Student Services Coordinator.