Study Abroad - Great Cities

Italy • France • The Netherlands • The Czech Republic

December 28, 2017 - January 14, 2018


IAU’s January Term Traveling Seminar is designed for students interested in an academic and cultural experience in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. Students explore major cities across Europe using literature and the arts as a guide to understanding the rise and establishment of the urban setting. Through readings and media studies, students examine the artistic process from inspiration to creation. Site visits and guided tours then allow students to experience the historical, geographical, and demographical foundations that inform the fictional representations of European cities and their impact on perceptions of those cities today. Students have the opportunity to learn from and exchange their observations with experts from IAU as well as distinguished on-site scholars and local guides in order to frame their own perception of the cities and these cities’ representation through the arts.

Students can choose one of the following courses:

  • European Studies 303: Europe and the Urban Space
  • Anthropology 301: The Artist and the City
  • Literature 375: The European City in Literature
  • Communications 375: The European City in the Visual Arts
  • Geography 201: Europe and its Cities


Sites visited include:

  • Italy: Rome
  • France: Paris, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille
  • Netherlands: Amsterdam
  • Czech Republic: Prague

View the 2018 itinerary here. Please note, the schedule is tentative and subject to change. 

About the Professors

Dr. Leigh Smith has lived in Provence since 1999 and has worked in the field of study abroad since 1998, beginning with his first work with the University of North Carolina’s Paris program while still a graduate student.  While working there as on-site assistant to the program director, he met his future wife and eventually returned to France.  He and his wife settled in Provence where their three children were born. He completed his dissertation while abroad and received his Ph.D. in comparative literature. He has since gone on to teach at the Université de Paul Cézanne and at the Université de Provence in Aix and in Marseille.  His first position in Aix was as academic advisor with the American University Center of Provence.  He has taught courses in literature and French culture at the IAU since 2005.  He served as interim director of The Aix Center over the 2008-2009 academic year and assumed the role of Academic Director at IAU in April 2011. 


Dr. Barbara Castaldo (Laurea, Università La Sapienza di Roma; M.A., Columbia University; Ph.D, New York University) specializes in contemporary Italian literature with a doctoral thesis on Italian author Pier Paolo Pasolini (awarded Premio Pasolini in 2009). Her research interests include comparative literature and law and literary scholarship. She has published articles on contemporary Italian authors (Sandro Veronesi, Marco Lodoli, Ennio Flaiano, Pier Paolo Pasolini), and has appeared in a number of TV documentaries and radio interviews for Rai Storia (Italy), Arte TV (France-Germany), Österreich 1 (Austria). She is currently working on a book on Pier Paolo Pasolini’s legal trials and is professor of literature at Loyola College, John Felice Rome Center and ICCS in Rome. She has taught for the IAU J-Term Seminars since 2015.

Program Fees

January 2018: $5,375

All program fees include t
uition for 3 credits, lodging, insurance, entrance fees to all museums and guest lecture venues, Intra-European transportation to and from each city, breakfast daily and some dinners.

Students who enroll in a January Term Seminar and the spring semester in Aix-en-Provence consecutively are eligible to receive a $2,985 grant credited to their spring semester invoice. In order to be eligible to receive the grant, students must participate in the Early Start Program during the week between the end of the January Term Seminar and the start of the spring semester. The Early Start Program allows students to move in with their French hosts a week before the semester begins, receive French language instruction, and participate in local cultural activities! Visit IAU's Scholarship website for additional details. 

IAU College Great Cities J-Term students studying beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
Studying in Paris, France