Page 1


Bologna! •



Overview • Courses (Selection)/Academics • Local Culture/Customs/Appropriate and Inappropriate Behavior • Living Abroad • Health and Safety • On-Site Staff


• Visas/Flights • Using Dickinson Resources Abroad • Mail Room • Library Resources

• Accessing Money • Communication • Traveling • Q&A


How to waste your study abroad experience • Speak English all the time • Hang out with American friends whenever possible • Use each weekend to travel to the farthest points of Europe • Don’t take advantage of opportunities provided to you by Dickinson or by the Italians you meet • Don’t take your coursework seriously


The Ugly American?


How to take advantage of your time abroad? Challenge yourself to:

• ...speak Italian even when you don’t want to • locally and eat local foods • research before you travel • as many Italians as you can • ...take advantage of all opportunities • ...besides travel, learn as much as you can about Italians and Italy!


The Italian Track • Housing • Extracurricular Activities • Excursions • Civic Engagement Projects • Hobbies and Sports • Language Partners




• Choose courses on-site in Bologna • Take courses at Dickinson Center in Bologna • Academic year students have the option of doing an internship and/or taking a class at John’s Hopkins SAIS in Bologna • Must take 4 courses in Bologna • Must maintain a “C” for credit at Dickinson • Dickinson Center course grades count in GPA • All other course grades do not count in GPA, but will show on transcript


Academic Accommodations • Speak to Marney Jones now to discuss your specific situation and how to adapt to studying abroad • Italy is not the United States so accommodations are not made at the Italian university • This should not discourage you from studying there • Some accommodations may be available for students with disabilities at the Dickinson Center, but this is not guaranteed.


Ordering Books • There are many places you can find used texts (remember that Bologna is a university town!) • Ordering textbooks , Amazon UK and the Dickinson Center has used copies. • = InternetBookshop (great Italian site)


UniBo tips • Students never eat food in class or wear hats in class. • Italian university classes have the "quarto d'ora accademico," which means that classes start 15 minutes after the official time • Keep your ID to use for discounts throughout city • The copisteria: for courses' notes, professors handouts, power-points, syllabi. • It's important to locate the professors' offices: for avvisi, appelli d'esame, orario di ricevimento, changes of lesson's times.


Formality • Always use the “Lei” form with your professors (or staff) at UniBo or at the Dickinson Center. • Never use the very informal abbreviation – “Profe.” • “Ciao” is very informal and should not be used with professors (use “Buon giorno” or “buona sera”). • These rules apply with anyone fairly older than you (i.e. someone you meet at a supermarket or on the street).



Various Cultural Tips • Italians never leave tips. • You should always keep your receipt (scontrino) when you buy something. • Italians use Trip Advisor (not Yelp). • Never have a cappuccino after lunch. • Italian breakfast is sweet: croissant and cappuccino is the typical combination, often they have cookies as well (definitely no sausages) • Salad is always eaten at the end of a meal.



Language • Most people will speak English in the major cities • Do your best to use your Italian (even if you may feel hesistant or even frustrated) • “Sono qui per imparare l’italiano. Può ripetere lentamente, per favore?” • You are powerful: many Italians ADORE Americans who speak Italian.



Clothing • In general, Italians tend to dress up more than Americans. They do not leave their houses wearing sweatpants, sweatshirts, flip-flops, or a Tony Soprano robe etc. • You don’t have to change your entire wardrobe, but keep in mind that if you are not properly dressed/covered you may not get into some places (i.e. Churches or some fancy places).



Italian Food • Every town has its own local ingredients and products (know what they are) • Bologna is famous for its cuisine • Research places and ask Italians where to eat • Avoid places where turists go • Always eat Italian in Italy and try new foods even if you didn’t like them before!


Slow food vs. Fast Food • Slow Food is a grassroots organization founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986. It has since spread worldwide. • Slow Food began with the founding of its forerunner organisation, Arcigola, in 1986 to resist the opening of a McDonald's near the Spanish Steps in Rome. In 1989, the founding manifesto of the international Slow Food movement was signed in Paris, France by delegates from 15 countries.


• At its heart is the aim to promote local foods and traditional gastronomy and food production. Conversely this means an opposition to fast food, industrial food production and globalisation.


Opportunities • Host family to eat dinner with once per week • Babysitting Italian children • Tutoring and USP for those going to UniBo • Language Partners • Work study at the Dickinson Center • Talk to the staff at the Dickinson Center!


Housing • Apartment style housing • Located a short distance from the Dickinson Center • Homestays



• Receive bi-weekly food stipend • Grocery shopping in Bologna and cooking • The University mensa is very good, cheap, and Italian students go there. • Eating out in Bologna is easy and can be inexpensive • Remember what you learned in class for when and what to eat!


Aperitivo Note that aperitivo italiano is NOT a “Happy Hour”. In fact, if you ever see an Italian bar advertising “Happy Hour,” you know it must cater to a lot of tourists. One should practice saying, “Let’s go get an aperitivo” or “Prendiamo un aperitivo.” Happy Hour in the U.S. is a concept about getting a drink “discount” and drinks and/or appetizers are usually discounted or bundled together.


No word in Italian for ‘hangover’ Aperitivo is a pre-dinner drink, meant to “open” the palate and it gives you a chance to socialize, relax, and nibble as dinner approaches or is overlooked altogether. Ask a local for the best aperitivo restaurant or bar to find the one in the town you’re in (usually from 7-9pm).





• Walking and biking are the best ways to get around Bologna (covered city!) • Using the buses is very easy • Taxis are pretty inexpensive and very helpful • Trains are awesome and easy to use • Airport is located 25 minutes outside of Bologna



• You’ll be tempted to travel to every European city during your weekends. That’s what longer breaks are for. • Visiting other cities is fine, but strike a balance • Italy is not the US – Italy has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any country in the world! • A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which has been officially recognized by the United Nations. Sites are selected on the basis of having cultural, historical, scientific or some other form of significance


• Planned excursions (2 per semester) • Very easy to travel around Italy and Europe from Bologna • Use longer breaks for longer distances: Fall break, Thanksgiving break, and Spring break.


Trenitalia • The main train company in Italy is Trenitalia. Trenitalia has two types of trains: high speed trains, called Le Frecce (Freccia Rossa and Freccia Argento) and commuter trains. It's important to notice that for high speed trains (le frecce) the earlier you purchase your ticket the higher are the chances that you will find a good deal, so you shouldn't wait until the last minute to make your travel plans, if possible. You can view Trenitalia train schedules and purchase tickets at


Italo (train) • There is also a second train company in Italy, called Italo, which has only high speed trains. Italo trains can be cheaper than Le frecce, so you should compare prices before making a purchase. However, the routes covered by Italo trains are limited, so not all cities are reachable with Italo. You can view Italo train schedules and purchase tickets at


Patience and a New Normal

• Public transportation in Italy can be unreliable (late or strikes) • Italy doesn’t really have stores like CVS or Target, so it takes time to figure out how to get everyday items • Many stores open at 10am. Many (including grocery stores) are closed on Sunday. • Bologna is a student-friendly city: late mornings, late nights.


Healthcare in Bologna

• There is an English-speaking doctor that serves Dickinson students in Bologna • Be proactive about continuing your current healthcare abroad (i.e. Prescription medications, treatment, mental health wellness) – Contact Dickinson now if needed. • Homesickness? • NB: All these issues will be covered at the General Orientation.


Safety Tips • Never walk alone at night • Try to keep iPhones and other electronics out of sight • Keep wallets and money deep inside your bag (walking or public transportation) • Keep personal belongings with you at all times


• Professor Bruno Grazioli, Resident Director of Italian Studies

• Clarissa Pagni, Associate Director

• Ellen Laird ’02, Program Associate


Update from Bruno

Attendance Policy Every student is expected to attend all scheduled class sessions on time and be thoroughly prepared for the day’s class activities. Dickinson-in-Bologna instructors compile regular attendance records for every course and take these records into account when evaluating student participation and overall course performance. Dickinson-inBologna faculty tolerate reasonable, but limited absences not to exceed more than five contact hours (= classes) of accumulated absences in any given course due to personal travels, transport delay, and other related impediments. No documentation is required for such absences.

In this course, the following attendance policy applies:A maximum of two days of accumulated absences due to sickness, personal emergency, inevitable transport delay and other related impediments will be tolerated. • Your final course grade will drop one full letter grade (e.g. A+ to B+) for missing three days of class, regardless of the reason for the absence. • Your final course grade will drop one full letter grade (e.g. B+ to C+) for missing four days of class, regardless of the reason for the absence. • Your final course grade will drop one full letter grade (e.g. C+ to D+) for missing five days of class, regardless of the reason for the absence. • If your absences exceed five days of class, you will automatically fail this course.

Absences due to sickness or medical emergencies may will be excused separately only if properly documented. Late arrivals or early departures from class, sleeping or causing disruptions in class or during class activities can result in being marked absent from class. Furthermore, to comply with immigration and financial regulations, you must maintain full-time student status for the duration of the semester. Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress or full-time student status may result in academic probation.

Important Dates Inizio / Fine lezioni: 4 febbraio / 24 maggio.

Gite Gite: la prima gita (forse Napoli e Sorrento) sarĂ di 2 notti/3 giorni dal 31 gennaio al 2 febbraio (tra orientation e inizio delle lezioni). La seconda gita (probabilmente Padova e Vicenza) sarĂ  di una notte il primo o secondo weekend di maggio. Day trips: vorrei farne uno o due e saranno sicuramente di sabato, ma ancora non ho date.

Feste e Breaks Feste e breaks: a parte 25 aprile e 1 maggio, ci saranno due lunghe pause durante il semestre: Spring break: da venerdĂŹ 8 marzo (dopo le lezioni) a domenica 17 marzo Easter break: da venerdĂŹ 19 aprile (dopo le lezioni) a domenica 28 aprile

Cultural Activities Cultural activities: opera al teatro comunale (Traviata e/o Barbiere di Siviglia), workshop di ceramica a Faenza, forse volontariato a Food for Soul di Milano.

Using Dickinson Resources Abroad


Mailroom • When you’re abroad, you won’t receive any mail in your HUB box • You receive your mail at the Dickinson Center in Bologna


Library Resources • Very easy to access library resources • Save articles you find in databases and through Jumpstart as PDFs • Dickinson Center has a library • Iliad and library Skype sessions


Accessing Money • Every 2 weeks, students pick up stipend at designated bank in Bologna • ATMs and banks around the city to withdraw cash • Possible to use credit and debit cards in Bolognakeep in mind fees associated with using card • Before you depart: tell your bank and/or credit card company of your study abroad plans


Credit Cards in Italy • American Express is not widely accepted. • Keep in mind that there are many more places in Italy than in the USA that simply don’t accept credit cards. • Look into getting a card that does not have foreign transaction fees.


Foreign Transaction Fees • Call your credit card companies and banks ASAP to inquire whether they have foreign transaction fees. • IMPORTANT: Charles Schwab online banking (ATM) reimburses for all fees in the USA and abroad. • s_account

• You will get the best exchange rates if you use an ATM w/o foreign transaction fees.


Communication • Wifi

• In general, wifi in Italy is not very good • Public wi-fi available in main squares and libraries • Dickinson Center and all apartments have wifi

• Phones

• Program staff requires all students to have a cellphone in Bologna • Options: iPhone with sim card or flip phone with texting and calls


During the Winter Break... • Buy a travel book on Italy and/or Bologna! • Brush up on grammar with some of the Moodle exercises from 231. • Brush up on vocabulary with Quizlet (Avanti, 201 and 231 lists are all still up). • Check out the Mixxer! • Explore the many media sites on Al di là del ponte.


Al di là del ponte • • • • •

TV ( Radio (Radio Italia) Podcasts (America 24) Newspapers (Metronews)


Website for students of Italian Studies


Any Questions?


Advising for Courses


Italian Studies Program - Pre-departure orientation - Fall 2018  
Italian Studies Program - Pre-departure orientation - Fall 2018