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California State Polytechnic University of Pomona

Italy Study Abroad Program


History of the Program
In 1972, Paolo Barucchieri, then faculty member at the University of Northern Colorado, brought his students to Italy thus initiating the development of a residential study experience.  The first study center was located in a monastery in the Val d’Arno: La Poggerina.  The program continued under the direction of UNC until 1981.  Texas A&M University College of Architecture began participating in 1982 and became the principal founding institute for the study center.  In 1989, the program relocated to Castiglion Fiorentino where the town executed an extensive two-million dollar restoration and adaptive re-use project. This building became the Santa Chiara Study Center, specifically for the use of ItalArt programs. Calpoly Pomona joined the Center in 1993 and has successfully participated every fall quarter since.

Italart is a non-profit cultural association created to administer services and activities at the Santa Chiara Study Center. Italart follows the guidelines determined by Italian law for cultural associations, offering services only to participants. As a student, you will be a member of Italart during the quarter’s residence at Santa Chiara.


Open to senior undergraduates in their 4th year, and 2nd year graduate students who are in good academic standing. Enrollment is limited.  Admission into the program will be based upon grade point average and behavioral history.  The department holds the right to decline acceptance to any individual who does not adhere to the above eligibility requirements.  


General Academic Information
The typical quarter at Santa Chiara includes the following components:

    • Daily class sessions including individual and group projects with students from other universities.
    • Academic studies will address the context of a diverse cultural setting as it brings together the sharing of ideas and experiences.
    • Engagement with the Italian environment and community through local programs and activities.
    • Classes include design, methods, Italian language, watercolor and oil painting.
    • There may be supplementary courses available at additional costs which include stone carving, photography, printmaking, and metal casting.
    • Work study opportunities available.

Students Role
Much time and energy has been invested into the development of this study abroad experience. The goal is that every participant has an enriching and memorable stay at Santa Chiara. Through the years, many dedicated individuals have been involved in the continued success of ItalArt with the cultural enhancement of the students as their primary focus.  The best way to have an enriching experience is to come to the center open-minded. Studying abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience; its success depends on the students to create a positive experience for all who participate. Be involved!!


Santa Chiara Study Center
Santa Chiara operates as a study center, for use solely for ItalArt programs. Thanks to student participation in the program, it is able to continue to offer a unique opportunity for an international schooling experience. Students come from many different universities all around the globe to participate. By providing an environment that brings together the sharing of ideas and experiences, the Study Center accepts each student as a member of ItalArt during the quarter’s residence at Santa Chiara. The original concept behind the development of the study experience in Italy over 30 years ago - which remains the motivation today – is to offer a cross-cultural experience in order to enhance both a historical consciousness and a cultural awareness.



Benefits of Studying Abroad
Global Awareness
It broadens one's horizon and assists an individual in gaining a new perception of other cultures and world affairs. We are living in a global economy, studying in a foreign country will help to gain a global perspective. 
New Experiences
It opens the door to different languages, food, art, and architecture. It provides the opportunity to travel to, and meet new people from other cultures.
Personal Growth
Personal growth is an inevitable part of studying abroad.  Students develop a new sense of confidence, independence, and maturity. 
Scholastic Benefits
Apply these benefits to the field of landscape architecture, and the advantages are twofold. Students gain a fresh perspective on design solutions through coordination with students and faculty from other schools. In addition, exposure to cultural diversity augments the student’s imagination. 
Career Enhancement
As an added benefit, future employers find individuals who have experienced study abroad programs very appealing. They have found these experiences show a students individuality, motivation, and that it enhances their employee’s creativity.


Field Trips
Weekly field trips to significant gardens and historical sites within Italy usually occur each Wednesday.  Many of these trips include a 2-3 hour guided walking tours. Visits to museums focus on artistic, historical, and cultural aspects. There will be afternoon time allocated for sketching and personal exploration of site. Extended trips include visits to Rome and Venice, and will be schedule at various times throughout the quarter.  These trips provide organized accommodations and breakfast for the students and faculty.



Cost of Program
Estimation for the Study Abroad program varies from year to year. Plane tickets are separate. Prices are usually lower if bought in advance.
Various activities and personal weekend trips not included. 



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