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UCSC Faculty-led is an academic program that aims to enhance students’ education by incorporating both traditional lectures with experiential learning outside of the classroom setting. Students will earn between 5 and 10 quarter units; therefore, students should expect a rigorous academic coursework that is enriched by both the program’s location(s) and activities. Auditing is not an option.

Students on UCSC Faculty-led programs earn regular UC Santa Cruz course credit which may be used to fulfill degree, major, minor, General Education (GE) requirements. UC Santa Cruz students can use UCSC Faculty-led Abroad courses to fulfill their academic requirements as listed in the General Catalog. Students from other campuses should consult with the academic advisors from their home campuses to determine whether courses taken on our programs may be used to fulfill their specific academic requirements.



Syllabi coming soon! Course overview for ITAL 1 available here. Course overview for ITAL 101 available here.


ITAL 1 (Beginning Italian) - 5 units

Structure, reading, writing, and conversations offer students the opportunity to focus on a greater amount of acquisition of the Italian language. After completing this course, students will be able to communicate in everyday situations such as introducing themselves, shopping for food or clothing, asking for directions, and making reservations, and writing and reading small basic texts in Italian. The course goal is a solid grammatical understanding of the Italian language, listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.

ITAL  101 - Italian Culture through Food - 5 units CC course

This course will explore how the evolution of the Italian culinary tradition and the variety of eating habits reflect the historical and economical changes that took place in Italian society over the most recent centuries. The course will investigate images of food in literary works, in Italian films and great paintings in order to understand how food became an important defining element of “Italianness” in the familiar public imagination. While the core of the course centers on Italian culture and society, we will also look at comparing food culture transnationally. In particular, we will dedicate a section of the course to the Italian-American interpretation of Italian cuisine, as well as exploring the relationships between gender identity and food in both the United States and Italy. 

General Eligibility Criteria

  • Good Academic and Disciplinary Standing at the time of application and every quarter prior to departure
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA or higher at the time of application and every quarter prior to departure
  • Be at least 18 years old by the program start date
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior class standing by the time of departure
  • No previous university-level Italian language.  However, if you have taken Italian 1 and are interested in enrolling in this program, contact Tonia Prencipe to determine if you are eligible:

All applications will be processed first-come, first-served. Students are encouraged to apply early due to limited capacity.


There are no prerequisites for this program beyond the general eligibility criteria.