Overview | Academics | Cost | Location | Life Abroad | Student Voices | Apply
Discover Bologna, a classically distinct, medieval Italian city, where your academic and social life meets opportunity and variety. Walk in the footsteps of world greats and study at Europe's oldest university, the University of Bologna. Founded in the late 11th century, it is also Italy's top-ranked university. You know those guys - Dante, Petrarch, Copernicus? Yeah, they studied here. The 100,000 Italian and international student population at the university turns Bologna into a vibrant city, like a college town with deep historical flair.
Put your Italian language skills to the test with the Bologna Consortial Studies Program (BCSP), an exchange program between the University of Bologna and a consortium of U.S. universities which includes UW-Madison. To fully immerse yourself in the Italian culture and improve your language skills, spend your academic year or semester engaged in courses with Italian students at the University, and other BCSP participants in consortium classes. If you are at an advanced level of Italian language skill, and want a true Italian university experience, this program is ideal.
Bologna, an elegant city with a population of almost half a million, is the capital of the wealthy and progressive region of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy. Excellent transportation links make it an ideal base for travel. Venice and Milan are two hours away by train; Ravenna and Florence, just an hour. An ancient city settled by the Etruscans, Bologna maintains its character and charm where medieval towers and churches loom over the porticoed streets and terra-cotta buildings of the central section. The program's BCSP office is located near the Piazza Maggiore in the center of the city.
Interested in learning more? Contact Street, an IAP Peer Advisor who participated on the program.
Not sure where Bologna is? See it on a map here.
With a population around 380,000, Bologna is just the right size - small enough to project a friendly and intimate character yet large enough to support a rich cultural life. The city is brimming with music and art, both modern and classical (the opera house is among the best known in Italy), museums and churches containing masterpieces by Raphael and Michelangelo, and regular exhibitions of contemporary art. Bologna has never become a tourist center and, consequently, maintains a distinctively Italian character.
Getting to Your Program
You will make your own travel arrangements consulting the program handbook for further arrival information.
An Italian student visa is required. Indiana's Office of Overseas Study will provide instructions for applying for a student visa from the Italian consulate. U.S. citizens must have a U.S. passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program. If you are not a U.S. citizen, contact your Study Abroad Advisor for guidance.
You are advised NOT to leave the U.S. for any international travel up to three months before the program begins as your passport must be turned over to the consulate for visa processing. If you must be out of the country more than a couple of days prior to the program start date, there is no guarantee that the consulate will process the visa in time for your departure.
IAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
Your first week in Bologna will be filled with activities designed to help you get acquainted with each other and feel comfortable in your new surroundings. These will include a tour of Bologna; selection of apartments and roommates; group meetings to give you instructions on registering for your Permesso di soggiorno; getting acquainted with University of Bologna academic procedures; written and oral language placement examinations; other practical information; and a tour of the University.
Upon arriving in Bologna you will be housed for up to two weeks in a pensione with program participants in central Bologna. With the assistance of the program, you will locate an apartment in Bologna and, as a requirement of the program, share an apartment with Italian students. Before you depart, you will receive the BCSP Housing Guide to assist you in your search. Apartments are generally furnished and have kitchen appliances. Meals at the student cafeterias cost approximately five Euro. You have the option to cook your own meals and will have access to many grocery stores and outdoor markets. More housing information is available on the BCSP site
Excursions and Activities
During the year BCSP will arrange excursions to cities of interest such as Ravenna, Urbino, Padova and a two-day trip to Tuscany. These trips usually include orientation by a guide and a group meal at a restaurant typical of the area. Trips are included in program fees. There is no refund for if you choose not to participate. The program also organizes pizza parties, a Thanksgiving dinner and other social activities.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees. You must also purchase Italian insurance as part of the visa application process.
On-site support is provided by Resident Director, Dr. Andrea Ricci, and Student Services Coordinator, Danielle Di Leo. Dr. Ricci holds office hours, conducts academic advising, and meets with students individually to answer questions and help with academic concerns. Ms. Di Leo leads you through the process of finding housing; provides information on extra-curricular activities, health related issues, and student needs; and can assist you with daily challenges you may face while living in Bologna.
Use the links below to find out more information on academics, daily life and student impressions for this program.BCSP Handbook
(Year - 2013-14)Bologna, Italy Academic Notes
(Spring - 2013-14)BCSP Handbook
(Spring - 2013-14)
How to Apply
First complete the IAP Online Application. The following supplemental application materials will become available to you through the application portal:
IAP Foreign Language Report
IAP Statement of Responsibility: 1 Original
Unofficial Transcript - OPTIONAL - Additional File
Forms are subject to change. Complete the forms according to the checklist provided to you in the online application portal.
After the Deadline
IAP will review your application and make the final admissions decision. You will be notified of the admissions decision via email.
Located within the old city is the University of Bologna, Europe's oldest institution of higher learning and Italy's top-ranked university. Founded at the end of the eleventh century, it developed initially as a law school but soon afterward established its ancient tradition of humanistic studies. The University of Bologna played host to greats such as Copernicus, Dante, Petrarch, and Tasso, all of whom studied here.
After arrival in Bologna, the academic program begins with an on-site orientation. You’ll begin a 3-credit pre-session course to improve your command of Italian language so that you can linguistically manage in a classroom with native Italian speakers. You will also learn about Italian culture and become familiar with the history, architecture, art, and cultural heritage of Bologna, the university, and its surroundings. The language classes, taught by University of Bologna faculty, focus on development of oral skills, study skills, and grammar, as well as provide general background knowledge of Italian culture and history.
When each semester of the academic year begins, October (fall) / February (spring), you’ll enroll in a combination of BCSP and University of Bologna (UB) courses. BCSP courses are arranged for program students and offer subject areas in: Italian literature; language, culture; art history; film studies; and contemporary politics and history. Enrolling at UB with Italian students, you will be able to select courses from the following subjects: Italian literature; anthropology; art and archeology; classics; film; history; linguistics; political science; psychology; sociology; theater and drama; and comparative or foreign literature. All program and university courses are taught in Italian by University of Bologna faculty.
You are required to take a minimum of 15 credits during the fall semester (including the 3-credit pre-session course). Two of your courses will be BCSP courses, including the required Advanced Course in Italian Language and Society, plus one additional content course. During the spring semester you will also take a minimum of 15 credits. At least one course will be BCSP. Over the course of the year you will take at least three UB courses (usually 6 credits each).
You are required to take a minimum of 15 credits during the fall semester (including the 3-credit pre-session course). Two of your courses will be BCSP courses, including the required Advanced Course in Italian Language and Society, plus one additional content course. You will take 1-2 UB courses (usually 6 credits each).
You are required to take a minimum of 15 credits during the spring semester (including the pre-session language course). You will take a combination of BCSP courses and at least 1-2 UB courses (usually 6 credits each).
Universita di Bologna
Program Web Page(s)
BCSP - Indiana University
Bologna Consortial Studies Program
BCSP Course Information
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
Sort by Foreign Course Titles
Sort by UW-Madison Course Titles
Group by host institution and Sort by Foreign Course Titles
Group by host institution and Sort by UW-Madison Course Titles