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Study abroad in Africa

Italy: Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Justice (HECUA)


Todd Heidt

Director, Eleanor Stellyes Center for Global Studies

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Live and study at the intersection of food politics, sustainability, and culture on a working farm in Tuscany. Italy is the birthplace of the Slow Food movement. Unpack the movement's motto of 'good, clean, and fair food' on the farm and with producers, processors, food activists, and consumers across the region. 

In much of the world, industrial food systems provide plentiful and relatively cheap food, a convenience that comes with steep environmental and social costs. HECUA’s exploration of culinary culture and food production in Italy offers an alternative, taking students behind the scenes in the Chianti region, an area known for its innovative organic farming and organice wine production. Students see how Italian and European agricultural policy, business practices, and financial structures affect workers and their communities.

Students live and study in Greve in Chianti, a town located about 31 kilometers south of Florence, in Tuscany. Students observe how Tuscans define sustainability and are working toward it. Students gain direct experience with food systems, rural Italian culture, and policy through an internship at a nearby farm, school, or other local organization. Students live together in shared apartment-style housing and receive a food stipend to prepare their own meals. In addition to the immersive coursework and concurrent internship, students complete a guided individual study project. Italian language instruction each week can accommodate all levels of proficiency. Students also have the option to participate in the “English for Pasta” program, a language and cooking exchange opportunity with local Italian families.

At the beginning of the semester, students receive intensive instruction in basic Italian (or other levels for those with previous experience). For the first six weeks of the program students split their time among Italian language courses, classroom seminars and field visits. Finally, students complete a guided independent study project on a topic that deeply interest them. 

Learn more about the Italy: Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Justice program.

Credits - 4.5 for successful completion of the semester - Fall ONLY

Advisor: Professor Katherine Adelsberger

Click here for more information about the application process, program selection, and more!

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Printed on Monday, May 23, 2022