The University of Parma dates back to the 10th century, making it one of the oldest universities in Europe. Today, nearly 25,000 students are enrolled in the university’s ten faculties. Most of the departments are in the downtown area of the city, equipped with modern scientific laboratories, a foreign language center, and sports facilities.
BC students may study at the University for a semester or full academic year. The University offers a wide range of courses across disciplines as well as internship opportunities. Courses are taught in Italian with a small number of subjects offering courses in English.
The BC in Parma program offers two tracks based on Italian language proficiency. Students who have below an Intermediate II level of Italian participate in the Istituto Dante Alighieri track, while those students who have a level of Intermediate II Italian or above will participate in the University of Parma track. More details are available in the program presentation at this link
. Both program tracks will start the semester in Florence, where you will meet the BC resident directors and begin the Art History course. Fall semester students will stay in Florence for three weeks and Spring semester students will stay for two weeks. At the end of the stay in Florence a private bus will pick the group up and transport you together to Parma.
BC Resident Director - BC in Parma
Assistant BC Resident Director
Strada Dell'Universita, 12
Academics & Support
Students enrolled in the University of Parma will take 5 total courses per semester including the mandatory Art History course offered during orientation in Florence and the mandatory Italian course offered at Centro Lunguistico at the University of Parma.
In addition each student will select two courses at the University of Parma after arrival. The BC resident directors will assist you with this process, it is not possible to register for these courses prior to arrival. Finally, each student chooses one of the BC courses offered at the Dante Alighieri school with the English track students. You may substitute one of the University of Parma courses for an internship offered through the university with an academic component, which would be organized by a professor and including reading lists, weekly reports and a final project.
A list of University of Parma courses is available here
- Fall Term: Starts in mid-September and ends in mid-December.
- Spring Term: Starts in early-January and ends in mid-June.
While you are in Florence for the Art History course, you will live in shared rooms in a downtown Florence hotel. All hotel rooms have a private bathroom, TV, air conditioning and heat and a telephone. The hotel includes free wi-fi. You will be in double or triple rooms, and have breakfast and dinner at the hotel. Room and board during the early start program in Florence is covered by your BC tuition.
In Parma, you will either live with a local family or in an apartment shared with other BC students. Students complete a Housing Preference Form upon application to the program and housing placements are made by the BC resident directors. They will inform you of your housing placement before you arrival in Italy. The apartments are completely furnished; some also have laundry facilities, a television and DVD player. All lodgings have wireless internet connection, bed sheets, blankets, bathroom towels and kitchen equipment.
The apartments are usually located 10-20 minutes by bus or bike from the city center, supermarkets and some shops are within walking distance.
If you are living in an apartment meals are not included. You will be responsible for your own meals. The kitchens in the apartments are fully stocked with cooking tools and most students shop and cook together. If you are living with an Italian family, you will have a partial meal plan.
The BC resident directors organize monthly activities for you. Typical BC excursions include a weekend in Torino for culture and wine tasting, a trip to Venice for the Carnival, a day trip to Verona, evenings at the opera, a weekend in the Alps, historic tours of museums and libraries, castle visits, and visits to a Parmesan cheese factory.
Other opportunities include:
Cooking Course — A highlight of the program is the weekly cooking course at Chef Anna's home where students learn how to make Italian dishes, such as Risotto alla parmigiana, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Pollo al Marsala and Tiramisu. The cooking course, taught in Italian, is another opportunity for students to practice their Italian. At the end of the lesson our chef Anna serves a full dinner. This is a non-credit course.
EN ASSI Association
— ESN ASSI is a student association welcoming foreign students to Parma, which organizes weekly activities, field trips and parties. Each BC student will receive a membership card, which gives discounts in many shops and clubs in town. Through the Association students can meet people from all over Europe.
Tandem Project — A language exchange between a BC student and a University of Parma Italian student with the purpose of improving each other's language. The project will enable you to talk with you tandem partners about different issues thus facilitating awareness of various differences between Italian and American culture. The project is a wonderful way to discover the city in the company of Italian students and to practice Italian. The Tandem Project is mandatory and a weekly report in Italian is required.
Volunteer Jobs — Parma offers a great number of associations where students can participate in volunteer activities. According to a student's interest and previous experience the BC resident directors can find opportunities. Previous students have volunteered with the Red Cross and Civil Protection, worked with immigrants (CIAC and Pane e Vita association) or with children (Children's Hospital, Samarcanda).