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  • Locations: Venice, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer Term 1
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Accommodation: Student Residence GPA Requirement: None
Language of Instruction: English On-Site Staff: BC Faculty Leader, International Student Coordinator
Minimum Language Requirement: None BC Program Type: BC Summer Program
BC Department: Honors, Romance Languages and Literature Summer Course Credit Fulfillment: English major elective, Italian Studies minor elective, Philosophy major elective
Number of Credits: 3 Course Number: ENGL 2280
Program Manager: Shannon Williams
Program Description:
The Program

Venice occupies a special place in the artistic imagination of the west. Rising from the lagoon in a riot of color, form, and texture, the shimmering reflections of Venice incarnate the essence of beauty. This course will study some of the most important ways modern writers and thinkers have discovered in Venice an opportunity to explore and unsettle the traditional meaning that beauty holds for knowledge, art, and life.

sunset in venice

Faculty Leader

Prof. Kevin Newmark


Starting with the post-romantic era, we will focus on how several literary giants refashion the beauty of Venice into a paradox of great richness and complexity.  For Henry James, Thomas Mann, and Marcel Proust, the beauty that is everywhere visible in Venice also possesses a hidden side of risk and peril.  The course will study the specific ways that each of these writers—along with John Ruskin before and Joseph Brodsky after them—reveals Venice to be an imaginary site of powerful tensions, traversed by the competing forces of growth and decay, desire and knowledge, truth and illusion.  The course will also offer students the means for experiencing their own stay in Venice as a valuable source of self-reflection, an intellectual voyage into unfamiliar territory and waters.  To encounter the beauty of Venice fully can open new perspectives on what it means to live, to love, and to understand wherever we find ourselves.

Alongside its central focus on literary masterworks from the modern European tradition, the course will also develop three complementary areas of instruction:  a philosophical context stretching from Plato to Nietzsche and beyond; a cinematic dimension composed of "Summertime," "Morte a Venezia," (Death in Venice) "Don't Look Now," "The Comfort of Strangers," and "Pane e Tulipani" (Bread and Tulips); and a regular supplement of on-site visits to Venice itself—the marvel of its churches, palazzi, museums, pathways, and waterways.

Draft Syllabus: 
The Imaginary City - Why Writers Love Venice_Newmark


Students will be billed for summer programs via their Agora account in early May, and payment is due prior to departure. Any questions related to billing should be directed to Student Services. 

Four separate costs are billed to Agora: 
  • Tuition (3-credit tuition was $2,508) 
  • GeoBlue international health insurance ($50)
  • Program fee ($2,400)
  • Enrollment fee ($45)
Students are responsible for coordinating and paying for their own travel to Venice and budgeting for meals and personal expenses not covered by the program fee. Details on housing and meals is included below.

Please consult our Summer Finances & Scholarships page for additional information on program costs and funding opportunities. 

Housing & Meals

Students will be housed in residence halls at Venice International University on San Servolo with either two or three other students. All students will receive meal vouchers for breakfast and one other meal per weekday. Students should budget for additional food costs.

Cultural Activities

Visits to the following sites are included as part of the program:
  • San Marco Basilica
  • Accademia Museum
  • La Salute Basilica
  • Murano, Torcello
  • Venice by Night Walk
  • Scuola Dalmata (San Giorgio degli Schiavoni)
  • Fortuny Palace
  • Venice Treasure Hunt
  • Giotto Chapel in Padua
  • Welcome and Farewell Dinners
Travel Information

Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from Venice. It is strongly recommended that students arrive to Venice Marco Polo Airport the morning of June 3, as group transportation will be provided from the airport to San Servolo during the morning and early afternoon. 

Application Process

Please click on the Apply Now button on this page to submit an online application to OIP. For detailed information on the application process please visit the Summer Applications & Admissions page


Students with disabilities are encouraged to speak with their OIP Advisors about any concerns or questions they may have about studying abroad.

The Office of International Programs reserves the right to update, change, or cancel any BC Summer program without notice due to unexpected events abroad, curriculum, or enrollment issues.

This program is currently not accepting applications.