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Programs : Brochure

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Program Information:


  • Learn about urban design in the heart of Italy's ancient city of Rome
  • Visit the famous area of Rome called Ostia Antica and participate in other excursions around Rome

  • Earn 9 credits while taking two exciting courses uncovering Rome's history and architecture

  • Missed the info session? View the presentation here!



Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River, within the Lazio region of Italy. Rome's history spans over two and a half thousand years.

Rome offers several specific development sites which encompass Roman and non-Roman cultural groups, as well as challenges in integrating new urban-scale development within heritage sites in a sustainable way.


You will live in apartments with one or two other students on the program.


You are responsible for making your own transportation arrangements to Italy and back.

Transportation on program-related field trips while in Italy is provided as part of the program fee.


  • Course: ENVD 3009-841: The Layers of Rome: A Survey of Architecture, Building and Construction Methods (3 credits) and ENVD 3009-842: Urban Site Analysis and Design (6 credits)
  • Credits: 9 upper-division credit hours
  • Approved for: Earn 9 total credits that can count as your Praxis requirement (ENVD 3300 Studio and ENVD3330 Seminar) OR ENVD 4100 or ENVD4300 and three upper-division ENVD elective credits.   Also approved to fulfill 3 credits of Engineering Humanities/Social Science credit.
  • Grading: This is a CU Boulder course, so you will receive letter grades
  • See course descriptions:

This global seminar offers you an opportunity to undertake complex site analysis and pre-design in a complex global city. This program is designed for ENVD students in their third or fourth years and will count as the required 9-credit Praxis experience. It is also appropriate for Engineering students, particularly Civil Engineering students who have completed their sophomore year. The program is open to students of all majors; students from other departments should speak with their Academic Advisor about what kind of credit they can earn.

The program awards 9 credits, broken down into "The Layers of Rome: A Survey of Architecture, Building and Constructions Methods" (3 credits) and "Urban Site Analysis and Design" (6 credits). These two courses are required and work in tandem to provide a thorough overview of Rome's history and architecture. Students will also take a non-credit survival Italian course. Students have found this very helpful, and have enjoyed practicing their language skills with locals.

The program begins with the two-week foundation course "Layers of Rome", which traces the architectural history of Rome and its buildings from the height of the Roman Empire to the present day with a focus on materials, construction methods and urban design. The course is taught by faculty from the ACCENT Center in Rome and lectures will investigate both architectural form and the political strategies expressed symbolically through building projects promoted by emperors, popes, kings, dictators and politicians of contemporary Rome.

Marianne Holbert will teach the class "Urban Site Analysis and Design", which runs for the full six weeks of the program. You will visit designated sites around Rome to conduct site analysis and look at physical, socioeconomic, and historical factors in the urban landscape. The group will take a trip to Ostia, a short train ride away, and one of the birthplaces of rationalist city design.


The program will be directed by Marianne Holbert, Instructor in the Program in Environmental Design at the University of Colorado Boulder. Professor Holbert, a licensed architect, will teach the Urban Site Analysis and Design course. Through her academic endeavors, she has lived and studied in metropolitan centers including, Washington DC, New York City, Nairobi, and Florence. She speaks Italian and her undergraduate study abroad experience was formative in her desire to pursue the professional practice of architecture. Her passion for teaching and learning enriches her architectural practice. She was on the design team with Workshop8 for the Paisano Green Community, the first net-zero, fossil fuel free & LEED platinum affordable housing complex in the nation. Professor Holbert is the recipient of multiple grants for her community outreach projects and was named Mentor of the Year in 2014 by Colorado’s American Institute of Architects.

The "Layers of Rome" course will be taught by Dr. Antonella De Michelis of ACCENT International in Rome.


You will enjoy several academic excursions in and around Rome. There are two major day excursions and one overnight excursion planned. You will visit the famous area of Ostia Antica.


  • Gilman Scholarship: For students currently receiving Pell grants as part of their federal financial aid.




Program Reviews:
Summer 2015 Participant
The courses were difficult and took a lot of time but very interesting and I learned a lot. The location was amazing!We didn't interact too much with locals.

Summer 2016 Participant
Individually, the courses were incredible. In concert, they created one of the most impactful and memorable experiences I have had in my education to date.The locals were extremely friendly and welcoming. However, interactions were a bit limited due to the intensity of the program.The excursions were also amazing. I especially enjoyed the Abruzzo trip, and getting to visit the Biennale in Venice was another serious highlight.

Summer 2016 Participant
All of the on-site activities we had in our history class were very useful in learning about the history of the city. Rather than learning about an old structure in a book, we were able to walk around the structure, and occasionally inside it. This made learning about these ancient structures much more enjoyable. The excursions we had were also nice because they took us out of the busy city and into other parts of the country that we otherwise would not have seen.

Summer 2016 Participant
Marianne is the best professor I have had in my college career. She has an amazing talent for teaching as well as relating to her students on a personal level. The accent staff were extremely nice and willing to help in any way possible.

Sara Hutchinson, Summer 2017 Participant
All of our teachers were amazing. Francesca taught us survival Italian in the first two weeks, and she was great at helping us to ask questions and participate. The history course with Dr. Antonella was one of the best courses I have ever taken - we walked all over Rome with her, learning about the different time periods, culture, history, politics, and more. She was very engaging and the course load wasn't overwhelming. Studio was a lot of work too, but Dr. Marianne Holbert is a fantastic professor and made it feel more manageable. The studio was very relevant to our history course, and we got to visit an architecture school and two firms in Rome. All in all, I learned so much in six weeks and finished with one of the best studio projects I have ever done.

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline App Review Begins Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 15-JAN-2018
Variable 20-MAY-2018 30-JUN-2018
NOTE: Dates on this page are for information only; final dates will be confirmed with participants after acceptance to the program. Do not purchase airfare until instructed to do so by your Program Manager. The Start Date indicates the day participants arrive at the program location; the End Date indicates the day participants depart from the program location.
Summer 2019 15-JAN-2019 ** Variable TBA TBA

** Most programs’ applications are reviewed on a rolling basis (starting August 1st for Spring programs and January 15th for Summer and Fall programs). NOTE: Some programs start the admissions process earlier and fill before the deadline, and some programs’ applications aren’t reviewed until after the deadline. Check with Education Abroad staff for details.

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