Creativity and Culture in Rome

Image of Rome
Spend six weeks over the summer studying marketing and strategic communications in Rome, Italy.
Location: Rome, Italy
Language of Instruction: English
Term: Summer
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Explore the role that culture plays in effective brand messaging
  • Spend six weeks exploring the city of Rome
  • Using knowledge gained during their time in Italy, participants will work together to create and promote an online culture and trends publication

Breakthrough strategic thinking and creative brand messaging depends on the ability to connect with people and culture. In order to discover the Why behind the way people live, think, and buy, strategic communications practitioners must develop an understanding of markets, people, and culture. Strategic messaging now must work across global cultures and markets. Never has it been more important than it is today to embrace a vision of markets and cultures as interconnected, inclusive and multi-cultural. Students in this program will be working within a setting that requires a “global mindset” in order to help them think, act and lead globally. 

Creativity & Culture: Rome focuses on helping students develop the ability to immerse, observe, understand and connect with people and culture in context. Students will work in collaborative teams to conduct ethnographic research with an emphasis on trends and cultural consumer styles.  In addition to structured, ethnographic exploration, the session includes a series of collaborative group intensive creative workshops where teams will produce one special edition of The Agency’s new culture and trends quarterly online publication called “The Watch”. Work for this special edition will include developing promotional messaging. 

Rome, the Eternal City, is located along the Tiber River and is one of Europe’s most ancient urban centers, dating back almost 3,000 years. Rome’s early inhabitants left behind a trove of art and architectural masterpieces which provide an interesting contrast as they live beside Rome’s modern-day businesses, shops, cafes, and financial centers. As a taste-making and culture-driving capital of the world, Rome offers a unique set of cultural engagement, creative insights and challenges to build students’ global strategic communications competency. 

One of the great discoveries in Rome is learning to appreciate how the past and the present live side by side, creating a constantly re-invigorated dialogue of the New and the Old, the expected and unknown. This intersection of Rome’s past and present cultures provides a unique and ideal location for students to study creativity and culture and the effects of how these two forces enrich and inform an inclusive, collaborative, and diverse marketplace of ideas, people, and communications. 

Three hours of upper level undergraduate credit are granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program.

Credit: JMC 500 – Topics in Journalism: Creativity & Culture

Prerequisite: None

In Rome, students will stay in shared apartments in double or triple occupancy rooms.  During excursions requiring overnight stays, students will stay in double or triple occupancy rooms at a hotel.

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

Open to undergraduate and graduate students, sophomore level and above, from any accredited US college or university who have a minimum 2.5 GPA.

While non-journalism students are welcome to participate, it is recommended that students have an interest in one or more of the following areas:

  • Brand & Market Strategy, Advertising, Public Relations
  • Media, Social Media, Journalism
  • Consumer & Culture Insights –Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology
  • Market & Business Research
  • Creative writing, Literature, History
  • Design, Architecture, Visual Arts & Industrial Design
  • Computer Science, Engineering
  • Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Business Management

Janet Rose, Ph.D., is Professor of the Practice and Director of The Agency, KU’s strategic communications student media organization in the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Throughout her career, Rose has worked as both an executive for consulting and advertising agencies and as an academic and has lived and worked in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Kansas City working on global and national brand and market strategy for organizations and brands such as P&G, Coca-Cola, Walmart, Kohl’s, GSK, VF Corporation and more. Rose’s academic emphasis focuses on understanding consumers and cultural trends to identify intersections of strategic business and marketing opportunity. A passionate supporter of entrepreneurism, she also has founded and has been a consultant to numerous entrepreneurial organizations and start-ups.


Stauffer-Flint Hall, Room #201 & #203