Education in Carpi, Italy

image of Venice, Italy

A Cross-Cultural Experience in Carpi, Italy

This program provides a deep and memorable cross-cultural experience that exposes participants to Italian culture and to an education system well known for innovative approaches.
Location: Carpi, Italy
Language of Instruction: English
Term: Summer
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: Yes
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No


Undergraduate or graduate students majoring in any area of education or related disciplines such as social work, speech-language-hearing, applied behavioral sciences, etc.


  • Program in Italy:
    • Depart U.S. on Friday, May 3, 2024
    • Arrive in Italy on Saturday, May 4, 2024
    • Return to U.S. on Thursday, May 30, 2024
  • Application Deadline: October 30, 2023 
  • Interviews: Early November
  • First organizational meeting of participants: early December 2023
  • Subsequent organizational meetings: 3 to 4 during the spring semester


Carpi, Italy, a town of about 69,000 in Northern Italy near Bologna. Learn more at Carpi, Italy.


A study abroad program in its 22nd year that features the following:

  • Placement in a carefully selected Italian host family; participants will live with, become a part of, and develop a close relationship with their respective volunteer host families for a unique cross-cultural experience.
  • Placement in an Italian classroom; in their assigned classroom each participant will work with a teacher and students on weekday mornings.
  • Local field trips and site visits to places of professional and cultural interest.
  • Weekend trips as a group to Florence and to Venice with time to explore the city and surroundings; transportation and lodging provided by the program.
  • An opportunity ot meet and interact with education majors from other universities (University of Kansas, University of Missouri, and possibly others).
  • An opportunity for participants interested in early childhood to experience firsthand the application of the Reggio Emilia philosophy and its pedagogical principles of child-centered instruction with teachers and children in a daily classroom setting.


  • Gain cross-cultural experience and awareness
  • Expand views of education and educational practices
  • Experience personal growth, gaining confidence, perspective, etc.
  • Develop deep relationships with other participants and with an Italian family
  • Absorb another culture through participation, not observation
  • Take advantage of a unique opportunity usually not available outside of a study abroad program
  • Develop knowledge, skills and disposition for culturally responsive teaching

Information for Parents:

View the faculty director's Letter to Parents (.docx.) about this program.

Academic credit is obtained through the University of Kansas, for KU and non-KU students alike. Students from non-KU schools should inquire with their school's study abroad office about the procedure for transfering study abroad credit.

Students will receive three semester credit hours for participation in the program. Graduating seniors may qualify for graduate credit. If requested, additional semester hours may be taken.  


C&T 649: International Teaching Experience (undergraduate) (3 credits)
C&T 749: An International Teaching Experience (graduate) (3 credits)

Lodging and most meals are provided by volunteer host families. Families are carefully screened and are selected and matched to participants’ special needs and interests by Victoria Language and Culture (VLC), a local organization in Carpi with many years of successful experience in arranging homestays for American students with Italian families. VLC has managed the logistics in Italy successfully for the previous 21 years. The co-owners speak fluent English and are on-call 24/7 during the program in Italy. Many host families have previously hosted American students. Nonetheless, living as a member of a family in another culture requires program participants to be adaptable, flexible, accommodating, and friendly. Visit the Victoria Language and Culture (VLC) website to learn more about this association.

This program is primarily field based in classrooms during the mornings. However, there will be many whole-group activities during the program as well as free time for travel with families and limited independent travel to nearby cities such as Bologna, Modena, Verona, and Montova. Independent travel after the conclusion of the program is encouraged because there is limited free time for independent travel during the program. Available free time during the program is typically spent with the Italian host family. Arrangements will also be made for weekend group trips to Florence and to Venice with much free time for independent exploration. Participants will also select from a menu of special visits, tours, and field trips including tours of special schools of interest and visits to cultural sites. A traditional highlight of the program is a final party at the Club Giardino in Carpi for all participants, their teachers, and host families.

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.

To Apply

To apply you must be a student who is...

  • enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program pertaining to education or a related discipline (social work, speech-language-hearing, applied behavioral science, etc.). Students who are pursuing a major or minor in Italian may also be considered.
  • in good academic standing
  • at least a sophomore by the start date of the program.

To Participate

To participate in the program in Italy, you must...

  • Complete and submit the online pre-decision application (click the "Application" button).
  • Participate in an interview (in person, if possible, or by phone). If the interview is satisfactory, then you are accepted provisionally.
  • If you are provisionally accepted, complete the online post-decision materials (includes KU study abroad financial contract and pre-departure requirements as well as Victoria Language Centre requirements for placement with Italian host families and schools).
  • Complete approximately 7 short online modules related to living, teaching and traveling abroad.

Prior knowledge of Italian is not necessary.

Dr. Barbara A. Bradley, University of Kansas School of Education Professor, will be in her 22nd year of planning and coordinating this study abroad program in Carpi. She has traveled extensively in Italy. You may find more detailed information about her professional accomplishments and interests on the KU School of Education and Human Sciences website.

For more information contact:
Dr. Barbara A. Bradley
Department of Curriculum & Teaching
University of Kansas
443 J.R. Pearson Hall
1122 West Campus Road
Lawrence, KS 66045