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  • Locations: Venice, Italy
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Language of Instruction: English Click here for a definition of this term Class Eligibility: Graduate, Junior, Pre-Junior, Senior
Type of Program: Intensive Course Abroad
Program Description:
Program Overview | Academics | Program Calendar | Program Fee | More Information

Fall Break in Italy:
Water Resource Engineering in Venice


Program Overview

Ever more stringent environmental regulations, acute economic crises, aging infrastructure, expectations of climate change, and population growth have all increased the pressure on cities to find new ways to provide services efficiently to growing populations. There is keen interest, globally, in the development of high performance land- and waterscapes that are specially designed and/or reconfigured to provide valuable ecosystem services (benefits that humans derive from the land or water).

Interested in learning more about these important issues and topics? Join an interdisciplinary group of faculty, students, and practitioners for a late summer trip to Venice, Italy focusing on water, sustainability, and resilience in a contemporary and historical context. Our goal is to promote cross-cultural, multidisciplinary dialogue on this important topic.

Complimenting classroom activities will be held at Ca’ Tron, a 15th Century building facing Venice’s Grand Canal. Students will visit innovative natural wastewater treatment systems, Venice’s multi-billion dollar storm surge barrier, ancient fish farms and habitat restoration projects. Participants will learn how those living in this World Heritage City have adapted to life in a dynamic lagoon facing a changing climate.


The course is open to Drexel full-time and part-time students (for 3 course credits), as well as to non-degree seeking professionals, who will receive a Water Resource Sustainability Certificate upon completion the program. Everyone planning to travel to Venice will be asked to participate in 2-3 reading and online discussion activities, as preparation for the trip.  Course will be taught in English.Venice waterways

All students will be registered for 3 credits as part of their fall term course load. Undergraduate students must leave space for the 3 credits in their fall term credit load or will have to pay for exceeding the 20 credit maximum. Graduate students will be billed per credit. The 3 credits for this program are not optional.

The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students from across the university with an interest in water, cities, sustainability and related topics. It is also open to non-degree seeking professionals. All applicants will meet with Faculty Director Dr. Franco Montalto for an interview as part of the application process. Interviews will be scheduled with all applicants after the application deadline. Non-degree seeking professionals should contact Faculty Director Dr. Franco Montalto directly to express interest by April 1st. 

Faculty Director:  Dr. Franco Montalto

Program Calendar

Arrival Date: September 5, 2021
Departure Date: September 18, 2021

Tentative Itinerary:

Day Topic/Theme Time of Day Details
Day 1 Arrival Morning Arrive in Venice, Check into Gesuiti
    Evening Dinner together, location TBD
Day 2 Introduction Morning: Go to IUAV, review logistics (internet access, building hours, etc)  
      Welcome by Prof. Francesco Musco
      Introductory Lecture by Dr. Franco Montalto
      Screening of "Water Rooms"
      Fish Game
    Lunch Bacaro Quebrado
    Afternoon Overview of the Venice Lagoon, Prof. Antonio Rusconi
    Dinner on your own
Day 3 Venice Life Morning Meet boat at the Zatteri Gesuati
    All day Exploring Venice with the Venetians (lunch included)
    Dinner on your own
Day 4 Tour of storm surge barrier Morning Walk to Arsenale
      Tour of Arsenale by CVN
    Afternoon Boat tour of Moses Barrier and lagoon ecology by Dr. Davide Tagliapietra
    Dinner on your own
Day 5 Traditional Water Management Morning Train to Mestre
      Bus ride to Po River Delta
      Visit to Consorzio di Bonifica, with Ing. Tosini
    Lunch lunch: Il Covo (Porto Tolle)
      Boat ride with fisherman Tiziano, leaving from Pontile dei Pescatori (Moceniga)
      Visit to valle di pesca, Cason di Valle Morosina
    Dinner on your own
Day 6 Sustainable Water Management Morning Vapporetto to Mazzorbo
      Visit to LIFE Vimine project with Prof. Alberto Barausse
    Lunch Lazzareto Nuovo
    Afternoon Tour of Lazzaretto Nuovo with presentation by Dr. Gerolamo Fazzini
    Dinner on your own
Day 7 Visit to Biennale Morning Optional group Visit to Biennale
Day 8 Free Day   All day on your own
Day 9 Project Orientation Morning Travel back to Ca' Tron
      Introduction to Project by Prof. Musco
    Lunch Bacaro Quebrado
    Afternoon work on your own
    Dinner on your own
Day 10 Work Day Morning Travel back to Ca' Tron
      work on your own
    Lunch Bacaro Quebrado
    Afternoon work on your own
    Dinner on your own
Day 11 Update on Progress Morning Travel back to Ca' Tron
      Progress report
    Lunch Bacaro Quebrado
    Dinner on your own
Day 12 Work Day All day work on your own
Day 13 Final Presentations Morning Travel to Ca Tron
      Group presentations
    Lunch Bacaro Quebrado
    Dinner Final Group Dinner at Paradiso Perduto
Day 14 Project conclusion   Airport transfer to return to Philly


Program Fee 2021: $2,300


Due July 12th: $500 Advance Payment + $25 application fee
Due July 30th:  $1,800 Final Payment
*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.

Included in Program Fee:

  • Apartment accommodations (shared rooms - each room has its own bathroom and kitchen)
  • In-country transportation
  • Entrance fees, tours, related program activities
  • Welcome/ farewell dinners 
  • Six lunches
  • Cultural excursions

Estimated Costs Not Included in Program Fee:

  • Tuition for three credits (for GR students)
  • Round trip airfare $1,200
  • Meals  $400
  • Passport  $145
  • Spending Money $200
  • Course materials: $50
  • Non-US citizens may be required to apply for a visa

ICA Financial Aid: Students may request an Adjusted Cost of Attendance by submitting the ICA program fee and estimated out of pocket expenses listed above to Drexel Central (via askdrexel). Doing so could make students’ eligible for additional financial aid.  Students may also be eligible to apply for Drexel's ICA Scholarships.

More Information

  • Students will be housed in apartment-style housing in the Collegio Gesuiti, a historical building located in Cannaregio, one of Venice’s five boroughs, and across the Grand Canal from Ca’ Tron. The program will provide students with vaporetto (boat bus) passes, allowing them to explore all of the treasures this city has to offer in their spare time.
  • Program must meet minimum enrollment of 10 students for the program to run.
  • This Intensive Course Abroad being offered in September 2021 is dependent upon the viability of travel to Italy as determined by Drexel University administration. Participants may be required to comply with COVID-19-related country entry requirements such as a negative PCR test, proof of the COVID-19 vaccine, etc. All participants will also be expected to follow any COVID-19 protocols as directed by local authorities and Drexel Education Abroad during the period abroad and upon return as appropriate.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.