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  • Locations: Rome, Italy; Venice, Italy
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Type of Program: Intensive Course Abroad Click here for a definition of this term Program Advisor: Ahaji Schreffler
Program Description:
Program Overview | Academics | Program Calendar | Program Fee | More Information

Spring Break in Italy:
Believers, Infidels, Heretics in Rome & Venice

Rome Jewish

Program Overview

Just over 500 years ago, in 1516, the very first “ghetto” was established under that name: the enclosed neighborhood designed by the Republic of Venice to be the home for the Jews of the city. Jewish communities elsewhere in the Italian peninsula soon fell under similar restrictions. But Jews were only one of the religious minorities who lived in Italy: Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and (eventually) Protestants and other “heretical” Christians were also present and were also subject to varying levels of tolerance, surveillance, control, and oppression by political and religious authorities. In this course, we will travel to Rome and Venice to examine the extant traces of these religious communities, explore their treatment by the religious majority, investigate their influences on the broader culture in which they lived, and study how the history of these religious communities is treated today.

Students completing this intensive course abroad will be able to:
➢ Explain the history of interactions among the different religious communities in medieval and early modern Italy
➢ Discuss how the religious histories of Venice and Rome are reflected in the physical fabric of these cities today
➢ Explain how these histories are memorialized and recounted in the present

This course builds on JUDA 223/HIST 260: Coexistence and Conflict: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Early Mediterranean. This course will help you refine your knowledge and skills in the following Drexel Student Learning Priorities: Creative and Critical Thinking, Communication, Ethical Reasoning and Global Competence.


Credit/Registration Students will be automatically registered for HIST T280 Believers, Infidels, Heretics: The History of Toleration and its Limits in Venice and Rome, 1 credit as part of their spring term course load. Students must leave space for this 1 credit in their spring term credit load or will have to pay for exceeding the 20 credit maximum. The 1 credit for this program is not optional.

Students must complete one of the following 4 credit courses during winter 2020:

  • HIST 260-130: Jews, Christians, Muslims 3 hours online + 1 hour Face-to-Face per week
  • JUDA 223-130 Jews, Christians, Muslims 3 hours online + 1 hour Face-to-Face per week

Dr. Jonathan Seitz, Associate Teaching Professor of History:

Program CalendarRome St. Peter's

Arrival Date: March 22, 2020
Departure Date: March 29, 2020
*Students may extend their travel independently before or after program dates.

Itinerary Overview

Day 1 

 Depart United States

Day 2 

 Introduction to Rome

 Arrival at hotel

 Neighborhood orientation and welcome dinner

Day 3 

 The religions of Rome

 Walk in historic center of Rome and consideration of the layering of religions in  the physical fabric of the city

 Visit to the Jewish catacombs

Day 4 

 The Jews of Rome

 Visit to the Roman ghetto and visits to the associated museum and synagogue

Day 5 

 The Church of Rome

Visit to the Vatican Museums and the Basilica of St. Peter

Day 6 

 Introduction to Venice

Transfer to Venice

 Orientation walk in Venice

 Piazza S. Marco and the Fondaco dei Turchi

Day 7 

 The first "ghetto"

 Tour of Jewish ghetto and associated museum and synagogues

Day 8 

 The religions of Venice

 Guest lecture

 Visits to the Doge's Palace

Day 9 

 Return to United States

Program Fee - $500* (See funding note)Venice Interfaith

Due November 15, 2019: $500* Advanced Payment + $25 online application fee 

*Funding Note: The Borowsky scholars program, funded by a generous donor to the University, allows the College of Arts and Sciences to cover the airfare and most program costs for students accepted to the program. (Without this grant, the unsubsidized program fee is $2,050.)

*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.

Included in Program Fee:

  • Round trip group flight Philadelphia<>Italy
  • Accommodations
  • In-country transport
  • Entrance fees, program activities
  • Group meals
  • On Call Emergency Assistance insurance

Not Included in Program Fee:

  • Some meals ($80)
  • Passport ($135)
  • Spending money ($150)
  • Visa (not required for US Citizens)
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

  • Non- US Citizens may be required to apply for an Italian tourist visa. US citizens are not required to obtain a visa for entry.
Grading Scale
A (92-100%)
A-/B+ (88-89.9%/90-91.9%)
B (82-87.9%)
B-/C+ (78-79.9%/80-81.9%)
C (72-77.9%)
C-/D+ (68-69.9%/70-71.9%)
D (60-67.9%)
F (<60%)

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.