Study Abroad - Great Cities

Rome • Marseille • Paris • Amsterdam • Prague 

December 28, 2016 - January 15, 2017


Traveling to some of the major European cities, this seminar will explore the rise and the establishment of the urban setting as the nexus of contemporary European culture and civilization. The course will focus primarily on the artistic conception of the city in the late nineteenth-century up to the contemporary setting, observing and studying sites that have inspired artists from Petronius to Alexandre Dumas to Franz Kafka. Through literature, cinema, music and painting, students will take advantage of the physical settings in order to better understand the aesthetic, demographic and historical importance of these cities in their European context. Students will have the opportunity to learn from and exchange their observations with experts from IAU College as well as distinguished on-site scholars and local guides in order to frame their own perception of the cities and these cities’ representation through the arts. At the end of this three-week traveling seminar, students will better appreciate the interplay between the historical realities and ?ctional and/or imaginary perspectives of European cities.

Students can choose one of the following courses:

  • European Studies 303: Europe and the Urban Space
  • Anthropology 301: The Artist and the City
  • Literature 375: The European City in Literature
  • Communications 375: The European City in the Visual Arts
  • Geography 201: Europe and its Cities

Sites visited include:

Italy: Rome
France: Paris, Aix-en-Provence and Marseille
Netherlands: Amsterdam
Czech Republic: Prague

See the full itinerary here. The schedule is tentative and subject to change.

About the Professors

Dr. Leigh Smith has lived in Provence since 1999 and has worked in the field of study abroad since 1998, beginning with his first work with the University of North Carolina’s Paris program while still a graduate student.  While working there as on-site assistant to the program director, he met his future wife and eventually returned to France.  He and his wife settled in Provence where their three children were born. He completed his dissertation while abroad and received his Ph.D. in comparative literature. He has since gone on to teach at the Université de Paul Cézanne and at the Université de Provence in Aix and in Marseille.  His first position in Aix was as academic advisor with the American University Center of Provence.  He has taught courses in literature and French culture at the IAU since 2005.  He served as interim director of The Aix Center over the 2008-2009 academic year and assumed the role of Academic Director at IAU in April 2011. 


Dr. Barbara Castaldo (Laurea, Università La Sapienza di Roma; M.A., Columbia University; Ph.D, New York University) specializes in contemporary Italian literature with a doctoral thesis on Italian author Pier Paolo Pasolini (awarded Premio Pasolini in 2009). Her research interests include comparative literature and law and literary scholarship. She has published articles on contemporary Italian authors (Sandro Veronesi, Marco Lodoli, Ennio Flaiano, Pier Paolo Pasolini), and has appeared in a number of TV documentaries and radio interviews for Rai Storia (Italy), Arte TV (France-Germany), Österreich 1 (Austria). She is currently working on a book on Pier Paolo Pasolini’s legal trials and is professor of literature at Loyola College, John Felice Rome Center and ICCS in Rome. She has taught for the IAU J-Term Seminars since 2015.

Program Fees

All program fees include tuition for 3 credits, lodging, insurance, entrance fees to all museums and guest lecture venues, Intra-European transportation to and from each city, breakfast daily and some dinners.

Students who enroll in a January Term Seminar and the spring semester in Aix-en-Provence consecutively will receive a $500 grant. Visit IAU's Scholarship website for additional details.

Students participating in the Great Cities Seminar who also attend IAU College for the Spring semester in Aix-en-Provence are encouraged to participate in the Early Start Program the week of January 14-21, 2017. Students who attend both the J-Term and Spring semester can attend the Early Start Program for a reduced fee. The Early Start Program allows students to move in with their French hosts a week before the semester begins, receive French language instruction and participate in local cultural activities!

     January 2017: $5,245

IAU College Great Cities J-Term students studying beneath the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
Studying in Paris, France