Food Studies Program at Umbra

Program Description

The Food Studies Program at the Umbra Institute is a curricular concentration that applies an interdisciplinary approach to the study of food – history, sociology, cultural studies, anthropology, business, politics, science, agriculture, and sustainability – to discover how the individual, the community, and society relate to food in Italy, America, and elsewhere. The program consists of three courses in food studies, an Italian language course, and an optional elective course for a total of 14-18 credits.

 

Each thematic course includes a series of co- and extra-curricular activities that are an integral part of the curriculum; they include guest lectures, site visits, field trips, and hands-on experience. These activities will allow students to directly observe the concepts studied in the classroom and analyze issues surrounding Italian and global food culture from varied approaches and perspectives. Students who complete all three Food Studies Program courses will receive a certificate from the Umbra Institute documenting their participation.


Food Studies Program Courses

HSIT 350: History and Culture of Food in Italy

The core course of the Food Studies Program, this class presents a history of food culture in Italy from Roman times through the Renaissance to the present. Students learn that far from being stable, Italian culinary “traditions” have been in a state of constant flux, the result of an ever-changing combination of political, economic, and social variables. Students participate in eight practica with local experts to learn about Italian foods. These graded workshops incorporate a knowledge of production, quality evaluation, and biochemical information.

 

Activities, Seminars, and Workshops
• Olive Oil     • Wine     • Aperitivo

• Coffee        • Beer      • Gelato 
• Cheese     • Pizza

 

Field Trips
• Two traditional Umbrian meals at local restaurants to experience the regional food heritage
• Overnight Trip to Emilia-Romagna to visit parmigiano (parmesan cheese), prosciutto, and balsamic vinegar producers
• Truffle hunting day trip to the Apennines


STFS 330: Sustainability and Food Production in Italy
This course focuses on the radical increase in food production over the last 50 years and the ecological and social problems it has created, as well as on some possible solutions: the organic movement, Slow Food, innovative food technologies, and the shift towards local food. This course will explore the range of Italian food production, from foraging to the hyper-modern and even futuristic. These direct experiences will reinforce classroom assignments and provide valuable data for student presentations.

 

Field Trips
• Daytrip to Chianti to explore the landscape, its history, and to enjoy a sustainable meal prepared by the world famous Tuscan butcher, Dario Cecchini

 

Service Learning Project

Students dedicate a portion of class time to developing the repEAT Take Home Box Project in an effort to reduce avoidable food waste and inform others about its environmental and social impact. The project began in Fall 2013 with student-led research of patron and restaurant opinions of the takeaway concept, as well as Italians’ eating habits. Based on the initial analysis, students designed a logo and slogan produced by GESENU, the city waste management company, and created informational materials which were distributed to three local restaurants. Spring 2014 students will evaluate the effectiveness of the project, modify the materials, and expand the project to other restaurants in Perugia. The project is generously being sponsored by the Comune di Perugia, the city government office.


BUFS 380: The Business of Wine: Italy and Beyond
T
his course seeks to give students a rich understanding of the feedback loops between consumption and production of food in Italy, the US, and worldwide. Topics include not only the business of production, technology, distribution, and sale of food, but also food-related industries in the areas of marketing, journalism, television, travel, and entertainment, and how these businesses have expanded exponentially in the last twenty years. This course will include a workshop in which students consult for a local vineyard, helping them create and commercialize two new products for the American wine market.

 

Field Trips
• Day trip to Umbrian vineyard for a tour and wine tasting with the owners

 

Service Learning Project

Students apply classroom knowledge of Italian and American wine industries to a service learning project with the Goretti Winery, a local, eco-friendly wine producer with international exportation. After a company visit, students work on specific projects designed around the needs and goals of the winery, informed by market analysis, research on exportation and competitors, and potential for company expansion. For the final course project, students prepare a product proposal for Goretti Winery with assistance from the professor, an enologist and wine marketer.


ITLN 101-310 – Italian Language
All students who attend the Umbra Institute must take an Italian language course or a course taught in Italian as part of their semester curriculum. All levels of study are available from beginner to advanced from 4- to 6-credits.

 

ELECTIVE COURSE – Optional
Students who take the three Food Studies courses and Italian language may also take an additional course if desired. They may choose from any of the Umbra Institute’s offerings in areas such as history, literature, studio art, art history, creative writing, international marketing, politics, and psychology.


Summer Winery Internship

Students at the Lungarotti Winery with their final project

Students at the Lungarotti Winery with their final project

As an Umbra summer intern at the family-owned Goretti Winery, you will assist in marketing, hospitality, wine exportation, and the management of their operations. This one-month, non-credit bearing experience will help you gain invaluable insight into many aspects of the wine industry, including wine making and wine tasting culture, the global wine trade, and the techniques wineries use to reach their diverse international customers. The Goretti environment also offers the opportunity to observe how Umbrian culture and family tradition merge to form a unique and successful business venture.

 

Number of Openings: 1-2 positions

Location: Pila (14 miles from Perugia)

Internship Dates: Monday, May 5, 2014 – Friday, May 30, 2014

Internship Cost: $1,495 – This fee covers the intern housing and utility bills in Perugia, transportation to and from the winery, insurance, administrative fees, and the Umbra internship tutor.

Total Internship Hours: 120 hours (6 hours per day – 4 hours onsite, 2 hours at the Umbra Institute)

Application Deadline: Friday, February 14, 2014

Study Visa Requirement: None. It is not necessary to apply for another study visa as students will have 90 days as a tourist after the student visa expires.

Housing: The intern will be housed with international or Italian students in a shared apartment in the Perugia city center

Interesting for Majors in: Business, Sustainability, Marketing, Food Studies, Environmental Studies

Requirement: To be eligible for this internship, you must have taken the BSFS 380: Business of Wine: Italy and Beyond. Preference will be given first to students who complete the full Food Studies Program. Intermediate or higher proficiency in Italian is also preferred.

 

Summer Sustainability Internship

Student proudly shows RepEAT boxes and logos.

Student proudly shows RepEAT boxes and logos.

As an Umbra summer intern with the RepEAT Box Project, you will research and contact new prospective partners, continue to develop the RepEAT website and materials, assist Professor Elisa Ascione with the summer Sustainability course and related classroom activities, monitor and evaluate project promotion and marketing, and propose future improvements. This one-month, non-credit bearing experience will help you gain invaluable insight into many aspects sustainable practices as well as local and international efforts. You will learn and apply social research, intercultural communication, and project management skills.

 

Number of Openings: 1-2 positions

Location: Umbra Institute

Internship Dates: Monday, May 26, 2014 – Friday, June 27, 2014

Internship Cost: $1,495. This fee covers the intern housing and utility bills in Perugia, insurance, and the cost of the internship tutor from Umbra.

Total Internship Hours: 120 hours (6 hours per day)

Application Deadline: Friday, March 21, 2014

Study Visa Requirement: None. It is not necessary to apply for another study visa as students will have 90 days as a tourist after the student visa expires.

Housing: The intern will be housed with international or Italian students in a shared apartment in the Perugia city center.

Interesting for Majors in: Business, Sustainability, Marketing, Food Studies, Environmental Studies

Requirement: To be eligible for this internship, you must have taken the Sustainability of Food course during the fall or spring semester. Preference will be given first to students who complete the full Food Studies Program. Intermediate or higher proficiency in Italian is also preferred.

For more information about the summer internships or to apply, please contact the Food Studies Program Coordinator, Elisa Ascione ([email protected]).


The Instructors

The Umbra Institute is committed to the highest standards of academic excellence. Umbra instructors are experts in their field and have a history of excellence in teaching. The Food Studies Program instructors deliver engaging, challenging, and worthwhile material to students, employing onsite and experiential learning as part of the curriculum. The Food Studies Program instructors are:

 

Simon Young, Ph.D.History and Culture of Food in Italy

Elisa Ascione, Ph.D. - Sustainability and Food Production in Italy, Coordinator for the Food Studies Program

Dario Parenti, Laurea - The Business of Wine: Italy and Beyond

Zachary Nowak, M.A.Assoc. Director for the Food Studies Program


Program Costs

The Food Studies Program (FSP) consists of three courses – HSIT 350: History and Culture of Food in Italy, STFS 330: Sustainability and Food Production in Italy, and BSFS 380: The Business of Wine: Italy and Beyond. All Food Studies Program students will enroll in the appropriate level of Italian language, and may also choose to enroll in a fifth elective course which may include an additional lab fee.


Standard Fall 2014  Program Fees $14,975.00
Individual HSIT 350 Travel Lab Fee 480.00€
Individual STFS 330 Travel Lab Fee 95.00€
Individual BSFS 380 Travel Lab Fee 75.00€
Total FSP Lab Fee, Course Readers, and Textbooks with Exchange Rate Adjustment $1,250.00
Total FSP Costs per Semester $16,175.00
Summer Internship Fee – 120 hours $1,495.00

*Each semester, the Food Studies Program includes:

8 Food activities, seminars, and workshops
1 Overnight trip in Emilia Romagna
1 Day trip to Tuscan butcher
1 Day trip truffle hunting in the Apennine Mountains

1 Day trip to Umbrian winery


Fees do not include:
Transatlantic airfare or meals not included in the courses
Please note that all student apartments have well-equipped kitchens for cooking at home.

In future semesters, a single all-inclusive Food Studies Program Fee will replace the individual lab fee costs.



Discover More!

If you have any questions about the Food Studies Program at Umbra, please contact us at [email protected]. We will be happy to assist you with any information or documentation you may need.

 

You Tube logoSeeing is believing! In addition to the overview above, we have three videos that highlight the Food Studies Program activities and field trips.

 

Food Studies Program–Pizza Workshop

Food Studies Program–Chianti Trip

Food Studies Program–Truffle Hunt

The core course of the Food Studies Program, this class presents a history of food culture in Italy from Roman times through the Renaissance to the present. Students learn that far from being stable, Italian culinary “traditions” have been in a state of constant flux, the result of an ever-changing combination of political, economic, and social variables. Students participate in seven practica with local experts to learn about Italian foods: olive oil, coffee, wine, cheese, chocolate, gelato, bread, and salamis. These graded workshops incorporate a knowledge of production, quality evaluation, and biochemical information.