The STEM Program at the Umbra Institute
We recognize how difficult it is for students with a strict STEM curriculum to study abroad, especially in countries where English is not the native language. However, it is now easier than ever thanks to a new cooperative that offers STEM courses, taught entirely in English, in the beautiful, centrally-located Italian hilltop town, Perugia, Italy. This exciting new STEM program, sponsored by Roger Williams University School of Engineering and hosted by the Umbra Institute, welcomes highly motivated engineering and science students who want to take advantage of the unique opportunity for an Italian study abroad experience. The courses offered are designed for sophomore-level students in the sciences to help maintain a steady progression in the fulfillment of their graduation requirements. The program runs only once per year, each fall semester, with a limited number of spaces available, so apply early to ensure your participation in this unique Italy-based STEM program for the Fall of 2018.
Roger Williams University students must take chemistry (CHEM 191/191L), and mechanics (ENGR 210) or differential equations (MATH 317). In addition, students must select one or both core courses, in literature (CORE 104) and/or artistic impulse (CORE 105). All courses are taught in English; no prior study of Italian language is required to participate. However, like all Umbra students, STEM students must also take a course in the Italian language as part of the program in Italy. All levels are offered from beginner to advanced. The Italian language course is primarily used to help students integrate into the local community as they learn more about their host culture. STEM courses meet twice per week and most of them include field-trips. There are no classes on Fridays so students will have ample time to travel when there is no scheduled class field-trip.
CHEM 191: Principles of Chemistry I & Lab (4 credits)
The goal of this course is to provide a basic background and understanding in the theory and principles of chemistry. By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate proficiency in the areas of dimensional analysis, matter and its properties, stoichiometry, solution chemistry, bonding theory, the periodic properties of the elements, and other fundamental chemical principles. Through Umbra’s collaboration with the University of Perugia, students will have access to chemistry labs at the local Italian university. The laboratory component of the course is evaluated separately from the lecture, and will involve writing a laboratory report using a provided template. Lecture proficiency will be evaluated using traditional quizzes, tests, and a comprehensive final exam.
This course is an introduction to ordinary differential equations with applications in science and engineering. Differential equations software will be used. Topics include the classification of, and what is meant by: the solution of a differential equation; first-order equations for which exact solutions are obtainable; explicit methods of solving higher-order, linear differential equations; an introduction to systems of differential equations; and the Laplace transform. Applications of first-order, linear, differential equations and second-order, linear, differential equations with constant coefficients will be studied.
ENGR 210: Engineering Mechanics I – Statics (3 credits)
This course allows you to study static equilibrium forces acting on particles and rigid bodies in two and three dimensions. Among the topics covered in the course, students will learn to calculate the resultant force due to a system of forces, external reactions for rigid bodies in 2D equilibrium, the Centroid of composite bodies, external reactions of rigid bodies in 3D equilibrium, member forces in a truss, internal forces in multi-force members, internal cable forces for discrete load systems, and more. Additionally, students will be able to solve static dry friction problems. Students will use vector algebra, free-body diagrams, and centroids.
AHIT 210: The Artistic Impulse: Comparative Arts in Italian Context (3 credits)
What is beauty? And why should we care about beauty? Moving from the studies and reflections of Umberto Eco – one of Italy’s finest contemporary thinkers – this course explores the nature, the meaning, and the very history of the idea of beauty in Western culture, with a special focus on the Italian context. Students will be introduced to the most influential aesthetic theories and will be guided through the analysis of noteworthy works ranging from literature to fine and performing arts. The course includes visits to museums, archaeological sites, and a field trip to Pienza: the ideal Renaissance city. Additionally, students will explore the peculiarities of (and possibly attend) musical and theatrical performances in order to widen the range of their personal experiences and stimulate their critical and analytical skills. This course substitutes RWU core requirement: CORE 105 – The Artistic Impulse
ISLI 330: A Taste for Knowledge (3 credits)
This course will examine the role of food in Italian and Italian-American literature. As the Italian words sapore (taste) and sapere (knowledge) share a common root: *sap-, which means not only “to taste”, but also “to research” and “to be wise”, this course will consider how the preparation, production and consumption of food intersect with wisdom and (self)knowledge in literature and culture. Students in this course will demonstrate an understanding of literary devices, figures of speech and sound patterns. Through their own writings, students will also apply their understanding of the conventions of the various literary genre, such as plot, narrative voice, setting, characterization, description. This Course substitutes RWU core requirement: CORE 104 – Literature, Philosophy, and the Ascent of Ideas
ITAL XXX: Italian Language (4 credits)
All students must enroll in an Italian language course as part of the STEM curriculum. Courses at all levels from beginner to advanced are available. There are no prerequisites.
Elective Course: (3 credits)
Students may round out their curriculum by choosing from the wide range of courses offered by Umbra each fall semester. For a current list
For a current list click here.
Student Life in Perugia, Italy
Perugia is truly the perfect backdrop for study abroad in Italy. It is not too large or small, it’s home to two Italian universities and over 40,000 students, its a hilltop city with fantastic panoramic views, and it is conveniently located between Florence and Rome near the Umbrian-Tuscany border. As a student in Perugia you will learn to fully appreciate the Italian lifestyle that many call “la dolce vita”. Umbra provides students with shared apartments within a short walk of the Institute and University, allowing for innumerable opportunities to enjoy mid-day siestas, eat a panino on the fountain steps, and walk the city center like a native. There is no meal plan, but apartments are furnished with full kitchens so that you can try to duplicate your favorite new Italian dish. WiFi is provided both within the Institute and in each student apartment. To help you make the most of your time abroad, you will have access to the labs at the University of Perugia’s chemistry department, as well as the rest of Umbra’s modern, student-oriented facilities. Lastly, Umbra provides several activities during your semester to give you the opportunity to socialize and meet locals. Check out some of the student activities offered at Umbra.
Ready to apply?
Students must first be approved by their study abroad office. Fill in the form below and we will give you more info on the program and help you out with the application process. To learn more about the fees for studying abroad, contact us below.
Study Abroad in Perugia, Italy
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