Study Abroad with Ohio Wesleyan University in Italy

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Mediterranean Diet in Italy Summer Program
With Professor Chris Fink of Ohio Wesleyan University

May 18 – June 24, 2023

Program Costs: $4,975.00 (One Course); $5,975.00 (Two Courses)

Join OWU professor Chris Fink this summer in sunny Italy to study and experience first-hand, the Italian Mediterranean diet. The 5-week program is hosted by the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy. 

The Mediterranean Diet has often been promoted as one of the healthiest diets in the world. It has found broad appeal in part because of its rich, fresh flavors, and focus on ‘traditional’, often romanticized foods. But the role of community, conviviality, and connection through food is often ignored. 

In this course, we will examine the history of the Mediterranean Diet, how it rose to prominence, and how it is put into practice in and through the community: at markets, kitchens, gardens, in general discourse and rhetoric, and at the dinner table in present-day Italy, particularly in Perugia, and more broadly in Umbria.  Aside from course content, students will have the opportunity to get hands-on experiences outside of the classroom to more effectively understand the nature of food and community. Students also have the option to add a second elective course from Umbra’s offerings.


Who’s teaching the class?

Chris Fink is a professor in Health and Human Kinetics. Fink began his career at Ohio Wesleyan in 2007, where he focuses his teaching in the areas of health behavior and health promotion, food studies, and qualitative inquiry. He has also served as department chair of the Health & Human Kinetics department since 2010 and enjoys working with faculty and staff across disciplines on curricular work, projects, and program development.

In recent years, he has focused primarily on dietary health, and issues related to dietary decisions and the food system as a whole, including food insecurity. His research is primarily qualitative, exploring community food insecurity and chronic disease; food education, culture, and tradition; and the role of community in dietary health and quality of life. He has been working extensively in Italy, with a particular interest in the relationship between Mediterranean culture and lifestyle (specifically Italian) and dietary / movement behavior choices. He is currently exploring the community-building and heritagization aspects of the Italian sagra, and is a co-organizer for the Perugia Food and Sustainability conference held at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy every two years.

Experience the Real Italy

Each semester, Ohio Wesleyan University students take advantage of the Umbra Institute’s beautiful location in historic Perugia, Italy. The close partnership between OWU and Umbra allows students to complete courses, taught in English, that count toward their degree. Courses are designed to use Perugia as a classroom and to give students ample time to travel elsewhere in Italy and Europe. 

Apply through OWU

Live Like an Italian

All apartments are located walking distance from the Institute and the city’s many events and amenities. With panoramic views abound, the city invites exploration & discovery around every corner.

Apartments are fully equipped (WiFi included!) making it easy for you and your friends to plan a dinner in or to catch your next train or plane out of town, and explore pizzerias, trattorias, or coffee bars.

Being a university city, Perugia hosts events throughout the year—from Eurochocolate to the Umbria Jazz Festival. Whether attending one of Umbra’s workshops (ex. Travel Workshop) or events (ex. Wine Tasting), there is always something to do!



Interested in joining the Umbra community?

Connect with the OWU Study Abroad!

Email Prof. Fink