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First-Year Honors Program in Italy

First-year students admitted with honors to Whitworth are invited to apply for an extraordinary study abroad opportunity in Italy over Jan Term 2023. This off-campus program, which will include a select group of upper-division students, provides a unique opportunity to live, learn and explore in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Honors Program Director Bert Emerson and Interim Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences John Pell will lead the program. Students will complete two courses that benefit from this unique Jan Term location and format, both of which meet graduation, as well as honors, requirements.

The current itinerary includes:

Vatican City, Roman Forum and Colosseum, Borghese Gallery, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Pisa and Siena, Piazza del Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Galleria dell’Accademia, Uffizi Gallery, Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, Venice’s Jewish District.


Students will need their Whitworth username and password to apply for this program. If you are having issues accessing the application/logging in, please contact the Help Desk at 509.777.3911 or

Academic Programs

Students will have the opportunity to complete requirements for two shared curriculum courses that also satisfy two lower-division honors requirements.

Museum Seminar (1-credit prep course in fall; 2-credit course in Italy)

Shared curriculum credits: Fine Arts (Expressive IG)

Students will complete this course in two phases. The first credit will be earned with a one-credit prep course that occurs on campus in the fall, an ideal learning opportunity to develop some key vocabulary and approaches to our time in Italy while also getting to know your fellow travelers. The second two credits will happen in Italy with an immersive, experiential course. Our objects of study will be various venues – museums especially – and their curation of art. We’ll assess a variety of dynamics in play: the choices of representation, the aesthetics of the art, as well as venue, the economic cost for both upkeep and perusal, and the effects and affects of artistic curation.

Rhetoric & Culture Through Art & Architecture (3-credit course in Italy)

Shared curriculum credits: Historical Analysis or Cultural Studies (Culture IG)

The history of rhetoric in the West is filled with colorful characters, brilliant ideas, and powerful moments of public discourse. Perhaps no country bears more marks of classical rhetoric than Italy. Whether surveying the remains of the Roman Forum, losing sense of time and space while gazing upon Michelangelo’s David, or being swept away by the shear audacity of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the art and architecture of Italy serve as powerful tour guides through the historical development of one of the oldest humanist pursuits – rhetoric. Rhetoric, the discovery of the available means of persuasion, is an art concerned with how speakers, artists and others might utilize shared meaning to coordinate action. In other words, rhetoric is concerned with what it means to be human, and being human requires acts of persuasion. Traveling through Rome, Florence and Venice, we will consider how major works in those cities serve as visual and physical reminders to the power of persuasion.

Program Highlights

Students will explore three of Italy’s most fascinating cities. The program begins in the ancient city of Rome, Italy’s capital and one of the most visited cities in the world. It then moves to beautiful Florence, celebrated as the birthplace of the Renaissance. The final few days will be enjoyed in the floating city of Venice.

Program Cost

Students are responsible for $4,350* to cover round-trip airfare, travel expenses in Italy, room and meals**, and other program expenses. In addition, the standard $325 Jan Term fee applies.

*Students have the opportunity to earn back $100 through our Early Bird Special (EBS) if they: make ALL payments in time according to the payment plan; turn in all required paperwork in accordance with off-campus programs deadlines; and meet the health center’s deadlines for fulfilling the travel health clinic requirement (as applicable).

**All lunches are at each student’s expense, as well as roughly eight dinners during the 23-day trip.

Whitworth offers a limited number of off-campus programs travel grants ($500) to support students who may need financial assistance in order to study abroad/away. Students who have signed up and deposited for the Honors Program in Italy by May 1, 2022, will automatically be considered for a grant, and grants will be offered based on financial need.  

Contact Information

Questions? Contact the Whitworth Admissions Office at or 509.777.4786.