The Siena Sustainability Program: Summer 2013

Study in Italy, Under the Tuscan Sun!

Three NAU academic units in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (SBS) are partnering with the Siena School for Liberal Arts to offer the Siena Sustainability Program for 8 amazing weeks this summer, 2013! Especially designed for undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Anthropology, Department of Geography, Planning & Recreation, and the MS Sustainable Communities Program. Other interested students from NAU and elsewhere are encouraged to apply.  Topics include sustainable food systems and agriculture, cultural anthropology, urban history, architecture and design, public spaces, community development, social research methods, and more. This blog post provides the details as of this writing.

Official Application Page: Click here for the official Study Abroad application page provided by the NAU Center for International Education (CIE). This is where you will apply for the Siena program and find more information about what to expect for housing, costs, courses, etc.

Siena in Photos: See the Flickr Photostream for Siena by Prof. Tom Paradis.   

Program of Study: Students will be required to enroll in six NAU credit hours, which includes the following academic “package”:

  • Choose one 500-level topics course (3 credits each) offered by either Prof. Tom Paradis (Geography, Planning & Recreation) or Prof. Miguel Vasquez (Dept. of Anthropology).
  • Everyone enrolls in one additional course (3 credits) taught by a professor at the Siena School for Liberal Arts.
  • All courses and students participate in a workshop with a renowned European guest instructor, and a symposium in which students present or otherwise participate. The Palio will provide the primary academic topic of the program’s final week in Siena (see below), held annually on July 2.
  • All students learn basic (or more advanced) Italian language during the 8-week program.   

Program Dates:

Arrival:              Tuesday, May 14
Orientation:      Wednesday, May 15
Program Start: Thursday, May 16
Program End:   Thursday, July 4
Departure:         Friday, July 5

This falls within the NAU 3-week summer intersession and the following 5-week Summer Session I. Students can return to NAU for Summer Session II if desired after the July 4 Holiday.

Who Should Apply? Undergraduate and graduate students interested in topics related to environmental, agricultural, and urban sustainability, community sustainability, livable cities, and urban design. Especially intended for students in:

  • BS Geographic Science & Community Planning (including geography and planning majors) 
  • BS Parks & Recreation Management,
  • BS/MS Anthropology
  • MS Applied Geospatial Sciences,
  • MA Sustainable Communities,
  • Related majors in History, Sociology, Environmental Science, and others interested in sustainability topics and European/Global studies.
  • Students from other universities who are intersted in this 6-credit program. Transfer the NAU credits to your own university

The Palio Experience: Engage with one of the world’s most enthralling community celebrations. Learn its ties with history, community, sense of place, and local pride. The last full week of this program will focus on the Palio, held on July 2. Watch a 12-minute Video of the Palio by the Discovery Channel.

Program Costs: The cost per student for this 6-credit program is $6,130. This price includes tuition for 6 summer NAU credits, student housing in Siena, all NAU fees and health insurance, special workshop guest instructor, field excursions, and all costs associated with the Siena School for Liberal Arts and its facilities. This cost does not include airfare. You will be encouraged to find some relatively painless ways to lower your costs, which can pay for airfare and more (see next section below!). This is considered an affordable study abroad program compared to other similar experiences overseas. See if you can take advantage this year!

How to Lower Your Costs: A variety of options for scholarships and other funding sources will be available to students, including the following:

  • Scholarships of between $500 and $1,500 through the Center for International Education (more info forthcoming).
  • Additional travel funds through the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences (more info forthcoming)
  • Take advantage of departmental scholarships (GPR or Anthropology) that can be applied for future NAU tuition
  • Some students can plan to use leftover financial aid for the summer program, if it is not all used for fall and spring.
  • Other  opportunities for student travel funding and scholarships are being explored as of this writing, and will be announced.  

How to Apply: The application process will be fully online, through the NAU Center for International Education web site. See the official application site for more details and how to apply!

The Faculty: Join Professors Thomas (Tom) Paradis and Michael (Miguel) Vasquez who will represent the two NAU courses taught in Siena. Both Tom and Miguel are recognized at NAU as President’s Distinguished Teaching Fellows, one of NAU’s highest teaching honors. Both have various experiences with teaching and research (and eating) in Italy. CONTACT Dr. Paradis or Dr. Vasquez to express interest in the program and to ask any questions on your mind! Email or They are both very friendly and approachable! And, they want to take you to Italy!

Professor Miguel Vasquez, NAU Dept. of Anthropology

Professor Tom Paradis, NAU Dept. of Geography, Planning & Recreation

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About Tom Paradis

Tom is Professor of geography and community planning at Northern Arizona University, having first arrived on the faculty in 1997. He has served as the university's Director of Academic Assessment 2005-2011 and was recently appointed as a President's Distinguished Teaching Fellow at NAU. His teaching and research interests include urban geography and development, cultural landscape studies, community and urban design, architectural history, tourism development, geography education, and assessment of student learning.
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One Response to The Siena Sustainability Program: Summer 2013

  1. Pingback: Siena Sustainability Summer Program 2013. | Green NAU

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