Every summer a group of about 30 students from Columbia University of New York (USA) disembark in Venice to study the Italian language, culture and history alongside Ca’ Foscari students. Students and professors participate in numerous activities, such as art workshops, historical excursions and cultural activities aimed at getting to know the rich and unique culture of past and present Venice.
The Ca’ Foscari students that successfully apply can take one or two classes in the field of history or art alongside the Columbia students, complete a selection of extra curricular visits (6 per course). Bachelor’s students at Ca’ Foscari that take the courses and pass the exams will get a further 2 points added to their degree marks.
One of the Ca’ Foscari students, Marianna Ciarlante, who participated in the summer school in 2016, tells us about her experience:
“Have you ever dreamt of studying in an American College? Have you ever wanted to be in a university where you and your ideas guide the lesson? Have you ever imagined being able to study at one of the best Universities in the world? If you believe that you can really do it, but you feel like it’s nothing but a dream, change your mind. Realising your dreams is not as difficult as you might think. University Ca’ Foscari of Venice provides you with the opportunity to live the American dream without leaving home and being able to see with your own eyes what it means to be part of an American College class, and not just any, but Columbia University in the city of New York.
The collaboration between Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Columbia University of New York City dates back to 2013 when the programme first took place, organised by the Ca’ Foscari Summer School. Since then, every year professors and students from Columbia University have arrived in Venice and opened the doors to their university classes to groups of Ca’ Foscari students that can live the American dream staying in their own city. Participation in the programme means a cultural and international summer experience, where Italian students and American students can meet one another and learn to unite with others to create a one of a kind intellectually stimulating atmosphere.
Participating in Columbia Summer School means having the chance to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It means challenging yourself, leaving your comfort zone to enter a new and completely different world from what you already know, it means giving yourself the possibility to become sure of yourself and your own ideas, it means looking back on the one and a half months as a dream, it will become the most fulfilling adventure that you have had during your university experience. How am I so certain of this? I’ve experienced it through my own eyes.
Taking part in Columbia Summer School is not only the right choice from a professional standpoint but also from a personal standpoint. The programme is not only based on lessons, assessments and exams, but hosts numerous events for the Italian and American students to socialise and have fun together, such as dinners, language aperitivos, evenings out, trips, sports activities and much more. The creators of the programme strongly believe in the importance of connections between people, they believe in bonds and aim to establish strong relationships between the students and professors, making Columbia Summer School a life experience rather than just a school experience.
The American teaching approach, after all, is based precisely on this, on the relationship between students and professors and debate between students themselves. Another main motive for participating is that you can find your own voice. In the Columbia Summer School classes, you will be taken at face value for your unique vision and opinions. The professors will be more interested in putting your personality under the spotlight and helping you evolve as thinking beings by listening to the ideas of others. It’s an opportunity to rise to the occasion, develop critical thinking and bring out parts of your personality that you didn't know were there. It's the opportunity to discover that you are stronger than you think and this is your chance to permanently get rid of any fear or shyness that has limited you before. Participating in Columbia Summer School will give you the opportunity to meet wonderful people, create relationships that last a long time, and take a leap as a student, but above all as an individual.
Columbia Summer School is an experience that stays in your heart and that will always be a part of you.
Be brave, make a decision for yourself, give yourself the opportunity to become a student, but above all, a better person than you already are.
Do it, because this experience opens doors that today seem like a dream. And believe me because if it were not for me, I would not be the person I am today and I would not be here writing this article.”
Ca’ Foscari Columbia Summer Programme
Programme dates: 8th June - 20th July 2018
Number of Ca’ Foscari students selected: 10 (who will study together with 30 Columbia students)
Courses: 6 in total, held in English by Columbia University professors, in the fields of humanities and arts: history of art, italian cinema, conservation of cultural heritage and history.
Application deadline: 11th April 2018