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  • Locations: Apiro, Italy; Florence, Italy; Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

What You Need to Know

Italy is widely known as having some of the most progressive legal policies supporting inclusive practice including an over 30-year tradition of educating students with disabilities in general education classrooms. Inclusion in Italy is based on the principle that the integration of people with disabilities is a positive force in the classroom, because it offers all students opportunities to develop new understandings and knowledge. Disability, therefore, is considered a point of strength, rather than a problem. Italy also boasts a public education and basic literacy level of nearly 97%, which is quite remarkable, although international comparisons of test scores place Italy much closer to the U.S. in other areas. Today, Italy is experiencing a new wave of immigration as well as the effects of a widespread downturn in the economy. Disability studies, as a field of inquiry, is beginning to emerge in Italy. Thus, the implementation and meanings of integration (or inclusion) take on new meanings in the midst of these changes, making this a very significant time to be studying and observing inclusion and literacy instruction in Italy.

Travel and Living

The round-trip transatlantic flight to Italy is included in this program's fee . Transportation for program-related field trips are arranged by Syracuse Abroad and are included in the program fee. You'll be housed in shared rooms in hotels/hostels rented by Syracuse University for the duration of the program. Students will receive some meals (included in the program fee), but will be responsible for a majority of meals. Additional information will be provided to confirmed applicants.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not purchase your airline ticket before receiving written notification from us that you can book your flight. You will have to present this notification if we cancel the program at a later date, and you want to be reimbursed for the cost of the ticket.

*Travel and living arrangements are subject to change.  Syracuse Abroad will provide detailed information prior to the program start date.


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Literacy, Inclusion, and Diversity in Italy
EDU 465/665, 3 Credits, Undergraduate/Graduate

This three-week Syracuse Abroad immersion course is intended to foster students' understandings of literacy, inclusion, and diversity in Italian schools and communities through a combination of language study, school-based literacy projects, lectures, school and museum visits, readings, and discussion seminars.
Italy has some of the most progressive policies for inclusive education of students with disabilities in general education classrooms in the world (Canevaro & de Anna, 2010; D’Alessio, 2007), coupled with a nearly 97% basic literacy rate. However, increasing immigration and international comparisons are bringing new concerns about accountability and achievement, making this a significant time to be studying inclusion, literacy, and diversity in Italy. Beginning and ending in Rome (Lazio region), students visit schools, museums, and other historical sites across Italy, including the Marche (Apiro), Veneto (Venice), and Tuscany (Florence) regions.

*It is the student's responsibility to confirm with their home school/college that the course(s) taken as part of this program will satisfy their degree requirements.


Christine Ashby

ChristyAshbyChristy Ashby is an Associate Professor in the Teaching and Leadership Department of the School of Education at Syracuse University. She teaches in the Inclusive Elementary and Special Education Program and coordinates the 1-6 and 7-12 Inclusive Education Masters’ Programs. She is also the Director of the Institute on Communication and Inclusion (ICI), which conducts research, training and dissemination of information on communication strategies for individuals with disabilities who are non-speaking or who have limited speech. This work focuses on enhancing participation of people with disabilities in inclusive school and community settings.

Professor Ashby's teaching and research focus on inclusive education broadly, with specific emphasis on supports for students with labels of autism and other developmental disabilities, facilitated communication, disability studies, and clinically rich teacher preparation. A consistent theme throughout her research and writing is the challenging of the construct of mental retardation and a consideration of the social construction of competence. Her work seeks to disrupt dominant notions of disability as deficiency and underscores the importance of considering the lived experiences of individuals considered to have significant disabilities. Ashby's work has been published in journals including the International Journal of Inclusive Education, Disability and Society, Teacher Education and Special Education, and Intellectual and Developmental Disability.

Kathleen Hinchman


Once a middle school teacher, Kathleen A. Hinchman now teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in childhood and adolescent literacy. Her research explores youths’ and teachers’ perspectives toward literacy. She has published in many journals and co-authored or edited such texts as Reconceptualizing the Literacies in Adolescents’ Lives and Teaching Adolescents Who Struggle With Reading. She has served as President of the Central New York Reading Council and the New York State Reading Association, and as a member of the Board of Directors and 2009 president of the Literacy Research Association (formerly the National Reading Conference).

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 Course begins:  May 12, 2020
 Course ends:  May 29, 2020
 Application deadline:   February 10* 

*Applications received after February 10 will be considered if there is still space in the program.


 UNDERGRADUATE (3 credits)
 Tuition  $3,891 (2019 rate)
 Program Fee    $4,200 (estimated)
 Total  $8,091 (estimated)
 GRADUATE (3 credits)
 Tuition  $4,860 (2019 rate) 
 Program Fee   $4,200 (estimated)
 Total  $9,060( estimated)
*Tuition is estimated until new rates are released in March 2020.

Please note: All costs are estimated and subject to change.

Additional Financial Information: We estimate that students should budget accordingly for the following expenses:

Air travel: included in program fee
Books & Supplies: $60
Personal: $500
Meals: $500

These figures are for expenses not covered in the tuition or program fee and are paid out-of-pocket.
*Please note that there may be additional fees associated with this program if a visa is required.


For questions on the application, please contact:
Myles Chalue, Admissions Counselor for Summer Programs (

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Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.