If you have questions about this program, email the program leader listed below.

Investigating Women's Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues in Florence, Italy

Program Details

The arrangements for the travel, housing, meals, excursions and course content of this program have been made by the leader. Questions about this program can only be answered by the program leader listed below.

Program Type Departmental
Program Location Florence, Italy
Course # SA 10203
Duration Summer
Upcoming Program Dates
To Be Announced
Current Program Dates
Summer 2023 05/07/23 to 06/23/23
Past Dates

Program Leader

Name Andrea DeMaria
Email ademaria@purdue.edu
Please Note: Due to COVID-19, programs may be altered or adapted with little notice

Enrollment Details: Enrollment Currently Closed


Program Description


I invite you to join me as we explore a deep awareness of cultural unity, regional healthcare, and community diversity in Italy while mastering research skills. This study abroad program is an immersive, 7-week, 9-credit-hour experience, which provides you with unique interdisciplinary and research-based learning. You will participate in courses instructed by both Purdue University and Florence University of the Arts (FUA) faculty. The program allows you to interact with a diverse mix of students, engage in remarkable learning opportunities, and achieve extraordinary global education and growth through exposure to experiential and cultural activities.

Our program will start in Rome with a Cultural Introduction to Italy field experience travel week, where we will engage with FUA faculty and students from across the world while learning about Italian history, culture, language, policy, cuisine, and so much more. We will travel to different cities and regions in Italy for one week while making our way to Florence. Upon arrival in Florence, you will engage in an FUA lecture course, Food, Culture, and Community, which will highlight key Italian cultural and community concepts, and Directed Research Hours, which will train you in graduate-level research practices (e.g., study conceptualization, qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis, manuscript composition and professional presentation delivery, various computer and software programs, and more!). To date, the program has resulted in 12 published research papers--all co-authored by past program participants. Findings have been presented locally, nationally, and internationally.

Further, you will experience the culture, health, and wellness through direct lectures, cultural immersion field experiences, and site visits to health-related facilities and museums. Ultimately, you will walk away from this program with a deeper awareness of Italian culture as well as your own, and a knowledge base of the ways health and wellness are shaped by individual behaviors, community and social contexts, and local policies.

Since the inaugural trip for this study abroad in Summer 2017, a combined 71 undergraduate and 4 graduate students have traveled by my side in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2022. I am looking forward to doing it for the fifth time! 

Space for this study abroad program is limited. Due to the academic rigor and prestige of this program, I will request a cover letter and resume and a semi-formal group interview. I will email you to request this after you submit your application. I am specifically looking for students who are interested in women's reproductive and sexual health, research training and cultural experiences, and academic growth.

Click HERE to download the program magazine, which explains a bit more about where we are going and what we will be doing.


Dr. Andrea DeMaria


Academic Credit

PUBH 490 - Directed Research in Women's Reproductive and Sexual Health (3 credits instructed by Dr. Andrea DeMaria)

This course teaches research methodologies through an experiential learning process where students will participate in a hands-on research project during their 6 weeks in Florence. Students will learn graduate-level research and scientific writing skills, gain exposure to research study organizational skills and strategies (including conceptualizing a research project from start to finish), and become proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel, Canva, Zotero, HyperResearch, SPSS, and BOX, among others, and complete human subject ethics training (CITI Training). Student responsibilities will include assisting with qualitative and quantitative data collection and analyses, conducting comprehensive literature searches using PubMed and other electronic databases, summarizing quantitative and qualitative findings in a scientific manuscript and professional presentation, maintaining the confidentiality of all study information, and participating in class, research meetings, and field learning experiences.


PUBH 490 - Cultural Introduction to Italy Field Experience (3 credits instructed by Florence University of the Arts)

This course will provide students with a deep awareness of cultural unity and regional diversity in Italy. This one-week course will feature on-site learning and assessment in unique locations (e.g., Rome, Tuscany, Cinque Terre) spanning different regions, territories, and cultural landscapes. This one-week intensive course is intended to provide students with an in-depth introduction to Italian culture and to broaden one’s awareness and understanding of the role of cultural heritage in customs and lifestyles. Lectures will provide students with an organized, focused, and academic understanding of Italian history, art, architecture, food, religion, and culture. The course provides additional enrichment through basic notions of Italian language and terminology along with assigned readings and a final paper. On-site teaching is a significant part of this course and aims to provide the student with an incomparable experience of studying important sites of artistic, architectural, and social relevance in present-day Italy. Students are encouraged to observe the sites through active participation and to discuss their observations using specific and analytic social assessment skills


PUBH 490 - Food, Culture, and Community (3 credits instructed by a Professional Chef at Florence University of the Arts)

Though food diversifies throughout the world according to local cultural backgrounds, there is a common ground in the universal approach to food: it is a part of everyday life and sharing food is still one of the greatest examples of humans acting as “social creatures.” Italy represents a unique case, for food is both celebrated and involved in cultural celebrations that are fundamental to Italian society. This course will provide students with a full immersion in the relationship between food and the local community in Italy, focusing on the many moments that represent conviviality in Italian culture and society. Coursework includes a wide variety of field learning activities through which students will be introduced to local and traditional crafts, food markets, typical street food vendors, local purchasing groups, community-supported agriculture, and countryside food festivals as fundamental milestones in the Italian gastro-social tradition. Through hands-on experiences and on-site activities, students will learn the fundamentals of community-geared food production and will acquire a deeper understanding of food as an essential element of society.


This program is open to all undergraduate students currently enrolled at Purdue University. Successful candidates will demonstrate academic success, maturity, independence, and the desire to experience a way of life that differs from their own.

There are no prerequisites for this program. Prior research experience is not required, but is certainly a plus!

Applicants must be passionate about women's reproductive and sexual health and have a strong interest in being trained to conduct social and behavioral research. This work is great preparation for students interested in healthcare delivery and/or public health practice.

Minimum Cumulative GPA Requirement: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

Language Requirement: None


Program Cost

Students pursuing program participation accept financial responsibility. Purdue will take measures to mitigate financial risks, although will not be liable for loss.

Program cost is approximately $8,500, which includes flight, lodging, field week and additional travel, group meals and activities, meal swipes, and more!

Undergraduate students may be eligible for a $3,000 MOVES scholarship.

All accepted students must pay a $500 deposit (due by November 15, 2022) to reserve a spot in the program. This money will go toward the total program fee.


Application Deadline

This program is no longer accepting applications for 2023.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. There is a chance that the application portal will be shut down ahead of this deadline, which will be based on submissions received (as was the case for the 2022 summer program). Therefore, you are strongly recommended to submit your application ASAP.

Financial Aid

Purdue University financial aid may be applied to the costs of studying abroad. Students interested in receiving financial aid should

NOTE:  Recipients of certain tuition remission and scholarship programs should pay careful attention to the regulations for using those benefits for study abroad.  Ask your financial aid advisor about any limitations.

Click here for a list of scholarships and grants available to assist with the costs of studying overseas.