Summer 2015: The Good Life


Department: Philosophy

Leaders: Dr. Phil Thompson (

: Philosophy, General Education

  Terms/Timeframe: 05/10/2015-05/31/2015

Language: English

  Credits: 3

Budget: Summer 2015


Good Academic Standing
Good Judicial Standing

  Application Deadlines:
January 30, 2015
  Application Materials:

EIU Program Application (Faculty-led Programs)

Course Selection Form

Academic Program and Activities

Find out why you want to go to Italy.  See the best of northern Italy in two weeks learning about Italian culture, film, history, archeology and the roots of Western civilization.  We are nearly 100% on-site learning in Italy; we finish class work online during the summer.

Students will also get a chance to visit the great city of Rome,which is the capital of Italy. Rome is known to be one of the largest cities in Italy that captures the history and art of Ancient Rome, Renaissances, and Baroque. Students will enjoy the accessible travel experiences, and get a chance to walk through one of the largest airports in Rome, called Fiumicino-Leonardo Da Vinci. In addition to learning about the great history of Rome, students have the option to go on different excursions and visit monumental sites like the Colosseum, Amphitheatre Flavius, Constantine's Arch, and the Roman Forum.The vibrant city of Rome will leave you astonished by the historical monuments, arts, cuisines, and attractions!

This course is designed for all majors and in the past there have been students from every college on campus and majors ranging from business, family and consumer sciences, history and elementary education, to name a few.  What unites the group is an interest in “all thing Italy.”  All years from first year up through graduating seniors are welcome.  And every student, regardless of the number of credit hours already taken, can get credit for their senior seminar on this study tour.  (Honors credit for senior seminar is available.)



While visiting Rome, students will be housed in shared residences and will have access to kitchen facilities. Highlights include:  Michelangelo’s David, Roman Coliseum tour, tour of Ostia Antica's ruins, cooking lesson, and a guided tour of Hadrian's village.

If you want to continue your travel independently, you can stay in Europe after the trip and fly home from Paris, London, or Greece. Flights are booked separately but students will have the opportunity to discuss independent travel with other members of the group or fly to Italy and back home from Italy with the group.

On-campus orientation in March.

This experience is an extremely small group and it is limited to twelve students maximum.

"Studying abroad in Italy was a life changing experience for me. It opened up my eyes to new people, new food, new cultures, new everything! I am so happy to have been fortunate enough to go because it was one of the best trips I have ever experienced. I would highly recommend The Good Life in Italy because you will never forget it!"
- Jade Kuhl, Summer 2012 participant.

"This program was such an amazing experience that was life-changing. I would recommend anyone and everyone to go while they have the chance to experience another culture."
- Amanda Swinda, Summer 2010 participant

"You definitely get your money's worth and it's the perfect amount of time to go abroad, not too long or too short. It's designed very well to give you a full look at the Italian culture."
- Stacey Jaksa, Summer 2010 participant



Introduction to Course

The Good Life offers students at Eastern Illinois University the unique opportunity to study in Italy. Students will spend the first two weeks living and exploring the
historic center of Rome where we will visit major archeological and cultural sites. The third week will be spent in Tuscania, a hilltop town north of Rome in the breathtaking countryside of
the southern Maremma. Tuscania is small town in a rural setting, and students will have the opportunity for friendly and frequent interaction with local residents in a cultural context and
language different from their own.

Rome provides a special opportunity to study ancient history, archaeology and art first hand. By studying and visiting archaeological sites and museums, students can see the contributions of the
Romans to Western culture through the physical remains of its civilization . The focus on the course will be philosophy, religion, and art, but the course will also cover Roman political and
social life from antiquity to present. Most of the learning will be facilitated by site visits to historical and cultural sites. The course will also expose students to contemporary Italian culture
- interaction with locals, cooking, fashion, etc. Most learning will occur during day trips and excursions.

Some lectures may be given in the morning before leaving for the day’s activities, and other material (lectures, videos, supplemental readings) will be posted on D2L. Students will be required to complete some written
assignments and a take-home final exam.The course aims to develop a student’s understanding and appreciation for the interaction of cultures and dogmas in ancient Rome through art history, paganism and the mystery religions, the
various schools of philosophy including Epicureanism and Stoicism, and the rise of Christianity. Students will not only gain knowledge of the cultural history, philosophy, and religions of ancient Rome, but they will gain a deeper appreciation of how the legacy of the Roman empire.

the good life 5


Course Itinerary

Week I - Tour of central Rome to acquaint students with contemporary Italian life and the most important sites and monuments. A tour will give students their bearings, so they can venture out on their own.
Political and social life in ancient Rome: Coliseum, Roman Forum, Ostia Antica, Hadrian’s Forum/Market, baths of Caracalla, Via Appia Antica.
The comparison of Religious practices: visits to temple ruins, the Pantheon, and Basilicas - especially San Clemente, St. John the Lateran, Saint Paul Outside the Walls.
Burial practices and conceptions of the afterlife: visit to the catacombs (along Appia Antica), the Tomb of the Scipios, and the Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and/or Tarquinia.

Week II - Comparisons of ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance art: Museo Capitoli, Galleria Borghese. and the Vatican Museums (including St. Peters), and others that may be suggested later.- Tivoli ( Hadrian’s Villa and Villa de Este)

Week III - Culinary arts, archaeology field school, and visits to Medieval towns such as Pitigliano, Montepulciano, Montalcino.


Undergraduate options:
STA 3970 (3 cr) - may be substituted for PHI 2500G (3 cr), EIU 4167G* (3 cr) or PHI3970 ( 2 or 3 cr)

Honors options:
STA 3990 (3 cr) - may be substituted for EIU4194G* (4 cr) or PHI 2590G (3 cr)

After Your Trip:
Take STA4000G at EIU to fulfill your senior-seminar requirement!


Students will be housed in shared residences close to the school where courses are taught.


At least two pre-departure orientations will be provided and are required for all participants.

Your faculty leader will hold one of these orientations, where he/she will cover information on safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the host country(ies), as well as planning logistics.

The Office of Study Abroad (OSA) will hold the other orientation. They will cover general information about traveling abroad to different areas of the world and facilitate a panel discussion composed of students who have already participated in faculty-led study abroad programs.

Necessary Documents

To enter a foreign country, you must have a valid passport. If you are a U.S. citizen and do not currently have a valid passport, or if your passport will expire during the time you will be overseas, please go to the U.S. State Department web site for information on how to apply for/renew your passport.

You are strongly encouraged to read the U.S. State Department's Consular Information Sheet on your host countries. It will provide you with a great deal of information to help you prepare for your trip.

**Please be aware that you are responsible for obtaining the most up-to-date information on entry requirements. The Office of Study Abroad only provides general information, as visa regulations and procedures are constantly changing. Please consult the Consulate for more information. **