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  • Locations: Rome, Italy; Venice, Italy
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Class Eligibility: Freshman, Junior, Pre-Junior, Senior, Sophomore Type of Program: Intensive Course Abroad
Click here for a definition of this term Program Advisor: Ahaji Schreffler
Program Description:
Program Overview | Academics | Program Calendar | Program Fee | More Information

Spring Break in Italy:
Believers, Infidels, Heretics in Rome & Venice

Rome Jewish

Program Overview

Just over 500 years ago, in 1516, the very first “ghetto” was established under that name: the enclosed neighborhood designed by the Republic of Venice to be the home for the Jews of the city. Jewish communities elsewhere in the Italian peninsula soon fell under similar restrictions. But Jews were only one of the religious minorities who lived in Italy: Orthodox Christians, Muslims, and (eventually) Protestants and other “heretical” Christians were also present and were also subject to varying levels of tolerance, surveillance, control, and oppression by political and religious authorities. In this course, we will travel to Rome and Venice to examine the extant traces of these religious communities, explore their treatment by the religious majority, investigate their influences on the broader culture in which they lived, and study how the history of these religious communities is treated today.

Students completing this intensive course abroad will be able to:
➢ Explain the history of interactions among the different religious communities in medieval and early modern Italy
➢ Discuss how the religious histories of Venice and Rome are reflected in the physical fabric of these cities today
➢ Explain how these histories are memorialized and recounted in the present

This course will help you refine your knowledge and skills in the following Drexel Student Learning Priorities: Creative and Critical Thinking, Communication, Ethical Reasoning and Global Competence.

Read more about the Interfaith Studies Program and this ICA here.


Credit/Registration Students will be automatically registered for HIST T280 Believers, Heretics, and Infidels in Venice & Rome, 4 credits as part of their spring term course load. Students must leave space for this 4 credits in their spring term credit load or will have to pay for exceeding the 20 credit maximum.

Winter Term: There will be 3 required group meetings scheduled during winter term to get acquainted, discuss preparatory readings, and review travel logistics.

Eligibility: Open to all majors. Freshman Friendly ICA open to First Year students.

Instructor: Dr. Jonathan Seitz, Associate Teaching Professor of History:

Program CalendarRome St. Peter's

Arrival Date: March 24, 2024
Departure Date: March 31, 2024

Winter Term: 3 required group meetings (schedule TBD)

Planned itinerary
Note: The final itinerary will depend on the size of the group and accessibility of sites at time of booking.
  1. Departure from US (Saturday, March 23, 2024)
    1. Students must make their own travel arrangements to arrive by the Sunday start. This will generally require booking a flight departing on Saturday.
  2. Arrival and orientation to Rome (Sunday, March 24, 2024)
    1. Students expected to be at hotel and prepared for orientation walk by 2pm
    2. PM: Neighborhood and general Rome orientation walk, led by instructor
    3. Group welcome dinner and discussion (required)
  3. Roman antiquity and Roman Jews
    1. AM: Exploration of Roman Forum and other areas of the ancient center of Rome, led by instructor 
    2. PM: Visit to the Jewish Museum of Rome and tour of the Jewish Quarter, led by Museum staff. Guided visit to Aventine hill and early Christian church of S. Sabina, led by instructor
    3. Group dinner and discussion (required)
  4. Layers of Roman religious history
    1. AM: Visit to S. Clemente church plus excavations of early Christian and pre-Christian Mithraic ruins beneath, guided by instructor
    2. PM: Visit to Jewish catacombs along the Via Appia, led by local guide
    3. Group dinner and discussion (required)
  5. Power and the Papacy
    1. AM: Visit to the Vatican Museums guided by local expert; guided walk/lecture to St. Peter’s basilica and environs, led by instructor
    2. PM: Free time for students to visit sites not on the group itinerary
  6. Transfer day and Venice orientation
    1. AM: transfer from Rome to Venice via train
    2. PM: Orientation walk and introduction to Venice, led by instructor
    3. Group dinner and discussion (required)
  7. Venetian Jews
    1. AM: Jewish Museum visit and synagogue tour led by Museum guide; possibly Jewish cemetery tour led by Museum guide
    2. PM: Free time for students to visit sites not on the group itinerary
  8. Venice and the East
    1. AM: Eastern influences walk and visit to the basilica of S. Marco, led by instructor.
    2. PM: Ducal Palace tour led by local guide; exploration of Piazza San Marco and environs, led by instructor
    3. Farewell dinner and discussion (required)
  9. Departure (Sunday, March 31, 2024)
    1. AM: transfer to Venice airport for departing flights, arranged by students

Program Fee - $1,700Venice Interfaith

Due November 15, 2023: $500 Advanced Payment + $25 online application fee 

Due January 15, 2024: $1,200 Final Payment

*All payments are non-refundable unless declined admission or program cancels for unforeseen reasons.

Included in Program Fee:

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transport
  • Venice airport transfer on departure day
  • Entrance fees, program activities
  • Daily breakfasts, some lunches and dinners
  • On Call Emergency Assistance insurance

Not Included in Program Fee:

  • Round trip airfare ($1700)
  • Some meals ($100)
  • Passport ($165)
  • Spending money ($150)
  • Visa (not required for US Citizens)
  • Airport transfer (Philadelphia and Rome) ($60)
ICA Financial Aid: Students may request an Adjusted Cost of Attendance by submitting the ICA program fee and estimated out of pocket expenses listed above to Drexel Central (via askdrexel). Doing so could make students eligible for additional financial aid.  Students may also be eligible to apply for Drexel's ICA Scholarships.

More Information

  • Non- US Citizens may be required to apply for an Italian tourist visa. US citizens are not required to obtain a visa for entry.
Grading Scale
A (92-100%)
A-/B+ (88-89.9%/90-91.9%)
B (82-87.9%)
B-/C+ (78-79.9%/80-81.9%)
C (72-77.9%)
C-/D+ (68-69.9%/70-71.9%)
D (60-67.9%)
F (<60%)

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2024 11/15/2023
11/29/2023 03/24/2024 03/31/2024
NOTE: This is a Freshman Friendly ICA open to First Year students.

Indicates that deadline has passed

This program is currently not accepting applications.