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Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Maymester 2019 01/04/2019 ** Rolling Admission 05/10/2019 06/06/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Program Category: UGA Faculty-Led Sponsor: SUNY
Type of Instruction: Independent Study Classes With: UGA Students
Language Program: Yes Language of Instruction: English
Taught By: UGA/U.S. Professors(s) Housing Location: Off-Campus
Housing Type: Homestay Work Opportunity: No
Volunteer Opportunity: No Scholarship Availability: No
College/School: Education Academic Area: Child and Family Development - Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education, Education, Educational Theory and Practice, English Education, Italian, Language and Literacy Education, Middle School Education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and World Language, Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages
Minimum number of credit hours: 3 Maximum number of credit hours: 6
Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.0 or above Number of Student Participants: 11-20 students
Type of Admission: First-come first-served (rolling) Open to non-UGA students: Yes
Program Description:
The application deadline for this program was January 12, 2018. If you are interested in the program, you may contact the director, Beth Tolley, and see if any space is available.

Education - Modena Maymester

UGA- Education- Modena Italy Study Abroad Experience
in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Middle School Education

During Maymester, 25-30 students and UGA faculty directors will work with pre-school, elementary, and middle school students and teachers in Modena, Italy. This trip allows participants to experience Italian culture and the Italian educational system, with an emphasis on Reggio Emilia in the pre-school programs.

This program is open to undergraduates and graduate students from any major. Participants will work five mornings a week with a teacher in an Italian school, live with an Italian host family, study Italian, learn about the teaching profession in Italy, and experience Italian culture. Activities include helping children learn English, teaching American songs and games, and helping children complete homework. The children also enjoy teaching Italian to their new American teachers.

While in Italy students will participate in planned seminars, gather field-based observational data, teach lessons in Italian schools, visit educational sites, and take historically and culturally significant excursions. This includes an overnight stay in Venice and an overnight stay in Florence.
First Day of Orienation
Our first day of program orientation at Leopardi School, Modena, Italy.

Please understand that the UGA/Modena Schools Program is an intense 4-week program of work in schools and tours of educational and historical interest. Strict guidelines are required due to the inclusion of home stays. High expectations are set for all participants. Selected participants must have an open mind, be willing to embrace a new culture without criticism, and be able to adjust to a new environment without complaint. It is in the most uncomfortable moments that participants learn the most about themselves and see the world with new eyes. Many of the homes will be without air conditioning and will be cramped. Communication will often be frustrating. Comfort zones will be stretched. Participants must have a sense of adventure and agree to abandon all stereotyping and jumping to assumptions in order to fully benefit from this study abroad program.

See this travel article for more information on Modena.

Program Location

Palazzo DucaleThis program occurs primarily in Modena, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. In culinary circles, the city is known for its production of balsamic vinegar. The Cathedral of Modena and the city's Piazza Grande are both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Modena is nicknamed "the capital of engines", due to the fact that the factories of  Italy's most famous sports cars, including Ferrari and Maserati, have held headquarters in the city at some point.  While in Modena, student participants will visit musuems, restaurants, gelato shops, and much more.  

Students will participate in weekend excursions to the beautiful cities of Florence and Venice. In addition, students have opportunities to travel independently to Bologna, Verona, Parma, and more!  

Contact Information

Beth Dekle Tolley
Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Educational Theory and Practice (Early Childhood Education)
Professor-in-residence, Fowler Drive Elementary School, Professional Development School District
Phone: 706-542-8941 (office) 706-540-1830 (mobile)

Academic Program

Study abroad courses are ETAP 4510/6510 and EDEC 4000/6000. Early childhood majors who are considering participation in the program should NOT register for LLED 5420 during their block 1 courses, because ETAP 4510 will substitute for this course. For other ECE students ETAP 4510 can count as one of the electives.ECE majors in the honors program or the accelerated degree program can get graduate credit for the study abroad program.  There are several options for middle grades majors depending on the content area of concentration. All study abroad participants will register for SABD 1115 which is a dummy course which alerts the bursar to participation in this particular study abroad program. There is no credit assigned to the course.

Sample Program Itinerary

The 2018 program will have a similar itinerary.
Sat, May 6    Arrive in Modena
Sun, May 7    With host family
Mon, May 8    Orientation,  group lunch, Lord Mayor Official Welcome, Town Hall Visit, Palazzo Musei Visit
Tues, May 9    Local school placement, group meeting in afternoon to discuss class activities
Wed, May 10    Local school placement, free afternoon
Thurs, May 11    Local school placement,tour of child centre and a preschool, group  pizza downtown
Fri, May 12    All students visit a preschool in the morning, group tour of Reggio Children in the afternoon
Sat, May 13   Leave for Venice, tour of Duke's palace
Sun, May 14    Boat trip to Morano Island, return to Modena
Mon, May 15    Local school placement, free afternoon
Tues, May 16    Local school placement, Modena Historic Center, group pizza downtown
Wed, May 17    Local school placement, group trip to Verona in afternoon
Thurs, May 18    Local school placement , UGA Seminar, meeting with elementary teachers
Fri, May 19   Local school placement, leave for Florence in afternoon
Sat, May 20   Florence--Accidental Tourist activity
Sun, May 21    Florence-tour of Uffici Museum and David, return to Modena
Mon, May 22    Local school placement, free afternoon
Tues, May 23   Group trip to Cinque Terrre
Weds, May 24    Local school placement, visit to San Carlo High School in afternoon
Thurs, May 25    Local school placement, UGA Seminar, Pizza and gelato
Fri, May 26    Local school placement, free afternoon
Sat, May 27    With host family
Sun, May 28    With host family
Mon, May 29    Local school placement, UGA seminar in afternoon, farewell party in the evening
Tues, May 30   Local school placement, free afternoon
Wed, May 31    Local school placement, free afternoon
Thurs, June 1   Depart from Modena


Homestays will be arranged by Victoria Language and Culture which has years of successful experience placing American students in year-long stays with Italian families. Students will have the opportunity to experience Italian culture first hand by staying with families in and around Modena. An important part of the cultural experiences for this program is living with an Italian family. Included in the program cost are: 2 meals per day with host families, group lunch on day 1, and a pre-departure Italian dinner.

Program Costs

The program cost is $4,975 and includes:
  • Italian book
  • Airport taxes
  • 24/7 support from VLC
  • Group lunch on day #1
  • Formal closing reception
  • Pre-departure Italian dinner
  • Round trip international airfare
  • All ground transportation in Italy
  • 2 meals per day with host families
  • Transportation fees and overnight accommodations in Florence and Venice
  • All excursions in Florence
  • Group trip to Verona
  • Group trip to Cinque Terre
  • Insurance
  • 3 group pizza parties
It is estimated that an additional $500 will be needed for miscellaneous expenses—such as small gifts for teachers,  students, and host families, meals during weekend excursions, and souvenirs.

Previous Experiences

Modena, IT with Mayor

In May 2015, students on this program were received by the mayor of the Municipality of Modena and featured in an article published by the Municipal Press of Modena. The full article text is available online in Italian language: read more


GoAbroad Innovation Awards

GoAbroad 2018 FinalistDr. Beth Tolley was selected as a finalist for the 2018 GoAbroad Innovation Awards in the Alumni Engagement category.

Study Abroad Award


Dr. Beth Tolley was awarded the 2015 Study Abroad Award by the Office of International Education. This award honors faculty and staff who have made major advancements to the study abroad efforts of the University of Georgia. More information about the award can be found here

Program Ratings:
Accuracy and usefulness of orientation materials:
1 2 3 4
Accessibility and quality of health care:
1 2 3 4 5
Safety of location, facilities, excursions, and transportation:
1 2 3 4 5
Academic quality, appropriateness of workload:
1 2 3 4 5
Choice of location for excursions, field trips, site visits:
1 2 3 4 5
Safety, cleanliness, comfort and appropriateness of housing:
1 2 3 4 5
Arrangements for and quality of meals:
1 2 3 4 5
Opportunities to learn about and interact with the local culture:
1 2 3 4 5
Opportunities to learn about and interact with the local culture/people:
1 2 3 4 5
Overall effectiveness of program staff in managing program:
1 2 3 4
Effectiveness of program staff in handling academic and personal needs and concerns:
1 2 3 4 5
Value of the program in relation to the cost:
1 2 3 4 5
Overall quality of the program in relation to expectations:
1 2 3 4 5
Program Reviews:
Megan Eleanor Wemyss, Maymester 2016 Participant
very different from my expectations but so much more wonderful than I could have imagined

Kathryn Elizabeth Payne, Maymester 2017 Participant
After this experience in Modena, Italy, I feel a lot more confident in my decision to study education and to be an educator. I also feel a whole lot more confident in myself. I was able to meet and make a community in Modena as well as with my fellow education majors. This is an experience I will forever be grateful for.

Maymester 2016 Participant
"Don't miss out on the trip and opportunity of a lifetime!"

The most significant take-aways would be that no matter where you go you will always be able to find patterns and characteristics that you have in common with people regardless of age, nationality, language, or anything else that may seem to be a barrier. I also found that there was always something to be learned personally and something for me to teach. This experience taught me a lot about my self and how to interact with others. It also taught me to look at things through different perspectives and values. I felt that the one thing that stuck the most for me was the value that I Italians placed on community. Every aspect of their lives revolved or at least encompassed the value of the community. The schools placed emphasis on family and the importance of coming together by having parties and celebrations in the parks for everyone to see and come out and be apart of. They understood the value in purchasing food and goods from small and local stores and businessmen. Even at the work place they showed how much they valued community by consciously making and effort at least once or twice a year to come together outside of work getting to know one another, talking and simply enjoying each others company.
     — Christine Baldwin, Maymester 2016
Read what others have said about this program.