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Course Catalog

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We offer courses and internships throughout the year in Italy. In the summer, we also offer courses in Japan and Vietnam.

You can find short descriptions listed below. Get in touch with us for detailed syllabi.

ITALY - FALL, SPRING & SUMMER COURSE OFFERINGS

GLI 201 ITALIAN FOOD AND CULTURE

The course will examine food and nutrition from historical, political, economic, cultural, and culinary perspectives. Students will start with a general introduction to Italy and Italian food and wine with an emphasis on regional traditions. They will also examine contemporary issues, such as the Mediterranean diet success, and food production, distribution, and consumption. Wine and specific food products, both artisanal and mass-­­produced, will be tasted and discussed, and their cultural significance evaluated. Field trips and some cooking classes are included, aimed at helping students understand traditional food production techniques and ingredients that blend together to produce the Italian food culture.

Throughout the course, meetings with experts (restaurant owner, nutritionists, farmers, sommeliers…) will help students to make connections between history, economy and people’s food practices and reach informed conclusions about the Mediterranean diet.

In the second half of the course, the class will be divided into small teams to attend in-depth cooking labs with a noted Italian chef. Students will gain awareness of the vast historical and cultural heritage of Italian cuisine, develop an understanding of the practice and rituals of meal preparation and consumption specific to Italian and European cultures, and learn how to cook in a sustainable way.

Spring (3)

Open to all majors and minors for Gen Ed credit. Recommended for students interested in food studies, food systems, sustainability, environmental studies, cultural tourism, gastronomic studies, food heritage, sustainable hospitality, agribusiness, communication, nutrition, anthropology, sociology, food science, Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Recognized as UIUC FSHN 100-level.

GLI 303 FOOD AND DIGITAL MEDIA

The course will focus on the intersection between food and media, a connection that has elicited much interest in communication studies over the past few years. Food is a hot topic in the media but one that has been misused & abused in recent times. The goal of this course is to enhance the students’ competence both on the subject matter and in the practical skills necessary to produce good communication about food and wine. This is a multi-faceted course that will give students a solid foundation in understanding Italy’s unique media environment as well as the opportunity to utilize Rome (and Italy) as a living laboratory for producing a final video product about food paradoxes.

Spring (3)

Open to all majors and minors for Gen Ed credit. Recommended for students interested in Food Studies, Food Systems, Film, Journalism, Communications, Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. Anthropology, Sociology, digital media, sustainability, cultural tourism, gastronomic studies, food heritage, nutrition.

Recognized as UIUC MACS 200-level.

OCL 201 LAYERS OF ROME ​

The course will study the development and transformations over time of Rome and its changing demographic, especially through its monuments and works of art. Rome, with its archaeological sites, monuments and architecture from all periods, is highly stratified. The layers of past epochs, whether visible from the surface or requiring investigation, tell stories of cultures that are often surprisingly similar to our own. Through visits and field trips, students will be able to explore how familiar symbolic means have been employed to either reinforce or subvert established ideas and how certain sites, statues or even blocks of stone, have been invested with multiple layers of meaning by successive generations.

Spring (3)

Open to all majors and minors for Gen Ed credit. Recommended for students interested in History, Anthropology, Sociology, Humanities, Architecture, Archaeology, Art History, Urban Planning, and cultural heritage.

Recognized as UIUC HIS 300-level.

HRL 201 CONTEMPORARY ITALY: CULTURE & SOCIETY​

This course aims to give an overall image of contemporary Italian society through the analysis of general aspects such as language, family, politics, religion, interaction between economic and social progress. Stereotypes and clichés related to Italian culture will be analyzed and challenged. The main goal of the course will be to deliver an up-to- date approach to a wide range of topics shaping the contemporary Italian culture, stimulating a fruitful confrontation with the original culture of the participants.

Spring (3)

Open to all majors and minors for Gen Ed credit. Recommended for students interested in History, Anthropology, Sociology, European studies, Italian Studies, Cultural Studies, communication, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

Recognized as UIUC SOC 200-level.

GLI 202 NUTRITION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN WORLD​

The course presents an analysis of the Mediterranean diet as found in current-day Italy. It focuses on consumption patterns and their impact on health and well-being. Topics include taste preferences, food aversions, hunger and satiety, food as comfort and friendship, eating as a social ritual, and the social norms of blame for food problems. The politics of food is examined focusing on sustainable agriculture, organic farming, genetically modified foods, nutrition policy, and the influence of food and agriculture industries. Malnutrition, eating disorders, and obesity, as well as the impact of food advertising,and the ways in which personal food choice is shaped by our modern environment are examined.

Fall (3)
Credit recommendation: 200~300 level, social science discipline, history, or nutrition.
Open to: All majors

Recognized as PSU PHE-410

GLI 299 FOOD PRODUCTION: OLIVE OIL, WINE​​

Food Production: Olive Oil and Wine focuses on two of Italy’s signature products – as they are being produced in sites across Italy. Emphasis is placed on the local production of these crops and the processes transforming them into market commodities. Discussions and readings are situated within historical, cultural and economic contexts. Students participate in two forms of fieldwork. They assist in harvesting and related activities at nearby farms. They also accompany their instructor on an educational tour, from Northern to Southern Italy, of farms and markets exploring local production processes.

Fall (3)

Credit recommendation: social science discipline, agricultural
science, business
Open to: All majors

Recognized as PSU GEOG-299

GLI 302 SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MARKETING IN ITALY

Sustainable Food Business and Marketing provides a foundation, within the Italian context, of core concepts in food business, including management, finance, economics, sales, marketing, human resource management, and supply chain management. Emphasis is placed on the Italian — and the European — food markets. This course will be of particular interest to students exploring a career in food marketing, import/export markets, and food hospitality and tourism.
Fall (3)
Credit recommendation:
Open to: All majors

GLI 301 UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: THE ITALIAN CONTEXT

Sustainable Food Systems in Italy takes an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to understanding sustainable agriculture and food in Italy. Combining in-class teaching, fieldwork and study tours, the course helps students acquire the knowledge and skills for developing sustainable farming systems. Field trips focus on sustainability initiatives in Lazio region, among others. Readings and lectures link the ecology of the Italian peninsula with the profound role food plays in Italian communities, families, and national identity.

Fall (3)
Credit recommendation: Social science discipline
Open to: All majors

CRITICAL STUDIES ON FOOD: FROM PRODUCTION TO WASTE

This course combines traditional lectures and discussion meetings with hands-on co-curricular activities and field trips in and around Rome, as well as in the Lazio region and Cilento’s seaside. Food is presented in all its complex connections with culture, nutrition, environment, society, economics and politics. All course topics are accompanied by practical activities, ranging from classes in professional kitchens to food and wine pairing and tasting workshops. Lectures are delivered by prestigious experts for each topic, providing a dynamic and interdisciplinary learning environment. Practical assignments allow students to explore and experience first-hand food culture in the streets of Rome.

Summer (3)

Credit recommendation: 3 credits, 200-300 level food studies, anthropology or related disciplines.

Open to: All majors

Recognized as PSU PHE 410

GLI 402 CRITICAL STUDIES ON FOOD: FOOD WASTE IN ITALY

In Italy, food is celebrated, and many Italians cite the pleasure of eating and sharing meals as core cultural values. However, even with its long history of attention to regional and national cuisine, and veneration to taste and authenticity of food, less attention has been paid to the fact that a great deal (around 14.5 billion USD) of food goes unused. The Italian government is hoping to change this phenomenon. A recent (2016) Italian law requires that markets donate “usable” food to reduce waste and feed hungry people. In this course, students will study these issues by analyzing current research, conducting fieldwork, and looking at current implementation of the law. Students will work (through interviews, observation, and partnerships with community recovery agencies) to analyze where, when, why and how the line is drawn between food and food waste in Rome and the impacts and consequences of these categories.

Summer (3)

Credit recommendation: 200-300 level food studies, anthropology or related disciplines.

Open to: All majors

Recognized as PSU PHE 410

GLI 403 FOOD MEDIA, COMMUNICATION & TRENDS

This course focuses on the intersection between food and media. In recent years food has become a hot topic on TV, the internet, and printed media. The goal of this course is to enhance the students’ competence both on food and media and in the practical skills necessary to produce effective communication about food, wine and related topics. Students learn through hands-on practice with different kinds of media, including digital video. This multi-faceted course gives students a solid foundation in understanding Italy’s unique media environment as well as the opportunity to utilize Rome (and Italy) as a living laboratory for producing a final portfolio of journalistic writings. Students also complete an original video research project (a documentary production) based on student interests. Guest lecturers include local and international journalists, writers and bloggers.

Summer (3)

Credit recommendation: 3 credits, 200-300 level food studies, media studies, advertising or related disciplines.

Open to: All majors

GLI 404 FOOD, NUTRITION & CULTURE IN ITALY

This course focuses on how culture and ethnicity affect dietary practices, with particular emphasis on Italy as compared to the U.S. The influence of politics on food availability and food practices is explored. Emphasis is on cross-cultural communication processes to address nutrition and cultural issues. Classes will include lectures presenting new material, but will also heavily focus on in-class discussions pulling together field experiences lectures and site visits.

Summer (3)

Credit recommendation: 3 credits, 200-300 level food studies, nutrition studies, anthropology or related disciplines.

Open to: All majors

INT 101 COMBINED ONSITE ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP (80)

Our academic internships are field‐based learning experiences combining study, observation, and placement with an organization. The Combined Onsite Academic Internship includes 80 hours of academic internship experience carried out in parallel with other coursework.

Students receive mentoring from the Gustolab International academic advisor and learning facilitator. Additionally, they will receive guidance from their internship site supervisor. 

Internships are unpaid, and focus on developing skills and academic insights in new settings, languages and cultures.

Spring, Fall (2)

Open to all majors and minors for Gen Ed credit. Recommended for students interested in gaining experience working in a vibrant international setting on cutting edge issues.

Recognized as UIUC LAS 199, PSU ESM 404

INT 102 FULL ONSITE ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP (160)

Our academic internships are field‐based learning experiences combining study, observation, and placement with an organization. The Full Onsite Academic Internship includes 160 hours of academic internship experience carried out from 1-4 months. 

Students receive mentoring from the Gustolab International academic advisor and learning facilitator. Additionally, they will receive guidance from their internship site supervisor. 

Internships are unpaid, and focus on developing skills and academic insights in new settings, languages and cultures.

Spring, Summer, Fall (4)

Open to all majors and minors for Gen Ed credit. Recommended for students interested in gaining experience working in a vibrant international setting on cutting edge issues.

Recognized as UIUC LAS 199, PSU ESM 404

ITA 101 ELEMENTARY ITALIAN LANGUAGE

GLi collaborates with the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci Rome to provide Italian Language courses. This course teaches Elementary Italian Language as well as Italian Conversation.  Courses are applicable towards most U.S. universities language requirements.

Spring, Summer, Fall

Open to: all majors

ITA 102 ELEMENTARY ITALIAN LANGUAGE ​

GLi collaborates with the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci Rome to provide Italian Language courses. This course teaches Elementary Italian Language and includes practice in Italian Conversation.  Courses are applicable towards most U.S. universities language requirements.

Spring, Summer, Fall

Open to: all majors

ITA 103 INTENSIVE ELEMENTARY ITALIAN LANGAUGE

GLi collaborates with the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci Rome to provide Italian Language courses. This is an intensive course in Elementary Italian Language taught in the clasroom and through conversation and site visits.

Spring, Summer, Fall

Open to: all majors

 

ITA 104 ITALIAN LANGUAGE FOR FOOD STUDIES

GLi collaborates with the Scuola Leonardo da Vinci Rome to provide Italian Language courses. This course will be for students without any knowledge of the Italian language. This course aims to teach technical terms, vocabulary and words used in the specialized field of study and research of the Food Studies. Students will be able to analyze product packaging, advertising campaigns, but also scientific resources in Italian language. The teacher will help the students to identify the Italian words used in the field of Food Studies. This course will also include basic knowledge and skills of grammar, to help students to easily interact with native speakers.

Credit Recommendation: 100-400 level Italian Language, Language Studies or related disciplines.

Open to: All majors

JAPAN - SUMMER COURSE OFFERINGS

GLI 105 JAPANESE CULINARY PRACTICES AND THE SENSIBLE WORLD

Japan is known worldwide for its food and culture, but its historical trajectory including the era of militaristic imperialism and post-WWII occupation, and strong nationalism shape and produce various food issues and politics in Japan. This class explores and experiences both a foundational philosophy and an unsettled boundary of washoku as ‘national’ cuisine by examining culinary objects, technique, and symbolic meanings in Japan. Washoku, literally means Japanese food (“wa” = Japanese, “shoku” = food). While Washoku is now one of the foods registered by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritages, the term ‘Washoku’ has deeper and broader cultural meanings, and its boundary has never been fixed. The class aims to understand the change and diversity of Japanese food cultures in time and space. This course revolves around multi-sensory practical activities, spending significant time in a food studies kitchen for preparing and tasting Japanese cuisine. Students are required to attend both lecture and culinary training. Students will have the opportunity to learn both home-style cooking and restaurant-style Japanese haute cuisine.

Summer (3)

Credits: 3 credits

Open to: All majors

THE STORY OF FOOD IN OSAKA: A FIELD STUDY

This course has three goals. It will introduce participants to: (1) Approaching Osaka, its citizens, institutions, and surrounding areas as a text for learning about the story of food. To do this we will borrow experiential fieldwork methods from anthropology and other disciplines – methods designed to facilitate your entry and understanding of a second culture (keeping a journal, working with key informants, pursuing fieldwork questions, and reflecting on experience….). (2) Our study will be framed by the critical concepts of food systems and sustainability. These dynamic ideas link many forms of social action with academic reflection in today’s world. They shape pressing issues ranging from health and nutrition to rising sea levels and the reshaping of human geography. We will look at how Osaka – and Japan — is responding to these challenges. (3) And finally, we will explore the story of food in Osaka, one of the world’s great urban areas. This story will include the foodways of current Osaka as well as the role of food in Osaka and Japan’s development. Topics include: local and national markets, the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG), Osaka’s gateway role vis a vis Asia, and the changing rural community, among others. All participants will stay with host families and we will have field visits to markets, a soy sauce factory, a knife manufacturing facility, as well as a rural village and farming community

Summer (3)

Credits: 3 credits, 200-300 level food studies, nutrition studies, anthropology or related disciplines.

Open to: All majors

JAPANESE LEXICON FOR FOOD AND BUSINESS

Description coming soon.

Summer (2)

Credits recommendation:

Open to: all majors

 

VIETNAM - SUMMER COURSE OFFERINGS

PADDY RICE PRODUCTION IN VIETNAM

Description coming soon

Summer (3)

Credits: 3 credits

Open to: All majors

SUSTAINABLE FARMING IN VIETNAM, AN INTRODUCTION TO THE VAC SYSTEM (GARDENS, PONDS, DOMESTIC LIVESTOCK)

Description coming soon

Summer (3)

Credits: 3 credits

Open to: All majors

VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE FOR FOOD AND BUSINESS

Students will learn the basics of conversational Vietnamese to enable them to understand basic social interaction and navigate in their travels with some appreciation for and some familiarity with the language. The course will be taught by professors at Vietnamese Language Studies (VLS).

Summer (2)

Credits: up to 3 credits

Open to: all majors

 

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