Creativity and Place: Seeing and Re-seeing Rome and Italy (Winter 2018)

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Priority deadline: April 3, 2017

Plaza in front of UW Rome Center

Rome has attracted artists and writers for centuries, and the Creative Arts and Place program is designed to introduce the fundamentals of Travel Writing and Site Specificity in Art through an immersed experience in the city of Rome and surrounding regions of Italy. The long history of artistic production in Rome and the density of literary and visual art connected to the city create a vibrant and diverse context for students as they develop a greater understanding of their own artistic processes, as writers and art-makers.

Through course instruction and immersion in the daily life of the city, students will refine their understanding of the relationship between self and place, and explore how their “selves” are shaped by place, as they create new literary and visual texts that speak back to the rich cultural and artistic tradition of the city.

The courses will include weekly site-visits to some of the “marquee” locations in the city, like the Ancient Roman Forum, as well as a variety of less-expected sites like Monte Testaccio (an ancient Roman garbage dump) and Mussolini’s EUR.

The final week of the quarter will be a week-long field study experience, including visits to Naples, Palermo, and Favara, a Tacoma-like industrial city in the midst of re-making itself into a vibrant cultural base.

This study abroad program is led by professors Michael Kula and Tyler Budge from UW Tacoma.

Academic ContentPasta Elena from Favara

Students will earn 15 credits for this study abroad program for the following three courses:

Creative Nonfiction Writing - TWRT 387 – 5 Credits (VLPA)

Students will build narrative and descriptive skills in creative nonfiction by focusing on the literary travel essay. Includes reading of models and writers' workshops to provide feedback on drafts. Discussions will focus on the role of Rome and Italy as a “place” in their writing and how their experiences in that “place” shape their travel essays.

Site Specificity and Art – TARTS 390 – 5 Credits (VLPA)

This course focuses on concepts of site and place through contemporary art-making procedures. Includes instruction in both formal and conceptual approaches to site-specific installation. Emphasis on creating connections and dialog between place, artist, audience. Employs Rome and Italy as a canvas and inspiration for site-responsive studio artwork.

Independent Creative Project – TIAS 492 – 5 Credits

Students will work on individual advanced creative projects that build on or complement other coursework in their major. Projects will be planned and carried out by the student in consultation with a faculty adviser. The projects created will be visual and literary art projects building on the students' work in TARTS 390 and TWRT 387 and their experiences in Rome.

Program Schedule

This 15-credit course will run from January 2 – March 11, 2018. Required informational meetings during fall quarter 2017 will prepare students for traveling abroad.


We will be staying in apartments in Rome (double-occupancy). Apartments have WiFi, and linens are provided. During the one-week field trip, we will be staying in hotels.Rome skyline


This program is designed for undergraduates and has no prerequisites. It is an ideal program for humanities majors in AMC, Writing Studies, and/or Communication who seek to broaden the international focus of their course of study.

Because the courses have been specifically chosen to be introductory (without prerequisites), it is also well suited for students in any major who have an interest in the creative production of art and literature. Both the TWRT 387 and the TARTS 390 courses are also core courses in their respective majors.

We’re looking for students who can demonstrate an interest in producing new creative works, both in writing and art, and/or an interest in exploring the artistic process in relation to a culturally diverse, international “place.”


Applications are due on May 1, 2017. Applicants will be notified of acceptance decisions May 15. Once accepted to the program, applicants will need to confirm their participation in the program by May 31. Click the button below to apply. 

**Students are required to submit a letter of recommendation form as a part of their application. Letters of recommendation can be submitted by faculty, advisor, staff, or supervisor from UWT, another institution, or a place of employment. The director of your study abroad program CANNOT provide a letter of recommendation for you. To learn more about how to ask for a letter of recommendaiton, click here.

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Travel Documents and InsuranceCafe Giolitti in Rome

All program participants must have a valid passport in order to travel to Europe. No visa or other paperwork is required for U.S. citizens. International students can email with questions about visas.

Study abroad insurance coverage is required. We strongly recommend students take advantage of the UW Study Abroad Insurance as an easy and affordable option. Students with personal insurance may petition for a UW Study Abroad Insurance waiver. For details, please contact the UW Tacoma Office of Global Affairs.

Health Requirements

No immunizations are required for the Italy. However, it is advisable that you are up-to-date on your regular immunization schedule. Please consult your personal physician or local health board.

Program Cost

The total cost of the program is $7,150** (includes $250 administrative fee).

Included in the cost of the program:

  • Course fee (in lieu of tuition) for 15 UW credits
  • Instructional costs in Italy
  • Lodging (double occupancy) in Rome, Italy
  • Museum entry and guide service fees
  • One-week field trip (incl. transportation, lodging, and museum fees)
  • Welcome and closing dinner

Not included in the cost of the program:Monte Testaccio

  • Round trip airfare to/from Italy
  • Costs of travel documents (passport, visas)
  • Meals (except as listed above)
  • Personal expenses
  • Single-occupancy lodging (available for extra fee if desired)

Payment Schedule*

  Amount Due
Administrative Fee $250 June 5, 2017
Program Fee $6,900 Jan 20, 2018
Total $7,150**  

*Additional important dates can be found in the "Refund Conditions for Fees" section.
**Approximate cost, may be less, final cost will be established before the application deadline.

Method of payment: Payments made in person or by mail will need to be paid by personal check, cashier's check, or money order made payable to University of Washington Tacoma (UWT). Please write "SIAS Italy 2018" in the memo line of the check.  Please submit the check to the University of Washington Tacoma Cashier's Office (CAR 400) during regular business hours. Please do not submit your check to the Office of Global Affairs. You can also mail it to:

UW Tacoma Cashier's Office
Naples, ItalyCampus Box 358433
1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA 98402

To make the payment online, click this button to proceed with your Visa or Mastercard.

Pay Administrative Fee

For questions about the payment schedule or the methods of payment available, please email or call 253.692.4426.

The program fee will be charged automatically to your UWT student account upon registration and can be paid online through your MyUW account. Please note: students do not register themselves for this program. The Office of Global Affairs will register you once the Administrative Fee and all appropriate program documents have been received.


To be eligible to study abroad, all program participants must attend an in-person pre-departure orientation facilitated by the Office of Global Affairs/UW Study Abroad as well as your program-specific orientations, offered by your program directors. Orientation must be completed prior to the enrollment deadline for the quarter that you are studying abroad.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Students receiving financial aid which they intend to apply toward the program cost should consult with a financial aid adviser before applying to the program. Some sources of funding, i.e. the GI Bill®, do not cover the cost of study abroad programs. Check with a financial aid advisor to understand how your funds apply toward study abroad. Please bring the SIAS Italy 2018 student financial aid budget form with you to your meeting.

Please also review this list of scholarships: these are opportunities that can help fund your study abroad experience. Please note that many of them have deadlines before your study abroad application is due. For help with the application process, please contact

Refund Conditions for FeesEspresso bar

  1. If you withdraw prior to September 15, 2017, all payments except the $250 Administrative Fee, will be refunded to you.
  2. If you withdraw on or after September 15, but prior to November 1, 2017, you are obligated to pay 50% of the total cost of the program.
  3. If you withdraw on or after November 1, you are obligated to pay the full amount of participation costs incurred by the school. No refunds will be given for unused accommodations, meals or other fees and services.

If you cannot participate in a study abroad program due to unanticipated changes in your financial situation, a medical emergency, death, military duty, or other unusual or extenuating circumstances, you may submit a Petition for Emergency Withdrawal. If granted, the Emergency Withdrawal may allow for partial or full relief from your financial obligations to the program. More information.

Notice of Withdrawal from the program MUST be made in writing and submitted to the Office of Global Affairs in GWP 102 or by mail to:

Office of Global Affairs
University of Washington Tacoma
Box: 358415
1900 Commerce Street
Tacoma, WA 98402

Changes in Cost or Scope of Program

In the event of significant devaluations of the dollar, some adjustments to program activities may be necessary. If there are any political events that might compromise the safety of the participants, a rescheduling or cancellation of the program may be necessary. If such changes occur, students will be notified of the changes and options will be presented.

Program Cancellation

If viable enrollment is not reached by October 1, 2017 the program will be cancelled. Participants will be notified and the administrative and program fees will be refunded.

Equal Opportunity and Disability Accommodations

The University of Washington reaffirms its policy of equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, disability, or status as a disabled veteran or Vietnam era veteran in accordance with University policy and applicable federal and state statutes and regulations. The University of Washington is committed to providing access and reasonable accommodation in its services, programs, activities, education and employment for individuals with disabilities. To request disability accommodation in the application process contact the Disability Support Services Office at least six weeks in advance.

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at