Urbino Hip Hop

Urbino Hip Hop Fact Sheet

Apply now to reserve your place in the Urbino, Italy Hip Hop program.
DATES: June 22 – July 6, 2018

PROGRAM COST: $2,200 plus airfare and tuition for 3 credits paid directly to Winston-Salem State University or North Carolina Central University.


FOCUS: Hip Hop performance or journalism specialty tracks, resulting in a website, a magazine and an original theatrical performance.

COOPERATING UNIVERSITIES: University of Jamestown, Winston Salem State University, North Carolina Central University

CONTACT: Questions about the Urbino Hip Hop Project? Contact Program Director Stacie Chandler at: schandler@ieimedia.com

Hip Hop Meets the Renaissance

What happens when American Hip Hop fuses with a past capital of the Italian Renaissance? You get an international celebration of black music, dance and street poetry, reborn in a medieval walled city that was the birthplace of artist Raffaello Sanzio, aka “Raphael.”

Hip Hop adds a new vernacular to ieiMedia’s study abroad program. Under the guidance of award-winning journalism and theatre faculty from Winston-Salem State, North Carolina Central and Penn State University, students will have a dual opportunity this summer to perform hip hop while studying and producing multimedia stories about it in text, video, photography and sound.

Video on ieiMedia's 2015 Hip Hop program in Italy.

Learn the storytelling skills of foreign correspondents. Always within sight of the 15th century Palazzo Ducale, you can wander Urbino’s cobblestone streets to explore the piazza, university, frescoes, museums and parks.

Our days and nights will be structured to provide group and individual learning experiences in dance, design, photography, videography and writing.

We’ll get out into the countryside and neighboring towns to meet people where they live, and we’ll explore Italian culture.

See how Hip Hop has been embraced across the world.

Your study tour will balance intensive practice in a specialty track of your choice (journalism or performance), with daily “survival” Italian lessons and a guided exploration of the history and evolution of hip hop. Plus, you will have free time to research, perform and savor in this vibrant region of Italy.

Our four-day workweek is packed, and there will be one required weekend excursion, but on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, students are free to travel in small or large groups to other destinations in Italy.

The four weeks of instruction will include approximately 16 hours of “survival Italian” that will have you ordering food and wine in a restaurant, making purchases, asking for directions and using Italian in personal introductions for conversations, flirting and interviews. Students will have the aid of Italian interpreters to help them complete their journalistic stories. Those with intermediate to advanced knowledge of Italian will be offered special training.

Academic Credit

Students enrolled in the 2018 Hip Hop Meets the Renaissance program can earn three academic credits from our partner institution, the University of Jamestown. Our goal is for every student to produce a portfolio piece in their chosen area of concentration. We’ll produce a website, a magazine and an original theatrical performance.

Performance is part of your ieiMedia option.


Students will live in a University of Urbino dorm (Collegio della Studentessa) right in the center of the city either in a single or double room. Our classrooms and the main piazza (Piazza della Repubblica) are just a few steps away. Three tasty, varied meals a day in the nearby student cafeteria are included, but the student dorm also has a refrigerator, oven, and microwave for those who want to cook. Laundry facilities are also on the premises. Sheets, towels, and a pillow will be provided.


Students should bring their own laptop computers and digital or video cameras and recorders as well. The program will provide some equipment as needed.

Speak Italian and perfect your multimedia skills.


Lona D. Cobb (Writing) is a professor in the Communication and Media Studies Department at Winston-Salem State University, where she has taught “Journalism Writing for Print and Online,” “Study Abroad in the Discipline” (taking students to South Africa, Zanzibar, Kenya and Italy) and other core CMS courses. She has been a member of the ieiMedia faculty since 2009. In 2015 she and colleagues from WSSU and North Carolina Central University created ieiMedia’s first multimedia program, which introduced an interdisciplinary approach to “Hip Hop” in Florence, Italy.

Tammy L. Evans (Graphic Design) is an associate professor of graphic design at Winston-Salem State University. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and a BFA from Wayne State University. She taught editorial design in the 2015 ieiMedia Hip Hop program in Florence, Italy. Her professional work has included identity systems, signage and informational publications for the University of Michigan Medical Center, General Motors, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art and the Detroit Zoo.

Dr. Asabi (Stephanie Howard) is an associate professor of theatre at North Carolina Central University, where she serves as the chairperson of the Department of Theatre and Dance. She has received the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival directing award (2017 and 2015) and NCCU College of Liberal Arts Awards in Outstanding Teaching, Scholarship and Playwriting. A graduate of North Carolina A&T State University and Wake Forest University, Asabi earned her doctorate at Regent University in Communications and Theatre.

Curt Chandler (Multimedia) teaches multimedia reporting and entrepreneurial journalism at Penn State University. In 2017 he was the multimedia coach for ieiMedia’s Oslo Rocks! music reporting program in Norway. He has more than 25 years of industry experience as a visual journalist, writer, editor and online producer. He taught photojournalism at Duquesne University and was the editor for online innovation at post-gazette.com in Pittsburgh before becoming a full-time educator in 2007.

Stacie Chandler (Program Director/Copy Editor) is the student adviser for the School of Theatre at Penn State University. She coordinates the school’s UK study abroad program at the Theatre Academy of London. She has a newspaper journalism degree from Northwestern University and has worked as a reporter, copy editor and editor at dailies and monthlies in Colorado Springs; Ogden, Utah; and Pittsburgh.

View complete faculty biographies on our Hip Hop Meets the Renaissance Faculty Page.

Program Cost

The cost is $4,995 USD + inexpensive airfare, including tuition for three credits, accommodations, travel insurance, farewell dinner, program activities and cultural events.  Thanks to university contributions, WSSC and NCCS students will pay $4,495. Graduates and students who do not need credit can deduct $450 from the program cost. Students who pay in full, by check, by Jan. 15 will receive a $150 “early-bird discount.”

Financial Aid

Students studying abroad for the summer term have limited financial aid options. Check with your school’s financial aid office and your study abroad offices to find out if assistance is available. More information on financial aid is available here.

Apply now to reserve your place in the Hip Hop Meets the Renaissance program. Or contact Program Director Stacie Chandler at: schandler@ieimedia.com. Students must fill out the online application and include contact information for two references (academic and/or professional) using the “Apply Now” link. A $50 application fee is required with the application but will be returned if a student is not accepted into the program. A $500 deposit is due 30 days after acceptance into the program, refundable only if the program is canceled. Application deadline: rolling admission until the program fills.

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