Apply now to reserve your place in Urbino, Italy.
PROGRAM COST: $4,995 + airfare (Includes: Tuition – 3 credits; university dorm accommodations; breakfast, lunch and dinner on most days; travel insurance; farewell dinner; and program activities).
GENERAL LOCATION: Le Marche Region of Italy
FOCUS: Immersion in multimedia journalism (writing, photography, video) or magazine journalism (with a strong emphasis on photography) resulting in a website and a magazine.
COOPERATING UNIVERSITIES: University of Jamestown, James Madison University, University of Urbino
The Urbino Project
Urbino lies in the northern part of central Italy’s Marche Region, nestled between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. Many say the Renaissance started here under the patronage of Duke Federico da Montefeltro, whose twin-turreted palace still houses an outstanding collection of period art. Work with a team of experienced media professionals to create multimedia publications about the town of Urbino, Italy, and get a taste of being a foreign correspondent and digital storyteller.
Students will live and learn at the University of Urbino, with all meals included. No Italian language proficiency is required. Students will work with University of Urbino students who serve as translators/interpreters.
Students who sign up for Multimedia Journalism will study photography, international reporting, and video, and will produce a website about the city. Those who sign up for Magazine Journalism will study photography, international reporting, and feature writing, and will produce a print-on-demand magazine, Urbino Now.
The programs include full room and board in a University of Urbino dormitory.
During this four-week program, you will learn how to:
- research and report a story in a foreign setting
- produce multimedia content for a website or produce articles and photos for a feature magazine
- tell stories in ways that incorporate video, audio, graphics, maps and interactive elements
- work with an interpreter
Urbino is a picturesque Renaissance hill town and the jewel of the Marche region of central Italy. Although Urbino was a Roman and medieval city, its peak came during the 15th century when Duke Federico da Montefeltro established one of Europe’s most illustrious courts. Urbino’s historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Urbino is relatively small and off the beaten path of tourists, yet it's a hip college town with one of the oldest universities in Italy. The town is nestled on a sloping hillside and the surrounding scenery is awe inspiring. You're not likely to see buses with large groups of tourists here.
Beautiful Adriatic beaches are a short distance away and reachable via local bus service that runs multiple times per day. Florence and Venice are easily reachable via train in the nearby town of Pesaro.
The University of Urbino was founded in 1506, and currently has about 20,000 students, many of whom are from overseas. The university has no central campus as such, and instead occupies numerous buildings throughout the town and in the surrounding countryside.
Recent Urbino Multimedia Projects
Check out the content Urbino students produced in other years at
and the Eppy Award-winning 2011 site at projects.ieimedia.com/2011urbino.
Recent Magazine Projects
Journalism Course (3 credits)
Students in the Urbino, Italy, program can sign up for either Section 1 Multimedia Journalism or Section 2 Magazine Journalism.
Students in Section 1 Multimedia Journalism will study photography, international reporting, and video, and will produce content for a website about the community. Each student will be required to write and create a slideshow and/or shoot and edit a short video story.
Students in Section 2 Magazine Journalism will study feature reporting, writing, and photography, and will create content for a print-on-demand magazine about Urbino and the surrounding area. Each student will produce text and photos for a full-length feature article.
Coached by teachers who have won Pulitzer Prizes and National Magazine Awards, students in both sections will work on skills critical for successful journalism, including the basics of reporting and telling compelling stories, through both words and images. Students will learn how to navigate as professional journalists in a foreign culture by working with interpreters and crafting ready-to-publish features and news stories.
Students will sign up for 3 credits from our partner university, Jamestown University. (James Madison University and Iowa State University students will sign up for credit through their universities). Credits are transferable and may be accepted for journalism elective credit by your college or university.
Students will have three-day weekends (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) free to explore the city, or to travel within Italy. Florence, Rome, Bologna and Venice are accessible by bus and train; regional buses from Urbino serve many charming, small towns in the region. Those who want to tour extensively should plan travel time before or after the program.
The program is open to English-speaking college students and recent graduates from any school. Students from many universities have participated in past ieiMedia programs, including: James Madison University, Colorado State University, Ithaca College, Iowa State University, Rider University, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Louisiana State University, Virginia Tech, Ryerson University, New York University, UCLA, Truman State University, Rutgers University, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Georgia College and State University, Frostburg State University, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Kennesaw State University, California State University Fullerton, Temple University, Arizona State University, State University of New York at New Paltz, University of Arizona, University of Illinois, Georgetown University, University of Northern Iowa, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Humboldt State University, Indiana University, Washington and Lee University, Wilkes University, Carleton University, San Diego State University, American University, Nanyang Technological University, University of British Columbia, Westminster College and Baylor University. We’ve also had students from Japan, the United Kingdom, Puerto Rico, Thailand and Trinidad.
Most of our students are journalism or communications majors, but those majoring in other subjects are welcome as well. For non-journalism/communication majors, experience working for a college or professional publication is helpful but not necessary. The program is open to English-speaking students and recent graduates from around the world.
Graduate students are also invited to apply. We’d be happy to talk with you about supervising an independent project that would qualify for graduate credit at your school — or to offer this experience as a graduate internship.
(Subject to enrollments/budget)
Our faculty come from leading universities and news organizations. In 2020 our faculty will likely include:
Steven D. Anderson is the Urbino Program Director. He is a professor in the James Madison University School of Media Arts & Design. He is also a former environmental reporter at KCNC television, a network O&O station in Denver, Colorado. His reporting often involved in-depth examination of local and regional environmental issues and an explanation of the science behind them.
Susan Biddle was a Washington Post staff photographer for thirteen years and now freelances for the Post as well as other publications and organizations. As a White House photographer, she documented the Presidency for the last year of the Reagan administration and all four years of the George H.W. Bush administration.
Deni Chamberlin is an associate professor of journalism at Iowa State University and a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist. They have more than 20 years experience as a newspaper and magazine photojournalist and has worked for publications such as TIME, The New York Times Sunday Magazine and National Geographic.
Doug Cumming is an associate professor of journalism at Washington and Lee University with 26 years experience at metro newspapers and magazines. Since getting a Ph.D. at UNC-Chapel Hill in mass communications, he has taught multimedia reporting and feature writing at Loyola University-New Orleans and at W&L in Virginia.
Michael Gold, cofounder of Health, former editor of Strings, book author and consultant who helped launch Dwell magazine and other prominent publications and websites.
Rustin Greene spent his first career as a television writer/producer/director, earning two Los Angeles Area EMMY awards and three Cable ACE awards. Rusty is now in his second career, teaching in James Madison University’s School of Media Arts and Design.
Barry Janes works and teaches electronic media theory, programming and technology at Rider University. He has been a producer, director and/or writer of more than 100 video productions, and has advised numerous corporations, non-profit organizations and municipalities.
Greg Luft chairs the Journalism and Media Communication department at Colorado State University. His professional work before and during his academic career includes television news reporting and anchoring; documentary, educational, and corporate video production; and freelance video journalism.
Bob Marshall is a New Orleans journalist whose reporting on Louisiana coastal issues at The Times-Picayune and The Lens has been recognized by two Pulitzer Prizes; the John H. Oakes Prize for Distinguished Environmental Reporting from Columbia University; the Keck Award for best science reporting from The National Academies of Sciences, a national Edward Murrow Award from the Radio, Television and Digital News Association, Gannett Award for Innovative Watchdog Journalism from the Investigative Reports and Editors Association, The National Headliners Award and many others.
Bob Reeder has taught photojournalism as well as mentored graduate photojournalism students at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC. Prior to that he lived and worked in Amman, Jordan and in Chisinau, Moldova, photographing political struggles in the former Soviet state while also teaching at the Independent Journalism Center. He retired in 2006 following 16 years at the Washington Post as a staff photographer, before going on to help start the wildly successful Politico as photo editor/photographer just prior to moving abroad.
Susan West, founding editor in chief of Afar, former executive editor of Smithsonian, and consultant who has advised magazines and websites from Cooking Light to WebMD.
View complete faculty biographies on our Urbino Faculty Page.
Students will live in a University of Urbino dorm (Collegio Colle) in a single or double room. Our classrooms and the main piazza (Piazza della Repubblica) are within walking distance. Three tasty, varied meals a day in the nearby student cafeteria are included. Laundry facilities are also on the premises. Sheets, towels, and a pillow will be provided.
Students are expected to bring a laptop computer and digital camera. Digital high-definition video cameras, microphones (handheld, lavalier and wireless) and tripods are provided by ieiMedia. Some digital still cameras will also be provided for those who need them.
When reporting you will work with University of Urbino students, who will act as interpreters. In the past, students have found the process of working with these Italian students to be one of the most rewarding experiences in the program.
The cost is $4,995 plus airfare. The price includes tuition (3 credits), housing and most meals, instruction, basic travel insurance, farewell dinner and special programs. Transfer from and to the airport in Rome is also provided.
Students studying abroad for the summer term have limited financial aid options, but Pell grant recipients are encouraged to apply and receive our help in applying for a Gilman Study Abroad Scholarship ranging from $2,500 to $5,000. Check with your school’s financial aid office and your study abroad offices to find out if other assistance is available. More information on financial aid is available here.