Skip to Main Content


You are in the main content
Cover Photo Image

Summer in Urbino Italy: Documenting a Community


Urbino, Italy

Program Description

The Urbino, Italy program engages students in a 4-week multimedia and magazine storytelling emphasis for 3 credits. All students will get to work with a team of media professionals to create a web documentary on the town of Urbino, Italy. Students become immersed in a town and culture by developing a web documentary or webzine on local issues, people or events. No Italian language proficiency is required. You’ll work with University of Urbino students who will serve as translators/interpreters in the development of your stories. During this four-week program, students learn

• how to write for the web.

• how to take great digital photos.

• how to shoot and edit quality video.

• the ins and outs of intercultural communication.

• how to work as part of a production team.

The program occurs in cooperation with The Institute for Education in International Media’s (ieiMedia) Urbino Program. As part of this program, the Institute provides basic language classes and interpreters for fieldwork. You'll work in assigned production teams, using computers, digital cameras, and video cameras. Students are required to bring their own laptop computers. JMU students participate with students from other institutions and are led by JMU professors who coordinates their involvement during the four weeks. The JMU Summer in Urbino Program is open to all majors at JMU.

Location Description


Urbino is a picturesque Renaissance hill town and the capital 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. Its impressive Ducal Palace houses one of the most important collections of Renaissance paintings in Italy. Urbino’s university is a center for maiolica ceramics, art, and culture. Urbino's historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Le Marche is one of the 20 Regions of Italy. Now referred to as “the next Tuscany,” it is located in the central area of the country, bordering Emilia-Romagna (the culinary capital of Italy) and the republic of San Marino to the north, Tuscany to the north-west, Umbria to the west, Abruzzo and Lazio to the south and the Adriatic Sea to the east. Except for river valleys and the often very narrow coastal strip, the land is hilly. Adriatic beaches are a mere 23 miles away. In the nineteenth century, a railway from Bologna to Brindisi linked the Marche along the coastline of the entire territory. Inland, the mountainous nature of the region, even today, allows little communication north and south, except by rough roads over the passes.


The university 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. The University of Urbino has traditionally given precedence to studies in the humanities, and is especially renowned for its courses in Italian language.


Steve Anderson | | Media Arts and Design


The program includes full room and board in a University of Urbino dormitory. Students will either have a private room with a private bath or share a room with one other student. Sheets and towels will be provided. There is Wifi Internet. The dorms are located a short walk from the central part of the town.

Three varied meals a day in the student cafeteria are included.

Additional Items to Consider

This program is open to all majors or minors.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($25 fee)
  • Short essay 
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU and first semester transfer students.

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in. 

apply now  Closed for 2016

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


SMAD 305: Special Topics in Media Arts and Design: Magazine Storytelling (3 credits)

SMAD 305: Special Topics in Media Arts and Design: Multimedia Storytelling (3 credits)

SMAD 305: Special Topics in Media arts and Design: Promotional Video in Italy (3 credits)

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.