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Urbino, Italy

Program Description

The Urbino, Italy program engages students in a 4-week program where students choose a three credit experience from among multimedia storytelling (writing, photography, & video), magazine storytelling (longer-form writing & photography), and promotional video (video only - primarily for DVC concentrators). Students are together for many classes, but participate with separate faculty for the three experiences. All students will work with JMU professors Steve Anderson & Rustin Greene, along 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. You’ll work with Italian students from the University of Urbino who will serve as translators/interpreters in the development of your stories. So, no Italian language background is necessary. The interpreters often also become friends and guides. Students find the Urbino program to be tremendously immersive and enriching. 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 instruction 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.

Work from the last program can be viewed at JMU Summer in Urbino 2019.

Location Description


Urbino is a picturesque Renaissance hill town in the Marche region of central Italy. The town is small, off the beaten track, and in a safe non-touristy location, yet it holds some of the best cultural gems from the Renaissance. Urbino is near appealing Adriatic beaches in the town of Pesaro and it's easy to hop on one of the local buses to get there. 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, some 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


Students will live in a University of Urbino dorm (Collegio Studentessa or 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.

Additional Items to Consider

The middle two three-day weekends are open for students to do as they wish. Students often make plans after arrival in Urbino and then travel in groups to places like Florence, Venice, or Bologna. Some decide to stay in the area and enjoy the beaches or just soak up the local Urbino scene. The town has an active nightlife and the main piazza is filled with dynamic people at all times of the day and night.

COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Applicant Criteria

This program is open to all majors at all class levels.

Application Process

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

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

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

Applications Closed.

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


SMAD 305-1: Special Topics in Media Arts and Design: Multimedia Storytelling (3 credits)

SMAD 305-2: Special Topics in Media Arts and Design: Magazine Storytelling (3 credits)

SMAD 305-3: Special Topics in Media arts and Design: Documentary Video (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.


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