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International Programs, Global Learning, Study Abroad | EpiCenter

Gordon in Orvieto

The landscape of pre-modern Italy, populated by saints, mystics, artists, and poets, provides a foundation for this semester in Orvieto.  Located on a hill above green Umbrian countryside, Orvieto contains remnants of Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance cultures.  Students examine these traces of Western classical civilization, exploring its relationship with present-day European culture.  Especially appropriate for studio art majors, this program offers classes in the visual arts, creative writing, history, and literature.  Students live together and receive ample time for independent travel.  Organized field trips provide students with the opportunity to experience Rome, Florence, Assisi, and other historical centers of Italian culture.


Program Advisor
Dr. Christine Forsythe, Frey 23
717.776.2511 Ext. 3710


Goals and Objectives

"The intent of the program is to foster in our students an attitude of responsive looking and listening for signs of new life in the traditions inhabited by artists and poets, saints and mystics, of the past, especially those of pre-modern Europe in Italy.”

Students must have completed one full years of college and have at least a 3.0 GPA to qualify for the program. Students are required to attend all Messiah-run pre-departure orientation sessions the semester before studying abroad as well as half-day reentry retreat upon returning to campus the following semester.

The sixteen credits earned may meet some general education or major requirements. Students take a three credit course in Italian. Participation in this program will meet one general education cross cultural / language requirement. Courses taken will appear on Messiah transcripts with letter grades. Please refer to the grade conversion chart.


Students will meet their third language/cross-cultural requirement by participating in this program. Students will not earn 3 credits, rather the requirement will be waived.

Costs: 2014 - 2015

Because of the high cost of this program, participation is capped at 9 students per academic year.

Messiah tuition, room, board plus $1,700 off-campus study fee.

Fee covers tuition, housing, meals, educational excursions, pre-departure and re-entry orientation.  A studio fee will be assessed for each special topics course.  Note: additional fees students may encounter include (but are not limited to) transportation, visas, passports, immunizations, and course fees. 


Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from this program.


Messiah Application Deadlines

Spring 2015 – April 1, 2014

Fall 2015 - December 1, 2014


Begin the application process here!


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“Italian culture taught me a lot about the importance of family, friends, and leisure time. Their entire day is built around time spent socially, saving room for the important things, like food, love, and relaxation. It has made me want to take more time with the people who I love in my life, and to remember to see the beauty all around me.”

--Leah Palamaro


For more information check out:

Gordon in Orvieto Homepage
CIA World Fact Book: Italy
European Union: A Guide for Americans


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Globalization Getting Started Safety Costs Pre-Departure Re-Entry FAQs Application