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USAC Reggio Emilia Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Reggio Emilia, Italy




• Minimum 2.5 GPA

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the program begins

• Approval by UI and USAC

• 18 years of age

• Check the 'Eligibility' section under the Application tab for more details.

Application Due:

• September 24 for Spring

• February 24 for Fall and Academic Year

• March 4 for Summer

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

Reggio Emilia Center

Reggio Emilia

The program is administered by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), of which the University of Iowa is a member. The USAC Resident Director and staff are present on-site full-time to welcome and support you during your term abroad.

Reggio Emilia is a mid-sized city in north-central Italy. This city of Roman origin, birthplace of the Italian tricolor flag, is rich in history, culture, and tradition. The city is known worldwide for its unique teaching philosophy and cuisine. The Reggio Emilia program is ideal for students interested in education, communications, health/nutrition, and Italian studies.

Academic Program

Students in front of University of Modena and Reggio Emilia

The program offers a high-quality educational experience in a variety of academic areas including education, communications, health/nutrition, and Italian studies. These programs are not exclusive of one another; you may choose courses from any area. USAC classes are held at the Reggio Emilia campus of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE).

The list of current courses can be found here: USAC Course Offerings

Students receive University of Iowa resident credit for the courses taken on this program.

Fall, Spring, and Academic Year

Students will enroll in 12 to 18 s.h. per semester comprised of an Italian language course (required) plus electives in education, communications, health/nutrition, and Italian studies. No prior language study is required to participate. A 3 s.h. internship may also be available


USAC’s Summer I, Summer II, and Summer I & II sessions take place during the University of Iowa’s summer session. UI students can enroll in either session or both sessions.

Students will enroll in 3 s.h.- 6 s.h. per session. At least one 3 s.h. is required each summer session. Note: UI students need to take a minimum of 6 s.h. during the summer to be considered full-time students and to gain financial aid eligibility.

Applying credit toward a UI degree

Unless UI Study Abroad has an approval on file for the courses you take abroad to be applied toward a specific major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, you will receive general elective credit for your course. The course approval process will be discussed when you meet with your study abroad advisor.

Cultural Activities

Opera House in Reggio Emilia

Theater in Reggio Emilia

You are encouraged to participate in the included program excursions and activities, in addition to the field trips built into some of your courses. Dates and exact locations are at the discretion of the Resident Director and they vary from session and session and semester to semester.

More information about excursions and activities can be found on the USAC website.

Program Dates

Note: This program is not available for the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 session.

Program dates vary from year to year, but typically follow the University of Iowa’s academic calendar.

This program is offered for a semester, academic year, or during the summer session.

Two month-long sessions are offered each summer. Students can choose to study during either one or both of the summer sessions.

You can find the specific dates for the upcoming sessions on the USAC website

For More Information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application with USAC, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa. 
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE)

USAC classes are held at the Reggio Emilia campus of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE), rated the second-best public university in Italy.

Students will have access to the university’s facilities including their modern library, and café. Program participants can take part in activities organized by the Italian student life association (Uni-life) on campus and in the community. Sign up for a language partner to practice Italian while helping local students learn English.

Reggio Emilia

Students in Reggio Emilia

  • Population: 173,000
  • Distance from Rome: 270 miles
  • Distance from Torino: 168 miles

Situated in Northern Italy, in the Po Valley, Reggio Emilia borders Parma’s territory to the west and Modena’s territory to the east. In the north, the River Po separates its territory from the province of Mantua, while in the south the Apennines mark the border with Liguria and Tuscany.

Reggio, also known as the Tri-colour town — it was here that the Italian flag was adopted for the first time in 1797 — has an ancient history: in the 11th century, the town was the heart of Matilde’s county in the neighboring territory. Later, important figures marked its Renaissance, ranging from Boiardo to Ariosto, the great poet of Orlando Furioso.

Nowadays, Reggio is famous for its gastronomy, lifestyle quality, and the “best kindergartens in the world.” It is also a city of art, whose symbols are the seventeenth-century Basilica della Ghiara and the famous Teatro Municipale. Contemporary signs are visible, for those driving along the A1 motorway, in the bridges designed by architect Santiago Calatrava for the Alta Velocità (High Speed) station.


Reggio Emilia

Aside from the unending, tangible history in Italy, the nation has beyond remarkable landscapes which bring any visit to an entirely new level. You can go skiing in the Alps, visit Roman ruins and Greek temples, or explore the Grand Canal in Venice.

As one of the world's most-loved destinations, Italy is also the land of la dolce vita meaning "the sweet life." After an adventure, tourists can unwind, relax, and be pampered by staying at one Italy’s high-end spas or simply enjoying Italy's sophisticated dining pleasures, such as family-owned restaurants where you can experience real Italian cooking.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

View of city from student's apartment

Students can choose to live in apartments or in a homestay. Accommodations are arranged by USAC in consultation with the student. More information about housing can be found on the USAC website.

  • Apartments: Most students share private apartments with 2-5 other USAC students. The apartments are modestly furnished with double occupancy rooms. Single rooms may be available for an additional fee but cannot be guaranteed.
  • Homestay: Occasionally there may be the opportunity to live with local Italian singles, students, or families. However, this is a limited option, and availability can’t be guaranteed.

Housing Fees

During the semester and academic year sessions, the housing fee is not included in the course fee. Students pay rent for their accommodations each month. You will need to have a plan and budget in place to withdraw the amount needed for monthly rent.

For summer programs, housing is included in the course fee.


If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.

Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-US Citizens

Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.

Travel Arrangements

Students will work with their program provider to make travel arrangements to their program site. The cost of travel is not included in the course fee. UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from your program provider.

Local Transportation

Within your host city and around Italy, students will utilize public transportation such as buses and trains. Italians are also very used to walking, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes!


This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA- Students must have a minimum 2.5 GPA to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a GPA below 2.5 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing- Applicants must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing by the time the program begins to participate in this program.
  • Approval by USAC and UI Study Abroad- Applications will be reviewed by UI Study Abroad and by USAC. Students will be accepted based on their review of their application materials.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming presented by UI Study Abroad and USAC.

Additional notes on eligibility

Program eligibility requirements may change per USAC policies. Before applying, it is important that you review the eligibility requirements listed on the USAC program website to ensure you meet all listed requirements.


Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.

The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.

Cost Sheets

The following DRAFT cost sheet applies to the Fall 2021 session.

PDFDRAFT USAC Reggio Emilia Cost Sheet- Fall 2021

The following cost sheet applies to the Spring 2020 session.

PDFCost Sheet USAC Reggio Emilia Spring 2020

Calculating Fees

The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:

Cost sheets do not include the following optional costs:

Additional Optional Costs Paid to USAC

These fees are all optional and are not included in the course fee for the program. The cost should be paid directly to USAC through the Gateway account. Failure to pay these fees will result in USAC withholding your transcript.

  • Single Room Upgrade
  • Optional Tours
  • Additional USAC Course/Material Fees

Optional fees vary by session, and will be available shortly before the upcoming session.

Personal Travel Costs

Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:UI Financial Aid Information

You can find more information about options for funding your study abroad experience including scholarships on Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad.

In addition, take a look at USAC’s Scholarship website for information about scholarships offered directly through USAC.

How to Apply

Note: This program is not available for the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 session.

  • Meet with the appropriate study abroad advisor to discuss your study abroad plans well ahead of the application deadline. Your application will not be approved until you've completed this step. You can set up an appointment by calling UI Study Abroad at 319-335-0353.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to review your program and ensure that it is a good match for your academic and personal goals.
  • If you and your academic advisor agree that the program is a good match for you, complete the UI Study Abroad application. Please note that for study abroad programs through Spring 2022, students will not be charged the $50 application fee until travel is assured. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to the application fee being billed, it will not be charged.
  • Create an account in the USAC Online Gateway. Complete all of the online sections of the application. Before you can be considered for the program, you must complete the application, complete the personal essay, and pay the non-refundable $100 application fee to USAC.

A note regarding Summer session applications:

For the Summer Term, this program has Summer I, Summer II, and Summer I & II options. When completing your UI online application, under the Offering section, you will be asked to choose between Codes A, B, or AB.

  • Code A=Summer I
  • Code B=Summer II
  • Code AB=Summer I & II

Ensure that you choose the session that corresponds to the dates you wish to study abroad. Contact your UI Study Abroad advisor with any questions.

Post Acceptance

Acceptance into your chosen study abroad program is made by USAC directly via an email to you, which will refer you to additional documents posted to a USAC Gateway account that will be created for you. You will receive log in credentials for Gateway at this point.

You will be working with both UI and USAC directly. Please follow instructions from both. Later in the semester, your UI Study Abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.

Application Deadline

Applications for the Fall and Academic Year are due on February 24.

Applications for the Summer are due on March 4.

Applications for the Spring session are due on September 24.

Limited Admission

Space is limited on this program. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the preparation process and submit an application as soon as possible to ensure that they get a spot in their chosen program. Applying well ahead of the final application deadline is extremely helpful in ensuring a spot in your program.

Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

Coming Soon.

Health & Safety Planning

In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:

Study Abroad Resources

Passports and Visas

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the PDFHealth Preparation Guide for International Travel form with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.


U.S. passport holders should follow the Visa batch process instructions provided by USAC. These can be found in your USAC Gateway account in the Documents tab. Make sure to submit all required documents by the submission deadline. Otherwise you will have to apply for your student visa independently.

The closest Consulate available to UI students is the Chicago consulate.

U.S. Citizens will need a student visa if they are going abroad for a semester, or academic year. Typically, they will not need a visa for the summer sessions.

Non-US Citizens- should refer to the Italian Consulate Website for more information on Italian visa requirements.

UI Study Abroad will hold advising appointments and/or information sessions to provide details on the visa application process. UI Study Abroad staff can provide some assistance on the Italian visa application process, but ultimately the individual traveler (the student) is the person who is responsible for providing correct information on the visa application and securing the visa and all other required documentation prior to travel.

Prior to starting the visa application process check in with USAC for more information; they have a preferred timeline that students need to follow.


In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email

Program-Specific Orientation

This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.

Predeparture Resources

USAC will provide you with a variety of pre-departure resources to prepare you for your study abroad experience. These will include a packing list, cultural information, housing instructions, etc. Ensure that you thoroughly review any information provided to you by USAC and refer back to it if you have any questions.

These materials may be periodically updated to reflect new program information prior to departure. Be sure to check your USAC Gateway Account often.