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Activity, Nutrition, Cuisine, and Culture in Italy

Dates: 29 May–26 June 2024 (approx.)
Application Deadline: 1 December 2023

The Mediterranean lifestyle includes a dietary pattern and way of living unique to countries near the Mediterranean Sea and is associated with good health and prevention of chronic disease. Arguably, the country most central to a Mediterranean lifestyle and pattern of eating is Italy. Furthermore, Italy is rich with history, cuisine, agriculture, a diversity of physical features and terrains (e.g., coastal landforms, beaches, and mountains with stunning views), and opportunities for outdoor physical activity. These varieties create a unique setting for student learning and experience in physical activity, nutrition, cuisine, and culture. Therefore, the overall purpose of this study abroad program is to experience, compare, and contrast the activity/lifestyle, nutrition, cuisine, food environments, and cultures in rural and urban settings throughout Italy. This program includes visits to the following places: Rome temple, the Amalfi Coast region (Maiori, Amalfi, Salerno, Pompeii), Teggiano, Matera, Pisciotta, Pioppi, Florence, Alpi Apuane Mountains (Pruno), Cinque Terre, Parma, Padova, and Venice (including, Zelarino, Sant’Erasmo, Murano). This program includes local church attendance in Salerno and Venice (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints).

This unique program includes a combination of: 1) physical activities (hiking, walking, kayaking, snorkeling), 2) discussions of nutrition and human health (e.g., Mediterranean lifestyle, physical activity biology, “Blue Zones,” social interactions and health, human research studies in activity and nutrition, society and food, macro- and micronutrient properties of Mediterranean foods, chronic disease, etc.), 3) local cuisine, 4) visits to food production sites, and 5) guided and self-guided tours focusing on the culture and history of Italy (e.g., ceramic art in the Amalfi Coast, history of Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii, cave-dwelling people of Matera, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, etc.). More specifically, this program includes visits to: a lemon grove, dairy farm, chestnut mill, bakery, olive farm, parmesan cheese factory, prosciutto ham factory, and balsamic production site, guided tours of museums (e.g., Museum of the Mediterranean Diet, museums dedicated to tomatoes and pasta), academic lecture at the prestigious University of Padova, and eating and interacting with local residents and restaurant owners (e.g., fish production and preservation demonstration, pizza-making class, and cooking class). IMPORTANT: Please note that this program is fast-paced with significant physical activity. This program may be of interest for students in Life Sciences (e.g.  Nutrition, Dietetics, Food Science), pre-med or pre-health professions majors, and majors related to travel. All majors may apply.

Click here to apply today!


Contact Us

James LeCheminant
S141 ESC
(801) 422-6874


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Frequently Asked Questions
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More Information

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Students choose one 3 credit course from the following options:
NDFS 201—Society, Nutrition, and Chronic Disease
OR NDFS 390R— Special Topics in Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science

All students will also take NDFS 494R—Undergraduate research in Nutrition, Dietetics, or Food Science for 3 credit hours.

Students may not take any other courses on this program, including BYU Online courses, without approval by the program director and ISP.
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Includes Latter-day Saint undergraduate full tuition (increased cost for graduate and non–Latter-day Saint students), housing, in-country travel, entrance fees, and international health insurance coverage. As food tasting is an important part of this program, many meals will be included in the program cost (24 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 20 dinners).

Does not include international airfare, some meals, preparation course tuition, or personal expenses.
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Funding Sources

Regular BYU tuition scholarships, Pell Grants, and Federal Insured Student Loans may be applied to study abroad programs.

Students who submit the financial aid section of the ISP application and who have a current FAFSA form on file at the Financial Aid Office (A-41 ASB) will be considered for a Study Abroad scholarship.

Academic departments and colleges may assist with scholarships and grants.

Private grants and scholarships outside of BYU may also assist (see
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Any major may apply.

Note: if the NDFS 201 option is chosen instead of NDFS 390R (see Courses section), a prerequisite is required.

Admitted students are required to participate in an international, cross-cultural preparation course (IAS 201R, 1 credit hour). This evening course will be held during the second term of winter semester 2024 (part-time and non-BYU students will need to pay an additional tuition fee for enrolling in the prep class).

Accompanying spouses must be credit-bearing participants on the program; they will need to apply online and take the preparation course.

Students must meet all country- and program-specific COVID and health requirements for travel.
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Students will be staying in hotels across Italy.
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Students are responsible for purchasing their own airfare to and from the program sites. Airline reservations must be made through BYU Travel. Students should contact a BYU Travel agent.

BYU Travel
280 HRCB
(801) 422-6293
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Application Process

Students must be 18 years of age or older to participate.

Complete the online application here. A nonrefundable $35 application fee is required; applicants will be interviewed once the application is complete.

Students will be notified via e-mail of their acceptance into the program. The first payment is due upon acceptance; please refer to the Payment Information document.

Priority Application Deadline: 1 November 2023
Final Application Deadline: 1 December 2023
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Program Adjustments

International Study Programs (ISP) reserves the right to cancel this program, revise its offerings, or make any adjustments to the preliminary cost.

If it becomes necessary for ISP to cancel a program, all program payments made to BYU ISP will be refunded to the student’s BYU Financial account.

ISP is the only office authorized to cancel any of its programs.
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Dr. James LeCheminant is the faculty director of the program. He is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Science at Brigham Young University. Feel free to contact him with any questions you have.

S141 ESC
(801) 422-6874
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Contact Us

International Study Programs
101 HRCB
(801) 422-3686
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ISP Student Handbook

To see the student handbook, click here.
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Payment Schedule

To see the payment schedule, click here.