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An Immersion Into Mediterranean Gardens: Spain and Italy

Dates: 3 May–8 June 2024 (approx.)
Application Deadline: 1 February 2024

Regular experiences with gardens and nature have profound physical and psychological benefits. Discover these firsthand as you immerse yourself in the stunning gardens and natural landscapes of Spain and Italy. A warming climate calls for increasingly innovative approaches to landscape design. But wait! Inhabitants of these Mediterranean countries have discovered and refined principles for creating spaces where beautiful plants, stone mosaics, and impressive water features combine to delight the visual senses. In doing so, they create spaces that are cooler and more psychologically comfortable to be in—all while conserving water.

We will experience a variety of public and private gardens, both to improve our understanding of design principles and to appreciate the vital importance of plants in making the built world more livable. As just one example, we will visit the beautiful city of Córdoba during its famous patio festival (“Festival of Flowers”), where courtyard gardens of private residences are open to the public during an annual competition. This spectacular event has been held for over a century and is recognized by inclusion on UNESCO's cultural heritage list. In contrast with the intimate courtyard gardens of Córdoba, many gardens in Spain and Italy will be enormous, exhibiting centuries-old architecture and landscapes on a grand scale.

This will be an active study abroad, with many days requiring lots of walking/hiking throughout the day. We will experience the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet, all while enjoying the vibrant cultures of Spain and Italy. Designing your own landscapes during the study abroad will improve your ability to bring the natural world into our built environment in a more deeply satisfying way. And of course, there will be time for visiting major historical locations and enjoying the rich cultures of these two amazing countries.

Click here to apply today!


Contact Us

Greg Jolley
(801) 422-6872

Phil Allen
(801) 422-2421


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Frequently Asked Questions
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More Information

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Students may choose to take two of the following courses while on this program:

PWS 100—Plants in the Environment (3 credit hours). How plants influence humans.
PWS 103—Residential Landscape Design (3 credit hours). Design and composition as applied to development of residential grounds; fulfills the Arts GE requirement for Arts, Letters, and Sciences, and major requirement for PLS majors.
PWS 220- Trees (3 credit hours).
PWS 380—Plant Community Design (3 credit hours). Design and ecology of thematic plant communities; fulfills major requirement for PLS and Landscape Management majors.

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, some meals, in-country travel, entrance fees, and international health insurance coverage.

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

University funding is available to help fund study abroad experiences. Contact Professors Matt Arrington or Brad Geary for details.

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 (seek
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No prerequisites required. This study abroad is for students in any major.

Accepted 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. Part-time and non-BYU students will need to pay an additional tuition fee.

Accompanying spouses need to 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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Hotels and hostels in Italy and Spain.
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Students are responsible for purchasing their own airfare to and from the program sites. Airfare 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 Deadline: 1 November 2023
Application Deadline: 1 February 2024
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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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Greg Jolley and Phil Allen are faculty directors of the program and are professors in the Department of Plant and Wildlife Sciences at Brigham Young University. Feel free to contact them with any questions you have.

Greg Jolley
2125 LSB
(801) 422-6872

Phil Allen
2123 LSB
(801) 422-2421
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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