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Study Abroad in Italy for Engineering Students

First semester, first year is your study abroad window of opportunity — in Italy!

Because students in all engineering disciplines take the same courses in their first year, the first semester of freshman year emerged as the ideal time to go. Exactly where will you go? Your destination is our spectacular new campus in Prato — nestled in the cradle of the Italian Renaissance and just a short train ride from Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, and the seaside. In Prato, you will attend classes in all of the engineering courses you need in order to stay on track and in sequence so that you graduate in four years. In addition, you will also attend Italian language classes, which will enable a deeper immersion in the culture and day-to-day life of this region of Italy — Tuscany, in all of its history-steeped, heart stoppingly beautiful glory.

“The main reason I wanted to take part in this opportunity was to make lifelong friendships before I stepped onto campus. This experience has also developed my personal independence very rapidly.” — Michael Tracz, Electrical Engineering, B.S.

Reap the advantages

There are many benefits to studying abroad for any student, and there are some that are particularly relevant to engineering students — especially with regard to Italy. To name a few:

  •  You will be accompanied by a devoted, senior UNH engineering faculty member, who will teach the courses. All engineering courses are in English. 
  • It broadens a prospective engineer’s mind and prepares him or her for greater career success. It is critical in today's inter-dependent global neighborhood that engineering students understand there is more than one way to do, design and think. Nowhere is  that more true than Italy, where every city-state has its own standards-even of measurement.
  • The cost: It’s the same as for a resident student at UNH, with the only added expense being the flight to Italy.
  • It’s a priceless opportunity for engineering students to see the places where engineering was reborn during the Renaissance after the Dark Ages. For example, see how the astounding Duomo in Florence was engineered by the genius Brunelleschi. Learn why the engineers of this time were the artists — the people who understood dimensions and linear perspective.

Going from high school directly to study abroad: why it’s actually better this way

A student leaves the relatively small world of high school and in just a few short months lands on a college campus, confronted by thousands of other students — all of them total strangers. That’s a real culture shock, and adapting can be a bumpy road.

But, as a member of our Freshman Engineering Study Abroad Cohort, you will begin college as part of a small, tightly knit group, with shared interests and soon-to-be-shared, amazing experiences. This is the time you will make lifelong friends, as many of our study abroad engineering students have.

Upon your return to the West Haven campus, if you are anything like those students, you will face campus life more easily and more confidently, with a level of maturity and leadership ability uncommon among other first-year students. The best part: You will still be part of a tightly knit group, whose bonds will continue to strengthen as you move through your college career.

  1. Testimonials

    "The biggest thing I gained from studying abroad my very first semester at UNH was a group of people who became family almost instantly. Just about everybody who went on the trip I still have contact with no matter their major, living situations or even those who have since transferred schools. Even now back on campus 4 years later, those people are still among my closest friends and are always there for each other when needed either academically or socially."

    -Zane Norquist, Fall 2009

    "It’s an experience of a lifetime.  It’s a great program that does not delay you getting your degree on time. It is worth every penny."

     -Andrew McEvoy, Fall 2013

    "I feel that beginning college in Italy was a great experience that has forever changed me for the better. Going to Italy right after high school was tough, however it made me aware that I was not in high school anymore. By the time I came home I was a more confident, independent, and wanting to go out and explore my surroundings. I feel that if survived being in a different country for three and half months and do great. I can pretty much handle anything that comes my way.  Now thinking about how I was before going to Italy and how I am after being in Italy, I realize that I wouldn't be doing as well as I am this semester if I didn't go to Italy. Studying abroad in Italy was a turning point for me, and  I am so happy that I decided to join Dr. Adams' Engineering Cohort."

    -Jack Rothstein, Fall 2013

    "Studying abroad was absolutely the best experience to start off my years in college. The opportunity to live in a different culture gave me such an expanded view on life and on schooling.   I will carry all of those experiences close to me for the rest of my time in college, and the rest of my life."

    -Joseph Erceg, Fall 2013  

    "To take part in University of New Haven's Freshman Engineering program was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I made friends on that trip that I cannot picture life without, no matter how hard I try. I have learned that I am capable of much more than I had ever thought possible.  I had the privilege of meeting people and making connections that span the Atlantic Ocean. If given the chance to go another semester, I would gladly jump on the next plane out. "

    -Zoe  Laird, Fall 2013

    "I loved studying abroad, because it allowed me to really feel like I've experienced a little bit of what the world has to offer. I had never really travelled very much before going to Italy, and now that I have, it's like I caught a bug. I want o experience more and more of the world, and come back with just as many awesome stories as I had from Italy."

    -James Hebert , Fall 2013

    ?"Studying abroad has been the best decision I have made in my nineteen years of life. I have made friends that I have a special kind of bond with and that are irreplaceable.  I not only took part in the study of my major but learned more about myself and who I wanted to be as a person, as a student, as a friend, and especially a daughter. No one could possibly understand the affect that this trip has on a person unless you experience it. I understand that it sounds intimidating going to a foreign place with an unknown language to everyday life, but it is worth it.  Being with other students who are there for the same reasons builds relationships that wouldn't normally form on campus. This experience was life changing. From traveling to major Italy cities, going on mid-semester group vacations, "family" dinners, university-run trips, and the food, the experience cannot become more amazing."

    -Brianna M. Valente , Fall 2013

  1. Learn More

     to learn more about the UNH campus in Prato, Italy
  2. Contact Us

    For more information on the Freshman Engineering Study Abroad Cohort program, please contact. Dr. William Adams at