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  • Locations: Naples, Italy; Pompeii, Italy; Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: May Intersession
  • Restrictions: U of A applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: May Intersession
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year U of A Application Deadline U of A Decision Date Start Date End Date
May Intersession 2017 02/06/2017
Rolling Admission 05/14/2017 05/27/2017

** If you are applying for an external program, please note the U of A application deadline listed may be different than the external program provider's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Advisor: Brian Poepsel Housing Options: Hotel/Hostel
Minimum GPA:
2.5 Program Type: U of A Rome Center
Language of Instruction: English Credit Type: U of A Credit
Credit Hours Available: 3 Credit Hours Program Duration: 2 weeks
Program Description:



Application Deadline: 

*Priority Deadline:    12/01/2017
**Regular Deadline:  02/01/2017

*Program may fill before regular deadline; therefore, early application is advised
**Post-priority applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the regular deadline

Help unlock the secrets of ancient life in Pompeii through Virtual Reality! While Pompeii is one of the oldest (and most famous) archaeological sites, under excavation since the 18th century, much about life in this ancient city remains unknown. This is partly because contemporary approaches to understanding human environmental cognition have not been systematically applied to Pompeii. How did people in this ancient Roman city perceive, process, and navigate space, interpreting architectural and decorative cues to movement and behavior? How does this compare to how we contemporary humans navigate our cities, houses...and Walmart?

The emergence of video game engines and Virtual Reality headsets as serious platforms for scientific visualization is transforming our ability to do cognitive research on archaeological sites like Pompeii. This May Intersession program will spend 10 days on the ground in Pompeii developing and refining a 3D model of an urban street in Pompeii for use on desktops and in Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality headsets, specifically the Samsung Gear and the Microsoft Hololens. The 3D model will be used to develop interpretations of patterns of how Romans moved and interacted along a one-block stretch of the Via dell's Abbondanza of Pompeii, dense with shops, bars, graffiti, and houses.

Most tours of Italy spend one day at Pompeii, giving students little opportunity for meaningful understanding of the site. This intersession program aims to immerse students in the ancient city in ways that were simply not possible before. What was it like to walk down an ancient Roman street, and begin to understand its spatial and cultural codes? What would it be like to begin to experience this street through Roman eyes (and ears--and bodies)? Using contemporary video game technology, this intersession course aims to shed new light on these questions. Students will also spend 2 days in Rome, and a day at the beautiful (and ancient) beach city of Sperlonga. Experience in 3D modeling or coding is NOT required. Interest in understanding life in this ancient city is!


Modern-day Pompeii (Pompei in Italian) may feel like a nondescript satellite of Naples, but it's here that you'll find Europe's most compelling archaeological site: the ruins of Pompeii. Sprawling and haunting, the site is a stark reminder of the malign forces that lie deep inside Vesuvius.

The ghostly ruins of ancient Pompeii make for one of the world's most engrossing archaeological experiences. Much of the site's value lies in the fact that the town wasn't simply blown away by Vesuvius in AD 79 but buried under a layer of lapilli (burning fragments of pumice stone). The result is a remarkably well-preserved slice of ancient life, where visitors can walk down Roman streets and snoop around millennia-old houses, temples, shops, cafes, amphitheatres, and even a brothel.

Source: Lonely Planet



Travel Dates:  May 13 - May 29, 2017

Program Dates: May 14- May 28, 2017

Credit Hours:  Three (3) credit hours 
Credit Issued By:  University of Arkansas
Courses:  Offered at the Undergraduate and Graduate levels
               WLLC 475V      Virtual Pompeii
               HUMN 3923H    Virtual Pompeii

Learning Objectives:
  1. Students will learn the fundamental political and social history of Pompeii, and be able to relate this to the built form of the city and its decoration, and more broadly to Roman history
  2. Students will come to understand and be able to apply critically tools and concepts found in contemporary research on environmental cognition and urban studies
  3. Students will learn how these concepts can become more vivid and tangible through 3D visualization
  4. Students will be able to address the strengths and pitfalls of real-time 3D visualizations as platforms for understanding past or other cultures, and how this varies from desktop to Virtual Reality to Mixed Reality


Students and faculty will be lodged in hotels in Rome, Pompeii, and Sperlonga.
While housing will be in hotels, students will have unprecedented opportunity to explore and engage the ancient Roman city of Pompeii, as well as site visits in Rome, Naples, and Herculaneum.


Walking tour of Rome, including the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and Trevi Fountain Site visit to the Colosseum, Palatine, and Roman Forum

9 days of hands-on work in the archaeological site of Pompeii

Herculaneum & Naples:
Site visit to the ancient Roman city of Herculaneum and the National Museum in Naples

Site visit and beach time at the Grotto of Tiberius in Sperlonga.


Students must:

          Complete a minimum of 24 credit hours* by the beginning of the program abroad

          Possess a cumulative GPA of 2.6 or better at the time of application

*Students who have completed less than 24 credit hours may be admissible upon recommendation of faculty leader with support of the dean of the sponsoring college.


Once applications open, click the "Apply Now" button at the top of the page to begin.

If you don't yet have your passport, don't worry! You do not need a physical copy of your passport in order to apply for the program. However, if you don't already have a passport, please be proactive and begin your passport application as soon as possible.


Program Fee:  $2800

Program Fee Includes:
Administrative fees
International health insurance
Additional expenses not included in program fee:
U of A tuition at three (3) credit hours (app. $759.90)
Airfare (est. $1800)
Passport fees
Personal expenses


Financial aid and scholarships are available to U of A students.

In many cases, you can also use your current scholarships and financial aid to help finance your program. If you receive scholarships, grants, or loans as a U of A student, please contact your Financial Aid Advisor in Silas Hunt Hall (479-575-3806) to see how much of your current aid package you’ll be able to utilize towards this summer study abroad program or to apply for loans. Participants on this program may also be eligible to apply for these institutional and national scholarships below. Criteria for scholarships vary, and students should read eligibility requirements carefully. 
U of A students should check out other funding opportunities on our website, including: 
This list is not comprehensive.


For assistance with the application process, costs, travel arrangements, etc., contact the Office of Study Abroad:

Office of Study Abroad & International Exchange
University of Arkansas
722 West Maple Street
Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 575-7582
For additional information about courses or program content, contact faculty leaders:

Dr. David Fredrick
Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Dr. Rhodora Vennarucci
Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

This program is currently not accepting applications.