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Programs : Brochure

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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:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Advisor: Brian Poepsel Housing Options: Hotel/Hostel
Minimum GPA: 2.5 Program Type: U of A Faculty-Led
Language of Instruction: English Credit Type: U of A Credit
Credit Hours Available: 3 Credit Hours Program Duration: 2 weeks
Program Description:



Applications open in early-September for the following summer.

Once applications open, click the "Apply Now" button at the top of the page to begin. Once your application is completed, your application will be reviewed and a decision will be made. You will be notified of the decision through the HogsAbroad portal.

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 today.



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!


Undergraduates should have completed at least 24 credit hours* with a minimum
cumulative GPA of 2.5 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.


Credit Issued By:  University of Arkansas
Credit Hours:  Three (3) credit hours 
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.
Rome: Walking tour of Rome, including the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and Trevi Fountain Site visit to the Colosseum, Palatine, and Roman Forum
Pompeii: 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
Sperlonga: Site visit and beach time at the Grotto of Tiberius in Sperlonga.


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 funding opportunities on our website and with your college.?



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

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.