Join Us in Spoleto, ItalyCharleston’s Sister City!

For over a decade, students from the College of Charleston have spent parts of May and June in Spoleto, Italy—a hilltop town with ancient roots, great food, and gorgeous views—studying and practicing the art of autobiography and travel writing.  

The two courses offered provide credits toward the College’s general education requirement. The program fee includes transport to Spoleto from the Rome airport and back, apartment-style accommodations with a shared bedroom (separate beds) at Villa Tota in downtown Spoleto, a crash course in Italian language and culture, an all-inclusive three-day drip to Florence filled with food and cultural experiences, a day-trip to Assisi, explorations of Spoleto and its environs, a winery experience, truffle-hunting, a cooking class with a master chief, three formal group dinners, and some additional meals and snacks along the way: gelato! pizza on the terrace!

The program fee, not including tuition or airfare, is estimated to be around $3,999. Updates on pricing will be available soon.

A generous range of scholarships of up to $2,000 are available through CofC’s Center for International Education. And don’t hesitate to contact Prof. Gary Jackson, the program director if you have any questions. This year, we are partnering with a study-abroad support non-profit called Customized European Programs Abroad to help with orientation and international safety protocol and 24/7support, as well as our long-standing Spoleto-based tour provider and site coordinator, Love Umbria. A complete itinerary will be available soon!

The program fee does not include tuition or air travel, which students will arrange for themselves. The program director will let students know his flight details in case students would like to join the same flight. Students are welcome to extend their stay in Italy or beyond at the conclusion of the program.

Please note that this program includes a good deal of walking–both to class, and on various excursions. The terrain in Italy is hilly, which can be strenuous for some.

The Courses: The Art of Travel

ENGL 300: Early Modern Romantic Comedy and the Italian Renaissance
Prof. Yunah Kae (

How does literature “travel?” William Shakespeare’s plays may be held up as paragons of true “originality” and “genius,” but the playwright often drew heavily (and indiscriminately!) from a wide range of sources. In this course, we will examine the influence on the Italian Renaissance on some of Shakespeare’s most hilarious romantic comedies. More broadly, we will trace a trajectory of how literature, ideas, and ideologies travel, change shape, and become reinterpreted across geographical borders.

ENGL 339: Creative Writing: Travel, Place, Identity
Prof. Gary Jackson (

Nothing awakens creativity and imagination more than travel. And the simple act of writing is a powerful tool: with it we can navigate new landscapes, render new sensations through powerful images, deepen empathy for others outside our subject position, and essentially write ourselves into existence. Our aim is to use the study abroad experience to write, share, and revise, and study the art of writing both poetry and prose along the way.

Meet the Faculty

Yunah Kae specializes in English literature and drama of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with particular interests in premodern critical race theory, aesthetics, historical formalism, and the history of comedy. She teaches courses on early modern drama and literature, Shakespeare, and histories of sexuality, gender, race, and colonialism. Her current book project, tentatively titled Racial Poetics: Early Modern Race and the Form of Comedy, explores how literary developments in Renaissance comedy inform early modern constructions of race. Her scholarship has been published or is forthcoming in Shakespeare Studies (2022) and Exemplaria (2024) and her research has been supported by the Folger Shakespeare Library. 

Gary Jackson is the author of the poetry collections origin story (University of New Mexico Press, 2021) and Missing You, Metropolis (Graywolf Press, 2010), which received the 2009 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. He’s also the co-editor of The Future of Black: Afrofuturism, Black Comics, and Superhero Poetry (Blair Publishing, 2021). His poems have appeared in numerous journals including Callaloo, The Sun, Los Angeles Review of BooksGulf Coast, and Copper Nickel. He’s published work in Shattered: The Asian American Comics Anthology and was featured in the 2013 New American Poetry Series by the Poetry Society of America. He’s received fellowships and residencies from Cave Canem, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Art Omi. He’s an associate professor in English and creative writing at the College of Charleston where he’s currently the Director of Undergraduate Creative Writing, teaches in the MFA program, and serves as the Poetry editor of swamp pink literary journal.


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