June Language and Culture Intensives

Oberlin faculty-led immersive courses abroad. A unique opportunity to engage in a deep study of one topic, and in certain cases, in full language immersion.

2024 Courses

ENGL 289: Shakespeare in Italy

  • Taught in English by Professor Wendy Beth Hyman
  • 2.5 weeks in Rome, 4 days in Florence, 3 days in Venice, 1 day each in Pompeii and Padua
  • 16 students maximum
  • Counts toward major and minor in English Literature (pre-1800); Elective in Comparative Literature
  • Attributes: Cultural Diversity
Course description

This June-term faculty-led educational trip will offer an opportunity to study several of Shakespeare’s Italian plays surrounded by the art, history, mythology, and culture that inspired them. In Rome we will visit major sites such as the Forum, the Colosseum, the Capitoline Museum, the Pantheon, and countless galleries, churches, and museums--but not as ordinary tourists. Instead, we will be learning about intellectual, cultural, and literary history at every step of our travels. In Venice, we will think about this crucial early modern port town as a site of cultural complexity and interaction, reflected in plays about Othello “the Moor” and Shylock “the Jew.” In Florence, we will learn about the High Renaissance art, philosophy, architecture, and modern economic practices which so greatly influenced Shakespeare and other authors. A side trip to Padua will bring us to sites of the Scientific Revolution, and a day trip to Pompeii will give a true perspective on the rise and fall of civilizations. Along the way we will take in musical and theatrical experiences, enjoy amazing food and gelato, walk for miles, and enjoy the vibrant, diverse, complex Italy of today.

Application for Shakespeare in Italy

Application timeline

  • Applications available October 12, 2023
  • Review of applications begin Oct 30, 2023
  • Interviews conducted November 1-November 12, 2023
  • Applicants will be notified of acceptance or waitlist status by November 13, 2023
  • Decision to enroll and $500 deposit due January 2, 2024 
  • Admitted students may drop the course and receive a full refund of their deposit until the last day of Add-Drop, February 14, 2024
  • Remainder of course fee is due February 28, 2024
  • Pre-Departure Orientation Sessions during Spring 2024

Additional Details

June block courses carry full academic course credit (4 credit hours).

The course will appear on your record/transcript under Summer 2023, however the credits will be considered toward your Spring 2023 total credits. In Spring 2023, you must register for at least the minimum number of credits/courses for your division without including the credits for this course.

For example:

A&S student registers online for Spring 2023 courses = 14 credits

The Office of the Registrar to register the student for the June course = 4 credits

Total credits considered toward Spring 2023 = 18 credits

Since this course will be considered toward your total Spring 2023 registration, you may need to apply for course overload if you will go beyond the maximum number of credits per your division.


A&S student registers online for Spring 2023 course = 16 credits

The Office of the Registrar to register the student for the course = 4 credits

Total credits considered toward Spring 2023 = 20 credits. A&S maximum is 18 credits, so an overload approval is needed.

The best time to apply for course overload approval is once you are notified that you have been selected to take part in the course. At that point, you must finalize your Spring 2023 schedule and can then assess if you need to act on requesting a course overload.

The course overload form is available on OberView.

A per credit charge may be applicable if the request is to register beyond a certain number of credits.

Students should register for a full course load in the Spring semester to remain in good academic standing. The June course will be counted with their Spring registration. After students have been selected for participation, the Registrar will directly enroll them. 

Students who are planning to graduate this academic year may still be eligible to walk in Spring 2024 commencement. You must contact the Office of the Registrar to confirm: daudit@oberlin.edu. Your degree will be conferred after the course ends, provided that all degree requirements are met. Your diploma will follow by mail.


Tuition for these courses will be part of the Spring semester tuition charge. Only overloads will result in tuition charges. Please see the "course credit" section above.

Related course charges:

The program fee is $4154 per student. Students on the program will be responsible for their own airfare and food. The related course charges cover costs for travel, lodging, and course activities on site. These charges will be added to students' Spring semester total bill. Financial aid, in terms of grants or scholarships, will not be increased to cover any of these related course charges.

Applicants will be notified of acceptance or waitlist status by November 13, 2023.

Students who are accepted will be asked to commit to the course by making a $500 deposit by January 2, 2024. This deposit will be credited toward the overall costs of the course’s travel and activities.

Admitted students who drop the course by or before the last day of Add-Drop, February 14, 2024, will receive a full refund of their deposit.

If students would like to borrow to cover these related course charges, they are welcome to discuss options available with the Financial Aid Office. Please email us at financial.aid@oberlin.edu or call us at (440) 775-8142 or (800) 693-3173.

2023 Courses

FREN 356/FREN 406: Discovering Champagne: the World in a Glass

  • Taught in French by Professor Grace An
  • Two weeks in Paris, one and a half weeks in Champagne.
  • 12 students maximum.
  • Counts toward majors in French, Environmental Studies, and Comparative Literature.
  • Attributes: Cultural Diversity, Sustainability 
Course description

This summer immersion course on Champagne—the drink and the región—is for students who wish to study the French language through an engagement with culture and the natural world. Students will learn about the history of champagne production and consumption, the relevant sense of ritual and ceremony, the cultivation and use of the region’s natural resources, and the promotion of champagne as fashion and luxury. These discussions will address experimentation, gender politics, business and legal practices, tourism, and especially climate change—not to mention the historical personnages who called attention to them in the first place (ie. Louis XIV and Napoléon). No other region in France has witnessed the same degree of bloodshed, disruption, and change as Champagne, particularly during the modern period since the French Revolution, and yet a regional identity endures. From our on-site perch among les Champenois, we will understand le terroir—France’s name for the sense of place through food and drink—that characterizes Champagne’s namesake sparkly delight. 

Application for FREN 356/FREN 406


RUSS 244: Georgia: The Crossroad of Civilizations

  • Taught in English by Professor Vladimir Ivantsov.
  • 10 students maximum.
  • Counts toward the majors and minors in Russian and REEES.
  • Attributes: Cultural Diversity 
Course description

This is a June block course that will take place in Georgia. It offers students 3.5-week immersive engagement with a unique culture at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.  Using Georgia as a case study, we will explore the following questions, among others: What allows a small nation to sustain a strong sense of identity despite the constant threat of being subsumed by neighboring empires? What role do literature and other arts play in building identity? What are the ways in which opposing forces shaping the life of a nation (e.g. religious conservatism vs. Western liberalism) interact and possibly lead to a productive dialogue? Based in the country’s capital, Tbilisi, students will participate in a rich academic program of lectures, discussions, and field trips while simultaneously interning according to their interests at a range of organizations and institutions (libraries, museums, NGOs etc.). Accommodation with host families. 

Application for RUSS 244

Recorded info session for 2023 courses (Oberlin login required)