English and Geography Field School to Trieste, Italy

English and Geography Field School to Trieste, Italy

Students in the street in Italy

Program Overview

Field School Dates: May 19 - June 1, 2020


Trieste, with its historical links to Italian, Germanic, and Slavic cultures, and located between the Adriatic Sea and Karst mountains, provides an excellent case study of a cultural contact zone. As author Jan Morris notes, “in this city, the lines between fact and fiction, past and present, the explicit and the enigmatic, let alone between one ethnicity and another, always seem to be uncertain.”

We will explore the uncertain space of Trieste by studying the city’s literature, history, geography, art, and architecture. We will try to answer the following questions: What happens when borders shift, populations migrate, and cultures collide? Are cultural values maintained, recreated, or at risk? Are there opportunities for collaboration and cooperation? How does geography shape culture, and vice versa?

Deadline to Apply: Friday, November 29, 2019

  • Students must have minimum second-year standing and permission of the instructors
  • Students must be in good academic standing as determined by VIU

Field School Fees and Costs: $2400 (subject to change)

Included in fees:

  • Shared accommodation
  • Breakfasts
  • Program related travel in Italy
  • Program related entry in Italy
  • One group meal

Not included:

  • Tuition
  • International Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Most lunches/dinners
  • Passport/visa expenses
  • Vaccinations, if required 
  • Changes to travel itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Medical Insurance (Guard.me)





Non-refundable deposit


 December 6, 2019

Payment 1


 January 31, 2020

Payment 2/Final Payment


 February 28, 2020

Total cost per participant

To be confirmed
Estimated amount: $2400
Subject to change


All payments must be made via the student record. Credit cards are NOT accepted.

Fees may be subject to change.


All participants must have a valid passport good for six months after your return.  Applications for Canadian passports are available at Canada Post offices


Italy is part of the Schengen Region and you may require a Schengen Visa depending upon which country you hold a passport. Please visit Schengen Visa Info. Contact Education Abroad for a Letter of Enrollment for this program to support your visa application (accepted students only).

International students going abroad must make sure their TRV and Study Permits are up-to-date and won't expire while they are abroad.

Students will be responsible for applying for and securing their own visas (where appropriate)

Terri Doughty

Professor, Faculty of English
Phone: 250.753.3245 Ext. 2102
Email: Terri.Doughty@viu.ca

Michele Patterson

Professor, Faculty of Geography
Phone: 250.753.3245 Ext. 6296
Email: Michele.Patterson@viu.ca

Education Abroad

Building 255, 2nd Floor
Phone: 250.753.3245 Ext. 2494
Email: EducationAbroad@viu.ca
Web: VIU Education Abroad

"I would consider myself a frequent traveler, but as a student I wanted to explore a new country not just as a tourist but as a student trying to understand the dynamics of the culture and its history.  My field study trip last year to Italy for Geography and English was exactly that.  Our teachers, Terri and Michele, helped us understand the undercurrent of the politics in the area that we visited, which was Trieste, Italy.  Through our varied literary readings, we were able to connect the dots to the attitudes that influenced the culture, and our trips to various places around Trieste reinforced that learning.  In all this was a great experience with two very great teachers and well worth experiencing."

– Joyce Smith, BA

"Trieste was truly a capstone educational experience for me as a Geographer. The city and its hinterland are unique in their diversity, complexity, and beauty, making the region an ideal place for a curious researcher to get lost, find fresh insights, and practice critical analysis."

– Caleb McIntyre, BA Geography, 2019