Engage in the entrepreneurial ecosystem by visiting companies and incubators thriving in the ETNA region including agricultural (wineries and olive oil producers), renewable energy players and a global semiconductor company. Experience first-hand the challenges that entrepreneurs confront internationalizing products and services. Work in cross-culture consulting teams with local students from partner universities to assess client venture product line/service strategy, marketing approaches and determine how these can be adapted for foreign markets.

This program will start with two weeks in Boston, followed by two weeks in Italy.

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: November 1, 2018
  • Application Deadline: January 15, 2019
  • Application Extension Deadline: January 22, 2019
Submit to GEO
  • GEO Application: All applicants must complete the GEO application. This is the first step for applying to any program.
  • $500 non-refundable deposit: Deposits must be paid through NUPay. Be sure to select the appropriate summer term.
  • Photocopy of Passport: This is to be given to your faculty leader after acceptance.
  • Faculty Interview: Faculty will schedule interviews with applicants of interest to determine acceptance. The interviews can occur anytime before the final deadline.
  • Essay Questions: Answer each question in 2-3 paragraphs (completed online via GEO application).
    • What are your personal and academic reasons for wishing to participate in this Dialogue of Civilizations program?
    • How will the program further your academic and career goals?
    • What is your previous travel and language experience, if any?
    • What courses have you taken which are directly relevant to the program?
    • Would you say that your are open to trying new things such as traditional food and activities for the area?

Applications are not considered complete until deposit is received. This deposit will be applied to the full cost of the program.

Update My Travel Plans on myNortheastern
Once you have been accepted into the program and your the flight and accommodation details have been shared with you, you are required to create an entry in My Travel Plans for the trip. Please be sure to enter the following pieces of information:
  • Personal and Emergency Contact Info
  • HealthTravel Info: Dates, flight and accommodation details, etc.
  • Passport Details: Passport number, Expiration date, Passport Country of issue, etc.

Please refer to this step-by-step user’s guide for directions on how to navigate the My Travel Plans system.

Should you fail to complete this step as directed, you may be prevented from traveling, may not receive credit for courses, and/or may be excluded from participating in other Northeastern global programs.

Eligibility Requirements

Studying abroad requires a valid passport. You may also need a visa and/or other travel documents. It is your responsibility to ensure that all your documents are valid and appropriate to the nature of your program.

Minimum Requirements
  • Minimum Cumulative GPA: 2.50
  • Minimum Semesters: Minimum of 2 completed Northeastern semesters at the time of program start date. NUin students are eligible to apply. Transfer and Global Pathways students contact GEO program coordinator for eligibility.
Other Requirements
  • Possible Student Challenges: We do a lot of walking around Sicily. The hike up Mount Etna is challenging but manageable. We spend time on ferries and on boat trips which may be unpleasant if people experience severe motion sickness.
  • Recommendation: Interest in technology entrepreneurship, marketing and international business. Any entrepreneurship-related course would be a plus.


This study abroad program consists of two components, a Boston-based component that is more conceptual in nature, and an Italy-based component that is more experiential in nature. The Boston-based component of this study abroad focuses on the skillset and mindset required to increase the chances of the successful launch of an entrepreneurial venture or expansion with an intentional global focus. Students will learn about developing a product/service concept, a business model, and a go-to-market strategy that is successful in the local domestic market and can be adapted to expand into foreign markets. In addition the course will cover, from an international perspective, entrepreneurial opportunity identification and evaluation; market analysis and intelligence; foreign market entry modes; regulations, laws and customs; regional and cultural issues; financing foreign ventures; and choice of domestic and international legal entities.

The objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the complexities faced by entrepreneurs doing business in a global environment and with knowledge to successfully cope with that environment. Since entrepreneurship is an extremely context-dependent phenomenon, there are limitations to learning about it solely in a classroom setting. The International New Venture Study Abroad Italy course is designed to experience first-hand some of the challenges that entrepreneurs are confronted with while searching for entrepreneurial opportunities or solving problems related to critical issues in today’s operating environment. The International New Venture Study Abroad Italy course is the follow-up experiential complement to any entrepreneurship-related course that focuses on a specific area. Students are required to work in teams to work on issues of strategic importance to an assigned venture. Projects vary widely, but typically involve assessment of the current internationalization strategy or future market entry in another foreign market. International New Venture Study Abroad Italy is a hands-on course, so be prepared to spend a lot of time with your assigned venture and their employees.

Throughout the course students are learning how individuals differ from country to country and how these differences impact their purchases and interactions with others. Students will conduct a global thinking assessment which entails answering questions that are used to generate a GlobeSmart profile. This profile enables students to develop cultural self-awareness and compare their unique work styles & get advice on how to work more effectively with individuals in other cultures. This material is reinforced with speakers that discuss leadership and managing in other countries using language consistent with the language in their global thinking assessment. Students are encouraged to reflect on these dimensions as they travel to their host countries for the second part of the dialogue

  • ENTR 3220 - International Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consulting : Covers, from an international perspective, entrepreneurial opportunity identification and evaluation; market analysis and intelligence; joint venture and partnerships; agents, value-added resellers, and representatives; regulations, laws, and customs; regional and cultural issues; financing foreign ventures; and choice of domestic and international legal entities. Offers students an opportunity to understand the complexities faced by entrepreneurs doing business in a global environment and to obtain the knowledge that helps them to successfully cope with that environment. Focuses on and emphasizes the perspective of the entrepreneur but also canvases the role of the intrapreneur as an innovator and the innovation process in the international context.
  • ENTR 4510 - Management Consulting Abroad - Italy : Offers an intensive field consulting program with local ventures in different countries. Designed to have students experience first-hand the challenges that entrepreneurs confront internationalizing products and services as well as core product management issues. Students have an opportunity to work in cross-culture consulting teams with local students from partner universities. Projects vary widely, but typically involve assessment of current product line and services strategy, marketing approaches, and how these must be adapted for foreign markets, including the U.S. This is a field consulting course with heavy client engagement, requiring detail written and oral communications for the client.


Northeastern Tuition: $12,613
Dialogue of Civilizations Fee: $2,250.00
  • Northeastern Tuition and DOC Fee Includes: 8 Northeastern credits, international roundtrip airfare from Boston, accommodations for program duration, international security and emergency support, and program related expenses (local transportation, field trips, excursions and group meals)

Additional Estimated Expenses: $1,953
  • Students should anticipate spending the following out of pocket expenses during the program:  $1,566 on meals and $387 on incidentals.

GEO offers scholarships and grants for students studying abroad on Dialogue of Civilizations programs. Please visit our Scholarships page for more info!


Additional Resources


This program is set in Catania, and will engage NEU students with entrepreneurs in the ETNA Valley high tech cluster. We will visit several high tech startups in the IT and life sciences, and one highlight of the trip is a visit to ST Microelectronics, Europe’s largest semiconductor manufacturer. We have trips planned to Taormina, famous for its beaches, swimming and scuba diving. Other visits include a trip to the summit of Mount Etna, the only active volcano in Europe, and a visit to Syracuse, famous for its Greek temples and amphitheaters.
The U.S. State Department lists travel advisories, local laws, alerts from the embassy, and other important information about Italy here. Please review this information before applying.


  • On-Campus: On NU’s Boston campus.
  • Hotel: Best Western Hotel Mediterraneo is centrally located in downtown Catania, features a wonderful, comprehensive breakfast buffet that is included, free Wi-Fi access, coffeemakers and flat screen TVs.

Host University or Organization

The University of Catania was founded in 1434 and is the 29th oldest university in the world. It is centrally located in the city of Catania. It offers modern classrooms with the latest technologies. We will visit their technology incubator and interact with Italian entrepreneurship students during Start Up Academy, an annual business model competition where Italian students pitch their ventures in English. We will be working with business school faculty and staff in the technology commercialization office.

Faculty Advisor