Immerse yourself in the Sardinian and Italian culture while sailing the Mediterranean Sea. Learn about the rich history and traditions while enjoying the crystal-clear water, white sand, and the mountains of this special island. Humans have a tremendous impact on the environment through simple use of resources. Much resource use results in waste, either as a byproduct or an end result. Solid waste creates a significant environmental problem on many levels. It often signifies inefficient use of resources, it contributes to land use issues and it can initiate pollution in air, soil and water. We have a mounting problem with solid waste management in our society and world. We will be visiting multiple waste management facilities (with special regard to energy and resources generation from waste) and will be meeting industrial leaders who pioneered these technologies.

Snorkel in the crystal clean water of Villasimius, hike in the remote region of Barbagia, bike among pink flamingos, learn to cook like an Italian grandmother.

Application Procedure

  • Application Open: November 1, 2019
  • Application Deadline: December 3, 2019
  • Application Extension Deadline: January 15, 2020
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?

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: Light to medium hikes are included in the program.
  • Prerequisite: Demonstration of interest and enthusiasm in environmental engineering, sustainability, science and policy as well as in Italian culture is a prerequisite. Prior to the abroad portion of the course, attendance at orientation sessions, will be essential. The sessions will be organized within the campus of Northeastern, but Skype will also be set up for students on coop.


Students will interact with students, professors, city officials and professionals during the various activities (field trips, speaker seminars, town meetings and projects), which will present different views on how to properly and sustainably manage solid waste

The courses offered satisfy the requirement of a technical elective for the BS in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering and other engineering majors, as well as a general elective.

The students will engage with the local community in Sardinia at all levels, from the streets of the cities to academic campuses. Students will also be able to visit historical sites and understand Sardinian and Italian culture through interactions with the various people we will meet during our travels.

  • CIVE4540 - Resource Recovery and Waste Treatment Technologies Abroad : Examines different aspects relative to municipal and industrial solid waste, with a special focus on material recovery. Covers chemical-physical characterization of waste, source reduction and toxicity, recycling and selection of different fractions, resource and energy recovery (e.g., composting, anaerobic digestion, combustion to energy), and analysis and preliminary design of treatment disposal options. Through design projects, offers students an opportunity to apply lessons learned to the U.S. context. Taught in a study-abroad format in a European nation.
  • CIVE4541 - Waste Management and Policy Abroad : Explores how the country visited manages the recovery and treatment of both industrial and municipal solid waste. Emphasizes waste generated in mining and other industrial activities (e.g., refinery, military). Examines multifaceted aspects, including governance; science/engineering; and health, social, and policy. Offers students an opportunity to interact with local experts and to visit key sights. Encourages students to think about possible policy lessons for the United States. Taught abroad.


Northeastern Tuition: Summer term tuition as published by Northeastern
Dialogue of Civilizations Fee: $1,000
  • 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 some group meals)

Additional Expense - Meals and Incidentals: $1,600-2,340
  • Students should anticipate spending this estimated amount during the program for meals and incidentals.

    If necessary, students may incur additional fees for visa costs and travel to consulates or embassies to obtain the visa. If you have questions about costs you may incur while participating in this program, please ask your GEO advisor.

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


Additional Resources
  • Student Blog : A reflection paper from 2015 student.
  • Blog : 2015 Student Blogs.


Cagliari is the main cultural center of Sardinia as well as the most populated. Besides its crystal-clear seawater and one of the most beautiful and longest beaches in the Mediterranean, Cagliari offers an unspoiled natural environment consisting of lagoons, bird sanctuaries, and wildlife reserves, which are unique in Europe. Cagliari offers museums, monuments, architecture and archaeological wonders which the different cultures that passed through or occupied Cagliari throughout its history have left behind. The Phoenicians, Romans, Vandals and the people from Byzantine, Pisa, Genoa, Aragona, Catalan, Spain and Piedmont have all left their mark on this ancient city. Nuoro is considered the heart of Sardinia, as this town has well preserved Sardinian traditions and culture. Alghero is located in the northwest of the island and it is an ancient Catalan burg on the sea. There will also be day trips to Villasimius, Sulcis Iglesiente, Villacidro, Tharros, and Orosei.

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.


  • Hostel: Students stay in the University-owned Hostel in the center of Cagliari, within walking distance to shops and markets. Fifteen minutes’ walk to the university. Breakfast included with the stay. Buy lunch at the university cafeteria or bring a bag lunch. Free WiFi at the hostel, the University, and the downtown area. A fifteen-minute bus ride gets you to the beautiful beach of Poetto and other local attractions.
  • Hotel: During our exploratory 2 day trips of the island, we will stay in hotels and agriturismos (farm B&B), either in the city centers (e.g Alghero), in the mountains (Oliena) on in the countryside (Tharros). Meals and WiFi access are included during these stays.

Host University or Organization

The University of Cagliari is one of the largest enterprises in the Region of Sardinia, thanks to its international policy, studies, and its numerous agreements with prestigious universities in Europe and around the world. The benefits of studying at the University of Cagliari are its academic excellence, its innovative programs, its exchange opportunities, its facilities, its location on the beautiful Sardinian coast, and the low cost of living.

Faculty Advisor