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Courses - Freshman Program

Global Encounters

This zero credit pass/fail course, taken by both upperclassmen and freshmen, is designed to give students a common experience on site while providing basic historical knowledge of the host country as well as survival language skills.  Freshman only enroll in this required course during their fall semester.

This course provides students with a shared study-away experience at NYU Florence, engages them in the intellectual life of our site, and prepares them for their course work by giving them a basic foundation in the history and culture of Italy. Students also benefit from basic instruction in Italian language; this instruction is designed to supplement their formal language courses and to enable them to function in their new surroundings.

 

Writing

Writing is an integral part of the Liberal Studies Program. Every course in the program requires that students write to demonstrate their mastery of material. Writing provides students with an important method for organizing and expressing their thoughts, and it helps students to develop and enhance their critical, analytical, and interpretive skills.

Writing proficiency is required for the NYU bachelor’s degree. The writing proficiency requirement is fulfilled by taking the Writing II course and receiving a minimum grade of C. A Writing II grade that is below grade C requires that the student take and pass the Writing Proficiency Examination.

Writing I has two main objectives: first, to develop the students’ self-confidence and fluency by engaging them in the use of writing to express, explore, and develop ideas through a variety of forms, including informal writing (free writing, journal writing, etc.); second, to engage them in practicing the same kinds of critical and analytical skills they will use throughout their two years in Liberal Studies’s writing intensive program. The class is conducted as a workshop. Students produce a wide range of writing, both in and out of class, which forms the basis for classroom activities. All papers go through multiple drafts, often with input from peers as well as the instructor. 

In writing II, students develop their skills in analysis and argumentation, by exploring the ways in which the ideas of others can be incorporated into their own writing. Students read and discuss longer, more challenging texts; in their own writing, students are expected to incorporate a broad range of primary and secondary sources to develop and support their increasingly complex ideas. Students are familiarized with a wide variety of possible resources at the library and should be comfortable with the mechanics and conventions of the academic research essay. The course continues to encourage in-class participation, collaborative learning, and workshop presentations. 

Freshmen Foundations

The freshman core courses Cultural Foundations I and II and Social Foundations I and II are based on the study of great texts from antiquity to the Enlightenment. In the Cultural Foundations sequence, students study literature, the visual and performing arts, and music. In the Social Foundations sequence, students focus on philosophy, religion, political and social theory, and history. Taken together, the two sequences can be seen as a large-scale cultural history. The sequences also provide an introduction to skills in critical analysis and synthetic thinking that students need for successful study in all academic disciplines. All of the courses return again and again to a limited number of fundamental issues. Students will come to see that these problems are discussed in many kinds of texts and from many different cultural and historical points of view.

This course focuses on the world's great traditions in literature, music, and the visual and performing arts from the most ancient civilizations to the Middle Ages. It familiarizes students with the earliest foundations of the world's major cultural traditions and the connections between these cultures. The course includes such literary works as The Odyssey, The Ramayana, andthe Shih Ching; students personally encounter foundational achievements of visual art in museums as well as learning about them in art history texts. 

This course focuses on the world’s great traditions in philosophy, theology, history, and political science from the most ancient civilizations up to the Middle Ages. It familiarizes students with the earliest foundations of the world’s major discourses about the nature of human identity and society through a comparative study of seminal texts. The course includes such works as The Analects, Bhagavad Gita, and the Republic of Plato.   

This course focuses on the world's great traditions in literature, music, and the visual and performing arts from the Middle Ages into the Enlightenment. It familiarizes students with the exchanges between the major world cultural traditions of the pre-modern era. The course includes such literary works as Journey to the West, Dante's Commedia, and the poetry of Rumi; in addition it continues the study of original works of art and introduces students to musical masterworks of the era. 

This course focuses on the world's great traditions in philosophy, theology, history, and political science from the Middle Ages into the Enlightenment. It familiarizes students with the major world discourses about the nature of human identity and society of the pre-modern era through a comparative study of seminal texts. The course includes such works as The Koran, The Prince, and The Conquest of New Spain

Italian Language Courses

In addition to their Liberal Studies coursework, all students are required to take one course in Italian language each semester. Placement is finalized upon testing during orientation.

Students are not expected to have taken Italian coursework prior to their arrival in Florence. In fact, many students begin with Intensive Elementary Italian in the fall semester. That said, even the most proficient students should expect to take Italian in both the fall and the spring. 

All Liberal Studies coursework (Writing, Social Foundations, and Cultural Foundations) is conducted in English.

This daily course immerses students in the Italian language. The basic structures and vocabulary of the Italian language are presented. Students are also provided with systematic practice of oral Italian through dialogues, pattern drills, and exercises. Special emphasis is given to correct pronunciation, sound placement, and intonation. Conducted in Italian.  

Prerequisites: V59.0001 & V59.0002, Elementary Italian I & II; or V59.0010, Intensive Elementary Italian

This course offers students who are at the intermediate level a daily immersion class. The acquisition and practice of more sophisticated structures of Italian are undertaken. Fundamental oral and written skills are developed, and vocabulary enrichment and conversational ability are emphasized. Conducted in Italian. 

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