Gender & Sexuality Studies

Study abroad exposes students to social and cultural differences that challenge their notion of gender roles and relations. One of the aims of Gender and Sexuality Studies in Florence is to permit a better understanding of the cultural and historical processes responsible for the perception and practice of gender in Europe as opposed to North America. The courses offered thus provide a forum for students to air comparisons and learn about European attitudes and lifestyles that are often very different from those current in their home culture.

Students are encouraged to attend SUF sponsored films and lectures, and are given the opportunity to participate in local events on Women's, Gender and LGBT issues. Florence and neighboring cities such as Bologna and Pisa regularly host film festivals, art exhibitions, collective events, book presentations, and academic lectures in this field. Syracuse students can take advantage of such events to meet Italian students, international activists, and local academics.

In Italy, government funding supports a number of local and national agencies devoted to the defense of women (from battered housewives to illegal immigrants to prostitutes). Other agencies are dedicated to LGBT support, activism and networking. The activities of these agencies range from free medical services and legal aid to the support of cultural events and historical research. Learning opportunities in the form of internships are available for credit with a variety of such organizations, as well as with specialized libraries, museums, government offices, schools and institutions of higher learning.

INTERNSHIPS and the VOLUNTEER PROGRAM propose other options for students who wish to learn, first hand, cross-cultural aspects of the social and cultural roles occupied by and articulated by gender and sexuality. At the same time, students can accumulate professional experience for careers in education, social services, government, communications, and other areas.


Dr. Sara F. Matthews-Grieco
Professor of History & Coordinator, Women’s and Gender Studies,
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Syracuse University Faculty Affiliate:
Moynihan Institute Center for European Studies,
Maxwell School for Citizenship and Public Affairs

Syracuse University, 15 Piazza Savonarola,
Firenze 50132, ITALY
tel: (+39) / 334
fax: (+39) 055.500.05.31


WGS Faculty and Courses

Women & Gender Studies


LGBT Studies




Volunteer Program