UNH Opens Satellite Campus in Prato, Italy

Elizabeth Field

Studying abroad just became a whole lot more accessible for UNH students.

The university has opened its first international satellite campus in picturesque Prato, Italy. Prato, which has its roots in the 10th century, is the second largest city in Tuscany and only a 20-minute train ride from Florence.

UNH has had a longstanding commitment to study abroad programs, sending students to France, England, Costa Rica, Russia, amongst many others.

“The best way for students to learn about a new culture is to experience it first hand,” says Kevin Murphy, director of the new Prato campus. “Studying abroad helps students gain a new perspective on the world and prepares them for the global economy that they will live and work in after graduation.”

The university has plans to enroll 35 students at the satellite campus this fall and 60 students in the spring of 2013. Students will take a standard five-course load including Italian language on the Prato campus, occupying an entire floor of a castle.

The satellite campus has mixed UNH faculty and professors with a balance of local faculty members to ensure that students do not become isolated in their student community.

Essential core curriculum not available on campus will be made accessible to students through online coursework.

In order to fully immerse students into the local culture, meal plans stipulate that they eat at one of four restaurants and cafes in town.

“Prato is saturated neither by tourists or by foreign students, and these are…great advantages to our students who will have great opportunities to integrate into the local community, develop their own intercultural communication skills, and gain insights into European culture on its own terms,” Murphy said.

Sweetening the deal, President Steven Kaplan announced that UNH students enrolled at the Prato campus will be able to keep all of their scholarships and loans, which would not be the case if they were to enroll through an outside program. The only additional costs will be airfare and travel expenses.

“This is an exciting day for the university and the beginning of a program that will provide tremendous value for our students,” said President Kaplan. “The students will be able to immerse themselves in the history, art and language of Italy, one of the richest cultures in the world, while they continue their college education.