Rethinking Food Security

students in Italy

Travel through Rome and Florence to appreciate Italy’s cultural heritage and the role it plays in developing sustainable food systems. Enjoy the opportunity to speak with those directly involved in the assessment of causes and development of advice to countries and international agencies on how to combat poverty and food insecurity in the world. As you identify key principles of sustainable food systems and potential paths to enhancing food security at multiple scales, you will have the chance to better understand the problem of world hunger and engage in the discussion to discover solutions.

Gain knowledge on the causes, measurement, and consequences of food insecurity in the world in addition to remedies proposed and actions taken to end hunger. Learn about Italy’s special role in addressing sustainability in the food system and developing solutions to the age-old problem of hunger. As you better understand the issues, research, and involvement of key international agencies and their differing roles, you will be able to identify scalable remedies that can address hunger, malnutrition and related issues on poverty, food waste, and climate smart agriculture. By the conclusion of the program, you will have not only developed, but will also be able to confidently articulate, your own views on food security problems and policies.

Quick Information

Application DueOctober 1, 2024
Academic DateJanuary 2025
Credit Hours3
Requirements2.5 MU GPA at time of application. Good academic standing. Open to all MU students.
Estimated cost$4,517* (doesn’t include airfare)
ContactShanon Dickerson, Director of Study Abroad


Rome serves as a worldwide hub for food security agencies, which allows participants to interact with key players who are directly involved in global food security programs. Also included in the program are visits to the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, Coliseum and the United Nations Agencies in Rome.

Accommodation and Meals

Students will be housed in hotels and a farm. Rooms will be shared with 2 or more persons per room.  All housing costs are included in the program fee.

Selected group meals are included in the program fee; however some meals will be out-of-pocket expenses for students. A detailed itinerary will be provided that clearly indicates which meals will need to be purchased. Though the individual spending habits of each student will vary, please see the budget information below for an estimate of the average out-of-pocket meal expenses.

Program Travel

International round-trip air travel will be arranged for the group. This arranged flight generally departs from and returns to Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, MO. Transportation to Lambert International Airport will be the responsibility of the student. The faculty program leaders, Michael Sykuta, Ph.D., and Deborah Finke, Ph.D., travel with the group flight to facilitate airport check-in and transfers.


Students will be enrolled in three credits of AFNR 2191: International Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (humanities; graded A-F) for the spring semester. Class meetings during the fall semester will provide background information so that all participants have a basic knowledge of the literature on causes, measurement, consequences and suggested actions to end hunger in the world; as well as to orient and prepare students for international travel. Readings will be assigned before, during and after the program travel dates. During the program, round-table discussions will enhance comprehension, provide an exchange ideas and offer reflection on the differing perspectives provided by experts’ presentations.

A significant portion of the grade for this course comes from trip journals and the writing and presentation of a topic of your choice. The final project will be submitted and presented before spring break.

Estimated Cost

MU Tuition (3 Credits; Spring Semester): Varies per student. See website for details.

Non-refundable deposit:$350
Intl Center Fees:$245
Program Fees:$3,922
Total cost estimate without airfare: (includes accommodation and some meals)$4,517
Airfare estimate (does not include baggage fees):$1,600-1,800
Additional meals estimate:$500 – 750
Additional misc. estimate:$250