Rugby Nutrition and Biochemistry in Italy

Photo of an Italian city


Dates: August 23 – September 16, 2024

Participate in a high-performance, international rugby environment and build your understanding of sports nutrition and biochemistry while immersed in an Italian cultural experience, including visiting and learning about historic cities and landmarks of Northern Italy. This program uses state-of-the-art approaches to monitor performance and promote student-athlete welfare. Rugby will be our vehicle to learn the basics of sports nutrition and biochemistry of sports. You will connect with the global rugby community to create relationships with players and coaches, building your personal and professional networks within rugby and related fields.

Language of Instruction: English 

Courses: BIOL 81A: Nutrition of Sport (5 units) & BIOL 81B: Biochemistry of Sport (5 units)

Summer Session: 2

Max Enrollment: 50

Faculty Leader: Guido Bordignon, Ph.D., Teaching Professor in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Department & Jeremy Sanford, Ph.D., Professor in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Department


How to Apply

If interested contact Jeremy,, or Guido,

Quick Facts

Locations – Padua, Italy 

Prerequisites and Application Requirements 

  • Minimum GPA – 2.3 cumulative GPA or higher
  • Affiliation: member of the UCSC rugby team
  • Passport: A passport valid for at least six months after the program’s end date ordered

Other Eligibility – good academic and disciplinary standing, 45 units completed by program departure, minimum age 18


  • Training – stay on track with your training schedule with regular practices and matches. 
  • Cultural Activities get to know your host city by experiencing many notable places around Padua including a garden, museum, and chapel. 
  • Venice visit the canal city of Venice and take a boat to the Venetian islands of Burano and Torcello.  
  • Prosecco Hills – visit this UNESCO World Heritage site where vineyards cover the rolling hills of Veneto.


Application Fee

  • There is a Non-Refundable $200 UCSC Global Learning Application Fee. It is charged to your UCSC account after March 1, 2024.



Italy is located in south-central Europe, bordering France to the west, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Austria to the north, and Slovenia to the east. Often described as in the shape of a boot, Italy’s diverse landscape includes the Alps, valleys, forests, and even active volcanoes. Much of the country and its islands are surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea. It is the third-largest economy in the euro-zone with a population of about 62 million, of which 5% are non-Italians, including Albanians, Romanians, Ukrainians, other Europeans, and Africans. Although Italian is the official language, much of the population speaks a regional dialect. Learn more about travel in Italy here. Learn more about identities in Italy here

Host Organizations

UCSC has partnered with the University of Padua for this program. University of Padua is a public research university and the second-oldest university in Italy, founded in 1222. It is a large school with over 60,000 students and a number of campuses around the city of Padua.

Weather and Climate

Summers in Italy are hot and humid. In Padua, you can expect high temperatures in the high eighties and low temperatures in the high sixties with occasional showers.  

Travel Documents Required for US Citizens

Passport required for US citizens. If you are not a US citizen please email to learn about additional travel documents you may need to pursue this program.



Official Language



Lodging in this program will be in the university residence hall, within walking distance of training and other activities. Rooms are single occupancy and there is a shared kitchen available for light cooking. 

Please note that elevators, air conditioners, and other modern conveniences may not be available in all locations.


 Most lunches and dinners are included Monday through Friday at a cafeteria on campus. Breakfasts are not included. There will be a kitchenette in your housing to prepare meals. 


Global Seminars are generally accessible, though some locations may present unique challenges regarding mobility. These will be addressed as needed and accommodations can be made. Please email to inquire more about if this program is a good choice for you. 

Students with DisabilitiesIf you need support services abroad, notify your UCSC Disability Resource Center (DRC) Coordinator.

Identities Abroad and Away

UC Santa Cruz Global Learning is committed to inclusion and equity in our various program options as well as striving to make everyone’s experiences abroad enriching, positive, and safe.

Learn more on our Identities Abroad and Away webpage.



  • BIOL 81A: Nutrition of Sport (5 units) 
    (Course description coming soon)
  • BIOL 81B: Biochemistry of Sport (5 units)
    (Course description coming soon)

Course Credit

Students on UCSC Global Seminars earn regular UC Santa Cruz course credit which may be used to fulfill degree, major, minor, General Education (GE) requirements. UC Santa Cruz students can use UCSC Global Seminar courses to fulfill their academic requirements as listed in the General Catalog. Students from other campuses should consult with the academic advisors from their home campuses to determine whether courses taken on our programs may be used to fulfill their specific academic requirements.