AIM Overseas is excited to offer this dynamic program – Food & Wine Trends and Innovation: An analysis of the Italian industry. The program is held at University Cattolica del Sacro Cuore campus in Piacenza, Italy – just 50 minutes south of Milan.

This program explores two courses over 4 weeks – Food Production: Tradition and Innovation, followed by The Global Wine Market: Trends and Strategies. This program is perfect for students studying agriculture, agribusiness, marketing, business or food science related degrees.

The first course on Food Production covers a range of topics including an overview about biochemical background, nutritional value and the health-related issues linked to the Mediterranean diet. The course will also look at the ‘farm-to-fork’ pathway of typical food types of the Po Valley and, in particular, of the Piacenza district, including tomato sauce, Grand Padano, salumi and wine.

The course focuses on The Global Wine Market, you will explore the Italian wine industry, including quality, sustainability and enogastronomy. You will also gain an understanding of the policies and economic trends that affect consumption, trade and production within Italy and the EU.


This program offers a mix of theoretical learning and assessment along with taste testing of products and tours of wine and food processing companies.

*Details of the 2019 program are still subject to final change*

This information is still be confirmed, the information below is based on the 2019 program details

Module 1: Food Production
- The Italian food tradition and the Mediterranean diet
- Food preservation
- Culinary Trends and Philosophies that influence the way we eat
- Salami: A unique itinerary to excellence
- Productivity and quality traits in protected and open field production
- Grana Padano: history, tradition and processing
- Tomato sauce: from the field to the pasta dish
- Grape growing and wine making: a trade-off between tradition and innovation
- Wine-making training module

Module 2: The Global Wine Market: Trends and Strategies
- Perceived wine quality
- Wine tasting of Colli Piacentini wines sparkling or still?
- Wine guides and Media
- Evolution of the common agricultural policy for the wine sector
- Supply, demand and trade of wine: Italian, EU and world markets

This information is still be confirmed, the information below is based on the 2019 program details

Below is the list of places students will likely visit as part of the program:

- Montesissa Vineyard
- Marchesi di Barolo Cellar
- EFSA headquarters
- Parmalat in Collecchio

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (also known as UCSC or UNICATT) is an Italian private research university and was founded in 1921. Cattolica is the largest private university in Europe. Its main campus is located in Milan, with satellite campuses in Brescia, Piacenza, Cremona, Rome and Campobasso. The Milan campus, situated in the heart of Milan’s St. Ambrose district, is characterised by chapels and great halls which mark the university’s original use as a monastery as far back as the 8th century. UCSC has been awarded 5 stars by international university ranking system, QS Stars, and has been noted as the fourth most recommended university to attend by international students. Gain first hand exposure to the European perspective on international relations by living in Europe itself and learning about regional concerns in context.

This information is still be confirmed, the information below is based on the 2019 program details

Prof. Stefano Poni is the academic coordinator for the Food & Wine program. Stefano is a full professor of Viticulture and Chair of the Department of Sustainable Crop Production of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Piacenza (Italy) since 1 November 2014. He is currently member of the national evaluation panel for assessment of the quality of research in Italy for the 2011-2014 time span. He is also Chair of the Committee supervising the teaching activities at the Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences in Piacenza, and work package leader in the MODEM_IVM and INNOVINE projects funded within the FP7 European framework.

Dr. Milena Lambri is a full time researcher in Food Science and Technology, Institute of Enology and Agro? Food Engineering, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza. She teaches Advances in Enology, Food sensory analysis and Processes of Food Technology. She is in charge of research projects on wine proteins, colloids, polyphenols, and tartrates for optimizing the use and dose of enological adjuvants and for implementing new plants and technologies in red winemaking.

Dr. Antonio Garofolin is a professional Sommelier, food and beverages manager, teacher at the Hospitality Training Institute of Rovereto (Rovereto, Italy).

Prof. José María Ajkay Romero is associate professor in Science Culinary Arts & Professional Catering of Sullivan University in Louisville, KY (USA). He was committed in various big events. For instance, he was involved as chef for the US Olympic team and committee in the Winter Olympic Games of 2010. He currently teaches at Universidad de La Sabana (Bogotá, Colombia) in the field of Gastronomy . His academic activity focuses on Culinary Arts as head of the Area Of the Gastronomy Program

Vania Patrone is a researcher at the Institute of Microbiology and member of the Proteomics and Nutrigenomics Reseatch Center (PRONUTRIGEN) of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza. Her main research activities focus on the microbiological aspects of food quality and safety including the characterization and use of biocides and natural antimicrobials. She collaborates with local and national food companies in developing new analytical tools and strategies to address key food security and enterprise development needs.

Dr. Luca Sandei graduated in Food Science. He is Project Manager of many researches and development projects (on vegetable products, fresh, processed dry and frozen food), and the Head of the tomato department since 2008 at SCCIA (Experimental Station for the Food Preserving Industry in Parma, Italy). He is also the Chairman of the International legislation Commission of the WPTC (World Processing Tomato Council). Dr. Sandei is national member of Codex Alimentarius.

Prof. Aldo Prandini is professor of Animal Sciences at the Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences. Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza-Cremona Campus. His fields of research are the nutrition of non-ruminant animals and the quality of meat and PDO products. He is the author of more than 150 papers about these topics.

Prof. Yanisko is currently an assistant professor in Agriculture and Food Management at the State University of New York (SUNY) Agriculture and Technical College at Cobleskill and obtained his MS Ed in Career and Technical Education from SUNY Oswego in 2016. Dave has 12 years of experience as a chef in a la carte and private event dining in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and resort areas of Southern New Jersey. He is heavily influenced by and classically trained in French brigade/contemporary restaurants. Dave teaches introductory/fundamentals culinary classes, Introduction to Food Science, Regional American Cuisine, Catering Operations, and Restaurant Operations

Dr. Hellas Cena is a tenured researcher at Pavia University, Department of Human Nutrition. Since 2014 she has been Head of the Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition area at Pavia ProVitaMed Centre. Dr. Hellas Cena currently teaches Medical Nutrition Therapy, Essential of Nutrition, Nutrition and sports, Nutrition and Pregnancy in graduate and post-graduate courses at Pavia University, Faculty of Medicine, as well as at Milan University, Faculty of Medicine. Moreover, she is the Academic Director of the Master’s Degree (MAS) in Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition at Pavia University.

Dr. Daniela Bassi is a researcher in food microbiology at the Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. She has a University degree in Molecular Biology, a Diploma of Specialization School in Applied Genetics and a phD in Molecular Biotechnologies. Her research activity is particularly focused on the molecular biology of food-associated bacteria and especially on clostridia-dependent late bowling cheese.

Prof. Pier Sandro Cocconcelli, is Full Professor of Food Microbiology at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore and he is Rector’s delegate for internationalization of the same university. Since 2003, he is scientific expert of the European Authority of Food Safety (EFSA) His research activities are focused on food and agricultural microbiology, bacterial molecular biology, bacterial genomics, risk analysis of food pathogenic bacteria, and on the gene exchange of antibiotic resistance and virulence determinants in the food chain.

This information is still be confirmed, the information below is based on the 2019 program details
Students will be staying on the university campus at Residenza Gasparini, Piacenza. This is a dorm style accomodation with access to kitchen facilities.

Map of Italy

The city of Milan has an ancient cultural heritage and legacy. Modern Milan is recognised as a world fashion and design capital, with a major influence in commerce, industry, music, sport, literature, art and media. The city remains one of Europe’s main transportation and industrial hubs, making it one of the most dynamic and cosmopolitan cities in Europe.

Milan boasts long experience of public transport: its first street cars date back to 1841. Today, the wide assortment of trams, buses, trolley-buses and the three lines of the subway makes it easy to get to almost every corner of town. The Fiera Milano City, for instance, is on the red subway line 1 (direction Rho Fiera, Amendola Fiera stop).

Tickets (Euro 1.5) are not on sale on vehicles: you can buy them at most newsstands and in some bars. You can use a ticket for 90 minutes on as many trams and buses as you like, but only once on the subway. Tickets to reach some suburban subway stations (Rho and Rho Fiera, the two stops for Milanofiori Assago, the three ones in Cologno, and towards Gessate beyond Cascina Gobba) are more expensive.

With a world-renowned reputation for its gastronomy, fashion and design, there is no shortage of shopping and eating opportunities in Milan. The city centre is home to most of Milan’s shopping, eating and entertainment. Some places of note:

Brera. This is one of the most exclusive and fashionable places in Milan, with an atmosphere vaguely reminiscent of Paris, with its artists, open-air coffee shops and sophisticated boutiques. This area, which could be described as “luxury Bohemian” includes Via Brera, Via Solferino, Via Pontaccio, Corso Garibaldi and Corso Como. Alongside it there are many eighteenth century palaces including Palazzo Brera at number 28 Corso Como that houses the famous Pinacoteca.

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. The gallery with its glass and iron structure was built around 1870 and is called the “salotto di Milano” (The Milan Lounge). It houses old coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques and historical bookshops. Luxury shops sit side-by-side with fast-food outlets such as McDonalds.

Milan has won the 2015 Eurocities award for Innovations for its project on “Fewer cars, more shared spaces, better quality of life for all”. Read more on sharing mobility strategy in Milan


All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.

Your course convenors will not be able to approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive the syllabus upon being assessed as eligible for the program.

For more information, see our Credit and Funding pages.


You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.

Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.

We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, which we further outline in an email following your Initial Consultation. 

You can also find more information about OS-HELP on our Credit and Funding pages.

Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.

Applications are currently closed for this program and will open on the 14th October 2019.
You can REGISTER YOUR INTEREST for a July 2020 program, meaning you’ll receive more program info and updates. You’ll also be notified when applications for the July intake are open!

The application process for this program are as follows:

1. Apply online via the “Apply Now” button or by clicking this link.

2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results from your studies at university so far after submitting your application.

3. We’ll review your university results and application and, if you are eligible for the program, we will invite you to book an initial consultation by phone with one of our Student Experience Coordinators. You will also be sent the course syllabus with more program info.

4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation at a suitable, available time with a Student Experience Coordinator.

5. The phone consultation lasts about 20-30 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.

6. After your consultation we’ll send you a follow-up email with instructions on what to do next, an invitation to join a program specific Facebook group to connect with other students applying for the program and a process document, which we have developed in conjunction with your Australian university, to guide you on how to apply for credit and funding.

7. Once you’ve completed the next steps in that follow-up email we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, you’ll be accepted onto the program.

8. Upon acceptance, you will receive three emails containing your AIM Acceptance letter, steps for applying for credit and funding at your Australian University, as well as your downpayment invoice. Note: Your downpayment is due in two weeks from the date of your acceptance and secures your place on the program.

9. Once you’ve paid your downpayment, your application will be sent to the host university for them to process and review and they’ll send us your final official host university acceptance letter which we will send to you.

10. The full program fee (as shown on the website) minus the downpayment and application fee already paid, will be due at the absolute latest by 4th May 2020.

Programs are usually over-subscribed, so it is really important that you take care of things as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and will provide you with information and reminders about what you need to do at various stages.

For more information, see our Frequently Asked Questions. Alternatively, you are welcome to submit an enquiry or register your interest. Registering your interest means you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline.