Please watch this brief video that provides an overview of this exciting new program in Florence!
The Ancient and Medieval History program at International Studies Institute (ISI) in Florence was developed from an initiative of the History Department at Penn State University and ISI Florence. Dr. Kathryn Salzer, Associate Professor of Medieval History, will be the first Penn State faculty member to teach at ISI in the program's launch semester (Fall 2013). The program is supported by the Università di Firenze, the Sovrintendenza Archeologica della Toscana and by the Archeodig Project.
As part of the Ancient and Medieval History program, students participate in a series of study tours and field trips, taking full advantage of Florence's central geographical position to properly cover Italy's contribution to the history of the Ancient and Medieval Mediterranean world.
Students joining the Ancient and Medieval History program have the unique opportunity to actively participate in the archaeological excavation of an area in the center of Fiesole, a small town perched on a hill just two miles north of Florence. The project, developed in collaboration with the Università di Firenze, will be launched in 2013 under the guidance of the Tuscan Superintendence of Archaeological Heritage, and coordinated by the Archeodig Project. Our students will work in the so-called Area Garibaldi, terrain which, after a cursory investigation, revealed the presence of Longobard tombs rich in gold grave goods above the ruins of a Roman settlement.
Thanks to its position, Fiesole, whose area shows traces of settlements at least as early as the Bronze age (ca 2000 BCE), became an important Etruscan trade center, and later, during the 1st century BCE, a Roman town. The archaeological area of Fiesole includes a Roman theater, a temple that replaced the earlier Etruscan edifice, and the baths, all very well preserved. After the fall of the Empire, Fiesole was occupied by the Longobards (6th-7th century CE), as the recovery of many tombs and objects attests.
The historical and archaeological richness of this territory, as well as its crucial role in the founding of the ancient city of Florence, make Fiesole an ideal site for our students' field experience. Furthermore, they will have the chance to work side by side with Italian undergraduates from the University of Florence, making the overall experience invaluable from both an academic and a cultural point of view.
Prerequisites This program does not require any specific prerequisite courses. However, some
Penn State departments or colleges (e.g., the Smeal College of
Business) may require students to complete certain courses prior to
studying abroad; please check with your department or college to see if
you have any specific departmental requirements.
Education Abroad Credits You
will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution,
and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State
cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas of a Pass/Fail
The schedule of classroom lectures will be coordinated with the fieldwork, the lab activities and the joint interdisciplinary field trips also included in the program. Students enrolling in the Ancient and Medieval History program for Fall 2013 will take:
• Ancient Rome and the Mediterranean, Dr. Erika Bianchi (ISI Florence), 3 credits PSU course equivalency number CAMS/History 101
• Field Archaeology, Dr. Carolina Megale (ISI Florence), 3 credits PSU course equivalency number CAMS 150
• Architecture: Roman to Early Christian, Dr. Silvia Catitti (ISI Florence), 3 credits PSU course equivalency number ART H 199
• Early Medieval Society, Dr. Kathryn Salzer (PSU), 3 credits PSU course equivalency number HIST 407
• Italian Language, ISI Florence Italian Department faculty, 3 credits PSU course equivalency number varies based on level of instruction
Field Work Students will complete a two-week archaeological excavation experience in Fiesole, a small hill town north of Florence. Study Tours and Field Trips (1-3 days)
• Populonia, Etruscan-Roman site; acropolis, necropolis, and medieval castle
• Rome, highlights of the Empire such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Pantheon; museums; Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli
• Ravenna, Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, San Vitale and Sant'Apollinare Nuovo
• Pompeii, Stabiae and the National Archaeological Museum of Naples
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the Florence Course Equivalency List.
Keep in mind you will need to complete the course equivalency process
once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed
your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this
process visit our Course Equivalencies page. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
Housing and Meals You
will live in an apartment (arranged by the host institution) with other
program participants. Apartments are scattered around the city (thus
avoiding a concentration of American students in one particular area)
and are within walking distance of the Institute. Units include small
kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and communal living space. Basic kitchen supplies and bedding are supplied. Students are
responsible for providing their own meals.
Program Costs For
more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Budget
Sheets listed above. These budget sheets include information on costs
that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional
costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this
Financial Aid & Scholarships Penn
State students studying through Education Abroad can use most
components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of
study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational
benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants.
Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic
The University Office of
Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships.
Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There
is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse
locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases,
applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of
Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn
State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid
and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please see Finances.
For More Information For more information about this program and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with our Peer Advisers.
These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an
overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information
about his/her program. If you're not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative. To learn more about the specifics of this program, schedule an appointment with Kate Fox, the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
Dates / Deadlines:
NOTE: Program start dates indicates date of arrival in Florence. End date marks date students vacate apartments.
Indicates that deadline has passed
University Office of Global Programs | The Pennsylvania State University |
410 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802 Phone: 814-865-7681 - Fax: 814-865-3336