All courses are taught in the American liberal arts tradition and follow a semester calendar with a 15-week fall session and a 15-week spring session. All instruction is in English except in clearly designated advanced Italian courses. Prior study of Italian is not required. You will find a good selection of general humanities courses, such as social sciences, history, art history, and studio art, as well as language instruction at all levels. Courses are also offered in economics, international business, political science, media studies, literature, music and visual arts. Students should visit the course catalogue on the Palazzo Rucellai website to see the courses available each semester. All students are required to register for the appropriate level of Italian language course while at Palazzo Rucellai.
Courses include field study that allows you to experience the city of Florence and its rich culture. A new language course entitled "The Florence Experience" is structured to enable you to interact with the social and cultural scene of Florence, and to participate directly in Italian cultural life. This interdisciplinary approach to language instruction ensures that you become engaged with native speakers and requires you take an active role in the learning experience. Students are required to register for a minimum of 13 credits, and can enroll in a maximum of 17 credits.
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 basis.
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.
Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.
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 and furnished with kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, and communal living space. You will be responsible for providing your own meals.
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 information.
Please note that tuition rates above may vary depending on major and class standing.
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 scholarships.
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 Funding Study Abroad.
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. Students at University Park can also contact their International Coordinator within their college. If you're not at University Park, students at Commonealth Campuses can contact their 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.