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Programs : Brochure

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Fact Sheet:
Education Abroad Adviser:
Jamie Weaver
Minimum GPA:
Class Standing:
2 - Sophomore
Language of Instruction:
Language Requirement:
0 semesters
Internship Available:
Fields of Study:
Accounting, International Business
Program Description:
Florence Acctg Facled Banner

Program Overview

Program Dates: 5/6-5/30/2019
(Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.)

Florence, Italy is a beautiful example of the power of business to effect the structure of city. During the Renaissance period, it had many prosperous merchants that gave generously to make their city a showcase of Italian Renaissance art and architecture. Their contributions continue to attract tourists today and the business systems they developed have evolved into our modern business systems.

The course, entitled “Old World Innovations and their Influence on Modern Business Systems,” will provide 3 units of credit during Maymester 2019.  The course will be based in Florence, Italy and will include a day trip to Venice, Italy.  Examples of questions that students will explore during the course include: How did Ancient Egyptians monitor the trade of goods and services in their economy?  How did the influence of Mercantilism during the Italian Renaissance lead Venetian merchants to create a unique system of tracking commercial transactions in their economy?  What influence did this Venetian business method have on the evolution of business systems after the Italian Renaissance?  What is the modern state of business systems, and how were they influenced by Old World innovations?  Local visits to historic sites, guest speakers, and relevant readings will bring this survey of the evolution of business systems to life.

All students with an interest in business are welcome to apply. It is recommended that applicants have taken Econ 102 or Econ 104, but this is not required.


Program Quicklinks     

Course Offerings
Housing and Meals
Program Costs
Financial Aid & Scholarships
More Information
How to Apply
Other Useful Links


Education Abroad Credits

Students will attend class at the International Studies Institute (ISI) in Florence, Italy. All students will take the same course for 3 credits, with a choice of course 
Florence - Antique Coins
IB 399 or ACCTG 399: Old World Innovations and their Influence on Modern Business Systems
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 on a Pass/Fail basis. 



All students with an interest in business are welcome to apply. It is recommended that applicants have taken Econ 102 or Econ 104, but not required. 

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.

Florence Coffee

Program Costs

For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the budget sheet. 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 carefully.
Please note that tuition rates 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 visit the Funding Study Abroad section of the Global Penn State website.

For More Information

To learn more about the specifics of this program, contact Maureen Desorcie in the Smeal Office of International Programs. You may also schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program, Jamie Weaver.

We encourage you to meet with or contact 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 are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative


How to Apply

If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page. 

You must complete the following materials in your application:

  •  Education Abroad Questionnaire

  •  One academic recommendation

  •  Signature Documents

Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.

Application deadline: February 1, 2018

Studying Abroad with a Disability

Many students with disabilities successfully study abroad each year. Please note that other cultures may have different attitudes and available accommodations regarding disabilities. While we cannot guarantee the accessibility of all program sites and locations, specific accommodations may be arranged in consultation with our office, the Student Disability Resources office, and our partners abroad. To prepare for success, students are strongly encouraged to research the country and program location to consider if and how they will manage their disabilities abroad in advance of selecting a program. Students with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds can begin their research on our Diversity Awareness Abroad page.

Florence Panorama


Other Useful Links

Steps to Study Abroad
Schedule an Appointment
Cost & Funding
Health & Safety
Parents & Family


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2019 02/01/2019 02/13/2019 05/06/2019 05/30/2019
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.