Study for a semester in Florence, Italy!

Florence, home of the Pasadena City College Semester in Italy, lies as a jewel in the heart of Tuscany. Here, in the center of Italy, you will walk in the footsteps of Michelangelo, Fra Angelico, Leonardo da Vinci, Donatello, Botticelli, Brunelleschi, Petrarch and Dante.

You will feel the very presence of these painters, philosophers, poets, architects, sculptors, and writers - giants of the Italian Renaissance, which had its beginnings here in Florence and its environs.

Daily you will walk through the narrow, hand-hewn streets between the magnificent medieval and renaissance architecture, which was designed by these geniuses. Their sculptures adorn outside walls and stand in the loggias of their grand piazzas. The many museums are treasure troves of beauty. You will learn the ways of Italian living from the lively and intellectual Florentines as you rub elbows with them in small “caffe” bars and enjoy the local cappuccino and panini.

Program Dates

Sept. 7 - Dec. 3, 2018

Program Fee

$8,370 Excludes airline taxes & PCC tuition. Based on a minimum enrollment of 20 students.

Info Sessions

Attend an Information Session to learn more about the program!

  • March 13 at 12 pm in C-253
  • March 27 at 12 pm in C-253 & 6 pm in C-217
  • April 10 at 12 pm in C-253
  • May 1 at 12 pm in C-253 & 6 pm in C-217
  • May 22 at 12 pm in C-253
  • June 5 at 12 pm in C-253 & 6 pm in C-217

Program Dates

  • Monday, August 27 - Thursday, September 6: Pre-departure classes at PCC
  • Friday, September 7: Group flight departs U.S. for Italy
  • Saturday, September 8: Arrive in Florence, transfer to accommodations
  • Sunday, September 9: Orientation tour
  • Friday, October 19 to Sunday, October 28: Fall Break
  • Monday, December 3: End of program. Group flight departs Florence for the U.S.

Program Fees

$8,370 (Based on a minimum enrollment of 20 students)

Program Fee Includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare (LAX to FLR) & transfers
  • Housing in furnished, self-catering, apartments within the historic center of Florence
  • Welcome & Farewell Dinners
  • Guided city tour of Florence
  • Guided visits to select historical sites and museums in Florence & Rome
  • Full-day excursion to Siena & San Gimignano
  • 3 day/2 night excursion to Rome
  • Access to on-site Student Center and the services of experienced Student Advisors
  • On-site faculty and 24-hour emergency contact service
  • Wireless access at teaching site and in apartments
  • Accident and illness insurance as outlined in the program brochure
  • Liability insurance

Program fee does not include:

  • Mandatory U.S. government and airline-imposed departure taxes, fees and fuel surcharges of $463 (subject to change)
  • Refundable housing damage deposit ($250)
  • Optional meal plan ($400) consisting of 25 vouchers for use in selected eateries in Florence for either lunch or dinner
  • Optional personal effects coverage ($90) and medical insurance upgrade ($65)
  • Passport and visa fees, if applicable
  • PCC course registration fees
  • Textbooks
  • Personal expenses
Item: Fee: Deadline:
Enrollment Deposit $450.00 Due immediately upon acceptance into program
Balance of Fees


July 13, 2018
Airline Taxes (estimate) $463.00 July 13, 2018
Housing Damage Deposit (refundable)          $250.00 July 13, 2018
Total $9,083.00  
Optional Upgrades: Fee: Deadline:
Optional Meal Plan $400.00 July 13, 2018
Medical Insurance Upgrade $65.00 July 13, 2018
Personal Effects Coverage $90.00 July 13, 2018

* Subject to change if airline taxes/fees/fuel surcharges change.

All students must submit a $450 deposit upon acceptance into the program and when completing the online enrollment form. Subsequent payments may be made by check or credit card. Checks should be made payable to “AIFS.” You may also use American Express, MasterCard or Visa.

Please note: A $35 returned check fee will be charged on all checks returned by the bank for insufficient funds.

Financial Aid Students

Financial Aid students are responsible for paying, by July 13, 2018, the airfare ($545), taxes/fees/fuel surcharges ($463 – subject to change), $250 refundable damage deposit, a $600 program reservation deposit, and any remaining balance that will not be covered by aid.

AIFS Transportation Package

Tickets purchased from AIFS are exclusively on scheduled airlines (not charters). They are not endorsable to another carrier. Flights are not necessarily direct or non-stop, and frequent flyer miles are not applicable. The AIFS Transportation Package includes round-trip ground transportation from the airport in Italy to your accommodations on the regularly scheduled program dates. AIFS will book flights on the dates indicated on this application only.

Participants wishing to cancel from the flight must notify AIFS in writing by Friday, July 13, 2018. Cancellation penalties will apply. Tickets are non-refundable after this date.

AIFS Airfare Regulations

Return must be to original U.S. departure point. Tickets are subject to airline availability. No refunds are available for any unused portion of ticket. Tickets cannot be rerouted, and stopovers are not permitted. Once in Italy participants may be able to change their return date, but only if that date is available and in the same class of service in which the ticket was booked. Only the ticketing agent can provide this information. Participants are subject to agency and airline-imposed change fees and space availability. Group round-trip ground transportation to and from the airport in Italy is on the regularly scheduled program dates only.

A minimum of 12 participants must take the AIFS flight for it to be offered.

Course Offerings

Participants must enroll in one Italian language class + a minimum of two other program courses.

  Course # Course Name Units
Select one:       
  ITAL 001 Elementary Italian 5
  ITAL 002 Elementary Italian 5
  ITAL 003 Intermediate Italian 5
  ITAL 004 Intermediate Italian 5
Select at least 2:      
  ENGL 009                  Creative Non-fiction       3
  ENGL 060 Masterpieces of Drama
  ENGL 061 Introduction to the Novel
  ITAL 010 Italian Civilization
  ITAL 050
Italian Cinema

*All courses are CSU/UC transferable*Honors Program credit for those who qualify

ITAL 010 (Italian Civilization): This course is an overview of history, politics, literature and arts of Italy from the fall of the Roman Empire to the present. We will look closely at the historical, political and artistic evolution of Italian society. Through the study of important Italian authors and artists, students will learn of major contributions of Italians to the arts and world culture. Upon successful completion of this course students will have acquired knowledge of Italian politics and institutions, of historical events and artistic movements, of major trends in the fields of music, art and cinema... which will help explain present-day Italy. Being in Florence, the craddle of Renaissance, students will be exposed to world famous works of art. Florence will be the real classroom for this course, which explains why this course has always been very popular. Our students’ most exciting, daunting, and unforgettable experience comes from the realization that, every day, they walked the streets that Dante, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli used to walk.

ITAL 050 (Italian Cinema): The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with Italian culture through the viewing and discussion of some of the most well-known and internationally acclaimed Italian films. The main changes in Italian society and the most important political and historical events have been “told” by major Italian directors. By watching their films, we will follow a path that will take us from neorealism to contemporary cinema providing us with an outlook on Italian society then and today, and at the same time, providing an opportunity to draw parallels and differences between the American and Italian experience. This course will be particularly relevant to the Florence abroad program because through the medium of film students will gain a deeper knowledge of Italian society, people, customs and traditions while living and breathing the Italian experience.

ENGL 009 (Creative Non-Fiction): will examine writing about Italy that demonstrates flair and substance. The Italian experience from food to fashion and from science to social practice reveals a dynamic cultural expression that has had global influence. Alas, Italy is not one culture, but many diverse regional perspectives.

ENGL 060 (Masterpieces of Drama): will interpret major Italian themes in plays that explore historical and cultural events from ancient Rome to modern times.

ENGL 061 (Introduction to the Novel): will trace significant themes of 20th and 21st century fiction that reveals the broad cultural and social strife of contemporary Italian society.

Program Faculty

PRofessor rita a. D'Amico, languages

Dr. Rita A. D’Amico is an Associate Professor of Italian at Pasadena City College. She is a native Italian, born and raised in Milan. Rita received a Doctorate degree in Political Science with a major in International Relations from the University of Milan and a Ph.D. in Italian Literature from UCLA. She has taught a broad range of courses in contemporary Italian literature, culture, cinema, literature in translation and language at all levels. She is a specialist in nineteenth and twentieth century Italian Literature, and her teaching and research interests are also in Italian culture and cinema, pedagogy and methodology in second language acquisition and instructional technology. She is the co-author of a textbook on Italian Civilization, and she is a member of several professional organizations.

Professor D’Amico has been teaching Italian at Pasadena City College since 2001. She has taken PCC students to Florence several times, and each time had a memorable, mutually enriching experience with her students. She looks forward to sharing the artistic treasures of her native country with students and to exposing them to the unique experience of “living” in the country, interacting with Italian people, and getting acquainted with Italian culture and society.


Professor Roger Marheine has traveled to Italy many times and is very excited to be co-leading the PCC Florence Abroad Program, fall 2018. He completed his undergraduate degree in psychology and his graduate degree in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His interests include continental literature, European history, Renaissance painting, film, and dramatic theater. Professor Marheine has taught over thirty years at PCC; he led study abroad programs to Oxford (1995, 2006) and Florence (2015). Most recently, he presented a paper at the New Directions in the Humanities Conference, London, June 2017. For the Florence Semester, he will be teaching English 60 (Masterpieces of Drama), English 61 (Introduction to the Novel) and English 9 (Creative Non-fiction).  

Meals & Accommodations

Accommodations in furnished, self-catering, apartments located within the historical center of Florence. You will stay in twin rooms with typically 4 to 6 PCC students sharing a 2 or 3 bedroom apartment. Apartments include kitchens for meal preparation, with cooking equipment, plates, glasses, and utensils. Linens will also be provided, although you should bring your own towels.

You will be invoiced for a $250 refundable security deposit in addition to the program fees.

Optional Meal Plan:

A package of 25 meal vouchers for use in selected eateries in Florence for either lunch or dinner is available for an additional fee of $400.

Excursions & Activities

Orientation program upon arrival followed by a walking tour of Florence and a Welcome Dinner.

(Three days/Two nights) In Rome, there is visible evidence of the two great empires of the western world: the Roman Empire and the Christian Church. Home of the Roman Forum and the Coliseum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican, history comes alive as you stroll through the piazzas of Italy’s ancient capital. 

Your time here will include a guided sightseeing tour, entrance to the Roman Forum and the Coliseum, and a guided tour of the Vatican museums. Round-trip transportation, twin-room hotel accommodations, and breakfast are included.

Guided day-trip to the enchanting Tuscan towns of Siena, famous for its Palio horse race, and San Gimignano, the medieval city of beautiful towers. Round-trip transportation and local guide included.

Use your free weekends to travel to Europe’s great cities. Local staff will assist you in choosing destinations and transportation. Student favorites include Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin and Berlin. The program will have a Fall Break, from Friday to Sunday, October TBA. This is a great time to explore!

Additional activities will be available in Florence, either at no additional cost or for a subsidized fee. Activities may include cooking classes, wine-tastings, concerts, and more!

The Italian American Scholarship Fund provides awards and scholarships for the study of Italian to PCC students. To qualify for this scholarship, you must have completed an Italian language course at Pasadena City College. Qualified students are invited to apply to support their Florence program costs. $1,000 award.

Visit to learn more about the scholarship.

To begin your application, go to and log-in with your LancerPoint credentials.

Application Period: April 2 to June 8, 2018

Financial Aid may be available to those who qualify. Grants, loans, and scholarships may be used to pay program fees.

Apply immediately. You should allow up to eight weeks for your financial aid request to be processed.

More About Financial Aid options at PCC

Apply to Study in Florence!

Apply Now

To be eligible for the program, you must be at least 18 years old on the date of departure. All adult students and varied educational backgrounds are welcome! You do not need to be a current PCC student to join the program.

More Information

Contact Professor Andrea Murray, Study Abroad Coordinator