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

Sep 9 - Dec 4, 2022                                 

  • August 29 - September 8: Program starts at PCC
  • September 9-10: Travel to Italy
  • September 11 - December 4: Program continues in Florence

Program Fee

Price based on 20 students. Excludes airline taxes & PCC tuition.

Information Sessions

Meet the faculty & learn more about the program at an information meeting!

Noon Sessions: 

  • January 31 (Zoom)
  • February 16 (Zoom)
  • March 15 & 29 (Zoom)
  • April 12 & 27 (in-person in R-104 & Zoom)
  • May 19 (Zoom)

6:00 pm Sessions:

  • January 31 (Zoom)
  • February 16 (Zoom)
  • March 15 & 29 (Zoom)
  • April 12 & 27 (Zoom)
  • May 19 (Zoom)

All sessions can be attended with this Zoom Meeting ID: 919 9980 3938.

Program Dates

  • August 29 - September 8: Program starts at PCC 
  • September 9: Group flight departs U.S. for Italy
  • September 10: Arrive in Florence, transfer to accommodations
  • September 11: Orientation tour
  • September 12: Courses resume in Florence
  • October 21-30: Fall Break
  • December 4: End of program. Group flight departs Florence for the U.S.

Program Fees

$8,590 (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, student support staff, and 24-hour emergency contact service
  • Free wireless internet access at teaching site and in apartments
  • Medical insurance policy
  • Liability insurance

Program fee does not include:

  • Mandatory U.S. government and airline-imposed departure taxes, fees and fuel surcharges of $532 (subject to change)
  • Optional meal plan ($400) consisting of 25 vouchers for use at lunch or dinner in select Florence eateries
  • Optional medical insurance upgrade ($65) 
  • Passport and visa fees, if applicable
  • PCC course registration fees
  • Textbooks
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional trip interruption or cancellation insurance
Item: Fee: Deadline:
Enrollment Deposit $450.00 Due immediately upon acceptance into program
Remaining Balance of Fees $8,140.00 July 15, 2022
Airline Taxes (estimate) $532.00 July 15, 2022
Total $9,122.00  
Optional Upgrades: Fee: Deadline:
Meal Plan $400.00 Before departure
Medical Insurance Upgrade $65.00 July 15, 2022

Airfare for student participants is offered on a space-available basis. Airline tickets cannot be arranged for students applying after June 9, 2022. Land-only packages, without airfare, may be offered to students accepted into the program after this date.

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.” American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted.

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

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, they cannot be rerouted, and frequent flyer miles are not applicable. Once airline tickets have been issued to students, they can only be changed directly with the issuing agent – agent and airline-imposed penalties apply. The AIFS Transportation Package includes round-trip ground transportation from the airport in Italy to your accommodations on the regularly scheduled program dates.

Participants wishing to cancel from the flight must notify AIFS in writing by Friday, July 8, 2022. Cancellation penalties will apply. Tickets are non-refundable after this date.

AIFS Airfare Regulations

Return must be to original U.S. departure city. Tickets are subject to airline availability. No refunds are available for any unused portion of ticket. Stopovers are not permitted. Once overseas, 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 10 participants must take the AIFS flight for it to be offered.

Course Offerings

Participants must enroll in a minimum of 11 units from the following program courses:

Course No. Course Name Units
ENGL 001C Critical Thinking & Argument
ENGL 009 Creative Nonfiction
ENGL 061 Introduction to the Novel  3
ITAL 010 Italian Civilization
ITAL 050
Italian Film as Dramatic Literature
ITAL 001 through 004
Elementary & Intermediate Levels  5

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

ENGL 001C Critical Thinking & Argument: English 001C focuses on principals of critical thinking applied to writing and reading on issues which incorporate the critique of logical fallacies, persuasion, analysis, and evaluation of appropriate prose models including those employing argument, as well as other rhetorical modes. Critical thinking strategies specific to various ideas of thought in addition to selective use of citation and documentation will also be explored. In English 001C we will be studying the principals of Antonio Gramsci, the Italian Marxist philosopher who is known for the theory of cultural hegemony which describe how the ruling class uses cultural institutions to maintain power within capitalist societies.

ENGL 009 Creative Nonfiction: Creative Non-fiction is all about individual experiences students encounter in their writings. Since Florence is a city rich with historical as well as social culture, students will write a series of 2-3 page journal entries relating to their travels and personal observations of Florence. These journals will include topics such as: experiences with food, restaurant reviews, writing opinion pieces (describing the natural lush elements of the city) and journals written about trips to museums, galleries, and other pertinent destinations around the city. This course allows students the opportunity to practice their writing skills in a fun hands-on way! Everything the students encounter in Florence will be part of their adventure. Writing about that adventure will be stimulating as well as creative.

ENGL 061 Introduction to the Novel: The purpose of this course is to acquaint students with Italian authors and themes that are prevalent throughout Italian literature. A few of the novels that will be examined are: Marcovaldo by Italo Calvino and Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone.

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 present. We will look closely at the historical, political and artistic evolution of Italian society, and explore the major contributions of Italians to the arts and world culture with a particular emphasis to the Renaissance period, being Florence the center of Renaissance. In so doing the students will be given the basic knowledge necessary to understand the complexity of one of Europe’s oldest societies. Language and culture are inextricably intertwined. We would like our students studying in Florence to not only improve their knowledge of Italian language but also to acquire an in-depth knowledge of, and greater appreciation for Italian culture.

ITAL 050 Italian Film as Dramatic Literature: 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 the major Italian directors in their films. By watching the 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. This course will be particularly relevant to the Florence abroad program because through the medium of film the students will gain a deeper knowledge of Italian society, people, customs and traditions.

ITAL 001 through 004 Elementary or Intermediate Italian: The purpose of these courses is to enable students to develop skills in understanding and speaking everyday Italian in different common situations; to read and write with accuracy using correct grammatical points; to learn about Italy, its history and its culture. The language instruction is a central part
 of the students' experience in Florence, and learning the language is an integral part of exposing oneself to that culture. Language and culture are inextricably intertwined and at the end of the trip, students not only will have improved their knowledge of the Italian language, but they will also have acquired a greater appreciation for Italian culture There is no better way to learn a language than in the target country. In Florence the students will be able to practice every day what they learned so they will improve much faster.

Program Faculty

Rita D'Amico, italian professor

Dr. Rita A. D’Amico is a professor of Italian at Pasadena City College, where she has taught a broad range of courses in contemporary Italian literature, culture, cinema, and language since 2001. Professor D’Amico is a specialist in nineteenth and twentieth century Italian Literature, and her teaching and research interests are also in Italian culture, cinema, pedagogy and methodology in second language acquisition. She is a native Italian, born and raised in Milan. She 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 is the co-author of a textbook on Italian Civilization, and she is a member of several professional organizations.

Professor D’Amico has led the Florence Program 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. 

Michelle Banks, English Professor

Michelle Banks is a Professor of English and has taught full time at Pasadena City College since 2002. She received her bachelor’s degree in theatre from University of California, Irvine where she worked professionally in theater companies in both Los Angeles and New York and received her doctoral degree in English literature (with an emphasis in Ethnic/African American literature) in 2015 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Originally from the East coast, Michelle has resided in southern California for the last 40 years. She has travelled throughout Europe and the United States and has led PCC’s “Theater in London” program for three years and the Ashland Shakespeare Theater program for two years. Michelle is known for her enthusiasm and easy rapport with students. She is very excited about teaching in the Study Abroad Program and looks forward to exploring and studying the rich culture of Italy.

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 two or three 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.

If available, single rooms will be offered on a first-come first-serve basis for an additional supplement of $995.

Optional Meal Plan:

A package of 25 meal vouchers for use at lunch or dinner in selected eateries in Florence 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 around Italy and to Europe’s great cities. Local staff will assist you in choosing destinations and transportation. Student favorites include Rome, Venice, Milan, Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin and Berlin. The program will have a Fall Break in October. 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 a cooking class, opera, fútbol match, 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 8 - June 10

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!

The Florence 2022 program has reached its capacity.

We are currently accepting applications for the Florence wait list. To be considered for the program, wait-listed applications must be complete. No further action is required after application materials are submitted. The Study Abroad office will be in touch in mid-late July should openings become available. 

To be eligible for the program, you must be at least 18 years old on the date of departure and have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0. All adult students and varied educational backgrounds are welcome! You do not need to be a current PCC student to join the program.

Apply Now

More Information

Contact Professor Andrea Murray, Study Abroad Coordinator

  • Appointments available upon request. Please send request to