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 Brochure coming soon!

Program Dates

Sept. 8 - Dec. 4, 2017

Program Fee

$8,440 Excludes airline taxes & PCC tuition. Based on a minimum enrollment of 20 students.

Info Sessions

Meet the faculty and learn more about the program at one of our Information Sessions in C-217!

  • March 14 at 12 pm
  • March 28 at 12 pm & 6 pm
  • April 11 at 12 pm & 6 pm
  • April 27 at 12 pm
  • May 9 at 12 pm & 6 pm
  • May 23 at 12 pm & 6 pm
  • June 6 at 12 pm & 6 pm

Program Dates

  • Monday, August 28 - Thursday, September 7: Pre-departure classes at PCC
  • Friday, September 8: Group flight departs U.S. for Italy
  • Saturday, September 9: Arrive in Florence, transfer to accommodations
  • Sunday, September 10: Orientation Tour
  • Friday, October 20 - Sunday, October 29: Fall Break
  • Monday, December 4: End of program. Group flight departs Florence for the U.S.

Program Fees

$8,440 (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 $333 (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 June 9, 2017
Balance of Fees $7,990.00      
July 14, 2017
Airline Taxes (estimate) $333.00 July 14, 2017
Housing Damage Deposit (refundable)          $250.00 July 14, 2017
Total $9,023.00  
Optional Upgrades: Fee: Deadline:
Optional Meal Plan $400.00 July 14, 2017
Medical Insurance Upgrade $65.00 July 14, 2017
Personal Effects Coverage $90.00 July 14, 2017

All students must submit the $450 deposit 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 14, 2017, the airfare ($695), taxes/fees/fuel surcharges ($333 – 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 14, 2017. 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.


All of the courses offered are designed to be complementary, enabling students to take any combination and experience meaningful connections. As a learning community, we will travel and celebrate together in such places as ancient ruins, organic farms, olive mills, water infrastructure facilities, and wineries.

Dr. Walter will offer three courses designed to deepen students’ engagement with Italian life and culture.  Creative Nonfiction will give students the opportunity to live the writer’s life in Italy, using their cultural observations, travels, and culinary adventures as inspiration. While students are touring Firenze’s many museums and soaking up the Renaissance art and architecture, they will also develop an understanding of contemporary Italian life and perspectives—still rooted in Italy’s marvelous history--through Film as Dramatic Literature.  In this course we will study some of the greatest works in Italian cinema and visit many of the locations depicted.  Like the film course, A Literature in Translation is a great way for students to connect with Italian culture through the works of well-loved authors.  This course will explore the unique and diverse qualities of Italian culture and society through several novels, a play, and poetry. 

Professor Cat will offer three courses designed to excite one’s curiosity and integrate the relevance of the Firenze experience. Nutrition will engage students in healthy food choices, utilizing the cornucopia of farmers markets throughout the city to map our transformations as we explore the Italian slow food and farm-to-table culture. Scientific Method as Critical Thinking will explore the historical development of science through great Italians, such as Galileo, Archimedes, Da Vinci, and Fibonacci. Students will learn to analyze and argue using modern Italian science topics, and they will explore Sacred Geometry through Firenze sculpture, paintings, architecture, and natural surroundings.  Introduction to Environmental Science will empower students through practical applications of sustainability as we celebrate our life support system in the Tuscan landscape. Students will study the value of ancient architecture, along with food and water security, while exploring Italian infrastructure.


Participants must enroll in one Italian language class + a minimum of three 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 3:      
  ENGL 009                  Creative Nonfiction            3
  ENGL 049A Film as Dramatic Literature 3
  ENGL 024 A Literature in Translation 3
  ENVS 001 Intro. to Environmental Science 4
  NUTR 011 Human Nutrition 3
  PHSC 002 Scientific Method as Critical Thinking 3

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

Program Faculty

Krista Walter (lft) and Erika Catanese (rt)

Professor Erika Catanese, Natural Sciences

Professor Catanese teaches Environmental Science, Botany, Biology, and Critical Thinking. Student centered learning practices drive her pedagogical passions. She finds great satisfaction teaching and learning alongside her students, and engaging them outside the traditional classroom. She regularly team-teaches interdisciplinary programs with Californian forests, beaches & deserts as her classroom. She’s also taken students to diverse places such as Hawaii, Baja California, and England (Oxford Study Abroad), facilitating learning through service, hiking, gardening, food recovery, ecological restoration, and water management projects. An aficionado in Aquaponics, her students have won awards and gained employment. She enjoys traveling and teaching students about their power through choice and is excited to have the privilege of leading students in the Florence Study Abroad Program 2017.

  • Email:
  • Phone: (626) 585-3254 
  • Spring Office Hours in SV7: Thursdays 12:00-4:00; Fridays 3:30-4:30

Dr. Krista Walter, English

Dr. Krista Walter teaches Composition, Literature, and Ecological Ethics at Pasadena City College. Irrepressibly adventurous and well traveled, she loves to lead groups of students on field trips where she engages them in community-based learning. Over the past eighteen years, she has boldly ventured out of the conventional classroom, teaching in the Oxford Study Abroad program twice. She has also led “From Page to Performance,” a program that takes students to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has spent extended periods of time in France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Recently, she became a trip leader for the Sierra Club. She and Professor Catanese have teamed up for a decade to create interdisciplinary English and Natural Sciences programs that take students into the breathtaking wilderness areas of California and the ancient countryside of England. Equally at home in a Renaissance city, a Redwood forest, or a desert oasis, Dr. Walter is excited to both guide and teach in PCC’s Florence Study Abroad program.

  • Email: 
  • Phone: (626) 585-7118 
  • Spring Office Hours in C252H: Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:00-12:00; Wednesdays 1:00-4:00

Meals & Accommodations

Accommodations in furnished, self-catering, apartments located in the historical center of Florence. You will stay in twin rooms with typically 4 to 6 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.

Independent Travel
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. No classes will be held during this period: Friday, October 20 to Sunday, October 29, 2017.

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!

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 application period for Florence 2017 has ended. Information about the Florence 2018 program will be released after the first of the year. Please check back at that time to learn more about PCC's next Italian adventure!

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