Study Abroad

All students are encouraged to benefit from the incomparable experience of study abroad. The University of Pennsylvania requires that students participate in a Penn-approved program to receive course credit for such study. Information on study abroad options may be obtained from the Undergraduate Chair in Italian Studies or from Eleonora Haag (, Manager of International Programs in the Penn Summer office, located at 3440 Market Street, Suite 100. On return, students should consult with the Undergraduate Chair to determine appropriate course levels for continuing work at Penn.

During the academic year, undergraduates may spend one or two semesters in Venice, Milan, Bologna, or Rome each of which integrates program electives with courses taught at those cities' venerable universities. Rome is an option for students who elect a major/minor concentration in Italian Culture or a minor in Italian Literature.  The popular Penn-in-Venice program takes place for six weeks every summer. Designed primarily for undergraduates, [photo of Venice]it benefits graduate students professionally as an opportunity to teach in Italy, learn the workings of an off-campus program, and pursue independent research or travel.

Students taking courses in a program in Venice, or Bologna, normally in the junior year, may also be awarded credit toward either of the two major concentrations in Italian Studies. A maximum of six courses may be counted towards the major; a maximum of three courses may be counted towards the minor. Any course taken in Italy must be pre-approved by the Undergraduate Chair. Regardless of whether students are participating in a semester long or summer program abroad, students must write directly to the Undergraduate Chair and send the syllabus and all relevant materials before enrolling in a course in order to discuss its appropriateness and whether the credit can be transferred. XCAT application(s) for credit transfer will not be sufficient. Majors are expected to complete 201 before beginning their program abroad. When returning to Penn, students should consult with the Undergraduate Chair to determine what courses they should take to round out their curriculum.

Summer Abroad


[photo of Venice]

Penn-in-Venice is a six-week summer program sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania offers an introductory language course, intensive second-year Italian (Italian 134, which may be used to satisfy the language requirement), an Advanced Italian course, Italian Art History, and a literature or history elective on topics that vary from year to year.

Academic-year Programs

Venice: Università Ca' Foscari

This program is available either for the fall or the spring semester. Ca' Foscari University of Venice is nationally and internationally recognised for academic excellence in the field of teaching and in research. Founded in 1868 as a Royal Business College, Ca' Foscari was the first institution in Italy to offer higher education in business and economics. 

Bologna Consortial Studies Program

This program, sponsored by a Consortium of American universities in which Penn participates, is available for a whole academic year or for a semester of study in either fall or spring. It combines small seminars offered by the Consortium with courses taken at the University of Bologna, the oldest university in Europe (founded 1088).

Milan: Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi — Wharton Exchange

Wharton Students may by permission obtain Italian Studies credit at this business school program. Enrollment is possible for either a fall or spring semester. Study in Milan is also possible as an Economics Exchange Program

LUISS Guido Carli University of Rome

LUISS Guido Carli is a small private university with high academic ranking located in the heart of Rome. As part of this program, students will be able to count up to 3 classes in the PPE major. Interested students should talk to the PPE department as well.