Florence Spring Semester

Florence Semester

The perfect introduction to Italian art, culture, history and language, this spring semester study abroad program in Florence is sure to please.

Led by George Mason University Associate Professor Cathy Wright , this study abroad program is open to any undergraduate student who has earned 45 semester credit hours (sophomore, junior or senior standing) by January 2015, including non-Mason undergraduate students.

It was during the Middle Ages and Renaissance Era that Florence became the cultural hub of Europe, where artists like Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo, architects like Brunelleschi, and writers like Dante flourished. The evidence of their achievements is still present throughout Florence in palaces, squares, churches, monuments, and museums.

These days, Florence is an active commercial center for business, banking, fashion, and the production of leather goods. The innumerable artistic treasures and natural beauty of the Tuscan countryside attracts students from all over the world who come to Florence as their place for an unforgettable study abroad experience. This unique city will be yours to absorb, explore, taste, marvel, and enjoy for an entire semester! Excursions are also included in the program's fee!

Video 1

Welcome to Florence

Introduction to Florence and the Centro Fiorenza.

Video 2


Made by participants on the Spring 2010 semester program with George Mason professor of English, Dr. Paul Rogers, which is sure to inspire your own Italian adventures!!

Video 3


By Melissa Gotlieb, WI14 Psychology in Rome alumna, SP14 CGE Marketing Intern.

Video 4

Pharrell Williams - Happy (FIRENZE IS ALSO HAPPY)

YouTube video posted b ILoveDiscochannel1. Via Centro Fiorenza.

Host Institution: Centro Fiorenza

Participants are based at the Centro Fiorenza, founded in 1982 and located right in the center of Florence in a prestigious seventeenth century palace called Palazzo Guicciardini. The former palace overlooks Florence's beautiful Arno River and the famous Ponte Vecchio (captured in the image below). The Italian language instruction (3 credits of beginning, intermediate or advanced Italian) that participants will receive from the Centro Fiorenza's staff is top notch. Classes typically meet four days a week, allowing students ample opportunity to travel throughout Italy and Europe on the weekends and during Spring Break.

Academic Host: CAPA International

We are happy to offer a wide selection of course options offered by our new partner CAPA International. Specific course approvals for 2015 are currently under review. While abroad, each student takes one Italian Language course at the Centro Fiorenza and the Academic Director's course (3 credits) also at the Centro Fiorenza, as well as 9 other credits with CAPA to equal 15 credits total.

Nota Bene

Students studying beginning Italian language will also have the option of taking a 6 credit beginning Italian language course at Centro, the Academic Director's course (3 credits) and then six credits with CAPA.

Mason resident credits are listed in parenthesis below next to the CAPA course, once Mason academic units have approved them.

Subject Course

(drawing, painting, sculpture)

Beginning Drawing

Beginning Figurative Sculpture

Beginning Oil Painting

Beginning Watercolor (2 credits of AVT)

Art History

Contemporary Italian Architecture (ARTH, NCLC)

History of Italian Art from Antiquity to Baroque
(3 credits in ARTH 399 or HNRS 131)

History of Italian Art from the Renaissance to the 20th Century (3 credits in ARTH 303 or HNRS 131)

Museology. The Art of Collecting Objects (ARTH, NCLC, ANTH)

Renaissance Art History
(3 credits in ARTH 399 or HNRS 131)

Economics / Politics

Corporate Governance

Global Financial Systems

Impact of Globalization on European Markets (3 credits )

International Business and Trade

International Marketing

Political Economic History of Europe (3 credits)

Experiential Learning

Introduction to Photo Journalism
(COMM 307 as JOUR concentration and/or EJ minor elective; NCLC 399)

Film and Video Studies

Contemporary Italy on the Screen (COMM 399, NCLC)

English and Literature

Contemporary Italian Literature Self Memory and Expression

Medieval and Renaissance Literature

Writing The Global City: Florence. Reading and Creating Travel Writing

History / Sociology and Anthropology

A Cultural History of Florence from Renaissance to Present (HIST, ARTH, SOCI, ANTH)

A Cultural History of Organized Crime: Italian vs. US Mafia (HIST, GLOA, GOVT, SOCI, CONF)

Analyzing and Exploring the Global City

Political & Economic History of Europe in the 20th Century

Understanding Modern Italy: Anthropology of Contemporary Italian Society

Psychology Cross Cultural Psychology (PSYC 379 or HNRS 131)

Dates: January 7th - April 30th, 2015*

You should plan to leave the United States by January 6th in order to arrive in Florence for the first day of the program. You can schedule your return to the United States from Florence for the last day of the program or choose to travel independently.

Do not purchase international airfare until you are advised by your Program Officer.

Base Program Fee: $12,984

The Center for Global Education Program Fee includes:

  • Tuition
  • Housing double occupancy self-catering accommodations in student apartments
  • Cultural field trips and Local excursions with CAPA
  • Pre-departure orientation
  • Arrival Orientation at Centro Fiorenza
  • Emergency medical insurance, including medical evacuation and repatriation
  • Administrative fees at Centro Fiorenza, CAPA International and at George Mason University

The Program Fee for a single room in a shared apartment rather than a double-occupancy room is $14,120.

The Program Fee for a homestay* in an Italian home with a shared room is $14,950.

The Program Fee for a homestay* in an Italian home with a single room is $16,070.

*Homestays include breakfast and dinner.

Mason students may use financial aid to cover a program's cost. Discuss this with your financial aid counselor early in your study abroad planning process. If you are not a George Mason University student, check with your study abroad office or office of financial aid to learn more about how to cover the cost of your study abroad.

How to Apply

Consult the How to Apply section for detailed instructions. Start by completing the online application. Pay the $175 registration and processing fee .

Follow the Application Checklist that you can download here.

Note that all supplemental documents are required by the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Contact the Program Officer for further application forms and instructions specific to your program.

*CGE reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, or any other unforeseen circumstances.

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