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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Florence, Italy
  • Program Terms: Intersession
  • Restrictions: USD applicants only
  • PROGRAM COST: Intersession
  • To open an application, contact Study Abroad Program Advisor (see box below for contact information)
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Intersession 2018 07/14/2017
Rolling Admission 01/03/2018 01/23/2018

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
GPA: good academic standing Disciplines offered: College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, Undergraduate
Accomodations: Hotel Class Standing: Class of 2020 Only
Program Advisor: Jessica Calhoun- Tuition Remission Eligible Program: Yes
Program Type: Undergraduate
Program Description:

Florence View
ITALY: Florence

Second Year Experience (SYE) Abroad
Explore: Relive the Renaissance

Intersession 2018
Application Deadline: April 19, 2017
Kick-off event: May 2017

Read a Student's Perspective: "Toreros Abroad - SYE Florence Trip Opens a Whole New World"


Florence is known as the birthplace of the Renaissance and, as such, has a rich cultural history. Students will have the opportunity to explore the city through its art and architecture preserved among the cobblestone streets.The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence was once home to Michelangelo, da Vinci, Brunelleschi, Dante, Machiavelli, Galileo and the powerful Medici family. It has retained an extraordinary wealth of art treasures that are glorious testimony to centuries of civilization. Today, Florence is a modern city with sports venues, musical events, great restaurants and traditional festivals. Situated on the major rail lines and national motorways, Florence is within easy access of other popular Italian destinations such as Pisa, Siena, Milan and Bologna as well as many other beautiful cities.


Students will have the opportunity to explore the city through its art and architecture preserved among the cobblestone streets. The Second Year Experience Abroad (SYE Abroad) program is an innovative early college study abroad experience designed specifically for sophomore students at the University of San Diego. The program has two key components:Academic Component- For the academic component, students take one three-unit course in various disciplines taught by USD faculty.  Faculty tailor the course to incorporate the international site and also lead academic site visits around the host city, which complement in-class instruction.
Intercultural Learning Component- The co-curricular intercultural learning component is led by USD student affairs professionals and enhances the cultural experience by guiding students through personal and cultural reflection. Students compose a Intercultural Reflection, where they write a short analysis on the cultural component of their choice.  Students begin the Intercultural Reflection component during the pre-departure fall seminars and complete it on-site prior to the program end date.  Student Affairs professionals help guide the students through the Intercultural Reflection in small group reflections, which are also held in the fall seminars and while abroad.  In the fall 2016 semester, students will participate in three seminars, which include networking opportunities between students, faculty, and student affairs professionals, cultural guest speakers, and general pre-departure information. 


In the fall 2017 semester, students will participate in three seminars, which include networking opportunities between students, faculty, and student affairs professionals, cultural guest speakers, and general pre-departure information.  These dates are TBD and will be announced in summer 2017.  They will take place in early October, early November, and early December.  


Below are the courses offered in the SYE Abroad 2018 program.  Relevant academic departments include Art, Architecture, and Art History, Chemistry, Economics, English, History, Philosophy, and Theology & Religious Studies

ARCH 121 (3 units)- Introduction to Modern Architecture

Professor: Dr. Daniel Lopez-Pérez
Pre-requisites: None
Fulfills: TBA
Course Description: TBA

ENGL 236/ITAL 340 (3 units)- Dante and Medieval Florence

Professor: Dr. Brittany Asaro
Pre-requisites: TBA
Fulfills: TBA
Course Description: In addition to being the cradle of Renaissance art, Florence is also the birthplace of the Italian language and one of the main centers of early modern culture. Dante Alighieri (1265-1321), who is considered to be both the founder of the Italian language and one of the most influential literary figures in the world, called this city home. In this course we will read selections from Dante’s Divine Comedy in English translation, while visiting local sites that will help students gain a better understanding of both the author’s work and the cultural milieu in which medieval literature was produced. In addition, students will explore the complexity of Italian contemporary culture in relation to its history, literary tradition, communication styles, beliefs and practices.

MKTG 300 (3 units)- Principles of Marketing [Course Closed]

Professor:  Dr. Maria Kniazeva
Pre-requisites: Must have completed 45 units and taken ECON 101 
Fulfills: Required course for most majors in School of Business Administration 
Course Description: The objective of this course is to introduce students to the important issues undertaken by marketers within a socially responsible and ethical framework.  The students will learn the marketing vocabulary and basic elements of a marketing analysis.  Upon completion of the course they will have developed the knowledge necessary to prepare a well-thought-out marketing plan.  Special emphasis will be placed on marketing in Italy.

PHIL 321 (3 units)- Social Ethics  [Course Closed]

Professor: Dr. Michael Kelly
Pre-requisites: None
Fulfills: Upper-division Ethics core
Course Description: This course introduces students to the roots of modern philosophy (especially social-political philosophy) by way of examining the role three generations of Florentines – Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374), Niccolò Machiavelli (1469-1527) and Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) – played in the emergence of modernity’s view of self, science and state. We hope to see how modern philosophy’s most distinctive view of the self (in the work of Rene Descartes) and of the state (in the work of Thomas Hobbes) emerged in and from Petrarch’s humanism, Machiavelli’s political science, and Galileo’s natural science, each of which rests on a rejection of the classical cosmos (taking Aristotle and Augustine as representative). 

THRS 110 (3 units)- Exploring Religious Meaning [Course Closed]

Professor: Dr. Bahar Davary
Pre-requisites: None
Fulfills: Lower-division Theology & Religious Studies core
Course Description: Students will be introduced to Italian Renaissance art as well as defining characteristics of Roman (and Italian) Catholicism. On a more global and religiously pluralistic level, there will be additional cultural activities, including guest lectures from or site visits to the Great Synagogue, Hare Krishna Temple, Muslim Culture Center, and San Marco Monastery. In addition, through the use of journals and reflection exercises, students develop a sophisticated understanding of religion. They learn to apply class topics to the cultural and religious landscape of Florence, and then to bring those observations to bear on other key issues in the academic study of religion. 


During the three-week SYE Abroad program in Florence, students will have the opportunity to take advantage of the following:
  • All course-related activities (varies by course)
  • Cultural activities including a cooking class 
  • Day trip to Siena
  • Overnight excursion to Rome  


For a detailed description of program costs please see the Program Cost in the box at the top of this webpage. Click on the link which corresponds to the term you plan to study abroad.


All students will be housed at a local hotel in either double or triple-occupancy rooms.  Daily breakfast is included.


Jessica Calhoun
Associate Director
International Studies Abroad
University of San Diego
Serra Hall, Room 201
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110
tel: +1 (619) 260-4598
fax: +1 (619) 260-5924

To open an application, contact Study Abroad Program Advisor (see box below for contact information)