Quick Info

  • Florence, Italy
  • Spring
  • : Panther Program
  • : Business, Economics, English Literature, History of Art and Architecture, Italian Language, Literature, and Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Studio Arts, Urban Studies
  • : Spring 2019: 11 January - 20 April
  • : Spring 2019: $16,799 in-state; $22,438 out-of-state
  • : Spring 2018: October 7, 2018
  • : 2.75 GPA, Pitt Students: Must have completed 24 credits on a Pitt campus, Clear Judicial Record, Business Students Only, Open to Non-Pitt Students


English-Language Track

If you have studied less than four semesters of college-level Italian, you will participate in the English-language track, taking 12-18 credits from the available courses below.  Brush up on your Italian skills (or get them started) with a required three credit Italian language class. 

Looking to complete the Certificate in International Business? Take the following courses to fulfill nearly all of the CPIB requirements. Course descriptions are listed in the general course list below. Please note that you will still need to meet the language requirement to receive the certificate.

CPIB Track

  • BUSORG 1655 - International Dimensions of Organization Behavior
  • BUSECON 1508 - Key Issues in International Economics for Managers 

Major Elective (choose 1)

  • BUSFIN 1341 - International Finance
  • BUSMKT 1461 - International Marketing
  • BUSHRM 1670 - Global Workforce Management 
  • BUSSCM 1730: Managing Global Supply Chains 

CBA Elective

  • BUS 1910 -  International Internship For Credit 
    • If you do not meet the requirements for the internship (see 'Internship' section below), this CPIB requirement can be fulfilled by taking a second course from the 'Major Elective' category above.

Arts & Sciences Elective

  • PS1311 - Political Economy and History of Europe in the 20th Century
    • Note: This course can also be used to satisfy a Social Science general education requirement.


You must enroll in one Italian course. 

If you have never taken Italian, you will enroll in the below course:

ITAL 0100 - Italian for the Professions (3 credits)

If you have already completed Italian 0101, Italian 0102, or Italian 0103, you will enroll in the appropriate course below:

ITAL 0101 - Italian: Here and Now (formerly referred to as Elementary Italian Language 1) (4 credits)
ITAL 0102 - Italian: There and Then (formerly referred to as Elementary Italian Language 2 (4 credits)
ITAL 0103 - Italian: What IF Intermediate Italian Language 1 (4 credits)
ITAL 0113 - Italian: Modern and Contemporary Culture(formerly referred to as Intermediate Italian Language 2 (3 credits)

Fulfills a social science requirement for Pitt Business students.

This course presents a survey of contemporary Italy from an anthropological perspective, which is to say with a systematic and informed focus on the role of culture in contemporary Italian society. For anthropology, culture is the concept which describes the networks of shared meanings and values that underlie social practices and create distinct group identities. With this in mind, the course examines the operation of such universal cultural features as identity, social and political organization, gender, and religion in contemporary Italy, as well as considering local issues of healthcare, immigration and internal migration, and Italian and Florentine "cultural heritage." The course requires an ethnographic engagement with Florentine society, which provides an opportunity to recognize and apply anthropological concepts in a practical fashion outside of the classroom. Although this course will be conducted principally in English for reasons of comprehension, the instructor will incorporate Italian and Italian cultural resources as much as possible in order to give students maximum exposure to the Italian language.

Fulfills a finance major elective for Pitt Business students.

3 credit course for students who elect to have a part-time internship for credit. Please note that internships are available for students who have successfully completed three semesters of coursework at Pitt or a transfer university as a degree-seeking student. * A limited number of English-language internships are available in Florence. Additional Internships are in Italian and you must have the equivalent of at least 2 semesters of Italian to participate. 

This course fulfills a core requirement for the Certificate in International Business, the HR major elective, and a core requirement for the global management major.

Fulfills a marketing major elective for Pitt Business students.

Fulfills an HR major elective and a global management major required course for Pitt Business students.

Fulfills a marketing major elective, a supply chain major required course, a Certificate in Supply Chain Management required course, a core requirement for the global management major, a Certificate in International Business elective, and an elective for the Certificate Program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

Fulfills a requirement for the CPIB/Global Management major 

The objective of this course is to examine theoretical analysis of international trade and commercial policy. Students will look at the pure theory of international trade as exemplified by comparative advantage and gains from trade in the classical and neoclassical models and explore alternative explanations of trade and development. The theory of customs unions and modern day explanations of preferential trading arrangements will be explored and some of the principal unresolved theoretical and practical problems of free trade will be examined.

Fulfills a social science elective for Pitt Business students and an econ minor elective.

This course examines and assesses international economy and business in a global sense, using European case studies. It starts with a wide comparison between the first and the second periods of globalization, as it developed at the end of XIX° century, and examines how in the present day it is considered as the “prevalent economic system”, even though this is debated by people of all continents. The importance of the Bretton Woods system will be clearly underlined in order to understand the events of the second part of the XX° century. The creation of the international economic institutions – International Monetary Fund, World Bank and General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and others – constitutes a pillar on which the development of the international economy is largely based in a context in which protectionism is banned. The role of international trade in the global era has never declined; free trade and market economy are still representing the most relevant economic orientation at an international scale. During the ‘80s the international framework was changing, due to the progressive decline and consequential death of Fordism, and the uprising new industrial processes. International finance was influenced by the development of the information technology revolution, the global economy after “September 11th” has changed its shape, but it was never interrupted, according to the most persuasive opinions of major economists. The course will also approach the current financial global crisis.

This course is a creative writing workshop designed to explore the experience of traveling and living abroad in Florence in both verse and prose. Along with the workshop we will also read and discuss texts that focus on Italy in general and Florence specifically from both the native and foreign perspectives, noting particularly the literary techniques and strategies that various writers have used to verbally map out the territory of the city and to express their own place and experiences within its walls. The texts will provide us with a forum for discussing each author’s relationship to and the literary expression of place. The texts will also provide us with models for weekly writing exercises.  I believe that we can use our unique position as sojourners abroad to begin to chart our own internal and imaginative landscapes. Our ultimate goal will be to produce a finalized, substantial text—or series of short texts—suitable for performance and/or publication in the literary world beyond this class.

This course fulfills the music/art requirement for Pitt Business students.

This course introduces students to painting, sculpture, and architecture in Florence in the Renaissance. Beginning with the great projects of the Middle Ages that defined the religious and political centers of the city, attention focuses on major monuments of the Renaissance. Discussion will center on how works of art were made, their style, and how they communicate intellectual meaning. Sub-themes that intersect with the most recent research in the field of art history are interwoven into each class period. Topics for discussion include the cross-cultural fertilization of artistic ideas, how women, the poor, and children were depicted in Renaissance art, conflicting ideas regarding patronage, and how works of art construct religious, political, gender, and class identities. This course analyzes the interrelationship between people's creative achievements and their society. In other words, students must understand a work of art in the social, artistic, and historical context of medieval and renaissance Florence.

Fulfills the music/art requirement for Pitt Business students.

Through museum visits in Florence and Rome students will realize that most of the artworks actually displayed in public museums once belonged to private collectors and were not produced to be seen by a large public. During the course students will explore the history of collecting objects. They will start with the sacred collections of Classical temples, passing then to the libraries of Medieval monasteries and the ideas of the Abbot Suger. They will imagine recreating a Medieval Schatzkammer and an Early Renaissance Studiolo thanks to the remaining precious vases that belonged to Lorenzo the Magnificent and the documents of the Urbino Palace and Isa-bella d’Este Studiolo. They will ‘virtually’ visit the Paolo Giovio collection, and the real Studiolo of Francesco I as well as 16th and 17th century Baroque Galleries. They will follow the growth of European National Museums of the nineteenth century (Louvre, British, Muse-ums Island in Berlin) as symbols of national pride as well as the Florentine private collections transformed in foundations like the Bardini and Horne Museums. An in depth study will be done on the Uffizi Gallery in order to understand the transformation of the gallery from the late 16th century to the present day. Finally they will face the role of museums in the contemporary world making a personal research on Florence main museums’ visitors.

Taught in English. Fulfills the music/art requirement for Pitt Business students.

The objective of this course is to give students the opportunity to comprehend contemporary Italian society through the screen images that Italian filmmakers have presented of the cultural, political and working environment they live in. Using a multidisciplinary approach for history, film theory, and social contextualization, this course will explore how contemporary Italian cinema has followed, mirrored, and sometimes even anticipated cultural and social transformations in Italian society. Up to twenty Italian films released between the late '90s to the present will be examined from the point of view of 20th and 21st Century Italian social, political, and cultural history in order to understand the various social and ethical concerns exemplified by the movies.


Taught in English. Fulfills the literature requirement for Pitt Business students. 

The course will introduce students to the history of Italian Literature, focusing on great masterpieces (in English translation) from the 14th to the 16th century. A multidisciplinary approach, dealing with social, political, historical and philosophical implications will provide further understanding by placing literary works in a comprehensive cultural context. Special emphasis will be placed on the impact of Italian literature in European culture in pre-modern age, stressing the broad influence of Dante's Comedy, Boccaccio's Decameron and Ariosto's Orlando Enraged. Students will be provided with the basic operational tools to help them recognize different literary genres and understand why certain forms of artistic expression are peculiar to certain ages, at times to the exclusion of others. Literary issues such as the great divide between high and low literature, the question of language, the relation between classical, Christian and chivalric epics, the concept of originality in the Middle Ages, the circulation of books and the development of a reading public will be thoroughly investigated. Students will be able to follow the formation and the evolution of the mainstream literary tradition, and appreciate the innovative charge, both in form and content, of the works selected. They will also learn to practice a close reading of the texts, and will be encouraged to form their own critical opinion on the writings analyzed for their oral presentations. The first lessons will be devoted to a general overview of the 13th and the 14th centuries both from a historical and a more specifically literary perspective. Then the focus will shift onto the role of Dante in shaping the vernacular literature as a means to bridge the gap between academic and popular culture, to Boccaccio's ground-breaking work in restyling storytelling into an art of conversation and therefore a collective enterprise, and finally to Ariostol's humorous contemplation of human vanity and foolishness. Each lecture introducing a new author will be preceded by a brief outline of his life and literary output, and will then proceed with the description and analysis of his major work.

Fulfills the social science requirement for Pitt Business students.

This course offers a general survey of the History of Europe in the twentieth century, focusing on major political and economic processes and events. It also considers the correlated national and international environments. It will shed light on the way in which European development influenced the national and international contexts and, inversely, document how national and international factors conditioned European dynamics. The analysis highlights the dynamics of European history from a world-scale perspective. The beginning of the twentieth century marked the crisis of empires and colonial powers. A second significant shift occurred after the Second World War with the emergence of a bi-polar world order, and the subsequent division of power between the USA and USSR. The third was registered in 1989-91, when, with the fall of the Soviet bloc, conditions for an American hegemony were eventually created (a mono-polar order was established). Attempts are now under way to open avenues to a functional global order.

Fulfills the social science requirement for Pitt Business students.

This course will explore the field of cross-cultural psychology through a focus on a specific country and its inhabitants: Italy. Aspects of cross-cultural analysis from the field of cross-cultural psychology (as well as interdisciplinary elements from sociology, anthropology, biology and ecology) will be discussed, including: cultural influence on human behavior, attitudes, values, communication and societal organization. Special topics of ethnocentrism, individual vs. collective societies, plural societies, cultural views on mental health, and intercultural communication are highlighted. Methodological issues of cross-cultural research will be reviewed, and students will have the opportunity to conduct a cross-cultural interview and be participant-observers of their own experience here in Italy. The city of Florence and its inhabitants become the classroom through various excursions and field work. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their own cultural origins in regards to behaviors, communication, attitudes and values, as well as their acculturation experiences while studying in Italy.

Investigate concepts of color, form, line, composition, volume, space, and the use of oil paint as a medium. Beginning or intermediate levels accepted. This course is structured to introduce oil painting starting from the basic techniques and introducing new approaches and ideas. Students should take advantage of open studio hours to complete their assignments. At the beginning of each new topic and project students will be asked to list the techniques acquired in the previous lessons before moving on to a new exercise. Students will be expected to complete at least 4 paintings to successfully complete the course in addition to completing the weekly assignments.

A studio arts drawing course for beginning and intermediate students that explores an essential aspect of artistic self-expression and the techniques necessary to learn to draw what you see. The course will examine Florentine artists' drawing techniques that raised the level of this medium during the Renaissance period from preliminary studies to that of true works of art. Visual perception is a way of seeing that differs from our typical way of seeing. The objective is that of teaching students how to transmit what they see, an artistic perception which will permit them to explore their personal mode of expression. The course will concentrate upon the component parts of drawing, the necessary aspects self-awareness and general creativity, learning to draw what is out there and self expression.


Figurative sculpture is a basic studio course designed for beginners and intermediate students. It explores the skills and techniques necessary to approach clay modeling. Students are invited to take advantage of class activities as much as possible since it is through constant commitment and exercise that they will achieve the technical mastery of the medium. At the same time, it is necessary for students to acquire a certain theoretical awareness. Stimuli provided by projections, workshop and site visits to the most important sculptures in Florence are integral to the course. Students will visit these works during the week. Students will have a sketchbook in order to document at least one work per visit.

Fulfills the social science requirement for Pitt Business students.

Florence is a global heritage city: millions of people every day crowd into its small streets admiring the ancient buildings and its artistic heritage, which creates revenue as well as issues. For this reason, contemporary Florence and its inhabitants are less well-known by visitors. Florence today has an ethnically diverse population with complex socio-cultural dynamics that shape the identity of this fascinating city. Although migration to the city has intensified over the last few decades, ‘multiculturalism’ is not a recent phenomenon: over the centuries the city has celebrated diversity, with different ethnic groups, different nationalities and various religious groups who have contributed to Florence’s social and cultural wealth. Even the briefest of walks can unveil this wealth to the eyes of the attentive observer – and it is precisely this ‘below the surface’ understanding that this course provides. Florence is, and always has been, a ‘global’ city.

We will analyze the complex dynamics that shape the identity of Florence by applying a critical perspective to the notion of globalization and by analyzing the socio-cultural forces at play both historically and presently. Students will learn to analyze the cultural variety present in the city, examining which ethnic communities live in Florence today, and gaining insight into their lives through scholarly sources and direct observation. Throughout the course we will discuss the relativity of cultural values; we will analyze how multicultural aspects of Florence’s identity have been discursively constructed and by which social actors; we will review which policies the local and national administration have put into effect to deal with these issues.

Advanced Italian Track (Fall semester only)
If you are majoring in Italian or have a high level of fluency in Italian (have completed at least four semesters of college-level Italian), you can participate in the Advanced Italian Track, offered in the fall semester.  The blend of academic courses in Italian, advanced language courses, and an optional part-time internship, allow you to truly immerse yourself in Florentine culture.  Email Arielle for more information on courses.

  • ITAL 1905 Learning Through Internships: Florence (Internship-for-credit)
    • Please note that internships are available for students in their second semester of sophomore year or higher
  • ITAL 0055 Understanding Modern Italy - REQUIRED
  • ITAL 1060 Great Works of Italian Literature
  • ITAL 0060+0061 CCF Language Module (6 credits) - REQUIRED
  • ITAL 1070 CCF Literature and Politics Course


Experiential Learning

*A limited number of English-language internships are available in Florence - contact Arielle Schweber to learn more. Additional Internships are in Italian and you must have the equivalent of at least 2 semesters of Italian to participate*

An international internship through GBI: Florence is your opportunity to create a stand-out resume.  You will be challenged to apply your coursework to the work world, acquire cultural competency, and create professional connections that can last a lifetime.  Not only will your LinkedIn profile get a boost, but your overall marketability to future employers will too.

Internships in GBI: Florence are 20 hours per week, excluding commuting time.  In addition to workplace experience, you will also meet with peers and faculty for internship seminars to help you get the most out of the experience.  Internships are always unpaid, always for three credits, and always pass/fail. Please note that internships are available for students in their second semester of sophomore year or higher.

You can sign up for an internship regardless of your major as a part of the application process. While we do guarantee internships, keep in mind that flexibility and reasonable expectations are necessary to get a placement. Check out the Pitt Business International Scholarships opportunities for students participating in internships, and get in touch with Arielle Schweber, the GBI: Florence program manager, to learn more. 


On-Site Faculty And Staff

CAPA, GBI: Florence’s partner, has a full-time support staff ready to help you with whatever you might need during your stay.  Whether it’s housing, academics, or just recommendations on where to take your parents when they visit, the CAPA staff is there for you.

In addition to the CAPA staff, Pitt always has a faculty member based in Florence as well.

Spring 2019: Jenny McCord earned a Master of Arts in Italian literature and a Master of Teaching in foreign language education at the University of Virginia. She has been teaching Italian classes at the University of Pittsburgh since 2006 and has worked for study abroad programs in Bologna, Florence and Rome. Jenny has recently completed a Master in intercultural studies and social mediation at the University of Padova, and is interested in promoting intercultural competencies in an effort to expand social bonding and facilitate integration of vulnerable parties in our communities.


Most students get around Florence on foot or by bus, and an unlimited bus pass will allow you to explore the city. In the historic center of Florence, almost anything a student might want to see or do is within a 30-minute walk. Florence's public bus system is easy to use and an efficient way to travel throughout the metro area. Taxis are also available 24 hours a day throughout the city. Opportunities for weekend and holiday travel abound due to Florence’s status as a well-connected European city.

Find the housing option that suits you:


If you are on the Standard Track, you will live in an apartment shared with other GBI: Florence participants and students from other US universities. Most apartments are located 20-40 minutes (either on-foot or by bus) from the CAPA study center. Florence’s buildings reflect its history, and each apartment is unique. Bedrooms are shared among 2-3 students, depending on the size, and all apartments are comfortably spacious, containing a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, shared living area, and a washing machine. Meals aren’t included, so plan on learning to cook with local ingredients!


Homestays are required if you participating in the Advanced Italian Track (Fall semester only) and are available (for an additional fee) if you are participating in the Standard Track.  Located in residential neighborhoods on the edge of the city, you can expect a 40-minute commute to the CAPA Center from your homestay.  CAPA carefully screens host families before you arrive to make sure that you have a safe and culturally immersive experience.  Homestays include a private bedroom, access to the home’s kitchen, laundry facilities, living areas, and two meals per day.  You should know that most host families do not speak English.

Pricing And Dates

Save the date! If you are accepted into the spring 2019 program, you'll be required to attend a mandatory pre-departure session on Friday, October 19.

All students are required to attend the mandatory Pre-Departure Bash.  This afternoon long event will cover important topics relevant to study abroad like health, safety, security, and more.  Plus, it will give you the chance to meet other students studying abroad on your programs!  Alumni and staff will also be present to help you start thinking about your goals for the program.

The Pre-Departure Bash for the SPRING program will be on: October 19, 2018Time: TBD. Room: TBD.

Your program manager will follow up with more information once you begin your application!


In-State Fee Out-of-State Fee
$16,799 $22,438
Arrive in Florence Depart Florence
January 11, 2019 April 20, 2019

Keep in mind that dates change.  You shouldn't book airfare until given confirmation from your program manager.

Pitt Business students can apply for scholarship funds on the Pitt Business International Scholarships page as well as crowdfund using the Pitt Business Fund My Travel page. Please note that the application deadline for the Pitt Business International Scholarships is the same as the program application deadline. 

For additional scholarship opportunities, be sure to check out the ‘Programs’ tab at the top of this page!

CAPA offers a wide variety of need-based and merit-based scholarships, and Pitt students are now eligible to apply! Be sure to visit their website at http://www.capa.org/scholarships, and explore the options. Pitt students are eligible to apply for all scholarship opportunities listed on 'Finances' tab at the top of this page. Be sure to note that although you apply for the CAPA scholarships on the CAPA website, you still apply for the Global Business Institute Programs through abroad.pitt.edu.



Inclusions & Exclusions

As a part of your GBI: Florence fee, the following are included:

  • Tuition for 12-18 credits
  • On-Site Orientation
  • Housing 
  • Some meals (homestays only)
  • Health Insurance
  • One-day excursion to Siena and San Gimignano
  • Access to the British Institute's English-language library
  • My Global City activities and events

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Study Abroad Administrative Fee ($400)
  • Passport and visa fees (~$200)
  • Airfare (~$1,000)
  • Meals and Personal Expenses (~$3,000-$5,000)

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

Ready to get started on your application?  

Program Staff

Arielle Schweber

Walk-In Advising Hours: By Appointment Only

Bonjour! I’m the International Programs Manager for Pitt Business. I’m originally from New York but have spent some time in France, as I have dual nationality. I’m new to the city and university, but I can’t wait explore my inner yinzer! Since high school, I have participated in short and long term study abroad programs.  My first stop was in Spain, then a semester in France and finally two short term programs in Cuba and India. Outside of the office you can find me exploring new restaurants, biking, skiing, watching HGTV or planning my next adventure! My hope is for every Pitt student to study abroad. You can get in touch with me at aschweber@business.pitt.edu or 412-383-7489.