Global Business Institute: Florence - Semester

Welcome to the Global Business Institute (GBI), your opportunity to study and practice business at one of five international campuses. GBI prepares you for the business world through coursework that advances your degree, offers out-of-the-classroom experiences that create cultural competence, and internship opportunities that provide you with transferable workplace skills.

Along with being an important Italian business hub for human resources, fashion marketing, and tourism management, Florence is also a beautiful, historic city. 

Want to learn more? Check out the Pitt Business To the World student blog and this video. 

What You'll Accomplish: 

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to : 

  • Fulfull major elective course(s) and general elective course requirements. 
  • Develop global competency skills through coursework, internship opportunities and cultural experiences. 
  • Gain transferrable skills towards your professional and personal development by participating in an internship. 

 

Despite its pivotal role in the history of civilization and its significance as an artistic and cultural center, Florence retains the bustle and charm of a small town in a bygone age. Ancient, medieval, renaissance, cosmopolitan, yet with all modern conveniences, Florence, perhaps more than any other city, is a tapestry displaying Europe's emergence from the Dark Ages through to the 21st century.
Why is this program only offered during the spring semester?  Fewer tourists travel to Florence during the spring, which allows you to have more access to local resources (and more space on the sidewalk). The weather is reliably beautiful from February onward, and numerous local holidays during this season give students more cultural exposure and more time to explore the city.
Take your academic and professional portfolio to the next level in the city that carried the world out of the Dark Ages.
 

Where You'll Live: 

Students will live like a Florentine during their semster abroad. Housing placements are scattered throughout the city-center and location depends on availability and housing option. Exact addresses are provided closer to departure. Regardless of the option you choose, nothing is ever far from you in Florence. The city is a very flat, pedestrian friendly, and walkable city. Housing placements are scattered throughout the city-center and location depends on availability and housing option. Exact addresses are provided closer to departure. Regardless of the option you choose, nothing is ever far from you in Florence. The city is a very flat, pedestrian friendly, and walkable city.
 
Like the streets of Florence, no two apartments on the Pitt in Florence program are alike in terms of design, but all will give you a comfortable place to call home in Italy.  Most apartments are located within an hour commute to the CAPA Center, either on foot or by bus. Apartments are still within what is considered the city-center. 
You can expect the following at your accommodations:

  • You can expect the following at your accommodations:
  • Meals aren’t included, so plan on learning to cook with local ingredients or budget money to eat out.
  • Washing machine(s) in the building (Italian apartments typically do not have dryers).  
  • Shared living area
  • En-suite bathroom
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • There are typically up to six students in each apartment
  • Shared bedroom

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change.  Contact your program manager with any questions. 

What You'll Study: 

Most courses on GBI: Florence are 3 credits, and you can take 12-18 credits. 
A majority of students take Italian for the first time in Florence, but it’s helpful if you have some background. If you have no previous ItaItalian you will enroll in ITAL 0101 - Here and Now. 
Information on how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here

If you are a non-business student interested in the this program, please check out the Pitt in Florence program: www.abroad.pitt.edu/florencesemester

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  

Arts & Sciences Elective 

  • PS 1311 - 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. 

 

Business International Internship (BUS1910)

This is a part-time internship (20 hours per week). In addition, you will attend weekly discussion-led sessions that include educational support and mentoring in a classroom environment, develop personal and professional skills, and learn to contextualize your internship experience socially and culturally. You will receive 3 credits for this course.
Please note internships are available for students who have successfully completed three semesters of coursework at Pitt or a transfer university as a degree-seeking student. 

Key Issues in International Economics for Managers (BUSECN1508)

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.

International Marketing (BUSMKT1461)

Fulfills a marketing major elective for Pitt Business students.
This course reflects the increasing amount of international marketing carried out by a wide and diverse range of organizations. Starting with why organizations may wish to expand their activities across national boundaries, students develop knowledge to identify which markets to enter, the methods of market entry available, and the management and control implications. The student will be encouraged to perceive the role of a global marketing manager, and to make decisions that could affect the outcome of a global marketing plan. This includes the international marketing environment and the international marketing mix, namely product, pricing, distribution and promotion, as well as emerging issues in international trade such as trading blocs, trade barriers, and the standardization versus customization dilemma.

Italian Renaissance Art History (HAA0302)

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.

 

Intercultural Piazza (ITAL1084)

taly has long been a nation of emigrants, but only in the last few decades has become a nation receiving large numbers of immigrants. The fall of communism in Eastern Europe, and wars and violence in the Balkans, across Africa and the Middle East, have spurred new migrants towards the West in search of safety and economic prosperity. The unique position of the Italian peninsula in the Mediterranean has made it a key territory of arrival in these modern-day migrations, but to what advantage and to what cost? This course will explore the complexities of cultural identity and migration, and the impact they have on intercultural conflict and cooperation. There will be a particular focus on migration in Italy and on the marginalized communities of contemporary Italy, such as migrants, their Italianborn non-citizen children, and the Roma. We will examine the fluidity of cultural boundaries across time and space, and how ingroup and outgroup dynamics contribute to the manufacturing of fear and prejudice among populations. During their semester abroad, students will reflect on the various elements that define a culture while gaining an increased understanding of how culture shapes individuals and how our cultural identities interact in shared social spaces such as the piazze of Florence. 

Syllabus:
Italian: Here and Now (4 credits) (ITAL0101)

An introduction to the Italian language, including basic grammar, vocabulary and speech patterns. Primary goal is to achieve competence in the spoken language, along with basic skills in reading and writing. Face-to-face lesson meetings consist of communicative activities in which students practiced learned structures and vocabulary.  Students will watch/listen/read lectures, complete exercises related to grammar and vocabulary. This instructional approach is designed to allow for maximum interaction in the classroom environment, so that students can receive extensive feedback on their progress. 

Contemporary Italian Cinema (ITAL0086)
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.

 

Cross Cultural Psychology in Florence (PSY0186)

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.

 

Syllabus:
Foundation Drawing (SA0130)
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.

 

Analyzing and Exploring the Global City - Florence (URBNST1408)

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.

 

Experiential Learning Description: 

Please note that internships are available for students who have 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 - contact your Program Manager 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.. 

The University of Pittsburgh partners with the CAPA the Global Education Network for this program. For more than 45 years CAPA: The Global Education Network has worked with institutions of higher education to build programs that meet their goals for learning abroad. CAPA operates education centers in Global Cities and have developed distinct academic offerings, support frameworks, and oversight structures for students and visiting faculty.
The CAPA Florence Center is housed in Palazzo Galli-Tassi, a 15th century palace in the Santa Croce neighborhood. The CAPA Florence team is available throughout your program to assist and support you 24/7 with any urgent situations.
The University of Pittsburgh partners with the CAPA the Global Education Network for this program. For more than 45 years CAPA: The Global Education Network has worked with institutions of higher education to build programs that meet their goals for learning abroad. CAPA operates education centers in Global Cities and have developed distinct academic offerings, support frameworks, and oversight structures for students and visiting faculty.
The CAPA Florence Center is housed in Palazzo Galli-Tassi, a 15th century palace in the Santa Croce neighborhood. The CAPA Florence team is available throughout your program to assist and support you 24/7 with any urgent situations.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts: 

Arielle Schweber

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.

 

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Your In-Country Contacts: 

Jenny McCord

Jenny McCord teaches the Italian 0101 and Italian for the Professions Course on this program. She is also your in-country program advisor. Jenny 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.

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $9,314 $14,902
Program Fee $7,685 $7,685
Study Abroad Fee $400 $400
Total Billed by Pitt $17,399 $22,987

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Airfare $1,200 - $1,500
Visa  $200
Meals and Personal Expenses $3,000 - $5,000

Total Estimated Program Cost

  In-State Out-of-State

Total Estimated Cost of Program
(Includes items billed by Pitt and additional expenses)

$21,799 - $24,099 $27,387 - $29,687
 

The amounts above are for the 2019-2020 academic year and should be used as estimates only. Pricing for 2021-2022 will be posted and announced in the fall term.

What's Included: 

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

  • Tuition for 12-18 credits
  • On-Site Orientation
  • Housing 
  • Health Insurance
  • Transit pass for buses
  • One-day excursion to Siena and San Gimignano
  • My Global City activities and events
When You'll Go: 

The program start date is Friday, September 3 and end date is Saturday, December 11, 2021.
 

What Else You Need to Know: 

For scholarship opportunities, be sure to check out the Pitt Study Abroad page.  

Pitt Business students may also apply for additional scholarships through the Pitt Business International Scholarships here, as well as crowdfund using the Pitt Business Fund My Travel page. Please note that the application deadline for the Pitt Business International Scholarship is the same as the program application deadline.