Italy Program Dates

Arrive in Rome: Thur., June 20, 2024 
Arrive in Florence: Fri., July 5, 2024
Depart to US: Fri., July 19, 2024


Study Abroad Italy Application

Early Deadline: December 4, 2023
Final Deadline: March 4, 2024


Information Sessions

Coming Soon


About the program

This program, titled “Italy at the Crossroads,” shows how the intellectual, economic, and cultural currents in Italy have shaped the lives of both contemporary Italians and the broader world. A diverse and at times politically chaotic nation, Italy has been at the forefront of both Renaissance ideals that celebrate the individual as well as fascist and authoritarian ideas that swept through Europe in the 20th century. As geographic, cultural, and intellectual crossroads, Rome and Florence offer students an exceptional opportunity to explore how ideas, immigration, and economic change interact with food, architecture, art, and community in a global context. The cities themselves serve as co-faculty, showcasing how abstract ideas such as totalitarianism or nationhood manifest themselves in everyday life.

This program also raises questions of considerable importance, such as identifying the causes of the populism that has swept the world over the past few years, negotiating the boundary between the rights of the individual and the needs of the community, or defining what, exactly, constitutes a “nation.”. Findings answers to these current conflicts first requires understanding them.

These experiences—as shown in classwork and site visits in Rome and Florence—will help students draw parallels between events abroad and issues at home in California.

 Program Highlights

  • Open to all majors
  • Scholarships available
  • Earn 6 units of upper division GE and/or elective credit
  • All courses taught by CSU Fullerton faculty


  • A walking tour of Rome’s historic center
  • A walking tour of the EUR district
  • Reserved entrance with English guided tour of Palazzo Farnese.
  • A visit to Mausoleum of the Ardeatine Caves
  • Reserved entrance to the Vatican Museums 


  • A guided walking tour of Florence 
  • Entrance to Santa Maria Novella 
  • Entrance to Santa Croce 
  • Reserved entrance to the Uffizi Gallery 

Program Fee (tentative)

$4395 $2,000

The program fee includes the following items: 

  • Housing
  • All program academic field trips
  • All-access ground transportation travel pass
  • Group lunches  
  • International travel insurance 

The student fee does not include the following:

  • CSUF books and tuition
  • Round-trip airfare
  • Passport or visa fees if applicable
  • Daily personal meals and other expenses

Program Courses

HSS 350: Rome, Florence, and the Renaissance Ideal (3 units; GE C.3 & Z)
This course examines political theory, art and architecture, geography and trade, food and wine, and religion in 14th and 15th century Italy. In particular, the course focuses on the social and economic collapse which laid the groundwork for the Renaissance; the emergence of the individual in philosophy, art, and religion; the development of the “state” as something distinct and important in politics; the reemergence of pagan ideals and their uneasy coexistence with the Catholic Church; changes in trade and manufacturing which led to greater wealth, status competition and patronage; and the blending of medieval ideas with resurgent ancient and modern ones.

POSC 330: Italian Democracy, Populism, and Fascism in Historical Perspective (3 units; GE D.5)
This course—a mix of political theory, comparative and Italian politics, and the study of populism—is specially tailored to the study abroad context. Italy is a study in contrasts: the birthplace of the Renaissance, a fractious democratic tradition, a history of fascism, and a contemporary populist movement that has become a central player in the Italian Parliament. POSC 330 examines these tensions between democracy, populism, and authoritarianism, with a special focus on Italy’s fascist past. The course will focus specifically on the debate over how constructs such as populism should be defined (What is populism? Is populism democracy or a corruption of democracy? Does populism inevitably lead to authoritarian rule?); how fascism shaped the art, architecture, food, gender relations, and daily lives of Italians; contrasting the authoritarian populism of today with the fascism of the past; and how pluralist democracies such should respond to such trends.


Dr. Rob Robinson

Dr. Rob Robinson
Political Science

Rob Robinson is an Associate Professor of Political Science at California State University, Fullerton and also serves as the Political Science Program Coordinator. Robinson teaches American Government, Constitutional Law, Civil Liberties, and the American Presidency courses. His research examines legal policy change and judicial decision-making and has been published in well-respected journals such as The Journal of Law and Courts, Law & Society Review, Public Administration, and Policy Studies Journal. Robinson has been to Italy several times and has experience teaching broad-based humanities and politics courses of the kind offered in this program.


Need more information?

  • Visit:  Student Success Center / HUM-112 / 8am-5pm, M-F 
  •  Email:  Jaycee Cover 


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