Program Overview

Spend a summer like no other exploring two impressive cities: Rome and Barcelona. The Mediterranean Culture program is a true travel-study opportunity. Trade the classroom for famous museums, iconic sites, and treasured neighborhoods as you get an up-close look at two cities in Italy and Spain. You can elevate your Spanish and Italian skills, or you can take a wide range of courses to advance your degree. You’ll spend eight glorious weeks immersed in the food, language, art, culture, sports, and nature of these two great European destinations. In Rome, tour ancient ruins in the midst of a fashion-forward, modern metropolis. In spunky Barcelona, dine on tapas, stroll down the tree-lined La Rambla, and zip to sunny beaches. You’ll love every second.


GPA Requirement
Application Deadlines
March 15
Avg Course Load
4 courses (12 US credits)
Language(s) of Instruction
English, Italian, Spanish

Key Program Highlights

  • Classes in the famous Trastevere district in Rome and the Eixample district in Barcelona
  • Optional excursions to places such as Capri, Venice, Naples, Tarragona, or Girona
  • Twelve credits in eight short weeks while seeing the best of Mediterranean Europe
  • Most classes taught in English, but options for classes in Italian and Spanish as well
  • Distinguished professors from all over the world
  • The chance to sample fresh, cold gelato and colorful tapas in the same summer!

Your Journey Begins Here

  • Connect with your Global Advisor to start planning. Apply by the application deadline.

  • Meet your Program Coordinator to finalize acceptance paperwork, housing, courses, flights, visas, payments, etc. Attend a pre-departure orientation.

  • Fly away. You'll be greeted at the airport, participate in a robust On-site Orientation and La Vida Local Curriculum with your Site Director.

Life in Rome and Barcelona

Welcome and Orientation

Upon arrival in Italy, you’ll take part in both the university (American University of Rome) and CISabroad orientation programs. You’ll learn the “do’s and don’ts” of life in Italy, local topics such as culture and language, as well as rules, regulations, guidelines, and expectations of the program in general. Oh, and we’ll gather the group for a welcome dinner to fill your bellies with delicious Italian cuisine that will likely lull you right to sleep after your travels. Once you’re onto Barcelona, we’ll provide a similar, comprehensive orientation, as well as a general lay of the land for your next month. We’ll also tour the city together so you can get oriented to your new and vibrant home.

Farewell and Re-entry Program

Adios! Arrivederci! After a unique, comparative program in two of the world’s top destinations and most alluring cities, there’s no denying it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to all the places and people you’ve come to know. You’ll enjoy one final meal together to reflect on all that you’ve seen and done, exchange contact details, and thank your lovely on-site staff.  Keep reflecting, keep in touch with those on your program, and let us know how we can provide you with outlets to keep re-living your formative experience abroad. Our preferred method: go again! (You’ll get a discount for doing so! Perhaps a full semester in either Rome or Barcelona next time!?) We’ll share tips about how to verbalize your experience in things like job interviews so you can capitalize on your profoundly transformative study abroad experience.

Housing Options


While you’re studying in Rome, you’ll live in beautiful student apartments. The apartments are located in traditional, well-established neighborhoods. This housing is ideal for students looking for a “full immersion” cultural experience.


  • Basic furnishings and supplies, including one single bed per student, bed linens and towels, closet/clothing storage space, typical basic Italian cookware and kitchenware, a table and chairs and furnished sitting area
  • Washing machine
  • Unlimited, no additional cost access to the internet
  • A landline phone, which provides unlimited calls to landlines within Italy

Apartments are located in areas of Rome convenient to the university campus: Monteverde, Giancolense, Trastevere and Colli Portuensi, which are all desirable residential neighborhoods.


While in Barcelona you’ll live in a shared apartment with up to six other students. The off-campus apartments are just a 25-minute commute to classes. The fully furnished apartments include a shared bedroom with one other student, shared living room, a well-equipped kitchen, and bathrooms.

sparkling fountain in rome

Local Life

  • Mediterranean: A Way of Life: More than just a pleasant body of water, the Mediterranean has a strong influence on climate, culture, food, and way of life. Connecting many distinct lands and peoples along its coast, the Mediterranean Sea has played a pivotal role in trade, transit, and cultural exchange for millennia.
  • Vibrant and Beautiful Barcelona: From the Gothic neighborhood and abstract architecture of Gaudi to Roman aqueducts and Medieval Jewish quarters, Barcelona is a dynamic city that requires your full attention to appreciate your ever-changing environments! Although its provincial pride is strong (as demonstrated by its attempts to separate from Spain), Barcelona retains a cosmopolitan and generally "European" quality, combining the best of Catalonia, the Mediterranean, Spain, and Europe.
  • When in Rome...: ...we'll help you do as the Romans do! Our staff will show you the most traditional neighborhoods and eateries to get you off the beaten track. You definitely don't want to miss the city's bountiful monuments, impressive architecture, and ancient ruins, so we'll take you there too!

More About Rome and Barcelona

Considered the "Eternal City," Rome blends an exceptionally rich history with a vibrant contemporary culture. Revered equally by history buffs, culture vultures, and foodies, Rome has something (or more accurately, tons!) for everybody. There's no shortage of art galleries, museums, ruins, and gastronomic exploits (e.g. gelato) to make the most of your time. And don't forget to make time for general idling, people-watching, and exploring Rome's diverse neighborhoods.

Barcelona also enjoys a bit of Roman heritage, most evident in its languages (both "Castilian" Spanish and Catalan) and architecture. A large and vibrant metropolis with a rich and alluring culture, Barcelona is anything but a sleepy seaside city. Tourists and locals alike adore the social and artistic buzz that permeates Barcelona - in its plentiful plazas, boardwalks, distinct neighborhoods, funky architecture, and pristine beaches. The second-largest city in Spain, Barcelona is unique in that it blends the bustling nature of a large city with an emphasis on the "life" side of "work-life" balance (the beaches probably don't hurt in that regard...)


GPA Requirement

If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement listed at the top of this page, do not despair! Get in touch to let us know your situation. In many cases, there are additional application materials that you can submit to make your case for acceptance.

How to Choose Your Courses

Now the fun part! You get to pick the courses you will take abroad. Review the course information on this page and once you’ve decided which courses you want to take. Fill out the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet in your online portal.

Course Approval

Make sure to talk with your home university about course approval and get additional classes approved before you go abroad. For example, if you are taking 4 classes abroad, we recommend getting 8 approved. This gives you some flexibility in setting up your class schedule. Think about courses required for your major, but also courses that fulfill your elective requirements.

Choose your courses, making sure to get them approved by your home university and then fill out the Course Selection Worksheet.

Course Information

Weeks 1-4 (Rome): 2 classes

Weeks 5-8 (Barcelona): 2 classes or 1 6-credit class

Total courses: 4 courses for 12 credits


Course offerings for Rome portion

You can take 2 courses and earn 6 credits while in Rome for the first portion of the Mediterranean Culture!

Below are sample syllabi. Please check back or contact us for updated syllabi. In the meantime, you may select from the courses listed below. Courses are subject to sufficient enrollment.

Course descriptions and catalog:

Option A: 1 Spanish-language course (3 credits), plus 1 elective in English (3 credits)

Option B: 2 Electives in English (3 credits each, 6 credits total)

Spanish courses:

Elementary Spanish A1
Please click here for syllabus

Intensive Elementary Spanish A1-A2
Please click here for syllabus

Upper Elementary Spanish A2
Please click here for syllabus

Intermediate Spanish B1
Please click here for syllabus

Intensive Intermediate Spanish B1-B2
Please click here for syllabus

Upper Intermediate Spanish B2
Please click here for syllabus

Advanced Spanish C1
Please click here for syllabus

Advanced Spanish C2
Please click here for syllabus


1. Great 20th Century Artists: Picasso, Dali, Miro

2. Contemporary Spanish Society: From Dictatorship to Democracy

3. Sports and Society in Spain and Catalonia

4. Cross-Cultural Psychology and Early Childhood Education

5. Management Across Borders

6. Entrepreneurship and the New Economy

7.  International Marketing

The University

Here's your chance to experience Rome on a genuine and profound level. Seated on the green, quiet Janiculum hill overlooking one of the oldest cities of civilization, the American University of Rome (AUR) offers students a unique and insightful educational opportunity. AUR is proud of its challenging and authentic curriculum, as well as its vibrant international community. You'll meet people from all over the globe. The student body includes Americans, local Italian students, and other international students from over 40 countries.

Simply visiting Rome as a tourist isn't enough to understand this complex city. As a student living at AUR, you'll gain deeper insight and appreciation into the life of Rome. Exciting student activities and AUR's expert staff will help you feel right at home. You'll have the experience of a lifetime!

Founded in 1969, the AUR is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an accrediting organization recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The university has been offering study abroad programs for over 40 years.

Accreditation(s): Regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an accrediting organization recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Student Feedback

Explore every opportunity presented to you. There are going to be so many new options whether it's meeting new friends, eating new foods, or getting involved in new experiences that are a once in a lifetime opportunity. Step out of your comfort zone and you will learn more about yourself and have the best time of your life while doing it.

Charlie Ciraolo - Rochester Institute of Technology

Program Support

Meet Our Staff

Before, during, and after your study abroad experience, you’ll be supported by the dedicated and passionate CISabroad staff. Our goal is quick responses to your questions before you depart, and even quicker once you’ve arrived on site.

Robust Advising Center

Our team of advisors will help you choose a program, connect with your home university regarding classes and financial aid and get you prepared to apply for your program.

Team of Dedicated Program Coordinators

Your Program Coordinator will assist you in finalizing housing, enrolling in courses, booking flights, obtaining visas, arranging payments, and provide pre-departure orientation.

Experienced On-site Staff

From greeting you at the airport to a robust On-site Orientation to La Vida Local Activities our on-site staff will be there to support you throughout your time on-site.

Ongoing Support

Our support doesn’t end when your program does. We have alumni programming, webinars, and resources to help you readjust when you’ve returned from your experience.

Your Support Staff

Program Fees & Dates

Advisor Tip: Please do not book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Summer 2018
    Application Deadline
    March 15
    May 28 (Estimated)
    July 27 (Estimated)
    $9,990 (Estimated)

CISabroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.

Program Inclusions

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Weekly visits to sites around Rome and Barcelona
  • All trip-related travel (excluding airfare from the U.S.)
  • CISabroad support services before, during and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Full-time tuition & fees
  • Housing (apartments)
  • Pre-departure and on-site orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • Medical & Accident Insurance
  • American University of Rome and Jacksonville University transcript
  • NYTimes Digital Subscription
  • La Vida Local cultural program