Semester in Florence at ISI

Custom study abroad program for Quinnipiac University

On this semester study abroad program in Florence designed specifically for Quinnipiac University, you will be a local in one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Florence is an amazing location for cultural immersion, and its wealth of rich history and impressive art and architecture provide a perfect backdrop. The International Studies Institute (our academic base) focuses on creating an outstanding cultural environment where you’ll be able to nurture your talents while enjoying state of the art facilities and exceptional support and program activities.

What to Expect:

  • Language: Italian and English
  • Average Courseload: 4–5 classes (13–16 US credits)
  • GPA Requirement: 2.75


  • Courses in your major, plus exciting electives focused on Italy and Florence
  • Europe and the rest of Italy within short reach
  • Lectures brought to life through academic site visits
  • Beautiful, historic and renovated state-of-the-art campus and facilities
  • A lifetime of history, art, and architecture in the birthplace of the Rennaissance

Program Details

International Studies Institute (ISI) at Palazzo Rucellai

The International Studies Institute consists of two buildings, Palazzo Rucellai and Palazzo Bargagli, both situated in the heart of Florence. With magnificent monuments such as the Ponte Vecchio and the Basilica of Santa Croce just minutes from school, you’ll never have to complain about your walk to class. With the exception of your Italian-language course, all courses are taught in English and there is a wide variety to choose from.

ISI is located on the main floor of Palazzo Rucellai, a historic residential landmark designed in the mid-fifteenth century by Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti. Located in the city center on the Via della Vigna Nuova, Palazzo Rucellai is one of the oldest and most prestigious patrician residences in Florence. The Palazzo Rucellai has been home to the Rucellai family for more than 500 years, and they continue to occupy portions of the building to this day. The building has been refurbished as an educational center complete with computer labs, library, classrooms, student lounges, administrative offices, a large student service center, and wireless internet access throughout the facility. In addition to the vast array of materials found in the ISI library, students will also have access to several other libraries in the surrounding area, including the library of the British Institute.

The second facility, Palazzo Bargagli, was one of the patrician residences of fourteenth-century Florence. Originally in the hands of a famous Florentine banking family, the Bardi, then property of the Sienese Bargagli, it was completely refurbished and modernized in 2009. It is located on Lungarno delle Grazie, one block away from the National Library and near beautiful Piazza Santa Croce.

Semester dates start in late August and January — which nicely parallel the US academic calendar. You can select courses from the following subject areas: art, art history, political science, history, literature, Italian studies, international business, sustainable agriculture/food studies, and interdisciplinary studies in humanities, so you’ll certainly be able to find the courses you need. All non-Italian language courses are taught in English. Please note that all students studying in Florence for the semester must take at least one Italian language course.

New classes are being added all the time, so be sure to check back for updates! ISI courses are designed in a way that allows students to become immersed in the city and to explore the local resources available to them.

Course descriptions:

To explore courses offered at ISI, please choose your session at

Why Life in Florence

Florence (Firenze in Italian) is a culturally vibrant city located in the heart of Italy’s Tuscany region. Around every corner you’ll encounter jaw-dropping architecture, like the terra-cotta-domed Florence Cathedral. The mild weather makes it ideal for exploring the city on foot—we recommend getting lost so you can meander the streets and interact with the friendly locals.

Thanks to the city’s small size, you’ll feel like a local in no time. You can explore the historic city center and beyond in less than 30 minutes. Florence is also an art lover’s dream! Must dos: visit the Galleria dell’Accademia—home to Michelangelo’s David, the world-renowned Galleria degli Uffizi, and the iconic Duomo. Explore the lesser-known Boboli Gardens and Palazzo Pitti. Art is a great way to soak in the culture and history of this wonderful city. The views from the Ponte Vecchio and Piazzale Michelangelo will steal your heart, but the food, culture, and people will make you want to stay forever.

To explore outside the city, you can easily hop on a bus and head up to the hillside town of Fiesole. You’ll catch a full panoramic view of Florence and enjoy the peaceful Etruscan ruins. Sienna, San Gimignano, and other Tuscan villages are also a short bus ride away. If you have the travel bug, trains and nearby airports make it easy and affordable to travel to Milan, Venice, Rome, and beyond in Europe.

The best way to experience Florence is simply to wander through its wonders. This is how you’ll find the hidden gems not mentioned in any guidebook.

Live La Vida Local

  • Florentine Fridays

    On no-class Fridays, we meet for breakfast and explore Florence! Discover markets, museums, art galleries, churches, beautiful gardens, and many of the city’s hidden treasures!

  • Sports Events

    Florence is the home of the Fiorentina soccer club. Attend a game and cheer “Forza Viola!” from the stands with the locals.

  • Cooking Class

    Attend a cooking or pizza-making class and learn how to cook like a local! Fresh pasta is always on the menu, along with fresh, seasonal produce!

  • Opera

    Where better to enjoy a glittery evening performance of La Bohème or Madam Butterfly than in the birthplace of Italian opera? Join us for an evening at Florence’s stunning new opera house!

  • Theatre

    Florence is well-known for its many ornate theaters and theater productions. Spend an evening at Teatro Verdi, founded in 1854 at the site of an old prison and listen to a performance by the Orchestra della Toscana. Or attend a Medici Dynasty Show, set in a stunning Baroque church and learn about the cultural heritage left to the city of Florence by 300 years of Medici family rule.

What's Included


Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Full program coordination by CISabroad
  • Visa batch processing & permit to stay (for US citizens only-when available)
  • Books & lab fees (*excluding materials fee such as paint supplies, photography equipment, etc.)
  • Customized orientation program including host university orientation
  • CISabroad site director and university staff support
  • Medical & Accident Insurance
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Predeparture orientation
  • ISI Grade Report
  • Re-entry Program
  • Excursions: CISabroad sponsored Day Trip, and all ISI sponsored local excursions and activities
  • La Vida Local cultural program

Program Excursions

While participating on a CIS Abroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.


Discover quaint towns and villages set in the rolling hills of Chianti and learn about the olive and grape production that makes this region famous. Visit during the harvest season to see the changing colors of fall and sample products at small, family run wineries and oil producers.



Strategically located on the Serchio river, Lucca is a famous Tuscan town primarily known for the Renaissance walls that still encircle the historic city center. Strolling or biking along the tops of the wide, tree-lined ramparts remains a favorite pastime for tourists and locals alike. Lucca is also the birthplace of famous Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (La Bohème and Madama Butterfly) and Pope Lucius III.

Pieve di San Leolino

Pieve di San Leolino

Join in a day of silence, reflection, and spirituality at the parish church of San Leolino, near the Tuscan town of Panzano in Chianti. The original church dates back to 982, and the current structure was erected in the 12th century. You’ll spend the day journaling, reflecting, and working on small-group projects alongside the San Leolino community, away from modern conveniences like cell phones and wifi.

Site Director

Travel Tip:

Never forget to pack an open mind, a lot of patience, a couple of snacks from home to cure homesickness and last but not least…serenity. Once in town, LOOK UP when walking around. Take a different route to class everyday. Live, love and accept your destination!

Travel Tip:

Never forget to pack an open mind, a lot of patience, a couple of snacks from home to cure homesickness and last but not least…serenity. Once in town, LOOK UP when walking around. Take a different route to class everyday. Live, love and accept your destination!


Alessandro Bruno was born in Maryland, United States, and was raised in Rome, Italy. He has traveled extensively through Europe, Central America, North America, and China. He definitely considers himself a citizen of the world. During his travels, he acquired a passion for the environment and preservation, cultures, and languages. This passion led him to obtain a B.A. in Geography with a minor in Chinese Studies from Humboldt State University. In 2010, Alessandro spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Shanghai in China and has since become an even stronger proponent of study abroad programs, no matter where. Alessandro has also successfully completed the National Park Service Law Enforcement Training Program and a Wilderness First Responder course, and returned to Italy to join the CIS Abroad Site Director team in 2015. Aside from traveling, Alessandro’s other favorite activities are wake-boarding, kayaking, diving, eating sushi, learning new languages, cooking, and getting lost on purpose.

Your Support Staff

CIS Abroad Advising & Support
Travel Tip:

You’ll be supported every step of the way!

Global Advising

Our advising team will help match you with a program that fits your academic and personal needs. Once you have selected your program our advisor will help you complete your Online Application.

Program Enrollment

Once you’ve started your application and submitted the $90 deposit, you’ll be assigned a program enrollment coordinator who will guide you through the enrollment process to get you abroad!

Dates & Prices

ADVISOR TIP: Please WAIT to book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Application Deadline: Mar 15
  • Arrival: August 26
  • Departure: December 12
  • Application Deadline: Oct 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: January 8 (Estimated)
  • Departure: April 30 (Estimated)
Additional Information:

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

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