January Mediterranean History, Politics, & Culture: Italy & Spain

Explore the rich history (and welcoming climate) of Europe's best cities.

Let the historic treasure spaces of Italy and Spain be your classroom this January. Travel and learn on this three-week educational journey through some of the most beautiful sites in Barcelona, Rome, and Florence. Your professor will share unique perspectives of history as you travel through the spaces where famous events unfolded.

NOTE: This program is not available for January 2022. Looking for a multi-city program that dives into history and culture? Check out January in Barcelona, Seville, and Madrid.

What to Expect:

  • Language: English (possibility of Italian or Spanish)
  • Average Courseload: 1 course (3 U.S. credits)
  • GPA Requirement: 2.5


  • Visit world-famous sites, from the Colosseum and Imperial Forums to Naples and Pompeii
  • Packed with learning experiences beyond the classroom
  • Tight-knit travel group with fellow classmates and your professor
  • Locally-focused course topics taught in English
  • All trip-related travel included once you're in Europe!

Program Details

Barcelona School for International Studies: January Mediterranean Culture

This multi-country program explores Mediterranean culture through field-trips, excursions, and cultural activities in Rome and Florence, Italy and Barcelona, Spain.

In Italy, the program will use the culturally-rich cities of Florence and Rome as its classroom. You’ll enjoy city tours and excursions to sites of historical and cultural interest, learning from the program professor, local guides, and your own observations of Italy’s impressive art, architecture, history, culture, and food.

Once in Barcelona, you’ll enjoy studying at Barcelona School for International Studies (SIS), just a ten-minute walk from the heart of the vibrant, playful city of Barcelona. SIS shares its facility with a renowned language school, providing you with the opportunity to meet students from around the world. At SIS, you can immerse yourself in the local culture, make Spanish and international friends, and have easy access to all that Barcelona has to offer.

Accreditation(s): Barcelona School for International Studies is accredited by Jacksonville University.

Areas of study with fewer than 3 classes available

  • Art & Design
  • Humanities

Don't see your major listed here? There may still be courses available. Browse our programs by major.

Students receive three credits from our School of Record, Jacksonville University in Florida and earn credit depending on the track they choose.

Tracks available:

HIST 320 – History and Culture of the Great Cities of the Mediterranean: Rome, Florence, and Barcelona

International Studies
IS 325 – Politics and Society in the Mediterranean: Rome, Florence, and Barcelona

Why Life in Rome, Florence, 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.

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. 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.

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…).

Live La Vida Local

  • 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.

  • Rich Cultural Heritage of Italy

    Reaching all the way back to the Roman Empire, Italy's historical significance is apparent in the form of its countless monuments and ancient architecture. However rich its legacy, Italians are as proud as ever to be part of a nation that enjoys such a rich culture that largely resists tendencies to "modernize" and commercialize. Explore traditional neighborhoods where social networks pulse in the streets, not online, and the streets are too narrow for "big box" stores to attempt to displace mom-and-pop shops.

  • 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.

Housing for your program


Students will stay in hotels in shared rooms in Rome and Florence and either in apartments or hotels in Barcelona. Breakfast will be provided daily for the duration of the program.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • Double Room
  • MealsBreakfast
  • Triple Room

What's Included


Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Cities include: Rome, Florence, and Barcelona
  • All trip-related travel within Europe, excludes airfare to and from the U.S.
  • CIS Abroad 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
  • Jacksonville University transcript
  • La Vida Local cultural program

Welcome & Orientation

Upon arrival, you’ll take part in both the university and CIS Abroad orientation program. You’ll learn the “do’s and don’ts” of living in Barcelona and Sorrento. Upon arrival in Barcelona, you’ll take part in the CIS Abroad Logistical, Cultural and Academic Orientation with other students and interns on the program. The onsite staff will introduce you to this dynamic and cosmopolitan city that you will call home, giving you tips on to how to be safe and healthy as well as how to make the most of your time in vibrant Barcelona. Oh, and there’ll be a welcome meal, something traditional and yummy, as you celebrate this new adventure with your group!

Farewell & Re-Entry Program

At the end of the program we will all get together for one last epic meal and talk about your adventures and experiences. Our staff will also share some precious tips on going back home feeling like a champ! Your study abroad experience is something to be cherished and shared with your family and friends back home.

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.
Colosseum and Imperial Forums

Colosseum and Imperial Forums

Wander about one of the world’s most infamous architectural sites, the Colosseum. No visit to Rome is complete without touring the Flavian Amphitheatre where gladiators and animals fought as entertainment for ancient, imperial Rome. The nearby Imperial Forums will impress you with their monumental remains.



A beautiful hilltop town overlooking the Arno Valley, Fiesole will be a magnificent getaway. Imagine the splendor of the renaissance town and the Florence Duomo as you take in the panoramic views. Walk around town and sample food from a wide selection of cafes and restaurants, hike around ruins, and the Fiesole monastery.



Incredible rock formations and a once-in-a-lifetime gastronomic experience await you at the end of your hike up to Montserrat. Take a day trip just 25 miles outside Barcelona to the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range. You’ll hike up the mountain to the monastery and discover not only a beautiful view of the region, but exciting local tastes and tapas.

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!

Layla Dworkin
Travel Tip:

Travelling isn’t just about seeing new places and photographing their monuments, museums, food and landscapes. Travelling isn’t about knowing new cultures and people to label and judge them. Travelling is about allowing ourselves to experience with all our senses and open our mind, letting what we see sink in so that we can reflect on it and learn in a much more conscious way. That way, we can travel on a whole other level.

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: Oct 15 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: January 2 (Estimated)
  • Departure: January 19 (Estimated)
  • Price: $5,690 (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.