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  • Locations: Florence, Italy
  • Program Terms: Spring Semester
  • Budget Sheets: Spring Semester
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.5 Language of Instruction: English, Italian
Housing: Flat/Apartment, Homestay Number of Credits Offered: 15
Type of Program: Faculty-led Language Courses Offered: Italian
Area of Study: Art and Visual Technology, Psychology, Art History, Sociology, Honors, Criminology, Law and Society, Economics, English, Anthropology, Foreign Languages, Global Affairs, History, Integrative Studies, Italian Studies Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office
Fulfills Mason Core Requirement: Yes Open to non-Mason Students: Yes
Program Description:

Florence Semester Experience

Italy, Spring 2019

Florence skyline
The Florence Semester Experience is offered each spring semester as an introduction to Italian art, culture, history and language. It was during the Middle Ages and Renaissance Era that Florence became the cultural hub of Europe, where artists like Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo, architects like Brunelleschi, and writers like Dante flourished. The evidence of their achievements is still present throughout Florence in palaces, squares, churches, monuments, and museums. These days, Florence is an active commercial center for business, banking, fashion, and the production of leather goods. The innumerable artistic treasures and natural beauty of the Tuscan countryside attracts students from all over the world who come to Florence as their place for an unforgettable study abroad experience. This unique city will be yours to absorb, explore, taste, marvel, and enjoy for an entire semester!  

The 2019 Semester program will be led by Dr. Mark Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs will be teaching a Sociology course entitled The Local Urban Culture of Renaissance Florence and How it Transformed our World.

Program Highlights

  • Earn 15 credits in this spring semester program, led by a Mason faculty member
  • Italian language courses at Centro Fiorenza, a language institute housed in 17th century palace overlooking the Arno River in the center of historic Florence
  • Multidisciplinary courses taught in English at the CAPA Florence Center, located in Palazzo Galli-Tassi, a 15th century palace in the Santa Croce neighborhood
  • Choose between living with an Italian family or a furnished apartment with other students


This program is open to all undergraduate students with a minimum GPA of 2.5, who have completed at least 45 credits at the time of departure. This program is open to non-Mason students.

Students with less than 45 credits can be considered for acceptance to this program, but may be subject to additional requirements such as a mid-term progress report, a writing sample (from a college course), and/or an in-person interview. First year students will also be placed with a host family (please note the difference in cost for this option below).


Students will enroll in 15 credits. All students will take an Italian language course and the Academic Director's course. Additional courses will be chosen from the offerings at the CAPA Florence Center.
Academic Director Course - Choose 1:
  • Sociology - SOCI (3 credits)
  • Integrative Studies - INTS (3 credits)
Italian Language Courses - Choose 1:
  • ITAL 101: Elementary Italian I (3 credits)
  • ITAL 110: Elementary Italian I (6 credits)
  • ITAL 201: Intermediate Italian I (3 credits)
  • ITAL 202: Intermediate Italian II (3 credits)
  • ITAL 331: Advanced Italian: Language and Culture (3 credits)
Note: Students who have not previously taken any Italian courses may choose to take a 3- or 6- credit beginning Italian course. Any student who wishes to continue to study Italian upon return to George Mason should take the 6-credit ITAL 110 option in order to meet the prerequisites for ITAL 201.

CAPA Course Offerings - Choose 2 or 3:
  • Most students will take 3 CAPA courses (9 credits). Only students who select the 6-credit ITAL 110 course will take 2 CAPA courses (6 credits).
  • The CAPA Course Chart lists all available courses and their equivalent Mason courses.
  • Course descriptions and syllabi can be found on the CAPA website (scroll down to "courses"). Please note that not all courses are available to Mason students. Only courses listed on the course chart above have been approved.
  • In case of scheduling conflicts, students must also select two back-up course options.

Additional course information:
Students will make their course selection during the application process. You will also be asked to pick at least 2 back-up course options from the CAPA offerings. Please meet with your academic advisor prior to making these selections.
*Subject to change. Course offerings will be finalized by the application deadline.

Program Dates*

January 5, 2019 - April 27, 2019


Important Dates*

October 7 Application and $200 Deposit Deadline
October 21 First payment of $2500 due (or Intent to Use Financial Aid form)
November 11 Final balance due (or Confirmation of Financial Aid form)
December 8 Mandatory predeparture orientation
January 5 Arrival in Florence
Late-February Spring Break week
April 27 Program ends

* Dates and itinerary subject to change. The Global Education Office reserves the right to make changes to a program in light of currency fluctuations, changing security and safety conditions, and/or any other unforeseen circumstances.

Program Cost

Spring 2018: $11,250

Spring 2019: coming soon!

Included: Tuition for 15 credits, shared room in a furnished student apartment (see additional housing options below), guided tours and field excursions provided by CAPA, welcome and farewell dinners, international emergency medical insurance.

Not included: Airfare*, passport and visa fees, meals (unless living with host family), personal spending, required textbooks and/or course materials. *Note: Participants must arrange their own airfare once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.

Housing Options

The program fee listed above includes a shared room in a furnished student apartment. Apartments are self-catered, meaning that no meals are provided, but students will have access to kitchen facilities for preparing their own meals. Homestay options include breakfast and dinner during the week, and breakfasts only on weekends and during spring break.

Other housing options may be available at an additional cost:
  • Single room in a shared apartment is an additional $990 (Total $12,240)
  • Shared room in an Italian home is an additional $1,650 (Total $12,900)
    • Only available if two students on the program request to be roommates
  • Single room in an Italian home is an additional $2,550 (Total $13,800)

Program Payments

Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.

Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $2500 must be received by October 21, 2018 in order to confirm your enrollment in the program. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due by November 11, 2018. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $2700 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or their VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."

Refund and Cancellation Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Refund and Cancellation Policy.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:



GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students on this program are welcome to apply:


Applications Open:

August 2018

Application Deadline:

Sunday, October 7, 2018


Application Requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.

Statement of Purpose: 1-2 pages explaining your interest and goals for this program.

Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.

Additional Requirements for Non-Mason Applicants:

Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.

Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.

* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Academic Director

Name Dr. Mark Jacobs
Phone 703-993-1441

Global Education Office
Program Administrator

  Rachel Spence headshot
Name Rachel Spence
Phone 703-993-6808
  Make an appointment

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.