IFSA Study in Rome
OUR MOST AFFORDABLE ROME OPTION INCLUDES ACCESSIBLE GPA REQUIREMENTS
If you’re ready to start exploring, this is the program for you! While making Rome your home, you’ll feel empowered to take a seat at the table and find your voice among other influencers. Courses and internships are designed to prepare you for your future role in local and global networks.
Ideal for students majoring in business, communications, political science, social sciences, sustainability studies, and more, this program was formerly called Influence in Society and Business.
Eager to learn with other local and international students? Check out IFSA Study in Rome Plus, which adds the option to enroll in one elective class at Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali (Luiss University).
IFSA’s Study in Rome program provides a compelling curriculum in English focused on business and the social sciences. Crafted for U.S. degree requirements and contemporary hot topics, IFSA classes explore relevant topics in the Roman, Italian, and European contexts by incorporating a variety of case studies and field visits. Take four to five elective classes for 12-15 credits. Classes are open to all students without prerequisites.
Not all classes may be offered in a given semester. Click on each link below for a detailed class syllabus.
Beginning Italian 1
Italian language study at beginning through advanced levels is available upon request and based on previous language experience. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
This class offers a unique opportunity for students to delve deeply into host context research projects. Students will be guided through projects that are both feasible in the study abroad context and relevant to their broader intellectual interests. The class is structured through regular individual meetings with a faculty mentor to discuss the formation and execution of a research plan and, depending on the specific project, the possibility to conduct field- or internet-based research. At the end of the semester, students present a formal research paper. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
If you’ve never studied Italian before, take class in contemporary Italian language and culture taught intensively during the first weeks of the program. By introducing key words and phrases in the classroom—and venturing out into the city to practice them—this class also provides insights into local customs and daily life. Right from the start, you’ll gain essential skills to communicate effectively and navigate in a new culture. (1 U.S. semester credit hour)
This course invites students to examine a number of ethical issues revolving around economic order and business by understanding the context in which business agents operate. From empirical and normative perspectives, students engage with theory from moral philosophy, organizational behavior, economics and management, with cases that illustrate the ethical issues in the business environment. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Forced Migration, Refugees, and Change
More than 60 million people are displaced by war, violence, and environmental destruction today. Using ethnographic approaches, students investigate sociological and political forces behind the current increase of refugees impacting Europe, considering what has been accomplished and what can be done in the future through governments, NGOs, citizens, and researchers to address challenges with forced migration. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Intercultural Communication for the Global Workplace
Designed to improve students’ abilities to communicate effectively with people from diverse cultural backgrounds, this course utilizes intercultural theory, verbal and non-verbal communication, personal beliefs and values, and strategies for building cultural intelligence and adaptability. Examination of Italian work environments, professional practices, and business etiquette underpin the course. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
International Internship Seminar
Students are placed in individual internships but collectively take part in the seminar to prepare for the experience, understand expectations, set personal objectives, identify, and strengthen specific skills, critically reflect on their progress, share experiences, and learn from each other throughout their term. Students develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their professional areas, and Italian work culture. In this seminar, which is focused on application of theory to practice, students gain real world work experience while developing intercultural agility — skills and experiences that are critically important to personal, academic and professional success. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
International Political Economy
This course explores theoretical issues and illustrative case studies related to international political economy. Students examine ways domestic and international politics affect relations between states by examining the role of government in the production, distribution, and consumption of resources. Students also learn to apply core concepts and theories in international political economy to case materials. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Italian Art, Power, and Influence
Art and culture reflect the society they stem from, and at the same time they can be vehicle for political messages and even play a role in international relations. This course will explore how the “soft power” of art — including literature, cinema, architecture, and visual arts in general — can be leveraged by individuals, groups, or governments as they promote their ideas and values for political gain and influence. Students visit famous monuments, museums, and architectural sites that showcase more than 2,000 years of Italian history through its great artists and leaders. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Politics of Food and Water
Global population growth is dramatically increasing our demands for food and water, contributing to a degradation of natural resources, reduction of biodiversity, and climate change. Students will explore environmental challenges in light of political strategies that promote sustainable food production and water management. This course will feature multiple case studies on Rome, where unique water management strategies — beginning with ancient aqueducts — have traditionally shaped the identity of the city till the present day. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Principles of Negotiation
This course will focus on techniques relevant to a wide range of negotiation contexts: from commerce to political debate, from public relations to social and public campaigns. Through lectures and practical simulations, students will compare theories of negotiation grounded in research from the fields of linguistics, psychology, and rhetoric. They will learn to apply a range of written and oral persuasive skills and devices effectively, and to manage a successful negotiation process in a multicultural environment. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Service Operations Management
This course explores principals of service operations management in the hospitality and tourism industries. Students develop an understanding of service excellence, facility designs and layouts, planning and analyzing service delivery systems, defining and measuring service quality, and service recovery. Additionally, students gain perspectives for managing demand and supply and making continual improvements a competitive strategy. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Sociology of Consumerism
We commonly hear that modern societies place disproportionate significance on money and material possessions – that we live in a consumer society. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this course examines the ubiquitous presence of consumerism influences on individual behaviors, social welfare, culture, environmental quality, economic performance, and public policy. Students learn to critically engage with consumer culture within the Italian context. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Statistics for Social Sciences
This course demonstrates the value of being critical of the conclusions one hears reported, with a primary focus on techniques of measuring and counting for the purposes of analyzing data. Students apply statistical methods to answer questions social scientists ask about the world, and learn to use computerized tools of analysis such as SAS, SPSS and Excel descriptive statistics features. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Strategic Communication in Business
This course challenges students to explore leadership styles by leveraging strengths to communicate clearly in a variety of settings and to a range of audiences. Students practice effective written and oral internal communication strategies proven to improve moral, inspire innovation, and increase productivity. Similarly, students study strategic communications theories to produce integrated external communications across platforms. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
In the past few decades, the global tourism industry has been increasingly criticized for its disruptive impact on local communities and the environment, while a growing trend of sustainable tourism has begun promoting more responsible, eco-friendly approaches that can help preserve nature, customs, and lifestyles. This course introduces skills and techniques that can be leveraged to expand sustainable tourism, by understanding market needs and designing innovative communication that seeks to make tourist destinations better places to live in, and to visit. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Urban Event and Project Management
This course explores in-depth planning and project management processes as part of event planning in urban settings. Students develop an understanding of methodologies, best practices, and applications of project management in the field of hospitality and the production of special events. Core PMBOK and EMBOK standards are also analyzed and applied directly to the practice of event management. (3 U.S. semester credit hours)
Engage in individualized field research with faculty experts on a contemporary issue of interest. Regular meetings with faculty will assist in the formation and execution of research plans, and they will guide you on how to thoughtfully and critically integrate academic research with experiential learning. You will sharpen your written and oral communication skills through the development of articulate and comprehensive research that is respectful to the sensitivities of the local culture.
If you chose to research live human subjects, live animals or another topic that is deemed by IFSA to be required to be reviewed by the Institutional Research Board (IRB) at your home institution, then you will have to file your project with your home institution’s IRB board and submit your result to IFSA. Your IFSA Enrollment Counselor will review your application materials to help determine if you must file with IRB.
For more detailed information and examples of previous student placements, contact your IFSA Enrollment Counselor.
IFSA internships include real-world work experience, along with developing intercultural skills and experiences that are key to personal, academic, and professional success. Expect to devote a total of 120 hours working with your host organization, with supervision from your seminar instructor, coordinated by on-site IFSA team members. In addition, interns complete the International Internship Seminar for 3 U.S. semester credit hours. Internships are not remunerated.
Students have interned at galleries and museums, business incubators, development agencies, religiously affiliated non-profits, and human rights advocacy groups in Rome.
Your goals are carefully considered, tailoring the placement process to ensure the best possible fit. Keep in mind that final placements depend on your skills, prior experience, and availability. Although every effort is made to match your placement with your preferred field or area of business, it can’t be guaranteed. Most internships are conducted in English. If you have had at least four semesters of Italian language instruction, you can ask your IFSA Enrollment Counselor about opportunities to conduct your placement in Italian.
Application. After you submit your application, resume, and IFSA Internship Intent Form, an IFSA Enrollment Counselor and an on-site IFSA Team member will work with you to identify your professional strengths, review your goals, and refine your internship interests to establish a match. From there, you’ll have an interview with your potential internship host. You will be provided with tips and resources to prepare for your interview.
Sample Placements. The following are examples of internships IFSA students have recently completed. Placement options vary from term to term.
Organization: This historic Italian association focuses on the protection of the environment and landscape. The local chapter, based in the Garbatella neighborhood, organizes initiatives to raise awareness on environmental issues and urban sustainability, including exhibits, “Clean the world days,” and park maintenance.
Subject Areas: Environmental Science/Studies, Film Production, Marketing
Potential Projects: You would help create and edit short videos and other materials about the association’s activities, with a special focus on urban gardens and beekeeping.
Organization: This Rome-based, independent, English-language, online magazine covers everything Italy-related, offering news and opinion about politics, economy, culture, and sports.
Subject Areas: Communications, Journalism, Marketing
Potential Projects: You will help with content creation for the magazine and promotion.
Organization: This English-language event and lifestyle magazine is targeted to tourists and expats visiting or living in Rome. It includes a daily listing of the latest and most diverse cultural and lifestyle events in and around Rome.
Subject Areas: Communications, Journalism, Marketing
Potential Projects: You will help with content creation for the magazine and promotion. You can also be involved in the creation of a new Florence branch of the magazine.
Organization: This is an historic Rome-based association, one of the first in Italy, that offers support to the LGBTQ+ community and organizes cultural events and initiatives, including the big annual Pride event.
Subject Areas: Communications, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Politics
Potential Projects: You will help with the organization of cultural events and contribute to the social media presence of the association.
Organization: This is a small private museum in the very heart of the historic center, focused on interactive reproductions of inventions and machines designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
Subject Areas: Communications, Museum Studies, Art History, Marketing
Potential Projects: Interns will help with front desk operations, English-led tours, as well as with promotional initiatives and social media campaigns.
- You must be at least 18 years of age. Students under 18 may be accepted on a case-by-case basis.
- You must be currently attending or recently graduated from a U.S. or Canadian community college, technical college, two-year college, four-year college, or four-year university.
- You must have completed at least one (1) full-time semester of study at your home institution before the beginning of the term.
Upon completion of your program, IFSA will send an official Butler University transcript to your home university with your coursework converted to the U.S. semester credit hour system. You will also have access to an unofficial transcript in your IFSA Student Portal. The transcript reflects classes taken, credits attempted, and grades earned during your term abroad. This service is included in your study abroad program at no additional cost. See our Transcripts page for more information.
Activities and excursions are designed to pull you into the communities you visit and encourage cultural connections of every kind. There’s no extra fee to participate in these optional outings—everything is included in your program fee.
Below are examples from previous terms; outings may be different for your program. We’ll make every effort to run them all, but sometimes things we can’t control, such as local regulations and health protocols, get in the way. As result, we cannot guarantee activities and excursions.
- Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatino Hill Tour: During orientation, seize this chance to get to know Rome by exploring some of the most iconic monuments in world history and the heart of the city.
- Sustainability Day with Legambiente: Raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment by volunteering with this historic Italian association at a community garden in the Garbatella neighborhood.
- Take a Seat at the Table Lecture Series: Learn about topical issues like EU immigration and Italian cultural diplomacy from local experts, then head to a nearby bistro for an aperitivo and more conversation.
- Cultural Exchange Aperitivo: Whether you’re perfecting your Italian language skills or just starting out, join local Italian university students at a local coffee bar to practice, compare cultural notes, and forge new friendships.
- Bay of Naples Trip: Your two-day excursion begins in Pompeii, where you’ll explore the archaeological remains, buried in the ash of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Next, wander the narrow alleys of Sorrento and discover the legendary beauty of the island of Capri. Finally, get to know historic Naples, a seaside city brimming with architectural treasures—and famous for introducing the world to pizza.
- Castelli Romani Day Trip: Get a change of scenery as you explore this hilly area, known for its papal palace-turned-museum, lush nature preserves, scenic lakes, and masterful production of wine and olive oil.
Housing and Meals
HousingApartment/Flat, Single Room Option
Rome students typically live in fully-furnished apartments shared by four to six students in Rome’s historic center, Prati, or Trastevere neighborhoods. Apartments vary but are generally in updated historic buildings in neighborhoods with plenty of local charm, an easy 30- to 45-minute commute from the IFSA Program Center, either on foot or using public transit.
Your apartment mates could include other study abroad students, as well as students from Italy or other countries, and could be mixed gender. Most apartments have two or more bathrooms. Bedrooms are typically shared by two IFSA, same gender students. In a few cases, depending on the specific apartment layout, triple, or single rooms are possible. In some cases, there’s an option to request a single, private room by paying an a supplemental fee. Students are responsible for meals.
Take a look at Via Cola di Rienzo 285 to see what your Rome home might be like:
- Location: The Prati district, close to Rome’s historic city center.
- Commute: A six-minute walk to the IFSA Program Center.
- Living space: Apartments for four to six students in older, historic buildings. Students share bedrooms with two, same gender students per room. Bedrooms include single beds and storage. All residents share the living space, kitchen, eating area, and bathroom(s). Sometimes two students share one desk. Complete bedding and towels provided. Kitchens are equipped with oven, refrigerator, and basic dishes and kitchenware.
- Meals: No meal plan. Students prepare or purchase meals, and often tell us cooking together is a fun, social part of the day. Plus, we’ll share pro grocery shopping tips when you arrive.
- Other details: Wi-Fi included. Laundry washing machine and drying rack. Vacuum cleaner. Iron and ironing board. Fans. Air conditioning is common but not guaranteed. Weekly cleaning service of shared spaces is often included.
- Nearby: Cafes, markets, shopping, public transportation. Vatican City. Castel Sant’Angelo. Tiber River. Piazza del Popolo. Villa Borghese. Spanish Steps. Piazza Navona and the Fountain of the Four Rivers.