Study Abroad for Italian Majors

The French and Italian Studies Department strongly urges its students to complete some portion of their undergraduate study abroad through the University’s Education Abroad Program in Italy. You will enhance your knowledge of Italian culture and the Italian language by participating in EAP Italy. Living and studying in Italy and Europe will expand your horizons, improve your critical thinking, increase your independence and better prepare you for a career in an increasingly internationally competitive world.

Why study abroad?

Being an Italian major, you have already shown that you have international interests. Why not take that interest a step further and have a transformative and life-enriching experience? Go live in Italy, enroll at an Italian university and experience Italian language and culture firsthand. 

Improve your knowledge of the language you have already studied by using it for everyday life as well as in school. Learn how to better express your thoughts on complex topics and follow your interests in Italian. Participate more fully in national and international politics and events. Discover greater access to Italian films, music, and the visual and dramatic arts.

Italian majors and minors who study abroad find that a term, or better yet, a full year spent in Italy not only is critical for their language fluency, but that the experience of adapting to another academic and cultural world expands their self-understanding and gives them a keener sense of the political, cultural, and social differences in today’s world.

The intellectual and personal growth students experience during their time abroad will serve them well throughout their lives. Participating in EAP provides further advantages when it comes to the challenges of graduate school and the competitive job market.

When should I study abroad?

While it is possible for students to go abroad at almost any point in their academic careers, the particular year, semester, or quarter that you study abroad depends on what courses you plan to take. Students wanting to fulfill upper-division major requirements should, in most cases, go abroad in their junior or senior years. Students interested in language and culture programs, or in fulfilling major preparation and General Education requirements, can participate as early as their sophomore year. 

PLAN AHEAD! Applications are typically due six months to a year prior to the program’s start date and some programs have academic or language prerequisites that must be satisfied in advance. Please check the EAP website for application deadlines:

Where should I study abroad?

Go to Italy, of course! And go for as long as you can, yet still graduate on time. EAP offers a variety of year-long and short-term programs in multiple locations in Italy, including: 

  • University of Bologna – Study with Italians in Italian at Europe’s oldest university. Great internship opportunities. Our favorite EAP program! Go for the year!
  • Italian in Florence, UC Center, Florence (semester or quarter) – Beginning and intermediate Italian students improve their language skills inside and outside the classroom. Do a homestay!
Special Focus Programs:
  • Bocconi University, University of Commerce Luigi Bocconi, Milan - for students with strong backgrounds in economics, as well as mathematics
  • All Roads Lead to Rome, UC Center, Rome - Italian language study and courses taught in English. Small class sizes, local instructors, and site visits.
  • European Transformations, Rome & Madrid (semester or quarter) - Live and study in both Rome and Madrid. Courses taught in English; 10-week internship on the semester option.
  • Art, Food and Society, UC Center Rome (Semester or quarter) - UC courses in the social sciences and humanities taught in English. Small classes visit sites in Rome.

What classes should I take?

All EAP coursework is automatically The Italian Studies Program strongly encourages its students to go to Bologna and take all of your courses abroad in Italian. In addition to language classes, we recommend that students consider taking Italian literature courses. If you are an Italian major, you can use up to 20 upper-division units of appropriate coursework taken abroad towards your major. If you plan to minor in Italian, you can use a maximum of 8 upper-division units towards the minor. 
The undergraduate advisor will work individually with each student to ensure the most effective use of courses taken abroad for major requirements. Internships, independent study and field work completed abroad can be used for major requirements upon approval of the department and the college.
Keep in mind that all students in the College of Letters and Science must complete at least 20 units of upper-division major coursework (or 12 upper-division minor units) in residence at UCSB along with other residence requirements. Consult an advisor in the College of Letters & Science for more information.

All EAP coursework is automatically credited towards the unit requirement for your degree. Depending on your course selection, you may fulfill major or GE requirements as well. Plan ahead and consult with your advisors..

How do I get started?

Begin by identifying your goals for study abroad and then consult the EAP web pages ( to identify appropriate EAP programs. To find programs which offer particular disciplines or to search courses taken by EAP students over the last 5 years by subject, keyword and/or location, explore the resources found under Program and Course Search. Navigate to host universities’ web sites on the available links to learn more about the schools and their departments.

Stop by the EAP office at 2431 South Hall. Peer advisors who have recently returned from studying abroad as well as staff advisors are eager to answer your questions.

Go see your department Undergraduate Advisor and a College of Letters & Science advisor to discuss major, general education, residence and other requirements. 

Your Return to Campus 

If you go abroad in your junior year, you should strongly consider doing a senior honors thesis based on the coursework and intellectual interests you developed abroad. This provides an ideal way of integrating time abroad with the completion of the Italian major.

If you take courses abroad for which you wish to get credit towards your major or minor, you MUST keep your syllabi, course materials, essays and exams to support your petition for major credit after your return. You will automatically earn UC credit for all classes successfully completed on EAP, just not necessarily credit within the department.

French and Italian Department 
5206 Phelps Hall 
University of California, Santa Barbara 
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4140 
Phone: (805) 893-3111

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