Rome - Language & Area Studies


Read more about this program on the institution's website

Program Description

Earn U.S. Credits Virtually This Summer

Get ahead! Earn extra credit through a globally recognized U.S. education program this summer on our Virtual World DiscoverIES program.

Just picture it: one day you're exploring business ethics with a professor in London and the next it's Japanese pop culture from Tokyo, studying alongside classmates from the U.S.’s highest-ranked colleges and universities. This is what it's like to take a course or two (of your choosing!) from IES Abroad’s most popular centers around the world this summer.

Learn more about how you can discover the world through IES Abroad.


Why Rome?

It is impossible to avoid the past in Rome. It eagerly waits for you around every corner, hoping to intrigue you with a worn-down step, surprise you with an unexpected fountain, or inspire you with soaring architecture. Come study the unmatched historical and artistic past of Rome while simultaneously learning about its modern role in international politics and business.

What You'll Study

With a range of courses in various disciplines, our Language & Area Studies Program gives you the opportunity to study the city of Rome through a variety of academic lenses—from Economics to Journalism. You enroll in four area studies courses, as well as an Italian language course. No matter your current level of Italian language proficiency, this program is for you.

You can also add international work experience to your résumé while earning credit by participating in an internship or service-learning/social action placement and accompanying the academic seminar.

Daily Life

Immerse yourself into Roman life by enrolling in courses at a local university or living with an Italian Student Companion (ISC)—a local university student who becomes your host and a resource to help you make the most of living and learning in Rome.

Rome will be your classroom. Can you imagine places like the Vatican, the Pantheon, the Forum, or the Colosseum being part of your education? Our courses are experiential in nature, and we organize more than 150 course-related trips each semester to historic, artistic, and cultural sites that take advantage of the city’s many opportunities.


Our mission is simple: to provide you with the best study abroad program possible—which includes the highest quality academic and cultural experiences. We offer unique courses that explore Early Childhood Education through an in-depth and hands-on approach. Our world-class professors and course options at prestigious local universities enhance your academic experience and provide you with new perspectives each day in class.

While in Rome, you take 15–19 credits per semester. Our goal is to make sure your academic needs are met. You can craft your own academic experience by selecting from the following course types:

  • Italian language courses (required, 4 or 8 credits) are offered at the IES Abroad Center.
  • Area studies courses* (required, 3 credits) are offered at the IES Abroad Center in English or Italian in a wide range of disciplines.
  • Service-learning/Social action placement and accompanying seminar (optional, 3 credits)
  • Internship or Archaeology Internship (optional, 3 credits)
  • Local university courses (optional, 3 credits) are offered in English or Italian. You take these classes alongside local students.

Most students take two to four IES Abroad area studies courses. Please note that some courses have prerequisites.

Advanced Italian Studies Program

If you have taken four or more semesters of Italian, this option provides a full immersion experience and develops full intercultural competence. If you elect to take part in the Advanced Italian Studies option, which includes an Italian Language Pledge, you customize your academic experience by selecting from the following program components:

  • IT401 Italian Language & Culture: Emerging Competent Abroad
  • Università degli Studi Roma Tre course(s) in the Humanities & Social Sciences
  • IES Abroad area studies courses taught in Italian
  • Internship or social action placement in Italian


This is a list of possible course offerings in Rome. The final course list for each term will depend on faculty availability, students interested in each course, and discipline diversity. After you are accepted, you will see a list of tentative course offerings for your term in your MyIESabroad account.

  • Light of the Dark Ages: Medieval Art and Architecture in Rome
  • Creative Genius: Art & Architecture in Baroque Rome
  • Repairing the Past: Conservation, Theory, and Practice
  • Forma Urbis: The Archaeology of Ancient Rome
  • Scripta Manent: Latin Epigraphy
  • The Splendor of Roman Art
  • Classical Mythology: Gods and Heroes of Greece and Rome
  • The Renaissance and Its Classical Heritage
  • The Last Days of Pompeii
  • Roman Architecture & Urban Design
  • Rome as a Living Museum
  • Social Issues in Southern Italy
  • Organized Crime in Italy: Mafias, Murders, and Business
  • Repairing the Past: Conservation, Theory, and Practice
  • Child Development: Italian Best Practices in Preschool Education
  • Inclusive Education. A Critical View on Integration Policies in the Italian Education System
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Building for eternity. Construction technologies in the ancient Roman world
  • Archaeological Excavation: Field Methods and Practice Internship & Seminar
  • Latin Language and Literature
  • Truth Telling: Ethical Journalism in the Age of Instant Media
  • Cultural Heritage: Business and Strategies
  • Italian Economy Within the European Union
  • Archaeological Excavation: Field Methods and Practice Internship & Seminar
  • Italian Language in Context: Novice Abroad
  • Italian Language in Context: Emerging Independent
  • Italian Language in Context: Emerging Independent Abroad I Intensive
  • Italian Language in Context: Independent Abroad
  • Italian Language in Context: Emerging Competent Abroad
  • Social Action Seminar
  • Rome as a Living Museum
  • Roman Architecture & Urban Design
  • Rome as a Living Museum

Partner Institution(s)

Most partner institution courses are worth 3 credits. Please note the program start and end dates may change if you are taking a university course.

Registration & Advising

Course offerings vary from semester to semester. Exact course availability is determined shortly before the start of each semester. For this reason, it will not be possible for you to officially register until your arrival in Rome; however, you will need to refer to current course offerings in order to pre-register as part of your application.

Università degli Studi Roma Tre

Founded in 1992 as Rome’s third university, Roma Tre has become the city’s second-largest, with over 35,000 students, and has gained a significant reputation in the Italian academic world thanks to its quality programs and international focus. Roma Tre offers advanced Italian-taught courses to students who are proficient in Italian. There is also the possibility of taking English-taught courses in the Political Science department.

Students may select Italian-taught courses in:

  • Humanities
  • Religious Studies
  • Social Sciences

Students may select English-taught courses in:

  • Political Science
  • Location & Commute Time

The campuses of Roma Tre are located throughout the city. The main campus is located in Piramide/Ostiense area in the southern part of the city. Directions to the locations of different faculties are located on Roma Tre's website. Rome is not a “university town” in the sense that student life is clustered around the universities; therefore, it takes about 45 minutes on the bus to travel from Roma Tre to the IES Abroad Rome Center.

Rome University of Fine Arts (RUFA)

RUFA is a private art academy north of Rome’s historic center near Piazza Verbano. IES Abroad students studying fine arts with at least one semester of the college-level Italian language can enroll in one course at RUFA. Students can choose from courses in:

  • Painting & Drawing
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Commute Time

The commute time from RUFA to the IES Abroad Rome Center is about 45 minutes to one hour by the bus. Rome is not a “university town” in the sense that student life is clustered around the universities. The public transportation system in Rome is called the ATAC (l'Agenzia per la Mobilità del Comune di Roma).

Accademia di Costume e Moda

The Accademia di Costume e Moda is one of the most famous Fashion Academies in Rome. It is located in the very heart of Rome, close to the IES Abroad Center. The academy was founded in Rome in 1964 with the sponsorship of the city of Rome. The Accademia di Costume e Moda is only offered during the Fall semester. The Accademia offers English-taught courses in:

  • Fashion communication
  • Fashion design
  • Fashion styling

Service Learning

Social Action/Service Learning

Participating in a social action/service-learning experience in Rome is an opportunity to give back to the community while gaining a much deeper understanding of the city’s culture and society. These cause-driven placements have you working alongside local people toward a common goal, in which you experience first-hand some of the social issues that affect Rome.

A social action/service learning experience consists of time spent with a local organization, accompanied by an academic, for-credit service learning seminar. Through the seminar, you have structured time for reflection and discussion, and even research, on the issues of your host community.

Possible placements may include organizations focused on:

  • Development & Microfinance
  • Education
  • Environment & Food Policy
  • Human Rights
  • Immigration
  • Public Health
  • Social Inclusion


Interning while you study in Rome gives you a rewarding job experience with a wealth of long-lasting career benefits. You will:

  • Gain a better understanding of the real-life, everyday culture of your host country
  • Add global work experience and skills to your resume or your application for graduate school
  • Improve your confidence

All of our internships are supervised and earn IES Abroad credit. You participate in a 3-credit seminar to complement the practical experience you gain during the internship. Our Rome Center offers two types of internships with a seminar designed to complement that type of internship. The two internship options are:

  • Traditional Internship
  • Archaeology Internship

Personalized Placements

Once you indicate your interest in an internship, we work with you to find the ideal internship, social action, or archaeology placement that fulfills your academic and career goals. We've placed students with a wide variety of organizations and businesses. If we don't currently work with a business or organization in your field of interest, we ill search for a placement that's right for you.

Placement Fields

  • Archaeology
  • Art & Art History
  • Business & Marketing
  • Communication
  • Education
  • Humanities
  • Human Rights
  • Immigration & Social Inclusion
  • International Relations
  • Journalism
  • Media
  • Not-for-Profits
  • Political Science
  • Public Policy & Health
  • Sociology & Urban Policies
  • Tourism

Archaeology Internships

If you’re interested in archaeology, you can participate in a seminar on the theory and practice of archaeological excavations. This option is designed to give an introduction to best field practices in stratigraphy, documentation, ancient building techniques and cataloging finds. Internship placements for this option include local excavations or museum work on archaeological materials.

Field Trips & Events

Even though your adventure starts in Rome, our field trips take you beyond the city to discover the cultures and traditions of your host country. Several two-day field trips are organized each semester. You may choose one field trip, which is subsidized by IES Abroad. You have the option of signing up for other field trips at your own cost if spots are available. Here are a few possible destinations:

Amalfi Coast

2 Days | Fall & Spring

Enjoy the stunning coast by boat. Explore the coastal towns of Amalfi and Ravello. Visit the amazing archaeological sites of Paestum and take the taste of the products of a local farm.


2 Days | Fall & Spring

Tour the countryside of one of Italy’s most unique regions, with its gorgeous landscapes and rich artistic legacy. You will also visit the sites of the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.

Course-Related Trips

IES Abroad Rome organizes more than 150 course-related trips each semester that complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to your knowledge of Italian culture and society. A few possible course-related trips include:

  • Etruscan Burial Grounds of Cerveteri & Tarquinia
  • Sperlonga - Remains and sculptures of the ancient villa of the emperor Tiberius
  • Monasteries of Subiaco
  • Tivoli - Villa of the emperor Hadrian and Villa and gardens of the Este family
  • Florence
  • Ostia Antica & Pompeii
  • Assisi
  • Roman aqueducts in the Italian countryside

Daily Life

Part of making you feel at home in Rome is doing our best to help you feel safe and cared for. Whether it’s the orientation program that prepares you for what’s ahead, your housing that is well-located and comfortable, or the field trips that take you to places off the beaten path—we’re all about our student services. This is just one of the things we’re known for.


The program begins with a one-week orientation that introduces you to our Rome staff, your fellow students, and the city of Rome. Topics such as academics, housing, transportation, and health and safety are covered during the week.

Additionally, CORE™, IES Abroad’s Comprehensive Orientation Experience, begins during orientation and continues throughout the semester with activities focusing on cultural adjustment, goal achievement, and preparing for the return home.


We want to make sure that your greatest challenge is deciding which landmarks to see first or discovering the best café—not finding a place to live where you feel comfortable. We do our best to locate housing that is reflective of how the local students are living. Our goal is that when you leave Rome, it will feel like home.

Italiano a Casa

If you are interested in improving your language proficiency, you may opt to sign an Italian-only language pledge with your roommates or homestay family.


Share apartments with other IES Abroad students and have the option of living with an Italian Student Companion (ISC), a local Italian student who provides opportunities to engage in cultural activities. Apartments are furnished, single-sex, and generally accommodate four to seven students, with two to three IES Abroad students sharing a bedroom. Internet access is available in every apartment. Meals are not included, but apartments offer equipped kitchens.


Located throughout the city, homestays generally house one to two students. You receive breakfast daily and have the option of sharing three evening meals each week with your host family.

Internet access is available.

Extracurricular Activities & Cultural Events

Redefine the way you live and learn in Rome through our cultural events, such as:

  • Participating in cooking classes and visits to the local farmer's markets
  • Taking part in the papal audience on Wednesdays
  • Attending outings to art exhibitions, concerts, and the opera
  • Enjoying Italian regional specialties at trattoria nights
  • Joining the IES Abroad-sponsored soccer team


Consider these prices as a starting point. We encourage you to contact your study abroad office to determine the actual cost to you when factoring in financial aid, scholarships, your home school policies, and other factors.

Spring 2020

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Spring 2020 $13,970 $3,690 $230 $17,890

Academic year

Term Tuition Housing Insurance Total
Academic year $24,500 $7,380 $455 $32,335

Our Center

Situated in the heart of Rome along the Tiber River across from the Castel Sant’ Angelo, the IES Abroad Rome Center is a newly renovated 1920s-era building within walking distance of the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and the Vatican.

Features include:

  • Multi-media academic facilities
  • Auditorium used for conferences and guest lectures
  • Rooftop terrace with city views
  • Internet and WiFi printer access
  • Reading room and study area
Last updated May 2020

About the School

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectation ... Read More

Everything we do is about the IES Abroad student. Our profoundly passionate team of study abroad professionals believes in creating once-in-a-lifetime educational adventures that transcend expectations. Our goal is to rock the world of some 6,000 study abroad students every year. Read less
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