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Art, Food and Society, UC Center Rome (Semester)

Study Abroad Program Overview

​Study abroad in the heart of Rome, where there is so much to see and do that every day is a new experience. The specially designed classes in history, communication, social psychology, anthropology, sociology and art are small and the faculty instructors are all long-term residents of Rome. With excursions a part of every course, the city is your classroom. Cultural activities and volunteer opportunities put you in direct contact with the local culture and society and allow you to practice the Italian you are learning in class.

To picture yourself in Rome, check out this video UCEAP Rome.

Students attend classes with UC students only.

Language of Instruction


Language Study



early January to late April 

None :  









You can choose to live in a residence with UC and other international students, a shared apartment with other UC students, or a homestay with an Italian family. All housing is within 30 to 45 minutes by public transportation to your classes in the heart of Rome. Housing is arranged by ACCENT, an international education organization partnered with UCEAP.

Extracurricular Activities

Cultural Engagement Series
A series of free and inexpensive activities is available to all students at the Rome Study Center, including a number of events that are planned along with students from La Sapienza University in Rome. Past students have found these events to be a highlight of their time abroad, both for the opportunity to practice Italian and also expand a local social network in Rome. In past programs, activities have included:
  • AS Roma soccer games at the Stadio Olimpico and Virtus Roma basketball games at the EUR Palasport
  • Contemporary Italian literature book club
  • Arte in Bottega: space to create art along with local artists that culminates in an exhibition
  • Cooking classes
  • Italian cuisine series: tiramisu tasting, Neapolitan pizza in the university neighborhood, and aperitivo
  • Lectures and debates with local politicians, internationally renowned bloggers, foodies, and Rome correspondent journalists
  • Cineforum: film screening and debate with local students
  • Italian-American Night: Bowling in Rome
  • Participation in the television audience of the Italian political talk show, Ballarò
The Rome Study Center has a variety of volunteer opportunities in all areas of interest. Past students have found their volunteer post to not only be a great resume-builder, but to provide a social and professional network for their semester in Rome and long after. Past opportunities have included: 
  • Refugee Center: English tutoring, administration of refugee sports leagues, as well as office support in marketing and social media
  • NGO for Hunger and Homelessness: Food distribution with local volunteers at weekly breakfasts in Trastevere and dinners near Piazza di Spagna
  • Community Organization for Young Girls: Tutor girls in English and computer skills at the children’s home where they live
  • Italian Elementary School: students work as conversation partners in a public elementary school
  • Jewish Cultural Center: students assist Italian children with their homework and work together with other staff members on sports and games activities
Gyms, swimming pools, and other sporting facilities are available throughout Rome for a small fee, including one gym that offers a discount on monthly membership fees for ACCENT students. The ACCENT staff organizes calcetto (5-on-5 soccer) tournaments with Italian university students, providing not only fun and exercise, but also the opportunity to meet Italian peers and join regular teams and leagues. Gyms offer dance classes and yoga, and there are tennis courts available throughout the city. 
Opportunities for paid work
Each semester students sign up for opportunities to babysit and tutor local youth. Rome is home to a number of international K-12 schools, serving a large group of employees in embassies to Italy, the Vatican City, and the city’s multiple UN and international agencies. Past UC students have babysat and tutored these English-speaking students in a variety of subjects, as well as provided tutoring to Italian children in English. Past students have particularly appreciated the extra pocket change. This opportunity is provided each semester, but placements are not guaranteed.​

On-site Support

UCEAP students are supported by UC’s network of UCEAP offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. UCEAP partners with ACCENT in Rome, and local ACCENT staff help you integrate into the culture of Italy and provide assistance with all aspects of living in Rome, such as housing, residence permits, local information, etc. A UC academic director supervises the academic program.​​

Course Opportunities

The Rome Spring semester Art, Food, and Society program offers courses in the humanities and social sciences that are specially designed to utilize the city of Rome to understand Italian history, culture, and society.  During the semester you will take an Italian language course and three core courses taught in English.

All the courses include site visits in Rome and beyond that bring each subject to life. Expert local professors teach in the city’s piazzas, churches, and museums, exploring many of Rome’s most interesting neighborhoods. Past classes have visited some of Rome’s most popular destinations including the Vatican Museum and the Borghese Gallery, not to mention private, behind-the-scenes tours of lesser-visited sites like the excavations under St. Peter’s Basilica and the tomb of St. Peter.

The following courses are required:
  • One lower-division Italian Language Course: 5 quarter/3.3 semester UC units
  • Two core courses taught in English: 5 quarter/3.3 semester UC units each. You will select from the following list. Exact offerings may vary depending on enrollment and instructor availability. Final course offerings are announced prior to the start of the program. 
    • ◦ Ancient Roman Civilization
      ◦ Renaissance Art History
      ◦ Sociology of Rome
      ◦ Italian Media: From Bread and Circuses to the Digital Age
      ◦ Social Psychology and Social Influence
      ◦ Territory, Food, and Anthropology
      ◦ Introduction to Photography (lower division)
      ◦ Women and Art
      ◦ Python I for non-computer science majors (lower division) *NEW course
  • One intensive core course taught in English during the last 5 weeks of the semester: 5 quarter/3.3 semester UC units. Exact offerings may vary depending on enrollment and instructor availability. Final course offerings are announced prior to the start of the program.
    • Sport and Society
    • Baroque Rome Art History
    • Christianity Through the Ages

 Use the following resources to learn about courses on UCEAP:

Language Tandems with Local University Students 
Throughout the semester in Rome, you have the opportunity to engage in language tandems with students from the University of Rome “La Sapienza,” with which the UC Rome Study Center has a long-standing relationship. Tandems provide an excellent opportunity for you to challenge your language skills and also to expand your local network in Rome. Each semester the Study Center hosts a group of interns from “La Sapienza” that lead a weekly series of optional conversation classes that count towards extra credit for the Italian classes. These students also lead a series of orientation activities, attend cultural events with UC students, and are generally an excellent source of information on university life in Rome.​​


​You will take a full-time course of study while abroad. 20 quarter/13.2 semester UC units are required; four courses.

Research and Independent Study

​Research and independent study are typically not available on this program.

UC Center Rome

The Rome Spring semester Art, Food, and Society program is specially designed for UC students and taught by faculty from local Roman universities. The Study Center in Rome is located in the historic heart of the city, amidst one of the most beautiful urban centers in the world. The program is administered jointly by UCEAP and ACCENT (International Consortium for Academic Programs Abroad). Staff at the Study Center advise on academic matters and provide information on cultural and social activities.

The Study Center is located near Piazza Navona and the Sacred Area of Largo di Argentina. Piazza Navona, famous for the architectural, fresco, and sculpture work is a vibrant piazza with street performs in the evenings and a Christmas market in the winter. The old cobblestone roads, winding vias, and never ending historic wonders make the Study Center’s location a unique space in which to study the art, food, and society of historic and contemporary Rome.
Optional Orientation Walking Tours
Each term students have the opportunity to partake in a series of free walking tours with program faculty. These tours are designed to expose students to the many opportunities that Rome offers for exploration and learning, both in and out of the classroom. Many of the city’s museums and churches are free. These walking tours are a great way to get to know the city during the first days in Rome, start to develop relationships with core course faculty, and begin to discover Rome’s hidden treasures with the true experts –faculty that have spent all or much of their lives living in and studying the city. Custom tours explore Renaissance Rome, Baroque Rome, or sites such as the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
Day Excursions
Optional day excursions are offered at the beginning of each program to expose students to the vast resources and beautiful sites concentrated within a short drive from Rome. Day excursions are chosen specifically to bring students to places where it is difficult to arrive with public transportation. These excursions are offered for a small fee, which includes transportation, a tour, and lunch. Past students have found them to be an inspiring starting point to a semester of travel around Italy. Past excursions have included:
  • Tasting of Frascati white and Cesanese red wines in a historic vineyard in the hill towns outside of Rome followed by a traditional multicourse lunch on Lake Albano.
  • Visit to the medieval towns of Subiaco and Fumone, including a historic sanctuary built into the mountains, a haunted castle, and a traditional medieval lunch in a local tavern.
  • A day in Umbria, the “Green Heart of Italy,” with a visit to Perugia and its sweeping views of the green countryside, a tour of the Perugina chocolate factory, and a traditional Umbrian lunch. 

Test Drive Your Future

Internships abroad are a great way to enhance your resume for today’s competitive job market. Stand out from your peers, gain hands-on experience, and develop your global professional network.


  • Public relations experience with Italian or American political parties
  • Social media experience with travel and tourism companies
  • Journalism experience with a Rome TV station
  • Design and architecture experience with local architecture firms
  • Writing articles and conducting marketing campaigns with a tourism magazine
  • Online journalism work with freelance journalists and bloggers
  • More Opportunities

Setting Up Your Internship

  • All internships are secured once you are on-site.
  • You will receive information during your first few days in Rome on how to select and apply for an internship. 

Additional Information

  • If you participate in an internship in Rome it will be in addition to your 4 required courses for the program. You cannot replace one of your core courses with an internship.
  • Credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis.

Student Experiences

“As a STEM major, it is hard to study abroad and make it fit with your four year plan. The internship gave me the chance to get real hands on experience in my field while studying in Rome. This internship gave me the experience I needed in order to land a laboratory assistant position in a lab back in California. The travel time to get to and from the hospital consisted of taking a bus to a train followed by a 20 minute walk to the research facility. During these times I really felt like a true Roman. Being able to experience the city of Rome this way, not as a tourist but more as a local, is something that I really cherish about my study abroad experience.”
Heather Tucker, UCSD, Internship at a medical genetics lab 
“The most valuable takeaway from my internship was that working in a foreign country is the best way to immerse yourself into the culture. It was during those two days a week when I could escape to another part of the city, mastering Rome’s metro alone and strolling through the windy streets of Monti on my way to the studio that I felt most like a local Roman. Though UC Rome was a wonderful establishment, my internship allowed me the full immersion I sought after. Additionally, by interning in the wine industry, I became an expert on one of Italy’s fundamental traditions. I was the resident wine expert out of all of my friends and I felt very confident in my expertise.”
MacKenzie Witmer, UCSD, Internship at a wine tasting studio

Estimated EAP Costs *

OptionWeeksUnits (Qtr)Units (Sem)UCEAP Fees 1Additional Costs 2
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.

1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.

2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.

All fees are subject to change without notice.


Class Level:

Sophomore, Junior, Senior

Language Prerequisites:

- The University-level language requirement is: minimum 0 quarters / 0 semesters and maximum 5 quarters / 3 semesters.


2.50 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.

All applicants must also have:

  • Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
  • Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
  • A willingness to abide by program regulations.
  • Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements and be in good academic and disciplinary standing.

Application Information and Deadlines

Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.

Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.

For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.

These are minimum requirements. Your Campus EAP Office determines selection and final admission.  

Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines: