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Mediterranean Politics, Food & Culture: Florence & Barcelona

Study Abroad Program Overview

UCEAP’s Mediterranean Politics, Food & Culture Program invites dynamic students to study in the three remarkable cities of Florence, Syracuse (Sicily), and Barcelona to gain a profound appreciation of the role played by food and nutrition in these societies. In this program you will discover the ways in which the gastronomies of the Mediterranean world have unified and divided its cultures over several centuries. The importance of migration, agriculture, urbanization, and sustainability are all examined by focusing on the nutritional, cultural and symbolic value of food.

Syracuse, as the third segment of this semester program, introduces an astonishing variety of civilizations that have left their culinary imprint on Sicily. Five weeks in Syracuse, five weeks in Barcelona, and five weeks in Florence (all of which include excursions into the surrounding areas) create an unforgettable experience for those students willing to work hard and keep up. The exhilarating colors and flavors more than make up for the homework as you explore central markets, unique expositions, agricultural production areas, and restaurants of all kinds throughout Sicily, Catalonia, and Tuscany. 

Students are organized into three groups: one group begins in Barcelona, travels to Florence, and finishes in Sicily; the other groups go to the same three locations in a different sequence. All courses are the same for all three groups and all students have a one-week break for rest or recreational travel between the second and third cities.  ​​​​​​​​​

Students attend classes with UC students only.

Language of Instruction


Language Study



Go to the Participants section to see current or past calendars.
Fall :  
late August to mid-December









​You will live in shared student apartments. Housing is prearranged by the ACCENT staff in each location, who strive to match your preferences with lodging situations. Click here for more information on housing.

Extracurricular Activities

​The schedule for this program will be packed with course-related visits to government and non-governmental organizations, schools, museums, agricultural sites, and media production centers. In Florence and the surrounding areas of Tuscany, farms engaged in the production of wine and olive oil are certain; and in Barcelona, sites to be visited should include the El Bulli Foundation and the Boqueria and Santa Caterina markets. From Syracuse, you will visit producers on the slopes of Mount Etna, citrus and olive producers throughout Sicily, markets with North African and Arab roots, and cheese-makers in Ragusa.

All students have a one-week break for rest and recreational travel between the second and third cities. You will have time after arrival to make plans with other students you meet. Booking travel arrangements within Europe is typically cheaper than booking it from the U.S. You will also be able to take advantage of any available student discounts.

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 Florence and Barcelona, and local ACCENT staff help you integrate into local life and provide assistance with housing, safety, local information, and other issues.
​See the UCEAP Program Guide for program-specific details about host institutions, program structure, and courses; academic culture and conduct; internships, research, & independent study; units, exams, and grades; orientation; housing; and information about the intensive language program (if applicable).

Course Opportunities

​The Mediterranean Politics, Food & Culture program takes a closer look at the social and political complexities of the region through the lens of food and nutrition. How can we think about the Mediterranean as a region of unified culture, and where does this notion come apart?
All courses are  taught in English at the upper-division level. Two umbrella courses taught across all locations weave together themes and perspectives of the three areas of focus: Florence, Syracuse, and Barcelona. Two additional courses, one in Florence and one in Barcelona, are shorter and focus on the individual city. Courses in all locations are complemented by visits to various organizations, neighborhoods, museums, agricultural sites, and media production centers.
All students take four courses on this program:
Required umbrella courses
Site-specific courses 
Use the following resources to learn about courses on UCEAP:


You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad. 23 quarter/15.3 semester UC units are required; four courses.

Internships, Research, and Independent Study

Internships for academic credit are not possible on this program.

UC Centers in Sicily, Florence, and Barcelona

This program is specially designed for UC students and taught by faculty from local universities at each location.  The UCEAP Study Center in Barcelona oversees the academic aspects of this program. ACCENT, the International Consortium for Academic Programs Abroad, arranges classroom space at each program location and coordinates all logistical services of the Mediterranean Politics, Food & Culture program.​

Participation in UCEAP is a great value! The cost of studying abroad on UCEAP programs is typically less than that of non-UC study abroad programs. The dollar figures listed in the chart below represent an estimate of: 1) the UCEAP fees for the current year, and 2) the additional amount needed to cover your living expenses in this location. Estimates for personal travel, entertainment and Non-Resident (out of state) Fees are not included.
Keep in mind that on UCEAP you take your financial aid with you. The amount of your financial aid package will take into account the total estimated costs of this experience. One advantage of selecting UCEAP for study abroad is that we facilitate the process by working with your UC Financial Aid Office (FAO), informing them of your UCEAP participation and providing them with your UCEAP budget. Just like your UC Campus billing office, we receive your financial aid and scholarships from your FAO, apply it to cover the UCEAP program fees, and disburse any remaining aid on a set schedule.

Estimated EAP Costs *

OptionWeeksUnits (Qtr)Units (Sem)UCEAP Fees 1Additional Costs 2
Fall (Sicily to Barcelona to Florence)152315.3$14,325$6,825
Fall (Barcelona to Florence to Sicily)152315.3$14,500$6,750
Fall (Florence to Sicily to Barcelona)152315.3$14,425$6,825
* 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.

These expenses are estimated. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. For a more detailed breakdown of payment information, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Estimates do not include Non Resident Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non Resident Fees on UCEAP.
Here’s what is included in the estimate:
  • Predeparture expenses (visa, etc.)
  • Round-trip transportation from California
  • UC fees
  • Tuition at partner institution
  • Accident and medical insurance
  • On-site orientation
  • Room and board
  • All program excursions and activities
  • Books and other incidental expenses
  • Automatic transfer of credits and grades to your UC transcript
While on UCEAP, you are covered by UC’s accident and medical insurance, including non-medical benefits, and 24/7 travel assistance anywhere in the world.​


UCEAP scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships overview page for general information and details regarding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.​


Class Level:

Junior, Senior

Language Prerequisites:



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: