Perugia, Florence, Italy

Program Description

Have you always wanted to visit Italy? You are not alone! Why is it that so many people throughout the world want to visit and live in this beautiful country? Maybe you need to go there to understand! Then, when you return, perhaps you can implement into your daily life ideas such as, daily siestas, healthy eating (which includes pasta and gelato), and the Italian way of living each day fully with passion and purpose.  
In this travel-study course in Italy, open to ALL majors, students study principles of cross-cultural psychology and examine comparisons between social institutions and behavior in America and in Italy. We will consider concepts such as: Why does a daily siesta make life less stressful? Is it better to live closer to your family? Should you live to work or work to live?  
The program begins with an 8-week block class during the Spring Semester designed to prepare students for the travel abroad class. While abroad, during the first two-weeks, students stay in Perugia, Italy, a beautiful university city in the picturesque Umbria region considered the "heart" of Italy. Our hotel is located in the historic cobblestone center where gelato shops, authentic pizzerias and shopping abound! Day trips are taken throughout the region to nearby cities such as Rome, Orvieto, and Assisi.  
You will visit cities known to Italians as the top producers of olive oil and ceramics. We will see the beautiful vineyard lined hillsides and picturesque Italian villages. Then, for our final 5 days we will move to the beautiful Tuscan city of Florence. Here we will view magnificent art (including the timeless statue of David) and experience phenomenal culture in the birthplace of the Renaissance! Day trips are taken to nearby cities like Siena, Cortona, and Pisa. This is a trip like no other that you will remember for a lifetime!

Location Description

Where will we go? Believe it or not, we will visit over a dozen cities. While in Italy we will visit cities such as: Perugia, Assisi, Torgiano (Capital of Olive Oil), Deruta (Capital of Ceramics), Gubbio, Lake Trasimeno (third largest lake in Italy), Cortona (location of "Under the Tuscan Sun"), Todi, Orvieto, Rome (we will see seven of the top ten sights), Siena, Pisa (yes, tower is still leaning), and Florence (birthplace of the Renaissance).

We stay in Perugia for 13 days and Florence for 5 days. Perugia is a historic, cobblestone collegiate town in central Italy and the capital of the Umbria region. Florence is the birthplace of the Renaissance and capital of the Tuscany region. You will not find another class or tour that will show you this much and allow you to experience Italy in this manner!


Bill Evans | evanswf@jmu.edu | Psychology


Students will stay in the historic cobblestone centers of both Perugia and Florence. Accommodations are provided at the Hotel Fortuna in Perugia (13 nights) and the Hotel Accademia in Florence (5 nights). Both hotels offer complimentary Wi-fi internet access. Hotels are centrally located and public transportation is easily accessible. 

ALL meals, ALL lodging, ALL admissions, and ALL in country transportation are included in the program fee. The hotels provide breakfast, and lunches are covered by a weekly meal stipend from the program fee. Evening meals are experienced together as a class and are part of the daily-required activities; these meals are also covered by the program fee.

Additional Items to Consider

This program is intended for ALL MAJORS. Honors college participants are also welcome.

A valid Passport is required.

A valid Passport is required. An active international cell phone plan with both data and text for the extent of the trip is required. Cell phone data as plans in Europe can be expensive – check with your cell phone provider about costs of international calling, data and text plans before traveling.

This program is intended for ALL MAJORS and all levels (Freshmen-Senior).  Honors college students are also welcome.

Contact program director prior to the application deadline with any additional questions: Dr. Bill Evans | evanswf@jmu.edu | Professor of Psychology | 1173 Miller Hall

COVID-19 Location Information:

Each country has different requirements upon entry with regard to COVID-19. Please check this website for the most up-to-date information on what is required for the country (or countries) that are part of this program. Please note that this changes often, so we encourage you to check back frequently.

Applicant Criteria

Applicants must have a GPA minimum of 2.0. During the Spring, students will take a 1-credit hour PSYC class (by override only). 

During the summer, students will take a 3-credit hour PSYC 200 or PSYC 400 (not both):

Prerequisites for PSYC 200: PSYC101 or PSYC 160
Prerequisites for PSYC 400: PSYC Major with at least one PSYC Natural Science & one PSYC Social Science area class

Rising juniors or seniors preferred, sophomores and freshmen will be considered.

Application Process

This list serves as an application preview. To apply, students will need to complete the following:

  • Study Abroad Online Application ($40 fee)
  • Short Essay 
  • Post application interview with Program Director (you will be contacted AFTER completed application is received)
  • Additional application completed during interview
  • Official transcript required for non-JMU students

Further details and instructions about these application requirements will be available upon log-in.

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


PSYC 200: Cross-Cultural Psychology in Italy (3 credits)

PSYC 400: Advanced Topics in Psychology: Cross-Cultural Psychology in Italy (3 credits)

PSYC 202: Directed Studies in Psychology: Cross-Cultural Psychology in Italy Prep Class (1 credit) *spring 2021

Courses listed here are to be used as a general guideline for program curriculum. *All courses are considered pending until approved by the Academic Department, Program, and/or College.


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