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Aerial view of Galata Tower, Suleymaniye Mosque, and Marmara Sea on a sunny day in Istanbul, Turkey.

Program at a Glance

Multiple Institutions

Country or area Italy, Turkey
City Florence, Istanbul, Syracuse
Class Level So, Jr, Sr
Experience Type Multi-site, Themed, UC Curriculum
Minimum GPA 2.5
Term Fall Semester
Taught In English
Language Prereq no
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About The Program

Trace the history, culture, and politics of the Mediterranean through the lens of food. In this multi-city experience, explore three distinctive cities in Italy and Turkey: Florence, Syracuse, and Istanbul. Courses weave together the themes and perspectives of each place with tight-knit student groups traveling together. Study topics like migration and urbanization, global trade relations, cultural encounters that impact local identity, and the quest for sustainability. Guest lectures, walking tours, and group discussions fill out the program. Go on guided visits to sites related to the course, like wineries, museums, markets, and olive mills. In your free time, delve into Florentine culture at Michelangelo's statue of David or the Uffizi Gallery. In Syracuse, Sicily, explore the Temple of Apollo or the catacombs under the city. In Istanbul, cover your head and remove your shoes to explore the minarets, columns, and intricate calligraphy of the iconic Hagia Sophia before wandering through the Grand Bazaar.

Where you'll study

In Florence, you’ll use the UC Center for classroom space and other program activities. However, you’ll be in classes at local higher education institutions in the other two city locations. In Syracuse, you’ll be in classes with other US students at the Syracuse Academy. In Istanbul, you’ll commute by university shuttle boats to avoid the traffic and attend classes with students from around the world.

UC Center Florence

Your home base in Florence for everything from classes to meet-ups for program tours and excursions is the Accent study center in Florence. You will attend classes in two palazzi; the main center is contained within the first two floors of the Palazzo Guadagni, an early 16th-century building in the tree-shaded Piazza Santo Sprito of the Oltrarno neighborhood. The heart of historic Florence, this bohemian neighborhood just south of the River Arno features winding cobblestone streets, outdoor eateries and cafés, traditional local businesses, and artisan’s workshops. Staff are on hand to answer academic questions, share information on cultural and social activities, and offer general advice. The main center has five classrooms for courses and lectures, a student services area, a computer lab with the latest iMacs, faculty offices, a lending library for UCEAP courses, and a comfortable student lounge. A second facility where you will attend classes is the Palazzo Jules Maidoff, a four-story Renaissance building with a beautiful walled garden a short walk from the Duomo.

Syracuse Academy

The Syracuse Academy is an international school specialized in organizing study abroad programs for college students in Sicily. Located in the city center, the academy is just steps from the catacombs, the Archaeological Museum, the Greek Theater, the island of Ortygia, and many other noteworthy sites. It is a strategic starting point to explore the island of Sicily and discover the Mediterranean culture. The historic villa where you’ll be learning is a beautiful oasis surrounded by two acres of botanic gardens, citrus trees, century-old palms, and many other exotic plants. Indoor facilities offer state-of-the-art lecture rooms of all sizes with modern teaching facilities, computer labs, lounge areas, lab rooms for creative arts and culinary classes, a media center with printing facilities, a library service, and study rooms.

Bahçeşehir University

Classes will occur at the Bahçeşehir University (BAU) on the Bosporus Strait, near the city center of Istanbul. University boats shuttle students between the campuses and housing, avoiding Istanbul traffic tie-ups while you enjoy fresh ocean breezes to and from class. Study under umbrella tables with friends or enjoy the seaside view while waiting for the next ferry. BAU has approximately 20 percent of its student cohort coming from countries worldwide, including the US. Students can continue their education at BAU Global Centers in Berlin, Boston, Hong Kong, London, Rome, Toronto, Washington, DC, and more. You can find all international student offices in a central area called Unizone, where you can get support and connect with other students at the large international student group. A core value of BAU is promoting respect for the rights of all people and appreciating human differences.



The study center arranges field trips and activities to introduce the local culture and special features of your host country. There may be other optional excursions, which you can explore after arrival.

<p>Make traditional Sicilian cheese at the CoRFiLaC&nbsp;dairy research center</p>

Make traditional Sicilian cheese at the CoRFiLaC dairy research center

<p>Tour a village and the Bosphorus Strait between Europe and Asia</p>

Tour a village and the Bosphorus Strait between Europe and Asia

<p>Visit the Hagia Sophia mosque, a former Eastern Orthodox Byzantine church</p>

Visit the Hagia Sophia mosque, a former Eastern Orthodox Byzantine church

<p>Olive oil harvest and press experience in the Chianti region</p>

Olive oil harvest and press experience in the Chianti region

The opportunity to study abroad is a one-of-a-kind experience with new adventures around every corner. Learning about Italy expanded my knowledge and understanding of technological advancements, cultural exchanges, and how politics have impacted their history.

Tylar Campbell UC Los Angeles African American Studies Italy