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 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.  Does that sound like it could be life-changing?
In this travel-study course in Italy (open to ALL majors and academic levels), 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?  How important are family dynamics?  How do you find meaning in your life? Do you want to live to work or work to live?  
The program begins with an 8-week second block class during the Spring Semester designed to prepare students for the travel abroad class.  While abroad, students will 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, cultural sights, 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.  You will see the beautiful vineyard-lined hillsides and picturesque Italian villages.   Then, for our last few 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!  Do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

The program will run twice this year. The session dates are:

Session I: May 23 to June 10, 2022

Session II: June 28 to July 16, 2022

Location Description

Where will we go? Believe it or not, we will visit over a dozen cities. While in Italy we will experience cities such as Perugia, Assisi (home of St. Francis and the international peace movement), Rome (we will see seven of the top ten sights), Siena, Pisa (yes, the leaning tower), Florence (birthplace of the Renaissance), 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, and Orvieto.

We will stay in the college town of Perugia for the majority of the trip. Typically, we spend the last couple of nights in Florence. 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 the capital of the Tuscany region. You will not find another class or tour that will show you this much and allow you to experience real Italians and Italy, in this manner!


Bill Evans | evanswf@jmu.edu | Psychology


Students will stay in the historic cobblestone center of the city.  Accommodations (typically triples and quads) are provided at wonderful Italian family-owned hotels with amazing breakfast buffets and limited complimentary WI-fi internet access. The 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 a buffet breakfast, and lunches are covered through a weekly meal stipend from the program fee.  Evening meals are experienced together as a class at an amazing 3-generation, family-run restaurant (with fresh homemade pasta) and are part of the daily required activities; these meals are also covered by the program fee.

Additional Items to Consider

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.

No previous Italian language experience needed. Basic Italian for travelers will be covered in the Spring Prep class.

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 261 or PSYC 461 (not both):

Prerequisites for PSYC 261: PSYC101 or PSYC 160
Prerequisites for PSYC 461: PSYC Major with at least one PSYC Natural Science & one PSYC Social Science area class

Open to ALL students and ALL majors at ALL levels

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.

Applications Closed.

Application Deadline


All dates are tentative and subject to change


PSYC 261: Cross-Cultural Psychology in Italy (3 credits)

PSYC 461: 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 2022

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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