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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Fiesole, Italy
  • Program Terms: Fall, Fall Back-Up, Full Year, Full Year Back-Up, Split Year Spring, SpltYr Spring BackUp, Spring, Spring Back-Up
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Budget Sheets: Budget
  • Dates / Deadlines
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Location(s): Fiesole, Italy Click here for a definition of this term Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0
Language(s) of Instruction: English, Italian Click here for a definition of this term Type of Program: Area Studies, GU Villas
Housing Options: Homestay, Onsite OGE Advisor: Mia Pezzanite
Level of Support: High (Comprehensive onsite support) Non-GU Students May Apply: Yes
Fields of Study: Art/Art History, Film, Government/Political Science, History, Italian, Literature, Religion/Theology Application Deadlines: February, October
Program Description:

Georgetown in Fiesole, Italy - Villa Le Balze

Fiesole, Italy

Villa Overview


  • Good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
Students in the Georgetown College are also eligible to study at the Villa as a second semester sophomore as long as they have declared their major. Students from one of the other Georgetown schools may also have the opportunity to petition their respective school in order to study abroad at Villa Le Balze as a second semester sophomore when their Junior Year course work is best taken on the GU campus.

The program is also open to students matriculating at other US universities and colleges.

*If you do not meet these eligibility requirements, please meet with the OGE Regional Advisor for this program early in the process to discuss your options.

About the Program

Internationally recognized as Georgetown's study center in Florence, Villa Le Balze provides eligible college students the opportunity to study abroad for a semester or year. Every year, Georgetown welcomes undergraduate students to both study and live at Villa Le Balze. The Villa provides students with a unique study abroad experience that includes classes on site, a comprehensive academic program, intensive Italian language classes, and time to travel throughout Italy. At the Villa students engage with the history and culture of Italy.

Villa Le Balze is a global Living-Learning Community that provides greater interaction among faculty, staff, and students through academically rigorous courses, shared meals, and opportunities to develop interpersonal relationships. There are also faculty-led extra-curricular and co-curricular activities and excursions.

All courses are taught in English, with the exception of the mandatory Italian language classes. A background in Italian, while not required, is highly recommended for students who plan to study at the Villa. The program is open to undergraduate students from all schools and departments at Georgetown as well as students matriculating at other US universities and colleges.


Villa Le Balze is located in Fiesole, Italy, a small hilltop town just minutes from downtown Florence. Villa le Balze, or "The Cliffs" in Italian clings to the side of a steep hill at the southern edge of the ancient settlement of Fiesole and overlooks the broad valley of the River Arno. Fiesole is immensely rich in architectural heritage with Etruscan ruins, a Roman amphitheater and temple, an 11th-century cathedral, along with numerous Renaissance buildings. The Villa’s strategic location in Fiesole makes it an ideal setting for exploring historic and contemporary Italian culture and society.

For hundreds of years, Florence has been, and still remains today, a constant source of creativity and intellectual thought. The city is bursting with architectural and artistic masterpieces waiting to be explored. And much like the city’s role during the Renaissance, it’s quickly a modern international hub for European politics, business, and international education.
Villa Academics

Academic Calendar

  • Full year: late-August to late-April
  • Fall: late-August to mid-December
  • Spring: early-January to late-April

Fields of Study

Language of instruction is English (with the exception of mandatory Italian classes).

Fields of study include: Italian, Art History, English, Government, History.

Every semester the Villa hosts a Faculty Member in Residence from Georgetown’s Main Campus who teaches a course in their field that has been designed to be taught specifically at Villa Le Balze, and that takes advantage of the Villa’s location in Florence and Italy to offer unique co- and extra-curricular opportunities to students. Learn more about our current, upcoming, and past faculty members in residence.


Students are required to enroll in a full courseload and complete all exams and assignments associated with the course regardless of the credit they wish to receive on the program. Withdrawal from a course or failure to take/complete a final will be regarded as an unauthorized reduction in courseload and a violation of the academic policy.
A full courseload for this program is a minimum of 15 credits, comprised of the following:
  • 1 Italian language course at the appropriate level;
  • IDST-007 The City of Florence (1 credit hour)
  • 3 (or 4) elective courses (depending on the student's level of Italian) chosen from the selection offered
  • and Participation in all field trips
Italian Language
ITAL-011 Intensive Basic Italian I (6 credit hours)
ITAL-032 Intensive Intermediate Italian (6 credit hours)
ITAL-111 Intensive Advanced Italian I (5 credit hours)
ITAL-112 Intensive Advanced Italian II (5 credit hours)
ITAL-233 Italian Writing and Culture (3 credit hours)
Fall 2019 Elective Courses
HIST-145 Medieval and Early Renaissance Italy (3 credit hours)
ENGL-295 Italian Literature: Modernity and Its Parody (3 credit hours)
ARTH-122 Art & Architecture in Medieval and Early Ren. Italy (3 credit hours)
GOVT-278 European Union Environmental & Energy Policy (3 credit hours)
IPOL-210 Borders & Security Concerns (3 credit hours)
ENGL-273 Humanities Encounters (Prof. Kathryn Temple, 3 credit hours)
Spring 2020 Elective Courses
HIST-146 Late Renaissance and Early Modern Italy (3 credit hours)
ENGL-274 Italian Cinema (3 credit hours)
ARTH-127 Art & Patronage in 16th & 17th C. Italy (3 credit hours)
GOVT-278 European Union Environmental & Energy Policy (3 credit hours)
ECON-230 From Emigration to Immigration: the Italian Case (Prof. Anna Maria Mayda, 3 credit hours)
Fall 2018 Elective Courses
HIST-145 Medieval and Early Renaissance Italy (3 credit hours)
ENGL-295 Italian Literature: Modernity and Its Parody (3 credit hours)
ARTH-122 Art & Architecture in Medieval and Early Ren. Italy (3 credit hours)
GOVT-278 European Union Environmental & Energy Policy (3 credit hours)
IPOL-210 Borders & Security Concerns (3 credit hours)
THEO-142 The Papacy (Prof. Chester Gillis, 3 credit hours)
Spring 2019 Elective Courses
HIST-146 Late Renaissance and Early Modern Italy (3 credit hours)
ENGL-274 Italian Cinema (3 credit hours)
ARTH-127 Art & Patronage in 16th & 17th C. Italy (3 credit hours)
GOVT-278 European Union Environmental & Energy Policy (3 credit hours)
ITAL-350 The Other Renaissance. Women Writers and Artists of Early Modern Italy (Prof. Laura Benedetti, 3 credit hours)

Detailed course descriptions can be found on the Villa Le Balze website.

All courses are taught by Georgetown University professors and grades transfer and are applied to Georgetown students' GPA. Studying at the Villa counts towards the 4 semester residency requirement of the University.

Non-Georgetown University students receive a Georgetown University transcript reporting courses taken and grades earned during the program. In addition to speaking with the OGE Advisor for the Villa, Non-Georgetown students are encouraged to speak with a study abroad advisor at their institution.
Villa Housing


Students are required to live in program housing.

Students will primarily live on-site in the historic buildings that make up Villa Le Balze - the main Villa and the Villino. The Villa features living accommodations for up to 21 people, including bathrooms, dining facilities, and communal study and social spaces. Students who live at the Villa are placed in double or triple rooms, which include private bathrooms. All of the bedrooms are fully furnished, with windows facing either the Arno valley or the private gardens of the Villa.

There are also limited placements with local Italian host families for students that wish to have a more immersive experience. Living with an Italian host family offers the opportunity to improve language skills and to develop a deeper understanding of Italian culture. Host families are selected with each individual student’s needs and interests in mind. This option is best suited for students looking for robust Italian language immersion. All host families are located within short and easy access of the local bus route that runs from the Center of Florence to the Villa, and daily transportation costs between the host family's home and the Villa are covered by the program.


Meals are provided, with the exception of three weekend meals (Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday lunch). Group meals are an important part of the community life of the Villa. The Villa's two cooks provide a varied menu of Italian meals, and where possible will take into consideration dietary restrictions. Members of the faculty regularly join the students for the midday meal in order to continue the conversations of the classroom.

If a student is living with an Italian host family, the family provides the student with breakfast and dinner (with the exception of Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday lunch). Weekday lunch is taken at the Villa with the other students, faculty, and staff

We are able to accommodate most dietary restrictions and students are encouraged to speak with an advisor if they have any concerns.
Villa Finances

Program Budget

Villa Le Balze Program Budget 


OGE advises students to research and pursue a wide range of funding opportunities. To find scholarships applicable to your program, browse the scholarships section of OGE’s website.
Villa Accessibility


The Office of Global Education is committed to making study abroad accessible to all interested and eligible students. OGE hopes that students with accessibility needs will pursue study abroad opportunities and use the available support services on campus for assistance and advice when necessary.

With over 200 approved-programs, OGE is confident that you will find a program that fits your interests and goals. Programs offer varying degrees of academic and lifestyle support. Please make an appointment with the OGE advisor specializing in your geographic area of interest to discuss how to best support any special needs you might have on programs that may interest you.

To learn more about the resources for students on campus and also for advice on how to request accommodations overseas, please visit the Georgetown Academic Resource Center’s website. Additional support can be found on the Mobility International website.

Student Voices

Hear from students and professors why a semester at the Villa is a transformative experience.
Get a glimpse at what some of the home-cooked meals are like.
Join Bella Gerard and us for a quick tour of the Villa and its grounds.

And be sure to check out all of the videos on Alexa's Georgetown Story playlist from her semester at the Villa.

Social Media

Open Application Deadlines & Dates
Open Application Deadlines & Dates
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2020 10/01/2019 10/12/2019 01/09/2020 04/25/2020