College of Fine Arts and Communication

Semester Program

Spring semester | Fall Semester | Summer Semester

Our Fall and Spring semester programs offer the opportunity for ANY student to earn 12-18 credits while living in Tuscany for 3 months-with lots of travel opportunities included in the program cost (our best value!)  Classes meet 4 or 5 days a week, with at least two 3-day weekends set aside for independent travel. 

Italy Intensives Certaldo

A semester break program to the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii is included in the program cost, with 5 additional days for students to travel independently following that break.

The full semester program is very special because students are in Italy long enough to be immersed in the community as residents, not just as tourists.  On class days we enjoy eating together at each of six different restaurants in Certaldo and there are many opportunities for social interaction with Italian friends, including cooking lessons, on site classes in surrounding cities and excursions in the countryside. We accommodate 25-30 students with about 7 faculty/staff who live near student housing and share in community life. Our classes are small with plenty of one on one attention – six to twelve students in each. 

Italy 2

We accept both undergraduate and graduates, with in state and out of state students charged the same, LESS than ECU out of state tuition! 

Often students find that a full semester abroad is easier to manage during their Freshmen and Sophomore years, BEFORE acceptance into a major.  With this in mind, many of our courses provide core foundation credits that are required for ALL students from ALL majors.  Classes are offered out of our own ECU catalog in social science (world history) humanities (Italian literature) fine arts (music appreciation, art appreciation, art history, drawing, digital photography, and design.)  During the same semester, both the first and second levels of Italian language can be taken as 5-week immersive classes. 

We also offer the required English composition class (English 1200) and Exercise 1000 (yoga).  Studio art classes are offered for both undergraduate and graduate students in jewelry and metals, painting, drawing, design, photography, animation, ceramics and book arts with special topics classes in museum studies/art restoration and fresco. We are expanding and changing our course offerings each term so please check the website frequently and inquire! For more information on course availability, refer to our program schedule for the term you wish to study by clicking on the appropriate link at the top of this page.

Outside Certaldo

Non-East Carolina University students are welcome to join us. This simply requires a VISITING STUDENT application that acknowledges from the home university, that credits taken on the program will transfer.  East Carolina University transcripts can be sent to the student's home institution upon the completion of the program. The program fee is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.  For special instructions on how visiting undergraduate or graduate students can apply, please go to the Admissions and Applications web page (insert link here).

One of the most exciting things about our campus location is the fact that housing for students and faculty is located steps away from the door of our classroom in the hilltop medieval village of Certaldo Alto.  Students share an apartment or guest- house with 2 bedrooms (2 students to a room) with shared kitchen, bathroom and living room.  Lodgings are comfortable and spacious and the village of Certaldo Alto is a welcoming community for our program.


Our classrooms have:

  • Modern computing facilities, with wireless Internet, including scanners printers and copy machine
  • Large, well lit classrooms, one with a sink, equipped as a jewelry studio with state of the art ventilation and up to date, modern equipment
  • A student lounge for socializing, with internet access, couches and refrigerator
  • An office space for faculty
  • Two (2) handicap accessible bathrooms
  • An outdoor courtyard area where students work or relax when weather permits