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USAC Viterbo Program

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Viterbo, Italy




• Clear interest and commitment

• Demonstrated preparedness/maturity

• Minimum 2.5 GPA (flexible, depending on circumstances)

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the program begins

• Approval by UI and USAC

• Attendance at orientations

• 18 years of age

Application Due:

• September 24 for Spring

• February 24 for Fall and Academic Year

• March 4 for Summer

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

Academic Program

City wall, gate in Viterbo

The program offers a high-quality educational experience in a variety of academic areas including art, anthropology, history, and Italian studies. These programs are not exclusive of one another; you may chose courses from any area. Students are expected to take some Italian language coursework, though no prior language study is required to participate. A 3 sh internship may also be available. The program is administered by the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC), of which the University of Iowa is a member.


The list of current courses can be found here: USAC Course Offerings

Students receive University of Iowa resident credit for the courses taken on this program.

Applying credit toward a UI degree

Unless UI Study Abroad has an approval on file for the courses you take abroad to be applied toward a specific major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, you will receive general elective credit for your course.

If you plan to apply the credit you receive for your program course to a major, minor, certificate, or general education requirement, contact Ana Jimenez at for details on the process. 

Cultural Activities and Excursions

Viterbo View

You are encouraged to participate in the included program field trips, in addition to the field trips built into some of your courses.

More information about excursions and activities can be found on the USAC program website.

Program Dates

Program dates vary from year to year, but typically follow the University of Iowa’s academic calendar.

This program is offered for a semester, academic year, or during the summer session.

Two month-long sessions are offered each summer. Students can choose to study during either one or both of the summer sessions.

You can find the specific dates for the upcoming sessions on the USAC website

For More Information

Ana Jimenez, Advisor and Program Coordinator
Study Abroad | International Programs
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802

Phone: 319-335-0353


Viterbo Street

  • Population: 65,000
  • Distance from Rome: 40 miles
  • Distance from Florence: 103 miles

Viterbo is a medieval city with a lively university community and active art scene. It is about one and a half hours from Rome and three hours from Florence, with easy connections to the Mediterranean and mountain regions. Viterbo residents have retained the charm and leisurely quality of life of days gone by. They still retain, for the most part, the tradition of closing from 1 pm to 4 pm in order to enjoy a relaxing lunch at home with the family. Each Saturday, there is an outdoor market in the main piazza where people browse and shop for clothes and housewares. Fresh produce from local farms is also sold every morning in outdoor markets around town.

Viterbo has kept a fascinating historical record of its past better than almost any place in Italy. Protected by a medieval wall, Viterbo’s fountains, palaces, quarters, and churches all exemplify its glorious and eventful heritage of art and culture. The San Pellegrino quarter is certainly the most characteristic and best preserved medieval quarter in Italy, a jewel of a thirteenth-century contrada with its small squares, houses, narrow lanes, arches, and characteristic profferli—the typical external stairs of the medieval houses of Viterbo. The thirteenth-century papal palace is evidence of Viterbo’s significant role as a place of refuge for medieval popes, and more recently, as the film location for Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet.

Viterbo cuisine is some of the best in Italy, thanks to the city's green surroundings, absence of pollution, and the "art" of entertaining. Two local dishes not to miss are Lombrichelli alla viterbese and Acquacotta. Be sure to visit the Sagra festivals throughout the summer as well, where one can sample pasta, gnocchi, and more.


Aside from the unending, tangible history in Italy, the nation has beyond remarkable landscapes which bring any visit to an entirely new level. You can go skiing in the Alps, visit Roman ruins and Greek temples, or explore the Grand Canal in Venice.

As one of the world's most-loved destinations, Italy is also the land of la dolce vita, meaning "the sweet life." After an adventure, tourists can unwind, relax, and be pampered by staying at one Italy’s high-end spas or simply enjoying Italy's sophisticated dining pleasures, such as family-owned restaurants where you can experience real Italian cooking.

People and Culture

Despite its rich and magnificent art and architecture, there's no reason to be intimidated. Italian people are very hospitable and are rarely indifferent. Hundreds of local festivals take place across the country on any given day to celebrate a saint or a local harvest, including the daily domestic ritual of passeggiata, a collective evening stroll celebrated by the young and old alike in towns and villages across the country. If there is one special national characteristic Italians are known for, it's that they know how to live life to the fullest.

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

All apartments are located within walking distance from the university and the USAC offices; whether it is in the historical section or in the more modern area of Viterbo, each neighborhood is like a microtown in itself, offering a whole range of stores, cafeterias, and pharmacies, as well as picturesque views and landscapes. Students can enjoy shopping in small family-run stores, try different breads at the bakery, or buy fresh fruits and vegetables at the open air market.

Accommodations are available in private apartments, residence halls, and occasionally in homestays around the city. Accommodations are arranged by USAC in consultation with the student.

More information about housing can be found on the USAC program website.

Housing Fees

During the semester and academic year sessions, the housing fee is not included in the course fee. Students pay rent for their accommodations each month. You will need to have a plan and budget in place to withdraw the amount needed for rent monthly.

For summer programs, housing is included in the course fee.


Students will work with their program provider to make travel arrangements to their program site. The cost of travel is not included in the course fee. UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from your program provider.

Local Transportation

Within your host city and around Italy, students will utilize public transportation such as buses and trains. Italians are also very used to walking, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes!


This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA- Students must have a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a GPA below 2.5 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing- Applicants must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing by the time the program begins to participate in this program.
  • Approval by USAC and UI Study Abroad- Applications will be reviewed by UI Study Abroad and by USAC. Students will be accepted based on their review of their application materials.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming presented by UI Study Abroad and USAC.

Additional notes on eligibility

Program eligibility requirements may change per USAC policies. Before applying, it is important that you review the eligibility requirements listed on the USAC program website to ensure you meet all listed requirements.


Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.

The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.

Cost Sheets

The following cost sheets apply to the Summer 2019 session.

  • PDFCost Sheet- USAC- Viterbo- Summer 19 (Session 1)
  • PDFCost Sheet- USAC- Viterbo- Summer 19 (Sessions 1 & 2)
  • Calculating Fees

    The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:

    Cost sheets do not include the following optional costs:

    Additional Optional Costs Paid to USAC

    These fees are all optional and are not included in the course fee for the program. The cost should be paid directly to USAC through the Gateway account. Failure to pay these fees will result in USAC withholding your transcript.

    • Single Room Upgrade
    • Optional Tours
    • Additional USAC Course/Material Fees

    Optional fees vary by session, and will be available shortly before the upcoming session.

    Personal Travel Costs

    Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.

    The cost of personal travel depends entirely on each student’s individual travel plans and spending habits. Estimates for personal travel costs provided by past students on this program vary significantly from $1,500 to as much as $9,000 or more per session.

    More Information about Optional Additional Costs

    Students should budget additional funds to cover optional additional costs not described on the program cost sheet. Contact USAC for more information about these optional additional costs.

    Costs charged to the U-Bill

    • Application fee (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Course Fee- Includes program course fee, housing, some meals, USAC health insurance (charged shortly before departure)
    • Study Abroad Fee (charged shortly before departure)
    • CISI Health Insurance (charged shortly before departure)

    Out-of-pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

    • USAC application fee (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Housing, if not included in the course fee (paid by student directly to the program provider- contact your program provided for more information)
    • USAC refundable housing deposit (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Food (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Single room upgrade, optional tours, additional USAC course/material fees (paid by student as needed while abroad)
    • Round trip airfare from Cedar Rapids (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships)
    • Local transportation (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
    • Passport (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Consular and visa fees (paid by student prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse. Contact Ana Jimenez for more information.)
    • Textbooks, copyright permission fees, course packets and other course-related materials (paid upon arrival to your host country)
    • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Personal expenses and personal travel (paid by student as needed while abroad)
    • Rental or purchase of required cell phone- does not include usage fees (paid as needed while abroad)

    How to Apply

    • Meet with the appropriate study abroad advisor to discuss your study abroad plans well ahead of the application deadline. Your application will not be approved until you've completed this step. You can set up an appointment by calling UI Study Abroad at 319-335-0353.
    • Meet with your academic advisor to review your program and ensure that it is a good match for your academic and personal goals.
    • If you and your academic advisor agree that the program is a good match for you, complete the UI Study Abroad application. Note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
    • Create an account in the USAC Online Gateway. Complete all of the online sections of the application. Before you can be considered for the program, you must complete the application, complete the personal essay, and pay the non-refundable $100 application fee to USAC.

    A note regarding Summer session applications:

    For the Summer Term, this program has Summer I, Summer II, and Summer I & II options. When completing your UI online application, under the Offering section, you will be asked to choose between Codes A, B, or AB.

    • Code A=Summer I
    • Code B=Summer II
    • Code AB=Summer I & II

    Ensure that you choose the session that corresponds to the dates you wish to study abroad. Contact your UI Study Abroad advisor with any questions.

    Post Acceptance

    Acceptance into your chosen study abroad program is made by USAC directly via an email to you, which will refer you to additional documents posted to a USAC Gateway account that will be created for you. You will receive log in credentials for Gateway at this point.

    You will be working with both UI and USAC directly. Follow instructions from both. Later in the semester, your UI Study Abroad advisor will contact you regarding orientation sessions, registration, and other required UI procedures and documentation.

    You will need to provide scans of the picture page of your passport to both UI and USAC. If you do not have a valid passport at this time you apply to study abroad, provide the scans as soon as you receive your passport.

    You will be billed on your U-Bill for your course fee, administrative fee, and Iowa Regents health insurance. Housing deposits and additional course fees will be paid directly to USAC. Depending on your housing situation, you may pay housing fees directly on-site.

    Application Deadline

    Applications for the Fall 2019 and Academic Year 2019-2020 are due on February 24, 2019.

    Applications for the Summer 2019 are due on March 4, 2019.

    Applications for the Spring 2020 session are due on September 24, 2019.

    Applications for Spring 2020 will be available by Fall 2019.

    Limited Admission

    Space is limited on this program. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the preparation process and submit an application as soon as possible to ensure that they get a spot in their chosen program. Applying well ahead of the final application deadline is extremely helpful in ensuring a spot in your program.

    Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

    After you have received an email from UI Study Abroad indicating that you have been formally accepted to the program, have reviewed the estimated costs, and you are ready to commit to participating in this program, you will need to complete the following steps:

    Summer 2019 Students

    First, read, download, and complete the Confirmation of Participation and Withdrawal Policy document. Sign this document, and submit it to the UI Study Abroad office by the deadline outlined in the document.

    Note that if the Confirmation of Participation document is not submitted by the confirmation deadline, your application will be automatically withdrawn and your acceptance rescinded.

    All Students

    Thoroughly review the following sections of text:

    • Financial Aid & Scholarships
    • Immigration/Visa
    • Orientation
    • Passport
    • Predeparture Resources

    Financial Aid & Scholarships

    You can find information about options for funding your study abroad experience, including financial aid, scholarships, grants, etc, on UI Study Abroad’s Funding Website.

    In addition, take a look at USAC’s Scholarship website for information about scholarships offered directly through your program provider.


    All Students

    All program participants are required to complete immigration requirements to enter and study in Italy. UI Study Abroad and your program provider will provide you with immigration instructions prior to departure.

    Permission to enter Italy is provided entirely by the Italian government based on that country's immigration requirements. Currently, Italy’s immigration requirements include considerations related to specific national origin, national heritage, criminal background status, and similar issues that can make it impossible to acquire a visa prior to the start of the program in some cases. Contact Ana Jimenez at for more information.

    It is essential that you thoroughly review all of your immigration materials before you leave for your host country to ensure that they are absolutely complete and accurate. It is entirely your responsibility to ensure that all of your immigration documents are in order and fully accurate before you leave for your host country. If any of your immigration documents contain inaccurate information of any kind, contact Ana Jimenez at immediately to discuss your options.

    Do not apply for your visa or begin work your immigration requirements until you receive more information from your program provider and UI Study Abroad.

    Semester and Academic Year

    US Citizens- You will need a visa to study in Italy. USAC will provide you with visa application instructions prior to your departure. You should follow their instructions to acquire the visa you will need.

    You will need to apply for your visa through the Italian consulate in Chicago, regardless of where you are from in the US

    Non-US Citizens- Italian immigration requirements vary for non-US citizens, depending on their country of origin. Non-US citizens should refer to the Italian Consulate Webpage for more information on the Italian visa requirements.

    UI Study Abroad will hold advising appointments to provide details on the visa application process. You will receive more information about the visa application process at those sessions.

    Do not apply for your visa until you receive more information from USAC.


    US Citizens- US citizens participating in a summer-length program in Italy will not need to get a visa prior to departure to Italy. However, you will need to complete immigration requirements upon arrival. USAC will contact you will details about the Italian immigration requirements prior to departure.

    Do not prepare any immigration materials until you receive more information from USAC.

    Non-US Citizens- Italian immigration requirements vary for non-US citizens, depending on their country of origin. It is entirely your responsibility to determine if you need a visa to study in Italy for less than 90 days. Check with your home country consulate or embassy, as well as the Italian Consulate regarding student visa requirements. Non-US citizens should refer to the Italian Consulate Webpage for more information on the Italian visa requirements.

    UI Study Abroad will contact you to provide support for your visa application.

    Do not prepare any immigration materials until you receive more information from UI Study Abroad.


    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.


    US Citizens

    If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

    US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

    Students without a valid passport should apply for a new passport or a passport renewal as early as possible.

    Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.

    Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

    Non-US Citizens

    Students who are not US citizens should contact Ana Jimenez ( for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.

    Predeparture Resources

    USAC will provide you with a variety of predeparture resources to prepare you for your study abroad experience. These will include a packing list, cultural information, housing instructions, etc. Ensure that you thoroughly review any information provided to you by USAC, share it with your loved ones, and refer back to it if you have any questions.

    In addition, UI Study Abroad offers a variety of general predeparture resources. Review the following materials, and feel free to pass them along to your family or other loved ones to help them understand more about your upcoming program.

    These materials may be periodically updated to reflect new program information prior to departure- contact your study abroad advisor for more information.

    Please note that your program provider and host institution may provide you with additional predeparture materials specific to your study abroad program. Also review those materials, share them with your family, and refer back to them if you have any questions.