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Italy: Business and Culture in Italy

Estimated dates: December 26, 2020-January 13, 2021

VT in Italy

Our focus will be on luxury businesses in Italy, although we will visit a variety of other businesses, too. We will focus on food and wine, fashion houses, and transportation. We will begin our travels in Rome, with a side trip to Vatican City, continue on to Florence, Bologna and Milan.  We will have a number of side trips to various other locations. Along the way, we will visit many of the cultural sites and art museums for which Italy is so well known.

This study abroad program is intended to give students exposure and experience to European culture and the business environment in Italy. The country of Italy has been of vital interest to the United States for many years, as a trading partner and producer of luxury goods. This program will provide the students an opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of the main drivers of the Italian economy: food and wine, luxury products, and art and culture.
The major component of the program is to experience business and economics in Italy, and by extension, Europe. We will visit a variety of businesses, and have lectures/tours by business professionals. Particular emphasis will be on companies that produce luxury goods. Students will also gain cultural competency through visiting historical sites and museums, such as the Vatican and the Duomo.

Students will stay in a hotel in the city center of each of our destinations: Rome, Florence, Bologna, and Milan. We will travel by plane to and from the United States. The rest of our travels will be by motor coach and train.

Italy Winter 2021 Bookmark.pdf
Italy Detailed Itinerary.xlsx

You will receive 3 credits—either: 

    MGT 3954 or  MGT 5954

Undergraduates will receive credit for MGT 3954, and graduate students for MGT 5954 Study Abroad.  This course can also be substituted for the Area 3 and/or Area 7 requirement. These credits count as elective credits and help to complete the requirements of Pamplin’s International Business Minor.

Students must write a group paper on an Italian company, a research paper, as well as read a book about the area and do a short book report, prior to the trip.  Graduate students will be required to complete additional work.Keeping a journal and completing observations on cultural differences between Italy and the US is required. Participation in all activities of the program is required.

Travel: Tentative Schedule

4-5 days in Rome

4-5 days in Florence

2 days in Bologna

2 days in Milan

Other short overnight visits possible

Likely business visits (subject to change):

  • Rome- Cinecitta Studios, Missoni, Fassi
  • Vatican City (near Rome)- Radio Vaticana
  • Florence- Leather School, Gucci, Ferragamo, Castello Verrazzano
  • Bologna and Modena -  Pagani, Maserati, Acetaia Malpighi, Lamborghini, Quattro Madonna, Armani factory complex
  • Milan- Swarovski, Dolce & Gabanna Sartoria

Likely cultural visits include:

We will have sightseeing tours in each city.

  • Rome - Colosseum, Trevia Fountain, Spanish Steps,
  • Vatican City (near Rome) - St. Peter's Basilica, Sistine Chapel
  • Florence - David, Galleria degli Uffizi, Galleria dell'Academia
  • Bologna - Two Towers, Neptune
  • Milan - Duomo, Sforza Castle


Each student must have a valid passport from their home country. You can apply for a passport in Squires Student Center.

You should insure that you have the proper vaccinations for this program. This can be done through  a county health department or your family physician. Your family physician usually does not have the more specialized vaccines and should refer you to the county health department. You can see a list of recommended vaccinations and other health information at the CDC travel website.

These sites have additional information:


You will be living in a hotel room for 2 weeks. Do not try to take your entire wardrobe with you. Plan to bring a medium-sized suitcase and a backpack. The airlines limit the weight of your luggage so pack light. The suggested packing list will help you choose what to take.

Electric Applicances 
Europe uses 220 volt, 50 HZ electricity. Your standard USA hair dryers, curling irons, and shavers will not work in Europe. You should check that your computer, cell phone, camera and any electronics that you take will work on 220 V, 50Hz current with adapter.

Packing list 20-21.pdf

Program fees are $4,800. A non-refundable deposit of $500, payable online, is due after acceptance into the program, with the balance of program fees due by October 10th.

Application Deadline:  October 1st

Pre-trip Personal Costs:



VT GEO Application fee



VT GEO Participation fee



Air here if they purchase on own



Books and materials



New passport fee









Pamplin billing:









Required Group Travel



Medical Insurance






VT tuition & fees-estimated based on 2018 rates






Funds required during program:



Personal Expenses



Meals not provided






Total Estimated Costs




Virginia Tech reserves the right to make cancellations, date and cost adjustments, and other necessary changes in the program. Prices may change due to global economic conditions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Your financial aid eligibility can apply to this program. You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the University Financial Aid Office.

In addition, you must submit the study abroad cost documentation form to the Global Education Office at the International Afffairs building, 526 Prices Fork Road, room 131.  The form can be found on the Global Education Financial Aid page.

Due to prepayment on items such as air and lodging, billing may not be in sync with financial aid payouts. Please be prepared to pay costs in advance, and be reimbursed with any payouts later.

Space is limited for this program. There are up to 20 seats available for the program.

Apply HERE!


  • Freshmen through Seniors, and Graduate Students
  • Minimum GPA: 2.3 (We will use mid-term grades for freshmen to determine eligibility).
  • Non-business students and graduate students are also welcome to participate, and will receive 3 credits. Priority is given to business students.