Students participating in this program can make progress towards their engineering degree by taking two major related courses while also exploring Europe.

Students have the opportunity through the summer courses to evaluate and compare a variety of engineering concepts to those in the US in order to broaden their perspective of technological issues.

The Viterbi Summer Abroad program rotates every summer to a different city, typically located in Europe.  Past locations of the program have included: Florence, Italy; London, England; Madrid, Spain; Paris, France; and Rome, Italy.  While the cities will change from year to year, the structure of the program remains consistent.  USC students take USC courses abroad from USC and European faculty (where appropriate) for credit towards your degree.

Summer 2017: Rome, Italy

  • Spend seven weeks of your summer taking USC classes while living in Rome
  • Make progress towards your engineering degree while also exploring Italy and the rich Italian culture
  • Take courses taught by both Viterbi and European faculty
  • Evaluate and compare a variety of engineering concepts to those in the US
  • Priority consideration given to rising juniors and seniors


October 11 – Application available on MyViterbi 
November 4 – Applications due
Nov 9 – Dec 2 – Required, in-person, panel interviews
December 16 – Admission decisions released
December 16 – Financial Assistance Application available
December 19 – Financial Assistance Applications due
December 22 – Financial Assistance Packages released
January 13 – $500 Enrollment Commitment deposit due
Late January – Mandatory On-Campus Orientation 1/3
Mid April – Mandatory Orientation 2/3
May 29 – Check-in to Rome housing

July 15 – Check out of Rome housing


  1. Complete an application in MyViterbi
  2. Receive a faculty recommendation (via secure online form in the application – do not ask for letters)
  3. Supply an unofficial transcript
  4. Sign up for a required, on-campus, panel interview at the time of submission
  5. Earlier applications have more flexibility in choosing the limited interview times.  Late applications may not have much choice.

NOTE: Acceptance to the program is competitive with priority given to upper-division students.

2017 Program Information

Courses Offered

The following courses are tentatively planned to be offered for the 2017 program based on interest and enrollment by admitted students.

  • AME 310 – Thermodynamics (3 units)
  • WRIT 340 – Technical Writing (3 units)
  • ISE 460 – Engineering Economy (3 units)
  • HIST 195 – Special Topics in History (related to our host city/country, typically including on-site lectures/visits) (4 units)

You will indicate course preferences as part of your application; however, no course is guaranteed as available until students are selected and courses are enrolled. You are required to take two courses during the summer program.

Housing & Travel Arrangements

You will be responsible for booking your own flight either through a pre-arranged travel agent or on your own.  You will need to be in the host city at the specific check-in day in order to check-in to the arranged housing.

In recent summers, housing consists of multi-occupancy rooms in shared student apartments with a kitchen, bathroom and general living area for the duration of the program.

The program aims to explore Italy through engineering-related group activities, weekend trips, and cultural experiences all included in the program’s total cost of tuition.  A transit pass with local area access is provided as well as the opportunity for free weekends for your own exploration of Italy and Europe.


USC Viterbi partners with ACCENT, Intl to provide the physical locations of our class and on-the-ground staffing support, in addition to USC Viterbi staff who travel with the students.

The ACCENT Rome Study Center is located in the beautiful Palazzo Banco S. Spirito on the Piazza dell’Orologio, which is marked by the impressive clock tower by Borromini and is considered the very heart of Rome. Among the historical palaces of Piazza dell’Orologio is the famous Casa delle Letterature or Biblioteca dell’Orologio, which is the home of literature in the “Eternal City.” ACCENT’s central location makes it an ideal base for classes and as a jumping-off point for onsite study visits.

Planned Group Excursions & Activities

Multiple activities are planned on top of the courses taught by USC faculty.  You will be able to participate in sponsored day & weekend trips throughout Italy as well as a few cultural experiences.  Below is tentatively planned for summer, 2017

  • Florence, Italy – 1-2 night trip including museum passes and tours
  • Amalfi Coast (Sorrento, Capri, Pompeii) – 2 Night trip including guided tours of cities and historical location
  • Orvieto – Day trip to include guided tours
  • Cooking Classes
  • Italian Language – language survival class upon arrival

All of the above group excursions (including travel via bus or train and hotel), performances and passes are included in the price of tuition (with the exception of some of the additional activities that may be offered by ACCENT not listed).

In addition, multiple weekends of free time are planned into the program to allow students to explore on their own at their own expense.

Financial Requirements & Assistance

Tentative Costs

A $500 non-refundable deposit must be turned in upon acceptance to the program. The deposit will be applied to the total cost of the program.

Estimated round-trip airfare (LAX to Rome)     $1,300
Housing (7 weeks)     $1,000
Tuition (6-7 units: $1733 per unit)     $10,398-12,131
Total Program Estimate     $12,698-14,431

Please note that all details related to housing, costs of the program, courses offered, excursions and other activities are subject to change and vary year to year. Cost estimates are based on our historic rates of subsidizing the overall cost, per-unit cost of tuition and number of units for which you are registered.

Merit Based Scholarships

If you are currently receiving Mork, Trustee, Stamps or Presidential Scholarships you can use exceptional funding to assist with the tuition cost of the Program.  After acceptance to the program, you must complete all necessary forms and meet all published deadlines for exceptional funding.

Exceptional Funding

If you are a recipient of other scholarships, inquire with the granting agency if exceptional funding for summer courses is available.

Financial Assistance

We would like this program to be accessible to students having different levels of financial resources.  While there are no full scholarships, we will make an effort through the resources of the University Financial Aid Office and the limited resources of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering to help students currently receiving need-based financial aid. We will use a ratio of your calculated cost of attendance to determine financial assistance for the tuition portion of the program through a combination of grants, scholarships and loans. For further evaluation of your situation after admission to the program, please submit the Viterbi Overseas Financial Assistance Application.