Students participating in this program can make progress towards their engineering degree by taking two major related courses while also exploring Europe. Through the summer courses you can evaluate and compare a variety of engineering concepts to those in the US in order to broaden your 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 2018: Florence, Italy

  • Spend seven weeks of your summer taking USC classes while living in the heart of Tuscany, Florence.
  • Make progress toward 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 18 – Application available on MyViterbi 
November 10 – Applications due
Nov 13 – Dec 1 – Required, in-person, panel interviews
December 11 – Admission decisions released
December 11 – Financial Assistance Application available
December 19 – Financial Assistance Applications due
December 20 – Financial Assistance Packages released
January 12 – $500 Enrollment Commitment deposit due
Late January – Mandatory On-Campus Orientation (1 of 3)
Mid April – Mandatory Orientation (2 of 3)
May 28 – Mandatory Check-in to Florence housing

July 14 – Check out of Florence 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.

2018 Program Information

Courses Offered

The following courses are tentatively planned to be offered for the 2018 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.

Please see your academic advisor to check whether certain courses may qualify for technical elective credit for your specific major. Additionally, please note that your course selection and the variable unit counts make for a different tuition price below.

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.

While the summer’s housing cannot be determined until after your enrollment, recent programs’ 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.  Typically, 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 Florence Study Center is located in Piazza Santo Spirito, a beautiful piazza situated in the Oltrarno neighborhood in Florence. Once one of the original quartieri of Florence, the Piazza Santo Spirito is known for showcasing some of the finest artisanal shops in Florence. Along with the ACCENT Study Center and several trattorie, the piazza is home to Santa Maria del Santo Spirito, a church constructed based on plans Brunelleschi designed as early as 1428. The church had not yet been completed upon his death in 1446, but plans were carried through by his followers Antonio Manetti, Giovanni da Gaiole and Salvi d’Andrea, although the façade was never finished. The piazza has also become a very popular meeting point for university students from all nationalities.

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, 2018

  • Venice, Italy – 1-2 night trip including museum passes and private, guided tours
  • Rome, Italy – 2 Night trip including guided tours of the city and cultural attractions including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican Museum.
  • Siena, Italy – 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 Florence)     $1,300

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Housing (7 weeks)     $1,000
Tuition (6-7 units: $1800 per unit)     $10,800-12,600

Tuition is on a per-unit basis.  Course selection will determine final tuition cost.

Total Program Estimate     $13,100-14,900

The estimate accounts for an educated guess on a possible flight to Florence plus the variables involved in your course selection and ultimate tuition bill.

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.