IES Rome: Language and Area Studies

  • Location: Rome, Italy
  • Language of Instruction: English (IES Courses and limited LUISS courses) and Italian (IES Courses)
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Class Eligibility: Sophomores, juniors, and seniors


The capital of Italy, Rome is the country’s political center and a major religious center, being the host to the Vatican – an independent state within Rome.

Studying abroad in Rome means learning from Rome and its Mediterranean pace of life – from the open markets to the sudden strikes, and the high politics of a European capital.  Over three million people do their daily business surrounded by 2,500 years of history.

  • Visa:

    Required. See NAFSA: Italy VISA FAQs.

  • Fees: Students pay Haverford tuition, room, and partial board to Haverford College. Haverford will then be responsible for submitting tuition payments to the program.

  • Requirements

    No previous Italian language study is required for the beginning level. One semester of Italian Language study (intermediate or equivalent) is required for the Internship Program and study at RUFA. Competitive program: apply early! Some university courses are not available to sophomores. The application requirements can be found on the IES website.

    Academic Credit

    Students must carry at least 15 credit hours per semester and are not permitted to take less than 15 credits per semester.  Students must take an appropriate Italian Language course each semester.  Italian majors must take all their courses in Italian at one of the Universities. Italian majors/minors cannot take courses toward their major/minor at the IES Center or take courses in English at the Center.  Non-Italian major/minor students must enroll in at least one courses at one of the universities. Students who have no background in Italian must take the Intensive Italian course.  This fulfills the Haverford language requirement. Major, minor, and concentration transfer credit will only be granted for courses in which students received a grade of a C or above.

    • Unique Italian Studies Option for students with advanced Italian language experience.
    • For students with beginning or intermediate levels of Italian language proficiency, IES Abroad jointly sponsors English-taught courses with the Università degli Studi Roma Tre
    • For advanced language speakers, enroll in IES Abroad Italian-taught courses, and Italian-taught courses at the Università degli Studi Roma Tre.
    • Studio Art at the Rome University of Fine Arts (RUFA)

    Università Degli Studi Roma Tre   Enrollment at Roma Tre is available for IES Abroad students who have completed at least four semesters of college-level ItalianFounded in 1992 as Rome’s third university, Roma Tre has become the city’s second largest, with over 35,000 students, and has gained a significant reputation in the Italian academic world thanks to its quality programs and international focus. Roma Tre offers advanced Italian-taught courses in the Humanities and Social Sciences.

      Location & Commute Times: The campuses of Roma Tre are located throughout the city. The main campus is located in Piramide/Ostiense area in the southern part of the city. Directions to the locations of different faculties are located on Roma Tre’s website.  Rome is not a “university town” in the sense that student life is clustered around the universities; therefore, it takes about 45 minutes on the bus to travel from Roma Tre to the IES Abroad Rome Center.

      Academic Options:  Roma Tre offers IES Abroad students opportunities in the following areas: International Affairs, Religious Studies, Economics, Business, Education, Performing Arts. IES Abroad and Roma Tre also jointly offer English-taught courses. These courses are offered for half of the semester at the IES Abroad Rome Center and the remaining half of the semester on the Roma Tre campus.

      Course Offering:  Will vary from semester to semester. Exact course availability is determined shortly before the start of each semester. For this reason, it will not be possible for students to officially register until their arrival in Rome; however students will need to refer to current course offerings in order to pre-register as part of their application.

    Rome University of the Fine Arts (RUFA) RUFA is a private art academy north of Rome’s historic center near Piazza Verbano.   Students with at least one semester of college-level Italian can enroll in up to two courses at RUFA.

      Commute Time:  The commute time from RUFA to the IES Abroad Rome Center is about 45 minutes to 1 hour by the bus. Rome is not a “university town” in the sense that student life is clustered around the universities.

      Course Offerings:  Will vary from semester to semester. Exact course availability is determined shortly before the start of each semester. For this reason, it will not be possible for you to officially register until your arrival in Rome; however, you will need to refer to current course offerings in order to pre-register as part of your application. Generally, RUFA offers courses in Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture.

      Course Structure:  Former IES Abroad students have enjoyed the individual attention they receive from RUFA faculty in their workshop-style classes at RUFA.

      Grading System:  Your grade is based on the portfolio of art work you produce by the end of the term.

    Internships: All IES Abroad internships and social action opportunities are supervised and offered as academic options earning IES Abroad credit. The internship and social action option are complemented by a required 3-credit seminar that offers contextual support to studentsr practical work experience in Rome.

    Course Highlights

    Italian Language, Art History, Literature & Film, International Relations, Religious Studies. IES offers courses in Anthropology, Art History, Art, Classics, Economics, Film Studies, History, International Relations, Italian Language, Literature, Photography, Political Science, Psychology, Religion, Sociology, and Urban Studies.

    Note: Changes occur frequently. Students are responsible for finding the classes they need and consulting the official site of the institution.

    Review the Full Academic Requirements for Studying Abroad

  • Non-Academic Overview

    Orientation: Students attend an orientation and three-week intensive language course prior to the start of classes.

    Number of Students: Maximum of 140 students can attend each semester.

    Housing/Meal Plans

    Homestay is the only housing option open to Haverford students. Located throughout the city, homestays generally house one or two students. Bedrooms may be private or shared with another IES Abroad student. Students receive breakfast daily and share three evening meals each week with their host family. Standard commute time is 45 minutes from the homestay to the IES Abroad Center, which is typical for local students at Roman universities.  Housing is not provided between semesters. Academic year students who remain in Rome during this period are responsible for arranging and paying for their own housing and meals during this time. Haverford believes that living with a family provides the best opportunity to learn a language and experience full cultural immersion. Haverford student may not opt to live in IES administered apartments. Haverford students may not opt for independent off-campus housing – that is, housing not arranged by the program.

    Opportunities / Cultural Events

    Cultural Events: Throughout the semester, IES Abroad Rome staff members routinely arrange a variety of enriching cultural opportunities for students. Past highlights include cooking classes, joining a Papal audience, Trattoria nights to sample Roman specialties, outings to art exhibitions, concerts, and the opera, an IES Abroad-sponsored student soccer game.

    Field Trips: IES Abroad organizes several 2-day excursions to prime Italian destinations. The cost of one field trip is included in the program fee. You have the option of signing up for other field trips at your own cost if spots are available.  Past destinations have included:

    • The Amalfi Coast & Pompeii:  Along this steep and glittering coast, study the volcanic ruins of Pompeii, and trace Greek and Roman ruins from Sorrento to Paestum.
    • Umbria:  A gem in the heart of Italy, Umbria is perfect for those who love nature and want to discover its woods, castles, and sanctuaries. Together with IES you will discover small medieval towns, art and nature, and the peace and calm which became the inspiration for Renaissance masterpieces.
    • Tuscany: Guided tours throughout the countryside of one of Italy’s most unique regions, gorgeous landscapes, rich artistic legacy visiting the sites of the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.

    Field Study: IES Abroad Rome organizes field study trips that complement IES Abroad courses and contribute to a general knowledge of Italian culture and society. Past field study excursions include:

    • Etruscan burial grounds of Cerveteri
    • Hadrian’s villa
    • Assisi
    • Ostia Antica
    • Abbey of Fossanova
    • Terracina
    • Sperlonga


Campus Ambassador
Elyse Adler ’16

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  • Semester/Year
  • Fulfills Language Requirement
  • Semester I: Early September to late December
  • Semester II: Late January to early June
  • Year: Early September to early June
Application Deadlines
  • Semester I: March 1
  • Semester II: October 1
  • Year: March 1
Faculty Contact

Ute Striker

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