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The Kent State University Florence Summer Institute 2018 in Florence, Italy is proud to announce a new courses designed specifically for biology majors and minors.


Brain Health and Disease: Mediterranean vs. Western Lifestyle


The objectives for the course are to provide a broad understanding of how cross-cultural differences between Mediterranean-style living and US-Western style living impact brain function and general health.  Focus will be placed on how differences in diet, exercise, and social aspects including stress between these two lifestyles impact physiological mechanisms involved in preserving brain functions such as cognition.  Importantly, however, given the tight relationship between general physiology and brain function, focus will extend to other aspects beyond the brain, including endocrine and cardiovascular health etc.  Lectures will encompass both science as well as the sociological/geographical context framing that has led to these differences and will involve field-based tasks to identify and evaluate such differences.



Ecology and Natural History of Mediterranean Ecosystems

 The Mediterranean Biome has unique plant and animal life that thrives in the dry summers and moderate winters. In this course, plants and animals and the ecology of the Mediterranean biome will be explored. We will study the processes that govern natural Mediterranean ecosystems, and then explore how human activities are impacting those processes. The course will be based in understanding the factors that shape-up the biological diversity and how biotic interactions affect ecological processes.


For more information about additional course offerings, follow this link:


ALL students are welcome to enroll in the KSU Florence Summer Institute, even if you are not a Kent State student. 


Logistical information about the Florence Summer Institute:  

Program Fees 

  • $3500 + Tuition:
  • Financial Aid can be applied
  • Estimated cost of $3,500 includes the cost for a ticket on the group flight.  The group flight is NOT mandatory therefore, if a student chooses to purchase their own flight, they will subtract $1,600 from the total estimated price.  



  • February 1st – Priority Deadline.  If students would like to participate in the GROUP FLIGHT, they must apply by this date.
  • March 1st – Final Deadline – no exceptions



  • Minimum of 2.5 cumulative GPA required.  Students with low GPAs should still apply, and their applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
  • Online Application- $60 application fee, personal statement, signature documents. 
  • Students can apply for the Florence Summer Institute here:
  • Guest students welcome. Guest students must first apply to KSU here:
  • Graduate, Undergraduate, and post undergraduate students are also welcome.  If you have any unique circumstances, please let us know.

 For some promotional videos:

POSTED: Thursday, January 18, 2018 10:35 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 3, 2022 01:02 AM