Honors Semester in Florence

Let Our Palace be Your  Classroom!

The Honors in Florence program is specifically designed to offer Honors College students challenging and engaging experiences at Kent State University's historic 13th century Palazzo dei Cerchi in Florence, Italy.

As a participant in this unique program, you will gain an international perspective and learn about a foreign culture while participating in a variety of curricular offerings and travel opportunities especially designed for Honors College students.  Your classes will take place in the Cerchi, which is located in the historic center of Florence, just north of the Piazza della Signoria and within walking distance of the Palazzo Vecchio.  Owned by the Cerchi merchant family in the early thirteenth century, the Palazzo dei Cerchi was used by a number of Renaissance painters.  Fully restored in 2004, the Cerchi is now equipped with state-of-the-art classrooms, yet maintains its outstanding medieval features and decorations.

Honors Courses

Classes meet Monday-Thursday, allowing for weekend travel and involvement in other cultural offerings.  A number of educational field trips are included as part of the experience.  Participants live in fully furnished apartments located within the ancient city walls and within walking distance of the Palazzo.  Students are responsible for their own meals, with each apartment featuring a well-equipped kitchen, and located close to many fresh markets, local stores, and restaurants.  Fall semester runs from mid-August to mid-December, spring semester from early-January to early May.

Your specifically designed Honors curriculum may include:

ARTH 42095:Italian Art:from Giotto to Bernini

Instructor: Rocky Ruggiero, Kent State University in Florence, Italy

This course will explore the development of art and architecture in Italy from the late Middle Ages to the Roman Baroque period.  Through an in-depth analysis of the art and history of these periods, we shall develop an understanding of Italy's role in the overall development of Western civilization.  Particular emphasis will be given to Florentine art.  Florence exhibits, to this day, a particularly well-integrated conception of painting, sculpture and architecture.  Taking advantage of this, we will use the city as our classroom in order to examine the development of Florentine art and architecture in context.  In addition to on-site lectures, classroom lectures will focus on the art produced in other major Italian cities.  The course will also include class trips to the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, and a private visit to the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

Honors students who enroll in the Italian Art class will be required to fulfill a supplementary and complementary workload to enrich their academic experience.  This workload will consist of a series of selected readings from both primary and secondary sources that will be used to write a series of essays concerning the topics discussed in class.  A final 10- to 15-page research paper is also required.  Students will transform their research into presentations to be made either in class or on site.  Honors students will consult regularly throughout the semester with their professor for guidance concerning their final project.

BUS 30324: International Business

Instructor: Marco Tortora

This course provides an introduction to the different environments, theories, and practices of international business.  The course is designed for any student interested in international business, regardless of his or her principal academic discipline.  Topics covered include globalization; international companies; sustainability; the impact and importance of culture; economics, political and law environments, trade theories and the world financial environment, global strategies, structure and management.  The main goal of this course is to highlight the importance of a multi-scaled and multi-disciplinary approach so that students understand the complexity of the subject and to give them a global view of international markets.

Students will be working primarily from assigned materials (presentations, notes, articles, and papers).  You will write one current events review and one case/field report.  There will be a mid-term and final exam.  Students are expected to attend and actively participate in class discussions and assignments, including oral presentations to the class.

In addition, Honors students will attend four lessons (one per month) in which they will be required to focus on an international business topic (one per lesson) and to analyze that topic using a systemic and multidisciplinary approach.  The main goal of these four sessions is to give students the opportunity to analyze business topics through a workshop method, adopting a comparative and experimental approach.

JMC 40009/COMM 45091:Comparative Media Systems

Instructor: Fabio Corsini

Comparative Media is an interdisciplinary field of study dealing with the relevance of media, the traditional as well as new ones, in contemporary society.  The comparative method helps to clarify similarities