Business in Italy

Isenberg students in Italy at the oldest existing bank in the worldIsenberg students in Italy at the oldest existing bank in the world

The Business in Italy Program combines a course with a field trip to Italy. The course framework includes: readings, lectures, and group activities. While in Italy, students will meet with business leaders, tour business facilities and cultural sites, attend lectures, meet Italian university students, and immerse themselves in the culture of Italy.


The On-campus Course

In the Business in Italy Program, students study the effects of globalization on Italian business. The on-campus course is designed to broaden the global perspective of students who have chosen studies in business and management. We will focus on the unique role that Italy plays in the world economy and more specifically on the history, culture, and management practices that enable Italian business to influence the worldwide markets for high-end designer consumer products. All this will be accomplished through readings, research, and discussions taking place both in the classroom on campus and during the trip in Italy.



The Trip to Italy

As is often said, one learns best about oneself in reference to some well-defined other.  In this context, we expect that understanding the nature of business and management in a different country will likely expose opportunities and vulnerabilities that may be embedded in our taken-for-granted practices at home. Contemplating business and culture in another land is good global business education at home. The field trip to Italy takes place over a 10-12 day period.  We travel as a group, beginning and ending our journey at Boston's Logan Airport together. While in Italy we travel by chartered bus. The field trip provides an intense group experience that students have often said builds lasting memories and friendships.


The Combined Approach

The on-campus seminar has two main objectives: (1) to provide students the opportunity to learn about globalization and (2) to prepare students for the field trip. Once we return from Italy, our on-campus study has two new objectives: (1) to discuss what was learned in class in relation to what was observed and experienced in Italy, and (2) to reflect upon the professional and personal experiences the seminar and field trip facilitated.


Students will travel with two-three Isenberg School representatives to Italy for a first-hand look at Italian business and culture. Accompanied by at least two faculty members from the Isenberg School of Management, students will visit cities, such as Milan, Florence, and Rome with day trips to nearby locations of interest. Students will meet with peers in Italian universities, with business people to observe business in action, and they will visit cultural and historical sites to get a feel of the societal undercurrents.


More about the Program

In recent years our focus has been on effects of globalization on traditional Italian business. In 2008, we tried to capture what students were learning and what business people, college professors, and others had to say about the changes to some of Italy's most important, traditional business.  Check out this video.


Our on-campus seminar meets weekly. Full participation in the seminar and field trip earns three credits toward an upper-level business elective.


Places we've visited recently include:

 Isenberg students in Italy at Milan Cathedral - Piazza del DuomoIsenberg students in Italy at Milan Cathedral - Piazza del Duomo

  • University of Milan
  • American Embassy in Rome
  • American Consulates in Florence and Milan
  • Large and small vineyards
  • A family-run balsamic vinegar business
  • A family-run leather factory, making boots and shoes for a large US business
  • Parmesan cheese factory
  • A small, locally owned bakery chain
  • The Lamborghini factory museum

Estimated cost of the program fee and airfare will be between $3,000 and $3,300. Program fee includes: lodging (with daily breakfast), ground transportation in Italy, fees for business visits, tour guides, and other costs associated with required group activities.


The 2014-2015 Program

The Business in Italy Program will run during the 2014-2015 school year. Classes will begin in October, and the field trip to Italy will take place in January 2015. For the April 16 information session handout, click here. To apply to the Business in Italy Program for 2014-2015, please visit: and select Education Abroad. Look for the Winter 2015 programs to find our Business in Italy Program application.


Faculty Contacts: Holly Lawrence, and Michael Schurter,