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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: Rome, Italy
  • Program Terms: Spring
  • Restrictions: UPENN applicants only
  • Budget Sheets: Spring
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: 2 semesters of college level language (or equivalent)
Minimum Cumulative GPA: 3.0 Credit Available For: College
Other Eligibility Requirements: See Program Description Type of Program: Semester/Year Study Abroad
Housing Options: Apartment/Off-Campus, Arranged by Student Application Deadline: Spring: September 20
Department Preferred: Philosophy, Politics, Economics (PPE)
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

BLU LogoLUISS Guido Carli University of Rome

LUISS – Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali Guido Carli – is an independent university that was created out of a pre-existing Roman institution, Pro Deo, between 1974 and 1978.  LUISS offers an innovative educational approach across its four departments: Economics and Finance, Business and Management, Law, and Political Science. Its goal is not simply to convey knowledge but to instill flexibility in young people, giving them a sense of mastery over their future.
For additional information, visit the LUISS website
The City of Rome

The capital of Italy, Rome is also the country’s largest and most populated city.  Located in the Lazio region of Central Italy along the banks of the Tevere (Tiber) River, Rome is one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe.  LUISS has six campuses across the city; however, Penn students will spend most of their time at the Social Science Campus, which comprises a majority of the academic departments and student services offices. This campus is the newest, having opened in 2007, and is located in the upscale Parioli neighborhood, adjacent to Rome's second largest park, Villa Ada.

Did you know…?

La Fontana di Trevi, or the Trevi Fountain, is one of the most famous fountains in the world.  Legend has it that you should throw three coins into the fountain – the first guarantees a return to Rome, the second promises a new romance, and the third ensures that romance will lead to marriage.  Hundreds of thousands of Euros worth of coins are thrown into the fountain every year, but don’t remove any!  Roman authorities have made it a crime to take coins from the Trevi Fountain, since each time the coins are officially cleared away they are donated to Roman charities.



The program at LUISS is for PPE Majors only.

Minimum GPA Requirement
: 3.0

Language Prerequisite: Successful completion of Italian 120, or the equivalent, by the end of the academic semester prior to departure.  


Language of Instruction


Terms Available

The PPE program at LUISS is available in the Spring term only.


A full course load at LUISS consists of four (4) classes per semester.  Students will be able to count up to 3 classes towards the PPE major; the fourth class may be taken as a free (College) elective, or used to fulfill other requirements (additional majors, minors, etc.).  Penn students must maintain a full course load while abroad and may only enroll in courses at the undergraduate level.

LUISS Academic Calendar
LUISS Course Catalog for Incoming Exchange Students

Grading Scale

As on all Penn Abroad programs, grades are recorded on the Penn transcript and are calculated in the cumulative grade point average.  The pass/fail option can be exercised according to the Penn on-campus policy of your home school. For more information on Penn Abroad’s academic policies, click here.

Italian universities award grades on a thirty point scale (i.e., 18 is considered passing, optimal grades are in the upper 20s).  Students are frequently assessed solely on the results of a final exam (written or oral).  Grades are reported to Penn on the Italian scale and then converted to Penn grades according to standard Italian – U.S. grade equivalencies:
LUISS Grade Penn Grade
29-30 A
28 A-
27 B+
26 B
25 C+
24 C
22-23 D+
18-21 D
17 and below F

Special Features

BLU Special Features
Orientation Activities

All Penn students are required to attend the orientation activities organized by LUISS prior to the start of each semester. 

Student Associations

Penn students studying at LUISS have access to a wide range of student activities and associations. More information can be found here.


BLU CampusParticipants must be willing to live under local conditions for students.

Exchange students are not able to secure accommodation in the University Residence, therefore, international students live in private self-catered apartments with Italian or international roommates in the nearby neighborhoods. While the Student Exchange Office does not take responsibility for providing accommodation, there is a private organization that helps students attain housing, provided that they meet all deadlines.  LUISS has two cafeterias on campus that offer meals on weekdays and lunch on Saturdays. There are also a variety of pizza shops, snack bars, restaurants, etc. in the surrounding neighborhoods where students can purchase food.

Information regarding accommodation can be found here.

Cost and Finance

Penn Abroad Financial Policies

Students are charged Penn tuition and academic fees for all Penn Abroad programs.  Additional expenses will typically include items such as housing, visas, and airfare.  Please see the program budget sheets below for more information.  For more on Penn Abroad’s financial policies, click here.

Financial Aid and Study Abroad

In most cases, financial aid applies to Penn-approved programs.  Student Financial Services reviews program budget sheets each semester to determine how to appropriately adjust your aid package. For more information on how Financial Aid will work during your semester abroad, click here.

Budget Sheets


Scholarship Opportunities

Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program: Competition for awards for study abroad, for US citizen students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding at a 2-year or 4-year college or university. 

Next Steps

For information on the Penn Abroad application process, click here.

To open an application or learn more about the program, please click here to schedule an appointment with a Penn Abroad Global Programs Manager.

For a student perspective on life and academics in Rome, contact a Penn Abroad Past-Participant or Exchange Student.