JU 103: Freshman Experience Abroad Tour of Italy

Incoming freshmen are invited to apply to Jacksonville University’s Freshman Experience Abroad. Join other first year students, JU peer mentors, and faculty for an engaged learning experience throughout Italy as you tour through Rome, Florence and Venice in 11 days. The course will begin during the Fall semester at JU.  At the end of the course, you will travel to Italy, and then return in time for the Winter term.

This program and course are designed to help make your first year at JU a smooth transition to success, as it mirrors the similarities with stepping into the college environment for the first time with that of traveling and living in a different culture. JU peer mentors will also be attending the trip and take part in your course. You’ll learn from these expert student leaders and faculty about how to make the most of your academic career at JU.


                           freshmen italy                     

2019 Freshman Experience Abroad Group

Important Dates

Travel dates: November 28 - December 9, 2022*
*subject to change

Application & Deposit Deadline: July 1, 2022

Final Payment Deadline: August 1, 2022

How to Apply



During the Fall Term, students will be registered for JU 103 for 3 credit hours. 

This program fulfills JU’s Experiential Learning undergraduate requirement for graduation. (JU 409)


This program is open to 15 first year students. Additional applicants will be placed on a wait list.

Faculty Leaders

Tiffany LeachTiffany Leach

Tiffany Leach is an Associate Professor of Art and Director of the MFA in Visual Arts program at Jacksonville University. Leach completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in visual arts with a concentration in ceramics at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She holds a Masters in Fine Arts degree in visual arts from the University of Georgia. Her work has been exhibited and collected nationally and internationally. Leach has a passion for travel and adventure that has lead to time spent living in Italy prior to teaching at JU, as well as, a month long artist residency this year in Italy. She has spent time visiting in Europe, South Africa, Canada, Mexico and the Bahamas.

Travel Tip: As a seasoned traveler often with two small children in tow, the advice I like to give is pack light, have an open mind for adventure & be flexible!

Dr. Robin EdgeDr. Robin Edge

Dr. Robin Edge is a Tenured Associate Professor of Speech-Language Pathology at Jacksonville University where she teaches fluency disorders and healthcare ethics at the graduate level and international rehabilitation policy for graduate and undergraduate students.  Dr. Edge completed her BSEd and PhD from the University of Georgia and her MEd from Valdosta State University all in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  Her research interests include ethics education, the scholarship of teaching and learning in CSD, fluency disorders, and quality of life throughout communication sciences and disorders.  She has over 15 peer reviewed publications and 30 national and international presentations.  She has led JU faculty led health care programs to Ireland and is will lead speech-language pathology students in Italy in Fall 2019.  In addition to her academic career, Dr. Edge has interests in business management and preparation as she owned and operated a multi-therapy private practice for ten years.

Tentative Program Itinerary

  • Sunday, Nov 27 - Depart the US for Rome
  • Monday, Nov 28 - Arrive in Rome
    • Tour Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Cauchin Crypt and the Spanish Steps
  • Tues, Nov 29 - Rome
    • the Colosseum, Jewish Ghetto in Trastevere
  • Wed, Nov 30 - Rome
    • Catacombs of Domitilla
  • Thurs, Dec 1 - Rome
    • Day trip to Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii
  • Fri, Dec 2 - Rome
    • espresso, gelato and tiramisu guided walking tour, St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican and Sistine Chapel
  • Sat, Dec 3 - Rome
    • Day Trip to Tivoli  with visit to Hadrian's Villa and Villa d'Este
  • Sun, Dec 4 - Florence
    • Visit the David at Accademia Gallery; Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
  • Mon, Dec 5 - Florence
    • Day trip to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa
    • Cooking class at Florence University of the Arts (pending availability)
  • Tues, Dec 6 - Venice
    • St. Mark's Square, Doge's Palace and Museo Correr
  • Wed, Dec 7 - Venice
    • Visit the island of Murano and attend a glass blowing demonstration (pending availability)
  • Thurs, Dec 8 - Rome
    • Group Farewell Dinner
  • Fri, Dec 9 - Return to US

*Itinerary and dates subject to change

Program Cost

*$3,250 - $3,995 (subject to change)

*This price range is determined based on enrollment. The final program cost will be determined after the application and deposit deadline has passed.

Included in cost

  • Airport Pick/Drop-Off
  • In-country transportation (coach bus & public transportation)
  • Welcome and Farewell Dinners
  • Breakfast daily
  • Shared Accommodations (3 - 6 students per room) in hotels
  • Group Excursions and entrance fees per itinerary
  • 24-hour emergency access to support services
  • On-site Program Coordinator
  • Medical & Accident insurance for each participant
  • Gratuities to guides and bus drivers and/or similar

Excluded from cost

  • Roundtrip Airfare
  • Meals (unless otherwise specified on itinerary)
  • Incidentals

Contact Us

Ginny Garzón

Study Abroad & Away Coordinator

Tiffany Leach

Dr. Robin Edge