Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity

KSU Italy is Kennesaw State University’s premier international educational site based in the ancient Tuscan hill town of Montepulciano. With more than 20 years of programs, KSU Italy offers students a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live and study in Italy while earning degree credit.  
In Montepulciano, students have access to state-of-the-art classroom facilities in the Medieval Fortezza (fortress), where faculty provide their expertise on a variety of academic disciplines. KSU Italy offers undergraduate and graduate programs with subjects in business, engineering, education, nursing, art, psychology, history, honors courses, the President's Emerging Global Scholars (PEGS) program, and more.  
KSU collaborates with Georgia College, Georgia Southern University, and Valdosta State University to make KSU Italy available to more students than just KSU alone.  

How It Started

KSU Italy began in 1999 as a single study abroad program with 24 students as a partnership with the USG European Council, but swiftly grew once KSU took over management of the program. KSU Italy has continued to grow and has proudly expanded its academic reach to all colleges within KSU, offering upwards of 10 programs in an academic year. The expansion of KSU Italy and its offerings is also thanks to the many years of partnership and collaboration between KSU, the Comune of Montepulciano (local administration), Il Sasso Italian Language School, and Terre Toscane (a local travel agency). 

Building in Montepulciano

photo of KSU students in Italy outside on a bench

What We Offer

With Etruscan origins and a Renaissance past, Montepulciano’s history and geography offer a unique experience to connect academic learning to real-life experiences. KSU Italy offers many programs annually through many academic departments. Through our signature consortium program, students can take general education courses and upper-division courses in fine arts, liberal arts, humanities, and sciences. Past courses have ranged in topics such as Art, Art History, Literature, Italian Studies, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Geography, Mathematics, and Writing.  

Montepulciano is located centrally between Florence and Rome, so classes have access to major cultural centers for field trips. Faculty enrich student learning with meaningful field experiences at historic and cultural sites including Florence, Orvieto, Pisa, Siena, Rome, Vatican City, Pienza, Bologna, Milan, etc.  

While in town, students will stay in apartments hosted by locals, all within a 20-minute walk to the Fortezza. Programs often include survival Italian language lessons so that students can become self-sufficient in the community.

The Fortezza

With its site origins dating back to 200 BCE, the Fortezza Medievale, the high point of the Tuscan hill town, has served as an Etruscan Tower, Citadel, Silk Factory, High School, TV Set, and now as KSU Italy’s home base!  Its purpose now is for KSU to use the culturally rich space with state-of-the-art facilities to transform the lives not only of our students but also of the many Georgia communities we serve. 
In 2013, KSU and the City of Montepulciano partnered together to make the relationship permanent through a 25-year lease of the Fortezza Medievale. Through the generosity of the KSU Foundation and Global Education, the Fortezza went under renovation to restore its history and create a state-of-the-art facility for students, faculty and guests, including extensive classroom space as well as a scholar/director apartment. The Fortezza officially reopened in 2015 and has since been the home center for KSU students in Italy. 
While in class, students enjoy Wi-Fi connection and panoramic views of the Val d’Chiana. The Fortezza is shared by the Consorzio del Vino Nobile, a group of 80 wine producers who worked with KSU to complete the renovation. Cultural programs are held in the building's common areas, which are open to the public.

photo of KSU students at the fortezza