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  • Locations: Milan, Italy
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
Program Description:
About the Program Accommodations
Eligibility Dates and Costs
Academics Visa Information

About IES Milan

Once a capital of the Roman Empire, Milan is now a center for business, The Galleria in Milan, by Caitlin Larwoodfinance, the fashion industry, music, and domestic and industrial design.  As the only American program in Milan, IES offers students the opportunity to integrate fully into the life of this modern Italian city through living, studying, and interacting daily with the local population and university students. Milan's central location provides students easy access to all major Italian as well as European cities.  Read about the experience of Kadeem Fyffe, '13 integrating into the Milan academically and culturally while on the IES Milan program!

The IES Milan program is available to Richmond students through UR's affiliation with the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES). 

The program features a wide range of courses that may be taken at the IES Center.  Students with previous Italian language study may also be able to also enroll in local universities, depending on the student's language ability and date flexibility as the Italian university calendar differs from those in the U.S.

Affiliated local universities include Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione (IULM), and Istituto Moda Burgo, among others.  Internships are also available on this program.

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  • Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university to study abroad. When reviewing applications for approval, disciplinary records will be taken into consideration and students must be cleared by the Dean’s office to study abroad.  Students on conduct probation will not be able to study abroad if they are on conduct probation that does not expire prior to the start date of the semester abroad program.
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0Sketch by Fyffe
  • Students with previous Italian language study preferred, although no previous language study required.  
  • Sophomore, Junior or Senior standing when program begins. *Some Italian university courses may not be open to students with sophomore standing.
  • Attn music students:  The audition for the Milan music program happens onsite. 
  • Robins School of Business students may transfer back credit from only one (1) business course taken while enrolled on the IES Milan program to count towards their business degree.  Specific course approval must be given by Dr. Tom Cosse.  RSB students may transfer courses back from non-business subjects to count towards any non-business majors/minors and general education requirements (pending departmental approval) and towards the total units needed for graduation.
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Course load

All students are required to take one Italian language course, which is usually worth 6 IES credits.  IES requires that students register for a minimum of 15 IES credit hours per semester, including the credits earned from the language course. 

To determine the unit value of an IES course, the following formula will be used by the UR Registrar's office: # of IES credits divided by 3.5 and rounded up to the nearest tenth of a unit. 

A minimum unit load at Richmond is 3.5 units and the maximum is 5 units. Therefore, in order to maintain full-time status, and considering IES' requirements, you should register for 15-17.5 IES credits per semester.  Below is a table with the conversion into units as it will appear on the UR transcript. 

IES Credits

Richmond Units

3 .9
4 1.2
5 1.5
6 1.8
8 2.3


Course Selection

An Italian cooking class at Buitoni Cooking School in Milan, by Caitlin Larwood

The IES Milan program offers two tracks that are open to Richmond students: Italy Today and Music: Tradition & Innovation

Italy Today Track

The Italy Today track offers coursework in subject areas such as Sociology, Art History, Music, History, Communication, English and Literature, Italian, Political Science, Studio Art, Film and Psychology. 

Internships are also available for credit.  A sample of past internship placements includes the Leonardo Project, work in a science lab at a local university, Citigroup, Inc., UPIM (fashion design store), Music Publishing Institute, Theatro Olmetto (production and administration), and Easy Milano (writing and office work).  Placements are not guaranteed at these or any other companies.

In addition to courses taken at the IES Center, students with junior or senior status may take Italian- and English-taught courses in a wide variety of subject areas at affiliated local universities, in fields such as fashion design, music, economics, and architecture, among others.   

Note: The ITAL 121 portion of the COM2 requirement cannot be fulfilled on this program.  See Michele Cox in International Education or Lorenza Marcin in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures for details or with questions.

Music: Tradition & Innovation Track

Students take a required Italian language course and then tailor their curriculum with appropriate courses in music or other elective areas from the Italy Today track.  Course topics include vocal performance, instrumental performance (all instruments), theory and composition, and music history.  Students can participate in ensembles or choirs.  Additionally, students can take private lessons in a wide range of musical areas.  See the IES website for details.

The program director is himself an acclaimed Italian composer and musical scholar.  He meets individually with music students to create a customized schedule and introduce them to the Milan music scene.

Students applying to this program must submit a music file or link to a performance as part of the application.

Credit transfer

The University of Richmond accepts credits directly from IES.   All courses must be graded. No credit is awarded for a "pass-fail" mark. Students must earn a "C" or above in order to receive transfer credit. More information on credit transfer can be found on the web page

Grading Scale

IES uses a standard grading policy readily recognized by US institutions, as defined in the scale below.  Grades received for courses at outside institutions will be converted into grades according to an approved conversion system. 

IES Milan UR Equivalents
Excellent  A, A- A
Good performance  B+, B, B- B
Adequate performance  C+, C C
*Adequate performance (low range)  C- C-
*Unsatisfactory performance  D D
*Failure to complete course requirements F

* Grades of C- and below will NOT earn transfer credit back to UR.

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There are three choices for accommodations in Milan.  Students must live in IES-provided housing and may not opt to find their own housing outside of the program.

Homestay: Placements are available throughout Milan with families chosen by IES. This is the best option for cultural immersion to learn more about how locals live, and is also the best option for budget, as breakfast and dinner are included in the cost. Students can get lunch at the Università Cattolica's cafeteria or at local cafes. Students in homestays also enjoy a single room.  Watch the IES video about host families for more information.

Apartment: Located throughout the city, furnished apartments typically house three to six students. Generally, two students share a bedroom (single rooms in an apartment carry an extra fee) and apartments are single-sex. Some IES students are housed with an Italian roommate who is either a college student or young working professional. Meals are not included, so students normally prepare their own breakfast and dinner and eat lunch at the Università Cattolica's cafeteria.

Collegio di Milano: The Collegio is a residence for Italian and international honors students and offers single rooms with private bathrooms and balconies. Other facilities include a computer room, library, cafeteria, and an auditorium for special cultural programs. The Collegio includes breakfast and dinner daily, and also lunches on weekends (16 meals/week). Space is limited, and students are chosen by the Collegio, based on academic criteria. Due to the many amenities, this option carries an additional fee. 

For more information, see the IES website.

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Dates and Costs

Click here for IES Milan Dates and Costs.

Visa Information

Students are offered the opportunity to participate in the IES Visa ACCeSS Program to help them get their visas.  Students may also apply directly to the Italian consulate to obtain the student visa as well. More information about applying directly can be found on the Italian consulate's web page.


Note that students accepted to the IES Milan program who wish to take one or more courses at Bocconi will have to apply for Corsi Singoli, which is an additional (and somewhat complicated) step to the Italian student visa process.  See Michele Cox in the Office of International Education for further details.

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For more information, contact Michele Cox in the Office of International Education.  Students planning to major or minor in  Italian Studies should also discuss their interest in the program with Dr. Lidia Radi.

Updated May 2016

This document represents the most accurate information available at the time of publication. Statements contained herein are not contractual obligations, and verbal or other representations that are inconsistent with or not contained within the document are not binding. The University of Richmond reserves the right to change without specific notice programs and the conditions under which they are offered.