Kennesaw State opens first permanent study-abroad site, in Italy

It’s Italia for Kennesaw State University.

The four-year institution in Cobb County has opened its first permanent international education site in Montepulciano, Italy, allowing the university to conduct year-round academic programs there. Kennesaw State will occupy 4,000-square feet of the Antica Fortezza Poliziana, a 13th-century fortress. The building was renovated to accommodate six classrooms, an apartment for a director, meeting space and offices. The study-abroad program will offer courses in visual and culinary arts, history, literature, Italian language and political science.

A 25-year rental agreement for the new property was approved by the state’s Board of Regents in November 2012, and funded by $520,000 from the university’s foundation and private donors. The college shares the Italian location with a consortium of 80 wine growers that partnered to complete the renovation. The fortress was last used as a silk factory in the late 19th century.

The university has conducted summer academic programs in the Tuscany region for almost 20 years in a rented school. The new location will allow for fall and spring course offerings as well, with the first launching this fall. Up to 25 first-year students will split time between the Kennesaw State campus and in Montepulciano spending seven weeks in each location completing general education courses.

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