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Italian Track

Students in the Italian Track spend their third and fourth year in Piacenza, Italy where they study at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC), just roughly 50 miles southeast of Milan, Italy.

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore

USCS is the largest private university in Europe and the largest Catholic institution in the world. UCSC operates five campuses in northern Italy. The UCSC’s Piacenza campus has 2,500 students and 270 faculty members. The campus provides a cohesive and close-knit university community and is within close distance to Piacenza’s city center.

The Università Cattolica at Piacenza is equipped with state-of-the-art teaching tools and facilities. With its innovative design, the campus provides an atmosphere which encourages dialogue between students and professors, thus creating optimal conditions for learning. The Piacenza campus is similar to UK or US campuses, with its expansive landscaped areas for socializing and relaxation, and facilities for accommodating both efficient teaching and advanced research activity. The ratio of tenured professors plus contract professors:student ratio is 1:8, which promotes support and coordination among students and faculty.

Piacenza: La Primogenita d’Italia

While its history dates back to the Roman Empire, Piacenza earned the nickname “La Primogenita d’Italia” when it was recognized in the mid-1800s as one of the first cities in the unified nation of Italy as we know it today. Often referred to as a ‘crossroads’, Piacenza is between the two major cities of Milan and Bologna. It also lies on the border between Lombardy and Piedmont, two of the most industrialized regions in the north, at an important logistic hub for road and rail transport, both national and international.

Piacenza is also home to such beautiful historical structures as the Piacenza Cathedral and the Basilica di Santa Maria di Campagna. The city is renowned for its production of specialty Italian meats, cheeses, wine and other delicious food that can only be found in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy.

About 50 miles (a 45 minute train ride) away from Piacenza is the cosmopolitan, multicultural city of Milan. The city is home to the Milan Cathedral and the Sforza Castle, and is a global hub for fashion and business. Milan houses Italy’s national stock exchange and is an important financial capital.


Upon arriving in Italy in their third year, students will enroll in an Italian language immersion program to facilitate their transition to Italy’s culture and education. This intensive language program will build on the foundation language courses taught at NC State. This program allows students who have studied Spanish or Latin in high school to master an additional language.

A unique aspect of UCSC and the Italian education system is their 3-year bachelor’s degree track. Given this, students will take masters level courses (equivalent to 4th year coursework at NC State) in their final year of the program and graduate with THREE degrees: bachelor of business administration from NC State, bachelor of business administration from UCSC and a master of business administration from UCSC.


There are various ways to find an accommodation. We advise students to come to Piacenza at the end of July and take the time to visit as many lodgings as possible to find a suitable option. If the students are not planning to come before September, we suggest booking a temporary accommodation for the first week or two until finding an appropriate solution that corresponds to one’s needs and expectations.

There is also a resident hall located right behind the University cafeteria,which is the only on-campus housing at UCSC. With 52 single rooms and private bathrooms, and three common kitchens, the Residence is a very comfortable place to stay. The price includes breakfast, bed linen, blankets, weekly room cleaning and Wi-Fi connection. There are also several common rooms to have the opportunity to meet local and other international students.

Also on campus, there is a University canteen, located in Collegio Sant’Isidoro. The cafeteria seats 340 in two rooms with air-conditioning. Among the various dishes offered by the University cafeteria, you will have the opportunity to try the typical regional dishes of Emilia-Romagna.


Italian-based companies include Diesel Clothing Company, food manufacturer Ferrero and Fiat Automobiles. Many more multinational companies base regional headquarters in Italy, including IBM in Milan, Whirlpool in Naples and Pero, and Boeing Operations in Rome.