Student Services


Student services

Our aim is to respond to the needs of our participants by offering the experience and advice of our faculty and staff, who are at hand 24 hours seven days a week during the program (and throughout the year via email) and available to address any questions or concerns a participant may have, including academic, safety, travel, entertainment, food, etc. We encourage students to organize their own explorations, however, we also organize tours, trips and other educational and fun activities, such as Italian film nights, community festivals, local dinner events and concerts.


In San Gemini, the day before classes begin, we conduct a 2-hour orientation and invite all participants and staff to a welcoming reception. The orientation is designed to help students navigate their stay in San Gemini as smoothly as possible. Issues covered in orientation include: accommodations, linen, laundry, kitchen, electricity, environmental considerations, trash and recycling, the classrooms, the office, class schedules, food, open-market, stores, restaurants, swimming pool, money, telephones, internet, public transport, local laws, safety, local customs and practices, medical services, insurance, etc.

We coordinate phone conference calls with participants and staff members a month before programs begin in order to review the program, travel to San Gemini and answer any questions.

We provide a travel logistics document that covers travel to San Gemini and other issues such as being a safe traveler, what to pack, money exchange, etc.

The first day of class includes an overview of the local history and a tour of San Gemini and the nearby ancient Roman town of Carsulae, both towns being integral to the programs’ field work.

Health and Safety Protocol

  • SGPS requires all students purchase comprehensive study abroad insurance from CISI.

  • Health and safety issues are reviewed during our orientation (see above).

  • Students are also asked to read and sign the rules and regulations and liability release form


Shared Housing

Participants stay in apartments or houses that are available in the town of San Gemini. The apartments vary as we renew rental contracts with whatever is available to us every year. The conditions can differ, but all provide basic, comfortable living conditions in the historic center of San Gemini. These shared rooms are priced affordably at $600 per program and included in the total program fee.

Most of the accommodations are in medieval buildings that have very thick walls, which can keep living quarters cool on hot days, but cold on wet days. Most do not have air conditioning. All accommodations are within walking distance to classrooms and the center of town.

Shared Housing Includes:

  • Shared bedrooms that can vary from two to three beds

  • Shared bathrooms

  • Kitchens with basic cooking utensils

  • Laundry (washing machine and hang-dry)

  • Weekly change of linen (bed sheets and one bath towel)

Single room accommodations

Private rooms within a shared apartment (sharing bathroom and kitchen) is also available. The fee for this option is $900 per program, but the cost will also depend on the availability.


Meals and internet. In town there are several bars and excellent restaurants where students can relax and eat. There is free wireless internet available in Palazzo Vecchio, our main classroom and office. There is also free wireless available in the central piazza and in the 2 main bars/cafes. We cannot guarantee that there is internet available in every apartment.


Private Apartment or Hotel Room

If you are interested in finding out more information about other accommodation options for participants in our program, please contact Polly Withers at or Sotiris Kourtesis at

Please note that a 15% service fee will be charged for any special arrangements such as arranging for a private apartment.


Scholar Calendar


Session 1: June 1 – June 26, 2020
Intersession Trip: June 28 – July 7, 2020
Session 2: July 13 – August 7, 2020

Mar 15 Deadline for applications and deposits
Mar 20 Acceptances notification and program confirmation
Mar 30 1st Payment Deadline
May 1 Full payment deadline

May 30 Arrival day for Session I (San Gemini) Programs A, B and C
May 31 Orientation and welcome reception Session I
Jun 1 First day of classes for programs A, B and C
Jun 25 Goodbye dinner
Jun 26 Session I last day of classes
Jun 27 Departure day/Session I participants must leave housing by 11am

Jun 28 Field Trip to Siena, Florence and Rome starts in San Gemini
Jul 7 Field Trip to Siena, Florence and Rome ends in Rome

Jul 11 Arrival Day for Session II (San Gemini) Programs D, E and F
Jul 12 Orientation and welcome reception Session II
Jul 13 Session II first day of classes for programs D, E and F
Aug 6 Goodbye Dinner
Aug 7 Session II last day of classes
Aug 8 Departure day/Session II participants must leave housing by 11

Tuition and Program Fees


10% Discount

Benefit from our discount on multiple program fees.

Apply for 2 programs we will deduct 10% from your 2nd tuition fee (a savings of $330).

Tuition to programs A, B, C, D, E and F includes:
Academic costs for the equivalent of 6 units, transportation during academic field trips within Italy that are part of that course, materials and tools (not personal tools), buffet reception, welcome packet, and final dinner.

Tuition for the Intersession Field Trip to Siena, Florence and Rome includes:
Academic costs, transportation, hotel accommodations and breakfast, museum tickets when part of organized academic tours, academic handouts and final dinner.  This trip is optional and not part of regular programs; students must enroll and pay for this program separately. 

Tuition for Programs or Field Trip does not include: Airfare to Italy, food, required insurance.

Deposit and deadline for applications due: April 28

Common Questions

What is the required insurance?

SGPS coordinates the required insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). This is not required for Italian or other EU citizens who would be covered by the EU health coverage agreement. The rate is $53 per month for all participants (you would need two months if you are planning to participate in the Intersession Field Trip, only one month for one program, and three months for both sessions).

For more information please read our full FAQ

Is Financial Aid Available?

We wish we had scholarships available but unfortunately we don’t. However, we’d like to point out that we are one of the less expensive study abroad options out there. Check with your university as some students are able to get financial support to attend our program. Also, some students apply for a loan from a financial institution. We have also had participants fund their trip by Crowdfunding.

For a list of other funding possibilities, please read our full FAQ

Are Deposits refundable?

If an applicant withdraws their application before the March 15th deadline, they will be refunded the $450 deposit but not the $50 application fee. Those students that withdraw their application after March 15 will not receive a refund of either the application fee or the deposit. Should the program be cancelled due to low enrollment, or any other SGSP decision, applicants will be fully refunded.

For more information about payments, please read our full FAQ

What forms of payments are accepted?


1. Print out this Payment Form, complete the bottom section selecting the fees you are including in this payment, detach it.
2. Include the form with a check* or money order* made payable to the International Institute for Restoration and Preservation Studies (or IIRPS).
3. Mail the form and check or money order to:
Attn: Polly Withers, 203 7th Avenue, 5A, Brooklyn, New York 11215.

* We accept checks from US banks. We do not accept checks from foreign banks, nor do we accept checks or money orders in currency other than US dollars.


Wire transfers must be in US Dollars (must include $15 per wire transfer to cover bank fees). This is usually how participants from outside the US pay.


Direct bank to bank payment (includes an additional administrative processing fee of 1%).


Credit Card payment (includes an additional administrative processing fee of 3%).

If you are interested in finding out how to pay by wire transfer, credit card, or directly from your bank to IIRPS bank, please contact Polly Withers.

Base Tuition: Programs A B C D E F

Academic Equivalent of 6 Units of Credit for 4 Weeks
Travel within Italy
Materials and tools
Buffet Reception
Final Night Dinner
Welcome Packet

Base Tuition $3,300

+ Shared housing for 4 weeks ($600)
+ Application fee ($50)

Total Cost: $3,950

Mandatory fees not included:
Health Insurance $53 per month

Tuition Intersession Field Trip

Academic Equivalent of 1 Unit Credit for 10 days
Transportation within Italy
Hotel and Breakfast
Academic Museum Tours
Final Night Dinner
Academic Handouts

Additional $2,000

Recommended Extras Not Included

Food (cooking) $7 to $15 per day
Food (restaurants) $10 to $30 per day
Certificate of Completion $20

important Notes

  1. All fees must be received in US dollars. It is very unlikely, but costs may vary from this estimate according to enrollment, currency fluctuations, or changes in prices. Final costs can be confirmed after March 15th.

  2. Personal tools: SGPS does not provide personal tools for students, such as: work gloves, safety boots, safety glasses, computer laptops or cameras. Please check the requirements of each course.

  3. Mandatory Health Insurance is not included in the program fees. SGPS coordinates this group coverage through CISI (Cultural Insurance Services International). Do not purchase individually.

  4. The “units” above are not university or college credits but are the equivalent in student work. Students getting credit from West Virginia University or their own university for participation in our programs may have extra fees to pay directly to the crediting institution.


SGPS is not an accredited university. Our courses are rated by units (equivalent to credit units). Participants receive a letter-graded evaluation and, if requested, an official certificate of completion ($20 extra fee to cover postage).

Participants that want to receive accredited college or university credit should apply to our program through West Virginia University (see below instructions). Many students are able to get independent study credit through their home universities and applicants should consult their student advisers to see if that option is available to them.


West Virginia University

In 2018, SGPS established relations with West Virginia University through which students participating in some of our courses are able to receive accreditation through the WVU Art History Department. You can apply online at their WVU Abroad page ( SGPS Session 1 and SGPS Session 2 ). The deadline for applying through WVU has been extended to April 28, 2019. They are also offering credit for the Intersession Preservation Tour.
The cost is $4,550 per program (not including airfare). This tuition covers:

  • WVU Course Credits

  • Lodging

  • Programmatic Academic Excursions

  • Comprehensive International Travel and Health Insurance.

Please contact Polly Withers, IIRPS/SGPS program manager email:, or Amanda Morgan, Education Abroad Coordinator for WVU email or Tel: (304) 293-7228, with any questions.

You can read about the experience last summer of students from WVU in the following article:
New GPS Program Teaches Restoration, Preservation in Italy


University of Notre Dame

Also in 2018 we began a new collaboration with the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture on a new research project: the architectural and structural survey of the excavation site of the baths at the ancient Roman city of Carsulae. For more information on this project please visit our page: Program F 2019.

For further information about this collaboration with UND, please contact Polly Withers, IIRPS/SGPS program manager email: