ExCEL Program

International Experiential Corporate Learning Program

May 2023 ExCEL Program

Milan +Florence Italy (focus on fashion)

May 13-24, 2023

Applications Now Available

Program Learning Objectives

    ExCEL features meetings with executives of some of the top companies and businesses in major cities around the world as well as local and national government officials. The goal of the program is for students to meet with business leaders, not just from U.S. companies doing business outside of the U.S., but also joint ventures, and wholly nationally owned businesses. In doing so, the program hopes to:

    • Enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of international business.
      The program is focused on giving students a better understanding of the complexities of doing business under other economic systems, the scope of business opportunities, and the way U.S. companies operate outside the U.S.
    • Develop their appreciation of cultural differences.
      There is no better way to learn, feel, understand, and see cultural differences than to be immersed in the foreign country for a period of time.
    • Expose them to foreign business practices.
      A good amount of time is dedicated to taking students on company tours, multinational and local corporations, led by a general manager or executive.

    Past Trips

    Dubai and Abu Dhabi, UAE (March 2019) Visits included Emirates, Nervora/Vogue Arabia, CBRE, Mubadala, and Etisalat. See a sample schedule - Dubai/Abu Dhabi 2019 Schedule.

    London (March 2018) Focus on Brexit and its impact. Visits included Salesforce, Shell Oil,  Braintree (Paypal), London Metal Exchange, Q5 Consulting, Microsoft and  Double Negative Special Effects

    Milan and Florence, Italy (May 2017) Focus on fashion industry, including designers, manufacturers, retail, distributing and marketing/PR. Visit included Isaia, Salvatore Ferragamo, Manebi, Boemos (manufacturer of Tom Ford and Louboutin shoes) and laRinascente. Milan-Florence ExCEL 2017 Schedule

    Yangon, Myanmar and Bangkok, Thailand (March 2017) Focus on comparison of 2 linked developing economies at different stages in development. Visits included- Lazada, Telenor (Myanmar), KBZ Bank, Carlsberg, City Mart, and Yoma Strategic.

    Hong Kong; Berlin, Germany; Manila, Philippines; Tel Aviv, Israel; Paris, France; Kuala Lumpur/Singapore; Panama City, Panama; Gabarone, Botswana; Istanbul, Turkey; Havana, Cuba; Rome and Milan, Italy; Copenhagen, Denmark and Stockholm, Sweden; Lima, Peru; Budapest, Hungary; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam; Taipei, Taiwan; Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, Korea; Beijing, China; Shanghai, China

    May 2023 Program

    The Marshall School of Business will be leading a group of undergraduate students to meet with business leaders,  and entrepreneurs in the fashion industry in Milan & Florence, Italy, May 13-24, 2023.

    Milan and Florence, Prada, VersaceArmaniGucciDolce & Gabbana,  Ferragamo, are just a few of the brands which have influenced views on fashion and luxury for almost a century, and have made Milan and Florence the undisputed fashion capitals of the world.  Yet, those brands are not the entire story of the Italian fashion industry. Italy is known for fabrics and leather, craftsmanship, sales and showrooms, marketing and presentations and fashion-focused consulting. An entire industry that goes beyond simply what you see on the runways in Milan, or the stores in the US.

    The goal of this program is to introduce students to the entire fashion industry in Italy- materials, marketing, distribution, manufacturing, retail (and maybe visit a design house or two). The program will NOT be simply a tour of fashion houses.   Each day we will meet with 2-4 companies to discuss find out who they are, what they do, and their views on the advantages and challenges facing them and the economy as a whole.

    The program in Milan and Florence will focus on the fashion industry- the entire INDUSTRY. Not simply designers but the entire value chain; from raw materials to production, from design to distribution, from marketing to retail. Our goal will be to meet with companies all along the value chain to try and piece together a mosaic of business within the fashion and luxury industry. 

    You can view a sample schedule from Spring 2019 (Dubai & Abu Dhabi 2019 Schedule). We visit with a wide-variety of companies in the fashion industry to attempt to gain a vision of the dynamic economy. You can also view our schedule from the 2017 program from Milan and Florence covering the same materials (Milan-Florence ExCEL 2017 Schedule)

    We also will plan 1-2 cultural tours, as well as provide students with free time to explore both Milan & Florence as well. 


    The cost of the program is $3850, this includes round-trip airfare (LAX to Italy) on Alitalia (group flight only- departing May 13th and returning May 24th), hotel accommodation (we will stay at the Una Hotel Florence (May 14-18) in Florence, and the Melia Milano (May 18-24) in Milan) airport transfers, breakfasts, lunches during visit days, optional cultural tour, transportation in Milan and Florence, and bus transportation and guide for the week. It does NOT include personal expenses, dinners or any possible visa expenses. (The program costs will be fee-billed to the students’ USC account for convenience.) 

    Students who wish to stay longer or fly home directly from Italy instead of flying to Los Angeles may book their own flights (they will also be responsible for making their way to the Hotel in Florence upon arrival, as well as any other expenses associated with their extended stay (such as additional hotel nights, transportation to the airport to return home, etc). The cost for the land portion of the program (no flight) is $3350

    As the program does NOT include a class, it is NOT eligible for USC Financial Aid. However, we do have a limited number of need based scholarships available (see below). 


    We will have a limited number of $1350 scholarships available for students with demonstrated financial need. Students do NOT need to qualify for USC Financial Aid in order to apply (and potentially receive) a scholarship. We do not have the ability to fund beyond $1350 for the few students who will receive a scholarship.

    All scholarship results will be revealed before you need to commit to the program, so simply applying to ExCEL does not mean you MUST participate.

    Students who indicate scholarship interest on the application will be asked to upload a copy of this scholarship application form, which you can download here and upload on the application where requested: ExCEL Scholarship Application Form

    The form asks questions about your eligibility for financial aid, as well as any support you are currently receiving. It then asks you to provide details on your current financial situation (your and/or your family’s financial situation income, financial obligations, etc., if there have been any recent changes, and why the scholarship is necessary for you to participate in the program). The more detailed the letter, the better. We do not require proof of income, bank statements or tax returns at the time of the application. However, the scholarship committee will review all financial claims, so please be prepared to verify financial information and submit tax and other documents IF requested.

    If you would like to discuss your options in person, please contact the Marshall Undergraduate International Programs office at (213) 764-8447 or by email at

    Apply Here 

    (this will take you to the Terra Dotta site- click the Apply Now button)