Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

Get Started Today!


 

Yes, please contact me at the number I have provided regarding additional information about AIFS Study Abroad. We respect your privacy and will not sell your contact or personal information.

Apply Now!

Study Abroad in Florence: Courses

View and print all course descriptions

A minimum of 10 students must enroll for classes to be offered. Classes are taught Monday through Thursday with some mandatory course-related field trips on Fridays and/or Saturdays.

Please note that for all courses with field trips and on-site visits students must pay a supplement of approximately 50 euros per course upon arrival in Italy.

Traditional Academic Program

Session 1

Choose one course from the list below. Please note that all courses are taught in English. Students taking both the optional Rome and Venice excursions can also register for the Introduction to Italian Art course and earn 1 extra credit (see Session 2 for course description).

Art 150 (3) | Introduction to Painting

This course is intended for students with little or no previous Painting experience. Students will learn how to handle brushes and mix colors in order to create the illusion of light, shadow, perspective, volume, and proportion.

Students will explore different materials and the way to use them, different techniques and they way they have been used by famous masters painters of different periods. Assignments will progress from specific exercises intended to build on techniques to complex projects which will include out of doors landscape paintings of the hills around Florence and of the beautiful gardens of the city but also still life and figure painting. A studio fee is required for this course.

A studio fee is required for this course.

Art 250 (3) | Intermediate Painting

This course is a continuation of Introduction to Painting.

In this course students work to develop their technical proficiency and emphasis is put on specific light related issues such as artificial lighting, candle lighting and side lighting. Students will continue to develop observational skills through assigned and independent painting projects which will include open air paintings of Florence and of the surrounding areas, and in studio works. Students at this level are encouraged to confront and to discuss their projects with the teacher and with other students.

A studio fee is required for this course.

Art 350 (3) | Advanced Painting

This course is intended for students who already have a good grasp of techniques and concepts of painting. Students are guided to develop a personal style, expression, and analysis of the painting process while familiarizing with professional painting techniques and materials. The course includes outdoor painting in the most beautiful spots of Florence and work in the studio. Discussions and critiques, are an important part of this course aimed to develop students’ conceptual skills, critical and visual vocabulary of art, creative expression.

A studio fee is required for this course.

HST 360 (3) | Food Culture in Italy

In exploring the history of Italian food, a myriad of aspects of Italy’s culture and history unfold. Through the medium of food, this course aims to uncover various changes and trends in Italian history and society. The most striking factor that emerges is the important role gastronomic traditions have had in shaping Italian national and regional identities. Food as nourishment of body and spirit, as a social divider or unifier, as a means of communication and ultimately as a promoter of power takes us through history up until the contemporary rediscovery of ‘authentic’ and ‘traditional’ foods; a response to ongoing globalizing processes and a way to construct new social identities. An ultimate expression of this is the Slow Food Revolution, a?movement initiated in Italy that has now worldwide following.

HST 380 (3) | A History of Epidemics: From the Black Death to Contemporary Times

This course aims to explore and discuss the history of epidemics on a global scale, starting from antiquity to modern days. It will critically engage with classical medical theories, sickness and epidemics in the media and in literature, and it will cover the emerging ecological issues of the last decades. It will examine also how contagion affected different countries and cultures, for example discussing the impact of smallpox in the “New World”, the Americas; the spreading of cholera in the provinces of Asia and in Europe and then diffusion of AIDS in the African continent. The religious context will be considered, especially when dealing with medieval sickness and the plague. It will then analyze sickness through literature, employing Mary Shelley’s work “The Last Man” as one of the first examples of post-apocalyptic novels. Finally it will critically deal with contemporary pandemics and the relationship between humanity and the living world.

Session 2

Please note that all courses are taught in English apart from Italian language. Choose 2 courses. Students taking both the optional Rome pre-program tour and the optional Venice excursion can also register for the Selected Topics in Italian Art course and earn 1 extra credit.

Italian Language Courses (Taught in Italian)

ITL 140 (3) | Elementary Italian I

A thorough introduction to the Italian language for absolute beginners or students with little previous experience, the course teaches essential vocabulary and grammar and develops students’ ability to communicate in an authentic linguistic context.

ITL 150 (3) | Intermediate Italian I (3)

In this course students develop their ability to communicate effectively and accurately, making use of expanded vocabulary. Students practice conversation and improve listening and oral production skills in an authentic Italian context. The course covers cultural elements of the Italian society and lifestyle. Reading and writing exercises improve skills in understanding prose and writing letters and messages with appropriate vocabulary.

Content Courses

Art 150 (3) | Introduction to Painting

This course is intended for students with little or no previous Painting experience. Students will learn how to handle brushes and mix colors in order to create the illusion of light, shadow, perspective, volume, and proportion.

Students will explore different materials and the way to use them, different techniques and they way they have been used by famous masters painters of different periods. Assignments will progress from specific exercises intended to build on techniques to complex projects which will include out of doors landscape paintings of the hills around Florence and of the beautiful gardens of the city but also still life and figure painting. A studio fee is required for this course.

A studio fee is required for this course.

Art 250 (3) | Intermediate Painting

This course is a continuation of Painting I.

In this course students work to develop their technical proficiency and emphasis is put on specific light related issues such as artificial lighting, candle lighting and side lighting. Students will continue to develop observational skills through assigned and independent painting projects which will include open air paintings of Florence and of the surrounding areas, and in studio works. Students at this level are encouraged to confront and to discuss their projects with the teacher and with other students.

A studio fee is required for this course.

Art 350 (3) | Advanced Painting

This course is intended for students who already have a good grasp of techniques and concepts of painting. Students are guided to develop a personal style, expression, and analysis of the painting process while familiarizing with professional painting techniques and materials. The course includes outdoor painting in the most beautiful spots of Florence and work in the studio. Discussions and critiques, are an important part of this course aimed to develop students’ conceptual skills, critical and visual vocabulary of art, creative expression.

A studio fee is required for this course.

ART 140 (3) | Introduction to Drawing

This course introduces students to traditional and contemporary drawing techniques and concepts. Students will practice figure drawing, structural drawing, and outdoor drawing in the city of Florence and in the surrounding areas, thus developing both technical abilities and creative responses to the assigned materials and subjects. A wide range of drawing media, such as lead, graphite, charcoal and ink will be used. Practical demonstrations, traditional lectures, group and individual critiques will be given throughout the course in order to develop students critical thinking skills. No prior experience with drawing is required.

A studio fee is required for this course.

ART 240 (3) | Intermediate Drawing

This course is a continuation of Introduction to Drawing. It aims to reinforce basic drawing skills and introduces additional drawing media and techniques focusing on linear perspective, objects, spatial perception and human anatomy. Some classes and the relevant assignments will focus on a more realistic approach, others will focus on more conceptual approaches such as abstraction and surrealism. Emphasis is placed on the development of expressive and perceptual skills.

A studio fee is required for this course.

ART 340 (3) | Advanced Drawing

Aims to develop students’ personal styles using all the knowledge and experience acquired in previous art courses.

Students will develop and refine drawing techniques and concepts, and be guided towards a better understanding of human anatomy for the purpose of artistic expression. Emphasis will be put on spatial perception, compositional structure, linear perspective, figure/ground integration. Students will work on complex assignments which will require not only strong technical skills but also critical thinking, and analytical abilities necessary to verbalize the conceptual projects from which they originated.

A studio fee is required for this course.

ART 370 (3) | Street Photography

Aims to capture everyday life in public places and create realistic images focusing on the way people act and interact with each other and with the environment. Students learn how to use visual intelligence, skills and strategies to create meaningful images that reflect different multicultural realities. The works of the masters in this genre from its origin to Henri Cartier-Bresson, Helen Levitt, and Robert Frank will be analyzed and provide a source of inspiration. The course has a strong on –site component and students will be guided to identify meaningful ‘local ‘subjects and acquire confidence in photographing people on the streets and in a variety of different situations.

ARH 210 (1) | Italian Art: Selected Topics

This course, taught during mandatory site visits, which include Venice and Rome, is a survey of Italian figurative art and architecture from c. 1200 to 1600. Emphasis is put on artistic techniques, styles, patronage and the political and religious contexts in which the artists worked. During site visits to museums, palaces and churches in Florence, Rome and Venice students will have a unique opportunity to experience the works as their original viewers did and as their creators intended. Participation in the Rome and Venice field trips is mandatory.

ARH 362 (3) | Museums of Florence

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the city of Florence and its renowned museums. Students are trained to comprehend the uniqueness of the artistic heritage of the city known as ‘the cradle of the Renaissance’. They will have the extraordinary opportunity to experience art in its location, often churches, as the original viewers did and their creators intended, and in museums through the visits to the major cultural highlights of Florence such as Uffizi, Accademia, Bargello, Santa Croce, Opera del Duomo.

COM 340 (3) | Fashion Communication

Fashion in itself is a form of communication both with tangible and intangible elements; often its’ visual and esthetic value is greater than its functionality. This course sets out to explore the key developments of communication within the fashion industry, from the early and iconic fashion magazines with their role as promoters of both new images and identity, through the importance of fashion photography to new and developing social media platforms and digital technologies. The means of communication used by fashions firms, brands and companies to communicate their identity will be discussed and seen in light of challenges and opportunities the fashion business faces, such as sustainability, gender identity and the importance of fashion influencers as new key communicators.

HST 345 (3) | The Medici: Masters of Florence

This course covers the full history of the famous House of Medici from the humble beginnings of founder Giovanni di Bicci and his tyrant son Cosimo, to the extraordinary life of Lorenzo the Magnificent to the final collapse of the house of the Medici with the death of the last Medici Duke in 1737. The Medici were merchants, bankers, statesmen and patrons of the arts thus students are introduced not only to the socio-political history of Florence but also to the philosophical and artistic movements that flourished under their patronage.

The course uses primary source readings by such authors as Giovanni Villani, Niccolò Machiavelli, Agnolo Poliziano and Francesco Guicciardini to depict the life of Florence and of the Medici family as perceived by their contemporaries. Students will visit palaces, churches, museums, and galleries, which are relevant to the study of the Medici family.

HST 360 (3) | Food Culture in Italy

In exploring the history of Italian food, a myriad of aspects of Italy’s culture and history unfold. Through the medium of food, this course aims to uncover various changes and trends in Italian history and society. The most striking factor that emerges is the important role gastronomic traditions have had in shaping Italian national and regional identities. Food as nourishment of body and spirit, as a social divider or unifier, as a means of communication and ultimately as a promoter of power takes us through history up until the contemporary rediscovery of ‘authentic’ and ‘traditional’ foods; a response to ongoing globalizing processes and a way to construct new social identities. An ultimate expression of this is the Slow Food Revolution, a?movement initiated in Italy that has now worldwide following.

MKT 340 (3) | Marketing Today's Fashion

The marketing of a brand occupies a crucial role in the fashion industry; alongside the creative work of designers and stylists, successful fashion brands will also heavily depend upon marketing plans, publicity, communication and advertising strategies in order to develop their business and brand worth. This course will introduce students to the principles of fashion marketing and explore how the fashion industry faces challenges in the global market and is constantly striving to investigate unconventional and innovative tactics within the field of marketing.

MKT 346 (3) | Marketing of Italian Luxury Fashion

Italian fashion occupies a prominent place in today’s globalized economy.

The aim of this course is to explore how luxury goods and fashion have evolved in recent years and how they are marketed today. For this purpose we will analyze and discuss innovative and effective marketing strategies ,branding and consumer behavior within the context of the consumption of luxury fashion products and services. The focus will be on key Italian luxury brands such as Gucci, Salvatore Ferragamo, Valentino, Versace. Fieldtrips and visits to fashion retailers,corporate museums and design studioswill allow students to acquire a first-hand knowledge of trend-setting marketing strategies developed by Italian fashion brands.

MKT 350 (3) | The Marketing of Wine In Italy

The world of wine is divided in parallel spheres; is wine a cultural expression, a result of passion and tradition, or even an art form? Or is it simply a business, and if so, what business? Wine has deep roots in our Western way of life and this course aims at exploring wine as both an agricultural product but also as a luxury product that is sold on markets.

By applying the most relevant theories and techniques from the marketing discipline this course aims at equipping students with a powerful set of skills and knowledge for the practice of wine marketing. Students will be introduced to the use of consumer and market behavior theory, branding and services techniques and business-to-business theory. In combining the understanding of wine both within a cultural context and in a business setting, students will analyze wine as ultimately both a “local” produce, and a “glocal” product.

NOTE: During Session 2 this course is taught entirely in Florence and is separate from the Wine Marketing Program on which students spend the first week of the course in Pollenzo.

xxx

SCL 360 (3) | Italian People, Symbols and Traditions

This course aims at discovering some of the key elements of the great social changes and cultural issues that came about in Italy during the post-war period. From the early 1950s onwards a sense of new beginning and the birth of what later would be known world-wide as the Italian Style, would characterize most spheres of productive and cultural life such as fashion, design, film and music. The coexistence of tradition and innovation has been a main feature in contemporary Italy; this course will focus on Italian cultural expressions like foodways, Italian cuisine and wine, and the impact of change in relation to new dynamics in family life and gender roles, in popular beliefs and superstition.

Wine Marketing Program

This is an interactive, in the field program held in the two most important wine areas in Italy. AIFS, in collaboration with the University of Gastronomic Science in Pollenzo, offers a course which combines classes, tastings, visits to wineries and vineyards and study trips with seminars led by international faculty from enology, wine culture and wine management. In the first week, with the collaboration and hospitality of the Wine Bank and Slow Food’s Slow Wine, classes are taught in Pollenzo in the UNESCO Heritage Castle in the Langhe (Barolo area), while the remaining two weeks are held in Florence at the AIFS Study Center with trips to the Chianti Region. Students take MKT 5820 Wine Marketing, a 3-credit course which focuses on the importance of wine as a tool to understand and approach cultural diversity in a more globalized world. Students spend 1-week in Pollenzo studying at the Gastronomic University followed by 2 weeks in Florence.

Students spend 1-week in Pollenzo studying at the Gastronomic University followed by 2 weeks in Florence.

MKT 350 (3) | The Marketing of Wine in Italy

The world of wine is divided in parallel spheres; is wine a cultural expression, a result of passion and tradition, or even an art form? Or is it simply a business, and if so, what business? Wine has deep roots in our Western way of life and this course aims at exploring wine as both an agricultural product but also as a luxury product that is sold on markets.

By applying the most relevant theories and techniques from the marketing discipline this course aims at equipping students with a powerful set of skills and knowledge for the practice of wine marketing. Students will be introduced to the use of consumer and market behavior theory, branding and services techniques and business-to-business theory. In combining the understanding of wine both within a cultural context and in a business setting, students will analyze wine as ultimately both a “local” produce, and a “glocal” product.


Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS Italy programs! Offerings!

Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS Italy programs!

Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS Italy, Florence programs!