Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

Study Abroad in Florence: Academics

Academic Programs

Courses include: art history, communications, economics, fashion, history, international business, international relations, internship, Italian language, literature, marketing, music, philosophy, photography, religion, service learning, sociology, studio art, fashion management and marketing

Program Options

Students choose between the Traditional Academic Programs (Standard or Basic), the Fashion Management and Marketing Program and the Internship Program.

The Traditional Academic Programs are designed for students who wish to study art history, studio art, Italian language and Italian studies. Courses are also available for students interested in business, economics and sociology. Previous Italian language study is not required.

For both Standard and Basic Programs classes meet Monday through Thursday for 13 weeks. Final exams are generally held during the last two weeks. One class hour equals 50 minutes. All course-related required field trips are held on Fridays. Credits for each course are equal to American credits based on one credit for a minimum of 15 classroom hours plus home study or the equivalent in independent research or tutorials. A formal exam is given at the end of each semester in all courses.

No AIFS participant is permitted to take a course without receiving a letter grade. Students with a language level above Elementary Italian 1 take an online placement test to determine their language level. Pass/Fail grade options are not available.

Students at any level of Italian language can take this program from elementary to advanced. Students take two courses of Italian language for a total of 6 credits progressing from one level to the next. Students registering for any Italian language level higher than Elementary I must take and pass an online placement test prior to arrival in Florence. All students then choose two or three 3-credit content courses. You may also choose an additional 1-credit optional Introduction to Italian Art course, taught primarily during the field trips to Rome and Venice for a maximum of 16 credits.

Session/Term Credits Requirements
Fall or Spring Semester up to 16 2.5 GPA

This program is only open to students who are at the Italian language Beginner level. Students take a mandatory Italian language course throughout the semester and then choose three or four 3-credit content courses. They may also choose an additional 1-credit optional Introduction to Italian Art course, taught primarily during the field trips to Rome and Venice, for a total of 16 credits.

Session/Term Credits Requirements
Fall or Spring Semester up to 16 2.5 GPA

Italy has always been at the forefront of fashion design with Florence in particular having a long history in the field of luxury goods. Students who wish to pursue a career in fashion or who have a special interest in fashion and marketing have the option of taking this specialized program which combines an Italian language course and courses in Fashion and Media, Italian Fashion, Fashion Marketing and Retail and the Psychology of Fashion and Luxury Goods.

Students take a 3-credit language course plus 4 mandatory fashion related courses carrying a recommended 3 credits each. A further 1 credit course is available by taking the optional Introduction to Italian Art course.

Session/Term Credits Requirements
Spring Semester up to 16 2.5 GPA

Online Registration – Very Important!

Please note that all students except those enrolled in the Internship Program, must register online for classes, otherwise they will not be admitted to the courses. Students can register for classes on the following website:

Registration week is June 12th-16th 2017 (Fall Semester) and November 13th-17th 2017 (Spring Semester).

AIFS Academics at Richmond, Florence Center

This program is taught by faculty of Richmond, The American International University in London. The University is an independent, non-profit international university of liberal arts and professional studies with a student population of approximately 2,000. It is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. For more information on Richmond, see page 150.

The Director of the Richmond Florence Program is appointed by Richmond and supervised by the Richmond administration in London. Professors in the Richmond study abroad programs are appointed by the University both from its own faculty and from cooperating institutions. With its elegant, gracious rooms, the Center serves as a convenient, attractive, welcoming environment for students and teachers.

The Center in Florence is equipped with classrooms, offices, a library equipped with computers and printers and a student lounge. Wi-Fi is also available during office hours to students with laptops.