Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

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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 Program, the Italian Studies Certificate Program, the Fashion Management and Marketing Program (spring only) and the Internship Program.

The Traditional Academic Program is 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.

All program classes meet Monday through Thursday for 13 weeks. All course-related required field trips are held on Fridays. Final exams are generally held during the last two weeks. One class hour equals 50 minutes. 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.

Students with a language level above Elementary Italian 1 take an online placement test, to determine their language level.

Students at any level of Italian language can take this program from Elementary to Advanced. Students take one mandatory Italian language course. Students registering for any Italian language level higher than Elementary I must take and pass an on-line placement test prior to arrival in Florence. Students at an Elementary level who wish to reach a good ability in spoken Italian can also choose a 6-credit Italian language course. In addition to any Italian language courses students can choose up to three or four content courses. Students may also add a 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

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 a mandatory Italian language course and courses in fashion and media, history of 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

Students on this program must successfully complete five courses (3 credits each) related to Italian culture including Italian Language which is mandatory for a total of 15 credits. Upon completion of the courses with a GPA of at least 2.0 the studentís transcript will indicate the certificate has been conferred. Choose four courses plus Italian language from the list below, see Traditional Academic Program courses for descriptions. A further 1-credit course is available by taking the optional Introduction to Italian Art course.

  • ADM 5870 – Sketchbook of Florence
  • AVC 5820 – Italian Renaissance Architecture
  • AVC 5835 – History of Italian Fashion
  • AVC 5855 – Museums and Galleries of Florence : The Culture of Display
  • AVC 5860 – Florentine Art in Context (spring only)
  • COM 5800 – Italian Cinema and Society
  • COM 5855 – News and the Media in Italy (spring only)
  • COM 5860 – Made in Italy: Symbols of Italian Identity from Espresso to Ferrari
  • ENT 5805 – Italian Family Business (fall only)
  • HST 5810 – History of Florence (spring only)
  • HST 5820 – History of the Italian Mafia
  • HST 5825 – Italian Food and Culture
  • LIT 5800 – Italian Literature in Translation (fall only)
  • LIT 5810 – Dante in Translation (spring only)
  • SCL 5810 – Women in Italian Society (spring only)
  • SCL 5820 – Sociology of Italian Soccer
  • ITL 4805 or ITL 3831 or ITL 3832 or ITL 4831 or ITL 4832 or ITL 5830
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 15th-19th, 2020 (Fall Semester) and November 9th-13th, 2020 (Spring Semester).

Richmond University in Florence

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.

The Dean and the Director of the Richmond Florence Program are 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 with computers and printers and a student lounge. Wi-Fi is also available during office hours to students with laptops.

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

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