Study Abroad in Florence, Italy - Internship

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Intern Abroad in Florence: Academics

AIFS Florence Global Education Center

The AIFS Global Education Center is located in the heart of Florence's historic center. The Resident Director and staff are based here and most classes are held in the center. Students have access to a computer lab with Internet as well as free Wi-Fi to use their own computers/devices during office hours.

Academic credit for the AIFS Florence program is awarded by Fairfield University. Fairfield University is a private Jesuit university founded in 1942 in Fairfield, Connecticut, well known for their commitment to international education. Fairfield is a fully accredited university and member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

In 2020 Fairfield and AIFS partnered to develop a school of record relationship that will allow academic credit to be available for both Fairfield and non-Fairfield students. The Florence faculty credentials are reviewed and approved by Fairfield University.

International Internship Program

The internship program consists of a 3-credit course and a 7-week part-time internship placement (3 credits) for a total of 6 semester credits. Internships are offered by Global Experiences (GE) a member of the AIFS family. Students will engage in work experience with organizations in business, hospitality, tourism management, Italian food and wine industry, fashion, art, marketing and event planning. The experience is designed to be relevant to the student’s academic pursuits, personal development, and professional preparation. 

The internship provides students with the opportunity to gain experience in workplace settings and to translate classroom learning into practice. It is a substantive career development experience with the intent being for the student to be exposed to business ideas and concepts while being mentored. Doing analysis, contributing to decisions, and communicating meaningful ideas should form the bulk of the work, although some low skill work (for example, data entry and making phone calls) can be a part of the assignment. At the end of the internship experience, students will be able to reflect on their personal and professional growth and begin seeing themselves on their career path.

While every internship is different, Global Experiences (GE) has adopted the internship definition recommended by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE.) The criteria are as follows:

  1. The experience must be an extension of the classroom: a learning experience that provides for applying the knowledge gained in the classroom. It must not be simply to advance the operations of the employer or be the work that a regular employee would routinely perform.
  2. The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings.
  3. The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications.
  4. There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework. 
  5. There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience.
  6. The experienced supervisor will provide routine feedback. 
  7. There are resources, equipment, and facilities provided by the host employer that support learning objectives/goals. Students are expected to dress and behave professionally throughout their internship assignment and adhere to the agreed-upon internship standards and requirements as described by GE and the host organizations.

In addition to the internship course students take one 3-credit course selected from the Session 2 courses.

Academic Overview

Internship locations Internships can be arranged in a wide range of relevant areas including fashion companies, artisans’ workshops, design brands, galleries, museums, hotel chains, restaurants, wineries, tour operators and cooking schools.

Attendance is required to receive full credit. Students exceeding the permitted number of absences (3 per class) may fail the course/s or lower their final grade.

Class visits Some courses include mandatory class visits which may be held outside the regular class time. Students are encouraged to wait until arrival in Italy before planning any personal travel to avoid scheduling conflicts.

Credits Credit hours are shown in parentheses. Credits for each course are equal to American credits based on one credit for a minimum of 15 classroom hours plus home study.

Grades No AIFS participant is permitted to take a course without receiving a grade. Pass/Fail grade options are not available.

Transcripts are issued by Fairfield University. One official copy of the transcript will be mailed to the studentís home college or university on completion of the program.

see course descriptions

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

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

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