Study Abroad in Florence, Italy - Internship

Study Abroad in Florence: Academics

Richmond, The American International University in London – Florence Center

These programs are 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. It is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

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.

Richmond Study Center

Located in the Palazzo Michelozzi, a 16th century palace between the Arno River and the Pitti Palace, the Richmond Study Center is a few minutes walk from the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery, the Duomo and many of the great Florentine museums. Via Maggio is a famous street for antique shops in the historic center of town. The center occupies the ground floor and the piano nobile or first floor above ground level. With its elegant, gracious rooms, the center serves as a convenient, attractive, welcoming environment for students and teachers.

Classes in art history, fashion, history, marketing, sociology, photography, drawing, painting and Italian language are given in the Study Center. Students have access to a computer lab with Internet as well as free Wi-Fi if using their own computers during office hours.

The Richmond Study Center has a reading room with a selected library containing texts relevant to research paper topics. Students may also use the extensive collections available to them in Florence. The British Institute Library, has more than 60,000 volumes—the largest English language library in continental Europe. Its comfortable reading room overlooks the Arno River. The Italian National Library at the Piazza dei Cavalleggeri also has an extensive collection.

Academic Overview

Internship locations The University is able to arrange internships in a wide range of relevant areas including hotel chains, restaurants, wineries, tour operators and cooking schools.

Attendance is required to receive full credit. Students exceeding the permitted number of absences may fail the course/s.

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

Transcripts are issued by the Richmond Registrar’s office in London. One official copy of the transcript will be mailed to the student’s home college or university.

Internship Program

The Internship Program is designed to provide an integrated learning experience of a high academic standard, combining classroom study and an internship placement for a total of 7 semester credits. The Program consists of a 3-credit Italian Food and Culture course running alongside a 7-week unpaid work placement, with regular academic analysis of workplace issues.

On the Internship Program students will:

  • Experience and participate in international, intercultural learning and friendships
  • Develop personal skills and strengths that improve confidence as well as future employment opportunities
  • Work in a different culture
  • Develop a strong résumé
  • Participate in career opportunity networking

The objective of the Internship Program is to provide a learning experience that focuses on the realities of a multicultural and interdependent world. International work experience offers a student the opportunity to test personal interests, abilities and a career field. An international internship also provides a valuable cultural perspective and the opportunity for interns to experience other approaches and viewpoints in the workplace.

The Program will focus on the fields of hospitality, tourism management and Italian food and wine culture with the purpose of preparing students with the skills and expertise for management, marketing, and operations positions in the expanding industry that provides food, accommodations, and tourism services. With its historical food and wine culture, Florence is the perfect location for this experience. Tourism has always had a privileged position in the economic history of the city and for this reason the hospitality and tourism culture and business have grown over the years. Throughout this internship students will learn how to promote, communicate and create networks to endorse the historical and cultural aspect of this service industry, known all over the world for its excellence.

The Internship coordinator and the Richmond Internship faculty advisor advise and support students throughout the program in individual meetings and seminars. Internships are arranged by the Internship coordinator, after an assessment of his/her eligibility based on skills, interests and abilities in relation to what the business is seeking. Internships are routinely and formally monitored. All academic aspects of the program are monitored by Deans and faculty advisors.

The ideal internship placement is a coordination between the skills and personality that an organization is seeking and those which a student presents. Each student should approach the program with cultural awareness and flexibility; this will enable the internship office to identify suitable organizations at which the student may intern. Placements are made with both small and large organizations, and selection is based on a number of criteria. Please note: Students must attend interviews with suitable organizations; this is a competitive process. Final selection is always at the discretion of the organization and the Internship Program is not able to honor specific requests to join a particular organization or guarantee that students will be successful at interviewing.