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Study Abroad | Florence

Italy | AIFS Global Education Center | Summer 2023
A student overlooking a view of Florence, Italy.

Select Your Program Option:

  • Summer 2023

Overview

Spend a summer in the artistic and cultured city of Florence, Italy with AIFS! Study a variety of academic program options with credit awarded through Fairfield University. The AIFS Florence Global Education Center is centrally located with the Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, Piazza della Signoria, Accademia and San Marco creating a wonderful backdrop to your experience in Florence.

What’s Included

The AIFS inclusive program fee includes all of the great features below in addition to many pre-departure, on-site and upon-return services to help students make the most of their time abroad.

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  • Tuition

    Up to 10 semester credits (subject to program, course and optional trip selection)

  • Courses

    Courses offered in art history, drawing, fashion, history, Italian language, marketing, painting, photography, sociology

  • Housing

    In apartments.

  • Meals

    Meal vouchers to use in a choice of selected local restaurants, cafés and grocery stores.

  • Excursions

    A variety of day trips are offered such as Pisa, Siena, Lucca and Cinque Terre

  • Cultural & Social Activities

    Museum visits, dinner with Italians, cooking and wine tasting classes, artisan workshops and gelato tours

  • On-Site Resident Director

    to help with any questions or advice you may need throughout the program

  • Health & Safety

    24/7 emergency support and comprehensive insurance
  • Personal/Professional Development

    Access to the renowned Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment and alumni network
  • Green Initiative

Additional Options & Opportunities

  • AIFS Flight Package

    Round-trip flights from 25 U.S. gateways

    Airport transfers to and from program location

  • Excursions

    Venice (3 days)

    Rome (3 days)

Program Details: Study Abroad | Florence Session 1

Dates

May 13, 2023June 2, 2023

Term

Summer

Application Deadline

March 1, 2023

Inclusive Fees

$5,990

Stay for a year to save on cost

Eligibility

Open to High School Graduate, First Year, Sophomore, Junior, Senior College Students

Minimum of 2.5 GPA

Additional requirements may vary by course selection. See Academic section below.

Visa Requirements

A visa may be required for this program. Please contact your advisor or log into your portal for more information.

Areas of Interest

  • Art
  • Art History
  • Cultural Studies
  • History

Global Themes

  • Arts, Culture & Creative Industries
Learn More About Global Themes

Academics

AIFS Abroad offers a unique global educational experience for students on this program, with the following academic options available:

The AIFS Global Education Center in Florence is in the heart of the historic center. It is within walking distance of the Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio and Accademia as well as numerous stores, restaurants and trattoria. 

Located in the AIFS Center is a Resident Director and Student Advisors to help scholars adjust to life in Italy. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the building and there are a small number of computers for student use/printing. 

Fairfield University

Academic credit for the 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. 

Course syllabi and faculty credentials are reviewed and approved by Fairfield University. 

  • Art
  • Art History
  • Cultural Studies
  • History

Session 1

Students in Session 1 choose one course for a recommended 3 credits. The courses available all focus on an important aspect of Italian life and culture and formal classroom teaching is supplemented by academic visits and field trips in and around Florence, with the city itself helping you to learn in a very visual and exciting way. All courses are taught in English.

Students taking both the optional Rome and Venice excursions can take an Italian Art: Selected Topics course for an additional one credit.

Session 2

This program is designed for students who wish to study multiple courses from a broad range of subjects focusing on Italian life and culture including Italian language, art history, drawing, entrepreneurship, fashion, history, marketing, painting, photography and sociology. All courses carry a recommended 3 credits and students generally take 2 courses for a total of 6 credits. All courses are taught in English apart from Italian language.

Students who take both Sessions 1 and 2 can earn up to 9 credits over 7 weeks. Students taking both the optional Rome and Venice excursions can take an Italian Art: Selected Topics course for an additional one credit.

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 second 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 other two weeks are held in Florence at the AIFS Global Education Center with trips to the Chianti Region. Students take The Marketing of Wine in Italy, 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.

The Summer Soccer Program is organized in two parts:  

During Week 1 classes will be held at the MUSEO DEL CALCIO (Italian Football Museum) in Coverciano – Firenze, where sport and soccer specialists and professionals belonging to the Technical Federation Center of FIGC (Italian football federation) will lecture on the following subjects: sport education; football and communication; sport nutrition; match analysis; introduction to history of soccer in Italy.  

Activities will include: a guided tour of the MUSEO DEL CALCIO; a guided tour of the Coverciano Technical Center; two training sessions on the field led by FIGC federal coaches (please, note that students have two options: a. to practice or b. to assist coaches during sessions). 

Included in the course package is a lunch at the restaurant of the Federal Technical Center of Coverciano, the same location where the national teams eat and the full team clothing kit (T-shirt, shorts and socks). 

During Weeks 2 and 3 students will attend classes at the AIFS GEC – Florence. Along with in-class activities, students will have the possibility to attend two more afternoon training sessions on the field led by federal technical coaches belonging to the SAF – SOCCER ACADEMY FLORENCE. Please, note that students have two options: a. to practice or b. to assist coaches during sessions.  

A field trip to an ACF Fiorentina men’s SERIE A game at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence, and a meeting with ACF Fiorentina Women team will be organized.  

Through such hands-on experiences students can interpret the social dynamics of soccer in Italy, adopting a comparative, cross-cultural perspective. The program carries a total of 3 credits. 

The Study + Internship Program consists of a 3-credit course on the Traditional Academic Program chosen from those listed for Session 2 plus a 3-credit internship course and accompanying 7-week internship placement for a total of 6 semester credits. Students taking both the Rome and Venice excursions can earn an additional credit when they register for Italian Art: Selected Topics

The Program offers a guaranteed internship in your desired career field, award-winning professional development program, résumé, cover letter, and interview prep, on-site orientations, full-time local staff and 24/7 support, LinkedIn profile coaching, and post-program career development toolkit. Students will engage in work experience with organizations in business, hospitality, tourism management, 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, AIFS has adopted the internship definition recommended by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE.) The criteria are as follows: 

  • 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. 
  • The skills or knowledge learned must be transferable to other employment settings. 
  • The experience has a defined beginning and end, and a job description with desired qualifications. 
  • There are clearly defined learning objectives/goals related to the professional goals of the student’s academic coursework. 
  • There is supervision by a professional with expertise and educational and/or professional background in the field of the experience. The experienced supervisor will provide routine feedback. 
  • 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. 

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

View All Courses For Session 1
Girl profile on balcony.

Living Abroad

Student Apartments

Housing is in the center of the city, not more than 30 minutes on foot or by public transportation from the  Global Education Center. Students using public transportation should budget approximately 45 euros for a monthly bus pass to travel from their housing to classes. 

  • Between 2 and 6 AIFS students share one apartment 
  • Double room 
  • Fully-equipped kitchen and bathroom 
  • Two sets of linens and blankets
  • Washing machine
  • Internet access is included in all AIFS  housing in Florence  

Meals

The included meal plan is one of the highlights of the Florence program, with almost 100% of students rating it “excellent” every summer. It gives you a unique opportunity to become part of the Florentine culinary culture, dining alongside locals in selected restaurants and trattorias or shopping in neighborhood grocery stores. 

  • Session 1 and Soccer Program students receive a total of 20 vouchers 
  • Session 2 students receive a total of 40 vouchers
  • Sessions 1 + 2 combined students receive both meal plans outlined above 
  • Wine Marketing students receive 14 vouchers for their time in Florence + half board during their stay in Pollenzo
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • Students may opt out of the meal plan and pay a reduced program fee 

History

Florence was one of the wealthiest cities in medieval Europe and became the epicenter of trade and finance. The city is also considered the birthplace of the Renaissance and has been called “the Athens of the Middle Ages.”

Architecture

Florence’s incredible artwork and architecture caused Forbes to label the city as one of the most beautiful on earth and the reason millions of tourists a year flock to see the historic center of Florence which is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

AIFS in Florence Resident Director, Summer Program

Simona Michelotti

Laurea cum laude in Pedagogy at the University of Florence 

Simona was born in Malta, but very soon moved to Italy. She is used to say that her heart is divided between her love for Florence and the one for South Tyrol. She loves to every day walk through the Ponte Vecchio admiring the beauty of Florence, but she cannot stay too much far away from the breathtaking Dolomites mountains, where she hikes or snowshoes according to the season. She is also a wine lover and loves to cook for her friends and family, as a typical Italian! 

Very soon she understood the importance of Study Abroad, when during high school, she spent a summer at a college in Florida: a meaningful experience that somehow directed all her future choices. 

Simona has been working full time for AIFS since 1998, covering different roles, such as Director of the Internship and Service Learning Program, Director of the Summer School, and she also ran a J-Term program on the Dolomites. She is now the Dean of the Florence Program, although she refers to herself as an Educator who has the honor to prepare the ground field for unforgettable learning experiences and change the students’ lives forever, exactly like it happened to her. 

The Resident Director provides academic advice, introduces you to the community and handles communication with the University. 

Learning does not begin or end in the classroom. To help you get a true taste of Italian culture, the Resident Director arranges activities and excursions. 

Many activities promote a way of learning through “hands-on” experience as well as integration with the local community to allow students to get the most from life in Florence. Most events are included in the program fee and only a few require a small supplementary fee. Examples of activities are: 

  • Pizza school 
  • Italian cooking classes 
  • Food and wine pairing 
  • Gelato tasting tour discovering the best “gelaterie” in town 
  • Main museums (such as Opera del Duomo, Uffizi and Galleria dell’Accademia) 
  • Guided tour of the African portraits at the Uffizi Gallery 
  • Concerts, operas and ballets at the theater 
  • Backstage at the famous Pitti Immagine Uomo fashion show 
  • Oxfam Migrantour
  • Art and craft workshops 
  • Workshops at the Urban Gardens 
  • Dinners and events with Italians
  • “Spaghetti Connection” program (to give students the opportunity to gather round the table with Italian families)
  • Language exchange with local students 
  • Yoga gatherings
  • AIFS soccer team
  • Basketball matches with local students 

Including some mandatory class-related field trips.

  • Pisa
  • Lucca 
  • Cinque Terre 
  • Siena 
  • Tuscan Coast 
  • Tuscan farm
  • Fashion firm
  • Ferrari museum in Maranello
  • Parmesan and balsamic vinegar producer 

Excursions

This program offers a range of day trips and excursions that will take you outside Florence and deepen your social, historical and cultural understanding of Italy. Previous excursions have included:

Two students taking a selfie in front of the Colosseum in Italy.

Rome

Guided sightseeing of and visits to famous sights such as the Colosseum, Campidoglio, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and more. Opportunity to visit the Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica. Includes round-trip transportation, accommodations and breakfast.

  • Italy
  • 3 Days
  • Not Included in Program Fee
A person rowing a gondola in Venice.

Venice

Guided walking tour to places of interest including St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Cathedral and the Doge’s Palace. Visits to the Accademia Museum, the Rialto Bridge, the Guggenheim Museum, and more. Tour the famous Murano and Burano islands. Includes round-trip transportation, ferry pass, accommodations and breakfast.

  • Italy
  • 3 Days
  • Not Included in Program Fee
Barcelona,Spain
A group of happy students at a carnival.
A view of Prague.

Social identity & access

One of the best things you can do before departure is enter into the journey knowing that your time abroad will be unique to this experience. The resources, community, and support available to you when abroad will likely be different as well. In order to help you prepare for your experience, we have compiled many resources about social identity and access in specific locations abroad. Your program staff will also provide you with more details pre-departure and during orientation.

Learn more

Important Dates & Deadlines

Request Info

Open

Dates & Deadlines

Details

  • Early Application Deadline*
  • Application Deadline
    March 1, 2023
  • Deposit Deadline
    March 20, 2023
  • Scholarship Deadline
    March 1, 2023
  • Optional Departure Flight from US***
    May 12, 2023
  • Program Begins
    May 13, 2023
  • Program Ends
    June 2, 2023
  • Optional Return Flight to US***
    June 3, 2023
  • *** Included for students on AIFS flight package.

Optional Flight Package

Students can select an optional transportation package for all AIFS programs. Students who choose to book their own flights should meet up with group at the program location and will need to make their own ground transportation arrangements.

Below are fees by departure city based on average historical costs and subject to change. If you select this option on your application, the total flight package price will be confirmed in your account 6 months prior to departure. (Program fee is guaranteed.)

Depature City

Fee

  • Atlanta
    $2,599.00
  • Boston
    $2,461.00
  • Buffalo
    $2,415.00
  • Charlotte
    $2,622.00
  • Chicago
    $2,691.00
  • Cincinnati
    $2,622.00
  • Columbus
    $2,484.00
  • Dallas
    $2,714.00
  • Denver
    $2,737.00
  • Des Moines
    $2,645.00
  • Detroit
    $2,622.00
  • Houston
    $2,875.00
  • Los Angeles
    $2,783.00
  • Miami
    $2,599.00
  • Minneapolis
    $2,622.00
  • New York
    $2,392.00
  • Newark
    $2,392.00
  • Orlando
    $2,507.00
  • Philadelphia
    $2,530.00
  • Phoenix
    $2,737.00
  • Pittsburgh
    $2,484.00
  • Raleigh/Durham
    $2,576.00
  • San Francisco
    $2,714.00
  • Seattle
    $2,806.00
  • St. Louis
    $2,645.00
  • Washington/Dulles
    $2,737.00
  • View more View less

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Two students walking in a field.

Ready to Study Abroad in Florence?

For more dates or questions, contact your program consultant:
(203) 399-5163 or email: aifsabroad@aifs.com