If you have always dreamt of studying abroad in Italy, a Study Abroad in Florence may prove to be a memorable undergraduate experience! Situated in the picturesque region of Tuscany, Florence has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Considered the “cradle of the Renaissance”[i], imagine taking classes for academic credit with such a fascinating and inspirational context.
Why Consider a Study Abroad in Florence Italy?
A Study Abroad in Florence, Italy places you in a vibrant city, filled with many piazze (squares) wit cultural cafes, monuments, parks, and gardens. If you have spent many years in an urban and contemporary North American city, studying abroad in Florence is likely to be a visual treat and exciting place to explore. As a center of medieval trade and finance, Florence is one of the wealthiest cities of all time, home of many museums, and one of the top fashion capitals in the world.[ii] With a variety of undergraduate programs to choose from, Florence appeals to students of all academic backgrounds.
FUN FACT: Ask “come sta?” (pronounced "komay stah") if you want to know how the person is doing. This is a simple "how are you?" greeting in Italian (web).
Fairs and Festivities
Every year there are recurring events in Florence; annual fairs, theatrical and lyrical productions, art exhibitions, festivals and fashion shows. Maybe your Florence Study Abroad will coincide with the Cavalcade of the Three Kings in January, Easter Sunday in the Piazza del Duomo for the Scoppio del Carro, or the Magio Musicale in Spring. Summer in Florence is festive too – dance, outdoor concerts, it all abounds.
Florence is headquarters to fashion greats such as Salvatore Ferragamo, Gucci, Roberto Cavalli, and Emilio Pucci Walk the Via de' Tornabuoni to take in all the luxury brands; each year awards are given for the most impressive boutique window. Ask local friends to show you where to get handmade leather goods or other ‘made in Italy’ fabulous finds that won’t break the bank. If you are more serious about fashion, check out a Fashion Design program and learn how to create handbags in an accessories design class!
Food and wine are staples of Florence’s economy – south of the city lies the Chianti region; tour a local vineyard to check out the Sangiovese grapes. You won’t starve either. Florence is known for ‘peasant eating’ – Antipasti, panzanella, fresh olive oil and crusty Tuscan bread…are some regional favorites.
One of the great things about a Study Abroad in Florence is that, depending on how long you are there, you get practice your Italian when you purchase tickets to a show at the Teatro della Pergola. Locals speak a Tuscan dialect of Florentine, the parent language to modern Italian.
If your undergraduate degree has a foreign language requirement, opt for an Italian immersion programs. Schools in Florence typically offer study abroad programs in Florentine, Italian, and English. Be prepared to speak Italian or Florentine while socializing or exploring: while many Florentines know some English, much of the city operates through its native language and dialect. Several of the sponsored listings, have summer study abroad in Florence programs where you get to explore the Italian language and culture both in class and outside of the language school.
Museums, Monuments and More
For the art lover, art historian, artist, and week-end museum goer, Florence is a dream. Florence is laden with galleries, art-filled churches, the Archeological Museum, and sculptures and spectacular architecture such as Brunelleschi’s dome. Get to the Galleria degli Uffizi near the Piazza della Signoria to see paintings like Botticelli’s Venus and works by Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo. Don’t miss the wide arches and allegorical figures in the Loggia della Signoria.
Local Florentine Culture
Florence is a vibrant and high-energy city. Its sidewalks are filled with people, and many of its streets (called Via) are narrow and packed with cars and scooters. Its hustle and bustle, however, is balanced by its stunning beauty, wide-open plazas, and beautiful rooftop views.
Find a Study Abroad in Florence Program
Study Abroad in Florence programs offer you the unique opportunity to learn via traditional classroom education and excursions, alongside with the chance to meet both Italian and international undergraduate students. Choose a program that aligns with your undergraduate credit requirements, whether in the form of an internship, a semester of a full academic year. Many of the sponsored listings have multiple programs so you can select what you want to study at the time of year that works best for you.