Living in Florence

While in Florence, stay in an Italian home. Home-stay hosts might be a traditional family unit, a couple in their 50s with grown children, a single mother and her college-age daughter, or a young couple who enjoy hosting students. They are all Italians and welcome students into their home as they share dinner, conversations, and social experiences throughout the semester or year. Students participate in many aspects of their host family's life—discussing the day’s events, meeting extended family—which both develops an "insider's" knowledge of the language and culture and creates lifelong friendships.  

Easing into Italian Culture: Orientation

Fall Orientation in Pescia

To ease the transition into Italian culture, students participate in a five-day orientation. In the relaxed atmosphere of a medieval town away from Florence, participants get acquainted with each other and begin the intensive language study that will support their entire experience. For this orientation, students will be joined by faculty and friends of the program, beginning their Italian adventure with a sampling of the history, food, folklore, and landscape of the region, complemented by excursions, such as a walk through the countryside to Collodi, the quaint hometown of Carlo Lorenzini, author of The Adventures of Pinocchio.

Upon return to Florence, students move into the home of their Italian hosts and begin exploring the city, continuing the orientation process with tours and lectures. As students gain their bearings, they meet with professors and the program director, make course selections, continue working on their Italian and fall into a rhythm of living that sets the stage for the start of classes.

Spring Orientation in Lucca

Because of the short time available for an orientation period in early January, spring orientation will last approximately one week. This week will be spent in Lucca and will be filled with activities, such as walks and bike rides through the city and trips to the theatre, excursions, lectures, social events, and Italian classes.

Total Immersion

"Starting Italian from scratch in September was a fantastic experience. I learned Italian differently from my previous languages; instead of translating constantly, I absorbed the words and found them flashing up with my thoughts in much the same way they do with English."

–Laurel Madar, past Florence participant