Study Abroad Program Overview
Firenze! Whether your interest is art, history, architecture, science, fashion, music, or food, the birthplace of the Renaissance offers something for everyone. Study abroad in Florence and take full advantage of this magnificent city while accelerating your Italian language acquisition. Explore Florence’s outstanding museums and galleries, stroll the Ponte Vecchio built in the 14th century, and navigate the maze of small streets and beautiful piazzas like a local. Your language classes, cultural activities, and excursions take full advantage of the local surroundings, and put you in direct contact with Italian society.
Students attend classes with UC students only.
Language of Instruction
The elective courses are taught in English.
Language courses are taught in Italian
Go to the Participants
section to see current or past calendars.
late August to mid-December
early January to late April
Fall Participants: Extension to a UCEAP immersion semester program in Bologna may be possible if you complete the intermediate levels in Florence (Ital 6).
You can choose to live in a shared apartment with other UC students or in a homestay with an Italian family. Housing is arranged by ACCENT, an international education organization partnered with UCEAP. More Information on Housing
Whether you are looking for something to help you relieve stress, take a break or simply have fun with your friends, there are endless possibilities for extracurricular activities within Florence!
Activities available to students through the ACCENT Center include:
- Movie Night – Meet once a month to watch a film in Italian with English subtitles
- Calcetto – Five-a-side soccer team that participates in the International School Calcetto Cup
- Corri la Vita – (Fall semester only) – Breast cancer benefit run/walk through Florence.
- Discussion and Interest Groups- (Examples: Queer Alliance, Freethinkers, Photography Club)
- Cooking Course – Courses offered at a local culinary institute. Learn to make traditional Tuscan dishes from scratch, then eat the fruits of your labor, family style, with the rest of the class (available at an additional cost)
There are also many volunteer opportunities available in Florence. Past students have worked with the following organizations:
- Il Quadrifoglio – assist in the care, preservation, and restoration of “beauty in Florence”
- Angeli del Bello (Angels of Beauty) – clean parks, walls, and bridges in Florence
- Copse – intercultural dialogue, fair and sustainable development, human rights, peace and justice among people worldwide. Assist Copse staff on immigration and cultural integration issues
- Angeli della citta – care for and support the homeless in Florence
- Caritas Firenze – serve meals at the Caritas soup kitchen
- St. James Church – assist with weekly food bank and monthly charity market activities
- Colonie Feline – help feed abandoned cats in feline colonies in and around Florence
UCEAP students are supported by UC's network of EAP offices at every UC campus and partnerships with UCEAP host universities throughout the world. UCEAP partners with ACCENT in Florence and local ACCENT staff help you integrate into the culture of Italy and provide assistance with all aspects of living in Florence, such as housing, residence permits, and other issues.
See the UCEAP Program Guide
for program-specific details about host institutions, program structure, and courses; academic culture and conduct; internships, research, & independent study; units, exams, and grades; orientation; housing; and information about the intensive language program (if applicable).
The Florence Fall/Spring semester Language and Culture program is an intensive program offering beginning, intermediate, and advanced Italian language study. You will take a placement exam upon arrival to determine your level of language proficiency and then be assigned to Italian language courses at the appropriate level. You will take three language courses worth 6 quarter/4 semester UC units each.
The main focus of this program is the acquisition of Italian language. You will spend several hours per day in language classes and a cutlure course that are supplemented by site visits and excursions that introduce you to the city and afford you the opportunity to practice your Italian language skills with local residents. You will be in language classes Monday through Thursday with occasional Friday classes.
The following courses are required:
- 3 consecutive Italian language courses: 6 quarter/4 semester UC units each. Detailed course information for language courses.
- One upper-division elective culture course: 4.5 quarter/3 semester UC units. Exact offerings may vary slightly depending on enrollment and instructor availability. Detailed course information for culture courses.
- Art and Culture in Renaissance Florence
- Florence in Cinema
- ‘What's Love Got to Do with it?’ The Social History of Quattrocento Florence
- The Lure of Italy from the Grand Tour to Mass Tourism
- History of Culture and Food in Italy
- Telling Stories in Medieval and Renaissance Italian Art
- Humor and Jokes in Tuscan and Italian Literature and Culture
- Michelangelo: Art, Persona, and Politics in Renaissance Italy
You must take all language courses for a letter grade. The culture course may be taken as Pass/No Pass.
Use the following resources to learn about courses on UCEAP:
Beyond day-to-day interactions like ordering coffee at the bar or visiting the market in Piazza Santo Spirito, UCEAP Florence students have ample opportunity for language practice. The study center offers students the chance to participate in regular group language exchanges with students from the Università di Firenze. Many students also take time to establish one-on-one language exchanges with local students, meeting regularly to practice Italian and developing a Florentine social circle in the process. Each term the Study Center has an intern from the Università di Firenze who hosts weekly lunchtime conversation groups open to all students.
You are required to take a full-time course of study while abroad. 22.5 quarter/15 semester UC units are required; four courses.
Research and Independent Study
Students on the Spring semester program have the option of doing an additional 2 UC quarter unit (1.3 semester unit) directed study during the last 5 weeks of the program. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to get one-on-one interaction with faculty and develop your independent research skills while writing a paper on intriguing Florentine topics. A minimum enrollment of 5 students is required for the directed study option to be offered.
The Florence Fall/Spring semester Language and Culture program is specially designed for UC students and taught by faculty from Italian universities. The program is administered by ACCENT (International Consortium for Academic Programs Abroad). Local staff in Florence will advise on academic matters and provide information on cultural and social activities.
The Study Center is located on the second floor of Palazzo Guadagni. Palazzo Guadagni is located in Piazza Santo Spritio of the Oltrarno neighborhood. The neighborhood, just five minutes from the Ponte Vecchio, is slightly removed from the city center and the throngs of tourists, but is still very much at the heart of Florence. The old cobblestone roads, winding via, and never ending historic wonders make the Study Center’s location a unique space in which to study the language and culture of historic and modern Florence.
Test Drive Your Future
Internships abroad are a great way to enhance your resume for today’s competitive job market. Stand out from your peers, gain hands-on experience, and develop your global professional network.
- Art history experience with local archival project
- Design and architecture experience with a local architecture firm
- Public Relations experience with travel agencies, local non-profits, and arts foundations
- Philanthropic and fundraising work with non-profit and international organizations
- Experience Florentine culture with local cultural centers, tourism companies, or regional food and culture shops
- Contribute to the community by working with local social services assisting the elderly and ill
- More Opportunities
Setting Up Your Internship
- All internships are secured once you are on-site.
- You will receive information during your first few days in Florence on how to select and apply for an internship.
- If you participate in an internship in Florence it will be in addition to your 4 required courses for the program. You cannot replace one of your core courses with an internship.
“Under my supervisor’s guidance I was able to sift through documents from the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, occasionally stumbling upon something cool, like some of Galileo’s letters, and even something new, like a previously unknown Artemisia painting. Also, I increased my Italian reading skills by deciphering old and often messy Italian. One very valuable skill I learned was how to come up with new places to look for clues. My supervisor and I were trying to piece together every part of Artemisia’s life and often had to come up with new places to look for information.”
Samantha Williams, UCSB, Archival work with a local archive project
"I was able to connect with these children so closely; I looked forward to seeing them and learning new Italian vocabulary from them--although I would have to tell them nearly all the time “piano, piano, piano!” (Slow, slow, slow). The best part about working with this organization was my ability to see these students’ progress over the four months. I worked with the same kids for the entirety of the semester and I was so proud of their progress at the end. I felt accomplished in two ways: these precious children gave me a solid connection with Italia; I felt I was one of their brothers and that I was a resident of Italy. One of the best parts on interning was the ability to learn Italian faster; the kids would teach me new vocabulary every single session."
Derek Hernandez, UCLA, Teaching English to Italian children
"My internship in Florence made my time abroad a very unique and personal experience. I was able to pursue passions in my career in addition to the language and culture education of the program. I felt truly integrated into the daily life of the city and was given so many opportunities to grow.“
Stella Kim, UCSD, Intern with an architecture firm
Participation in UCEAP is a great value! The cost of studying abroad on UCEAP programs is typically less than that of non-UC study abroad programs. The dollar figures listed in the chart below represent an estimate of: 1) the UCEAP fees for the current year, and 2) the additional amount needed to cover your living expenses in this location. Estimates for personal travel, entertainment and Non-Resident (out of state) Fees are not included.
Keep in mind that on UCEAP you take your financial aid with you. The amount of your financial aid package will take into account the total estimated costs of this experience. One advantage of selecting UCEAP for study abroad is that we facilitate the process by working with your UC Financial Aid Office (FAO), informing them of your UCEAP participation and providing them with your UCEAP budget. Just like your UC Campus billing office, we receive your financial aid and scholarships from your FAO, apply it to cover the UCEAP program fees, and disburse any remaining aid on a set schedule.
Estimated EAP Costs *
* Estimates do not include Miscellaneous Campus Fees or, if applicable, Non-Resident Supplemental Tuition, Graduate or Professional Fees. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay Non-Resident Fees on UCEAP.
1 UCEAP Fees: This represents an estimate of UCEAP fees for the current year. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. This figure includes UC tuition and fees for undergraduate, in-state residents. For a detailed breakdown of what’s included in this estimate, visit the Participants Portal and select the appropriate program. Non-Resident Fees apply: If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay non-resident fees on UCEAP.
2 Additional Costs: Average living expenses include but are not limited to room and board, transportation, books, supplies, and other incidentals and do not include recreational travel or entertainment. The total cost will vary depending on your personal expenses, exchange rate fluctuation, and the program you attend. For a detailed breakdown of the estimate, visit the “Cost” tab of the appropriate program.
All fees are subject to change without notice.
These expenses are estimated for 2015-16. Actual amounts will vary due to potential changes to UC fees, exchange rate fluctuation, etc. For a more detailed breakdown of 2015-16 payment information, visit the Participants Portal
and select the appropriate program. Estimates do not include non-resident supplemental tuition. If you are subject to out-of-state tuition at your UC campus, you will pay the same non-resident fees on UCEAP.
Here’s what is included in the estimate:
- Pre-Departure expenses (visa, etc.)
- Round-trip transportation from California
- UC fees
- Tuition at host institution
- On-site orientation
- Room and board
- Program excursions
- Books and other incidental expenses
- Automatic transfer of credits and grades to your UC transcript
While on UCEAP, you are covered by UC’s accident and medical insurance, including non-medical benefits, and 24/7 travel assistance anywhere in the world.
UCEAP scholarships are available. Please visit our scholarships overview page for general information and details regarding eligibility requirements and application deadlines.
Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate
- The University-level language requirement is: minimum 0 quarters / 0 semesters and maximum 5 quarters / 3 semesters.
2.00 cumulative GPA at the time of application and maintained through the end of the last term prior to departure.GPA Note
: Good academic standing is also required, as defined by your UC campus.
All applicants must also have:
- Serious academic goals and a clear plan for integrating EAP studies into the student's UC degree program.
- Social, interpersonal, and cross-cultural sensitivity; maturity; willingness to adapt successfully to different living and academic environments; appropriate behavior in a variety of situations.
- A willingness to abide by program regulations.
- Completed all campus- and program-specific requirements.
Application Information and Deadlines
Important: If you are planning to participate in back to back study abroad programs (with UCEAP or any other organization), you must notify your campus study abroad office. There are important things to consider when participating in consecutive programs, such as program dates and visa requirements. Not all program combinations are possible.
Application deadlines and information on the application process are available through your Campus EAP Office. Supplemental pre-departure materials will be required for many programs, including, but not limited to, host institution applications, visa and housing applications, medical clearances, etc.
For participation in the program, you must meet all deadlines and submit complete application materials.
These are minimum requirements. Your Campus EAP Office determines selection and final admission.
Visit your Campus Study Abroad website for program-specific deadlines:
Changing Lives: Renaissance Man
Mario leaves gang life behind to follow his dreams and pursue education. Watch Now