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Florence, Italy

Program Site: Syracuse University campus in central Florence and the University of Florence

Eligibility: Minimum cumulative USC 3.0 GPA and at least two semesters of college-level Italian with a B average or above at the time of application. The Italian courses taken to meet the language requirement for program eligibility must be taken for a letter grade.

For Option I, USC students must have completed at least two semesters of college-level Italian. Four semesters are needed for Options II and III. Students applying to the Studio Art program must submit a portfolio of their work.

Description: To live in Florence is to spend every day in an active and breathing museum. With a population of about 500,000, the city is large enough to always find something to do, yet small enough to discover one’s own personal Firenze

The Syracuse program is one of the oldest U.S. study abroad programs in Italy and welcomes about 300 students per semester. Its campus contains five buildings including the Villa Rossa, constructed by a noble family in 1892.

Academics: The Florence program offers a wide selection of courses in areas such as anthropology, art history, classics, drama/ film studies, fine arts, gender studies, history, Italian, literature, political science and religion. Most courses include site visits in Florence and guest lectures by visiting or local scholars. The Arts & Sciences academic program is divided into three options:

  • Study at the Syracuse center, where most courses are taught in English (Option I).
  • Enroll in an intensive language and culture program with other international students at the Centro di Cultura per Stranieri of the University of Florence (Option II) as well as a course or two at the Syracuse center. In the spring Option II students may take Option III courses (that is, direct enrollment courses at the University of Florence.  Students interested in Option II should complete four semester of Italian or the equivalent before going to Florence.
  • Be placed directly in courses at the University of Florence alongside Italian students in selected disciplines (Option III). Students who choose this option must take at least one course at the Syracuse center. All courses in this option are taught in Italian.

Fine Arts majors can enroll in the Studio Art Program and take drawing, painting, sculpture and printmaking at the Syracuse center. Students may also be placed in Florentine studios where they can work with local and international students. Placements in studios are available in fiber arts, metalsmithing, printmaking, painting restoration and surface pattern design. A gala art show celebrates student work at the end of the semester.

Sample Syracuse courses:
-    Great Works of Italian Literature in Translation
-    Italian Cinema: 1945 – present
-    Late Medieval Art and the Black Death
-    Family and Gender in Contemporary Italy
-    Government and Politics in Italy
-    Introduction to Antique Painting Techniques and Restoration

Course Load and Credit: Students take 5 courses per semester, one of which must be Italian language, for a total of up to 18 units.

Activities and Other Program Features: In addition to course-related field study, there are a number of ‘all school’ field trips that give students the opportunity to appreciate the history, art, and culture of Italy. Past trips have included the Etruscan archaeological sites, Rome, Pisa, and Assisi. Syracuse also has a guest lecturer program and sponsors cultural events such as concerts and art exhibitions.  

Students may also choose to participate in Syracuse’s internship or volunteer program. Placements are available in a wide variety of settings, including municipal organizations, museums, NGOs, schools, and small and large businesses. USC credit for internships is not guaranteed; please click here for more info.

Accommodations: Students live in homestays with Italian families throughout Florence. Continental breakfast is served daily with five evening meals provided during the week. 

Dates: Fall, Spring or Year. Fall semester runs from late August to mid December (Italian university classes are in session until late December). Spring semester runs from early January to late April (Italian university classes are in session until mid June).

Estimated Semester Cost: 

Additional Expenses*........$15,460

Cost Updated: 1/7/15
Text Updated: 6/28/12

*Additional expenses include estimated costs for airfare, room and board, books and supplies, health insurance, and personal expenses (which can vary greatly from student to student). USC financial aid, scholarships, and tuition remission may be applied to program costs. Please visit the Office of Overseas Studies for more detailed cost information.

Syracuse University Florence
Università di Firenze
USC Department of French and Italian
Italian Consulate in Los Angeles