Study Abroad in Italy: History of Art & Italian Studies in Florence – Academics
As one of the leading destinations for US students, Florence is home to as many study abroad programs as the Uffizi Gallery is to works by Renaissance masters. How does CET Florence separate itself from the pack?
CET joins forces with Vanderbilt University to design a rigorous but flexible curriculum that merges in-classroom learning with out-of-classroom experiences.
A core course sets students on their preferred track: history of art, or Italian and European studies. Electives then set the curricular wheels in motion. Can’t get enough Renaissance? Select courses in history or history of art. Want to understand the news behind the news of Europe’s political scene? Choose courses in politics and economics.
Course topics may differ, but here’s the common thread: academics take advantage of the city environment whenever possible. Students listen to a lecture about the Medici family at the Basilica di San Lorenzo. They learn about Michelangelo at the Accademia. They do homework sitting in the piazza.
Eventually, CET Florence students start to taste the reward that only those who attend a program with academic merit get to enjoy: the insight and knowledge that allows you to take Florence from “a place I visited” to “a place I lived.”
Students select one core course–Italian Cultural History, or Imagery and Public Space. The core course guides the rest of the curriculum.
- Students interested in Italian and European history usually select Italian Cultural History.
- Students interested in history of art usually select Imagery and Public Space.
Each core course includes a faculty-led traveling seminar, typically to Sicily, Rome or Venice. Students complete assignments and attend class sessions while on the traveling seminar. Core courses are taught in English. 45 hours for course, plus 15 hours for traveling seminar. 4 recommended credits.
Students enroll in Italian language. Beginning and intermediate language levels are offered. Language practica are included. 75 total hours. 5 recommended credits.
Students take two electives. Academic disciplines include: history of art, studio art, political science, economics and history. All electives are taught in English. 45 total hours each. 3 recommended credits each. (Exception: Studio art meets for 90 total hours. 3 recommended credits.)
Florence Summer Academic Requirements
Students enroll in the core course–Italian Cultural History. This course is taught in English. 45 total hours. 3 recommended credits.
Students enroll in Italian language. Beginning and intermediate language levels are offered. Language practica are included. 30 total hours. 2 recommended credits.
Students choose one elective. Academic disciplines include: history of art, studio art, political science, finance, economics and history. All electives are taught in English. 45 total hours each. 3 recommended credits each. (Exception: Studio art meets for 90 total hours. 3 recommended credits.)
CET Florence is open to beginning and intermediate Italian language learners only. Advanced students interested in history of art should consider CET Siena. Advanced students who want to focus on Italian language should consider CET Sicily.
Language Class Placement
Italian language class placement is determined by:
- The results of a placement exam.
- The student’s transcripts.
- The student’s Italian language ability as demonstrated in the application.
Adjustments to placements are made during the first week of classes.
CET Florence is a study abroad program for serious students. Classes are scheduled Mondays through Thursdays. Fridays are generally reserved for site visits and make-up classes. Students can expect at least one hour of prep time for every one hour of class time. Participation in classes and attendance at all site visits are mandatory.
CET wants students to walk down every cobblestone street Florence has to offer. Excursions put students on the path to exploring this beautiful city independently. Past students have:
- Explored a contemporary fashion museum, Museo Ferragamo.
- Toured a Medicean villa in the Tuscan countryside.
- Visited medieval churches lining narrow, cobblestone streets.
- Sketched for their portfolios at a scenic overlook with stunning views of the Florentine landscape.
Core courses take semester students on faculty-led seminars outside of Florence, typically to Sicily, Rome or Venice.
- Sicily. For those semester students who select Italian Cultural History as a core course. Students learn about Italy’s Sicilian influence. They might meet with a group of students from an anti-Mafia organization. Or they might take a cooking class. They might even climb Mount Etna with a volcanologist.While in the city of Catania, students learn the history of the famous lava stone elephant, a symbol of the city since 1200.
- Rome or Venice. For those semester students who select Imagery and Public Space as a core course. Italy’s architectural masterpieces come alive as students visit “must-see” sites like the Vatican, Pantheon, Colosseum or San Marco. Program faculty and staff get students insider’s access to local churches, galleries and gardens.
CET Florence arranges volunteer opportunities for interested students. Students might assist at a local non-profit or serve as a docent in an art museum.