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Florence: Arts, Humanities, & Culture

Florence, Italy

Message from ACM Florence Director Jodie Mariotti

While the art and history of the Italian Renaissance can be studied many locations, only in Florence does the rich interaction between medieval Europe and classical antiquity — the embodiment of the Renaissance — truly come alive. Wandering through the winding streets and famous piazze, visitors are struck by the harmonious blending of medieval public buildings, Renaissance churches and swirling baroque decoration. Prestigious museums, such as the Uffizi, also provide unmatched resources for the study of painting, architecture and sculpture. With a spirit of discovery and innovation, a vibrant sense of energy, and a rich and storied history, Florence (or Firenze) continues to be a leading destination for students the world over.

Five Days in Florence
Five Days in Florence

Faculty from six ACM colleges visited the Florence program. Check out their blog posts and photos!

The Florence program seeks to give students the ability to read a city, by immersion in Florence's extraordinary legacy of Renaissance art and culture. Students learn how to view Italian architecture and works of art in situ and how to understand them in the contexts in which they were created. In addition to a required Italian language course, students choose from course offerings in Renaissance art history, Italian culture, and studio art, including hands-on classes in drawing and art conservation. Offered each fall semester, the program begins in late August with an academic orientation comprised of a four-week intensive Italian language course, lectures on aspects of contemporary Italy, and introductory meetings with background readings for the elective classes. With the exception of the Italian language course, all courses are conducted in English. Florence itself is the laboratory for the program, and site visits are an integral part of the courses. The program also includes two weekend excursions, typically to Venice and Rome. A limited number of internships are also available for students at the Uffizi Gallery and other local museums. Note: For students interested in going to Florence during the winter quarter/trimester (January to March), there is also a Florence: Arts in Context option.  For more details, go to the London & Florence section of the website.

When students first arrive on site, they are housed in a small hotel/pensione located in the same building where the Florence program is based. After the first week, students are placed with Italian host families with whom they will live for the duration of the program. In learning Italian, staying with Italian host families, and interacting with Florentines on a daily basis, students gain an immersive understanding of contemporary Italian culture. At the end of the program, students should have a working command of Italian and an understanding of the social and technical processes involved in creativity grounded in one of the world's most richly productive moments in history.

For more detailed information, please use the links located on the left-hand side of this page.

The Beloit College Florence Program is registered with the Italian Ministry for Universities and Research and recognized as a private non-profit institution of higher education in Italy.  Beloit College is a founding affiliate of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) and a member of the American Association of College and University Programs in Italy (AACUPI).  The Beloit College Florence Program is facilitated in the U.S. by the ACM on behalf of Beloit College and the other ACM affiliates.  


Quick Facts

  • Terms: Fall semester & winter quarter/trimester (Jan-March)
  • Language prerequisite: None
  • Language of instruction: English (plus Italian language class)
  • Living arrangements: Host family
  • Who can apply? Students from any college or university

Application deadlines

Fall semester 2016

Final deadline: March 15, 2016

Fall semester 2017

Final deadline: March 15, 2017

If the deadline has passed and you are interested in applying, contact the ACM Office immediately. Late applications may be accepted on a space-available basis.

Program contacts

Marlee Stein
Off-Campus Study Program Coordinator

11 E. Adams Street, Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60603
Phone: 312.561.5933

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Publications & Resources

ACM Florence Program brochure

Florence student handbook - Fall 2015

Florence: Arts, Humanities, & Culture

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Giulia Hines The obvious reason I chose to study in Florence, being an Art History major, was that it was the birthplace of the Renaissance. What I didn't realize is that Florence is also the best place to study life. No day is average, and neither is any classroom session. Learning to share the city with hundreds of other American students was a challenge, but it made those times when we had built up the courage to talk with local Italian students all the more exhilarating. You will learn to love your host family, even though your Italian mom will show affection different from your other mom. You will learn to love the food and gelato, and most likely, you already do. You will learn to love the long walks to Disegno, because it gives you a chance to walk the less traveled cobblestone streets. You will learn to love Linguaviva (especially Aula 3), as your home away from home. You will learn to love the bustling San Lorenzo Market, because it'll give you a chance to perfect your bargaining skills. You will learn to love taking day trips on the weekends, because the hill towns around Florence are breathtaking. And finally, you'll realize you fell in love with Florence the moment you saw the Duomo from the airplane window.

—Giulia Hines, Florence, Fall 2009

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Who we are

The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM) is a consortium of independent, liberal arts colleges in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Colorado.