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London & Florence: Arts in Context

London, England & Florence, Italy


One of the most unique aspects of the London & Florence program is the opportunity for students to experience two of Europe's great cities during one semester.


Long an international center of commerce and politics, London has always attracted immigrants and visitors from around the world.  London is a city that has evolved architecturally throughout its history, and is home to world-renowned landmarks such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey.  Countless museums, parks, gardens, galleries, and theatres make London a vibrant cultural and historical destination.  London is also an international transportation hub, and navigating the city itself is easily accomplished through the London Underground (the "Tube"), the world's oldest underground railway, as well as an extensive bus network.

The London portion of the program takes advantage of the entire city, as students attend numerous plays and visit museums, churches, public buildings, and neighborhoods across London.  Students live together in apartments (flats) in the Maida Vale neighborhood of northwest London, a three-minute walk from the Warwick Avenue Tube station (Bakerloo line).  A neighborhood shopping area is two blocks away, with a Tesco grocery store, restaurants, and coffee shops.

The primary classroom is at Anglo Educational Services, located at Russell Square in the Bloomsbury neighborhood of central London, served by the Russell Square Tube station (Piccadilly line).  This area is home to various cultural and educational institutions, including the British Museum.  Both the living accomodations and classroom space are well-placed within London, with theatres, parks, markets, and museums a short ride away via the Tube or bus.


Tour of the Florence office & classrooms.

The art and history of the Italian Renaissance can be studied many places. 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.  Nestled along the Arno river and less than 150 miles from both Rome and Venice, Florence (or Firenze) is ideally situated in the heart of Italy's Tuscany region.

The Florence program office and classrooms are centrally-located in the city, within a five-minute walk of Santa Maria Novella (Florence's main train station).  Important sites such as the Duomo, the Uffizi, Piazza della Signoria, and the Ponte Vecchio are also within easy walking distance.  The academic program is located on the fourth floor of a historic 19th-century building, and shares space with Linguaviva, the language school that the program works with for Italian instruction.  Linguaviva has been honored with multiple Star Awards from Language Travel Magazine and has received the Excellence Award in numerous years from LanguageCourse S.L.  There are classrooms, office space, a library (with many of the reference materials catalogued online), and a student study area.  The building is also the site of the pensione that students stay in upon their arrival in Florence, before moving in with their host families.  A great deal of the program takes place outside the office space – with the guidance of their instructors, students view famous art works in galleries, museums, churches and public buildings.  They examine Florentine architecture, travel to other Italian cities, and experience modern Italian culture as they study colloquial Italian and live in Italian homes.

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.  


London & Florence: Arts in Context

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John Ingemann The ACM London & Florence program was beyond life changing. Coming from a rural life in Wisconsin, I had never lived in a large city before. I went from a town of 7,000 to a city of 8.7 million. Besides studying theatre, art, architecture, culture, and even some Italian, I learned how to take care of myself and navigate the streets of Florence and the Underground in London. In the matter of a few weeks, a quiet country boy like myself was a world class traveler! I even planned a spur of the moment trip to Munich, Germany! I cannot recommend this program enough, and not to sound cliché, but it is truly an eye opening journey.

—John Ingemann, London & Florence, Spring 2011

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