Language and Culture in Florence

Image of Florence
This program offers students an opportunity to live and learn in Florence, Italy. Students will pick from one of two study tracks and live with Florentine families for a month over the summer.
Location: Florence, Italy
Language of Instruction: Italian
Term: Summer
Academic Disciplines: Italian
Program Type: Faculty-led
Open to non-KU Students: No
Fulfills KU Core 4.2: No
Fulfills KU Core 5: No

  • Students earn six credit hours by taking two Italian language courses, or taking one Italian language course alongside one cooking course
  • Language classes are small and  taught by native Italian instructors
  • Program includes museum visits and organized group activities
  • The Department of French, Francophone and Italian Studies awards scholarships for this program. Read more and apply for the scholarship.

Language and Culture in Florence offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in Florentine life and culture. Students will live with local host families and choose from one of two study tracks at Scuola Toscana. Scuola Toscana is located in the historic center of Florence, near the most important museums and piazzas in the city.

Students will choose between a Language Track or Language + Cooking Track. Italian language is offered for both study tracks at any level, from beginning to advanced. Language classes are generally limited to 7-8 students and are conducted in Italian by native Italian instructors. For each study track, the student has classes each morning, five days per week along with museum visits, and organized group activities throughout the week. Students on the Language Track, though they will not be taking the month long cooking course, will also have a cooking class. Included in their program, Language Track students will learn how to prepare an authentic Italian primi (first-course dish) and a dessert during this one-off lesson. General cultural assignments are given by the program director to supplement the students’  program and overall appreciation of Florence. Weekends and most afternoons are free for students to travel and explore.

Students will earn approximately 6 credit hours through one of 2 tracks. Students on the Language Track with take two Italian language courses. Students who select the Language + Cooking Track with take one Italian language course alongside a month long cooking course.

University of Kansas undergraduate credit is granted upon successful completion of the course. Students who have a GPA in Italian language courses lower than 3.0 at the time of application should consult with the Program Director.

Language Track

Students will take 2 courses from the list below:

  • ITAL 110 Elementary Italian I. (5 credits) Essentials of grammar and composition, reading of simple texts, practice in pronunciation and speaking.
  • ITAL 120 Elementary Italian II. (5 credits) Continuation of ITAL 110.
  • ITAL 230 Intermediate Italian I. (3 credits) Intensive and extensive reading of modern texts; vocabulary, idioms, and discussion in Italian of texts. Systematic review of grammar.
  • ITAL 240 Intermediate Italian II. (3 credits) Continuation of ITAL 230.
  • ITAL 300 Composition and Conversation. H/W. (3 credits) An intensive review of Italian grammar and usage for the advanced student. Compositions, conversation, and supportive readings in Italian.
  • ITAL 315 Advanced Composition and Conversation. H/W. (3 credits) Continuation of ITAL 300.
  • ITAL 495  Directed Readings in Italian. (1-3 credits)  Enrollment in this course requires permission by the Italian major advisor.

Language + Cooking Track

Students will take one language course from the list above, alongside a cooking course during the program

  • ITAL 333 Italian Food Culture. (3 credits) An interdisciplinary course on Italian cultural studies with a focus on Italian cuisine.

During their stay in Florence, students live with Florentine families in demi-pensione arrangements (i.e. breakfast and evening meal taken with the family) in double to quadruple accommodations. The homes selected for the KU program are accessible by a convenient bus line. They offer warm, personal, and pleasant living arrangements.

SAGE is dedicated to creating international engagement opportunities that meet the needs of all our students and providing resources to support you through the process of studying abroad. Study abroad is achievable for students of all identities including our BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ students, students with disabilities, and students with religious/non-religious viewpoints. Before selecting a program, consider how your identities may impact your experience abroad in unique ways and talk with your Program Coordinator about any program-specific concerns. Students with documented disabilities should discuss any accommodation needs with their Program Coordinator early in the planning process.

Check our Identity Abroad page and resources listed below for information specific to you and other students who may be on your program.

Open to students in good standing from any accredited U.S. college or university. One year of Italian is strongly recommended prior to departure. Minimum 2.5 GPA required.

Francesca Beretta is an Assistant Teaching Professor in Italian and the Coordinator of the Language Program. She joined the Department of French, Francophone, and Italian Studies at KU in 2022 after fifteen years of teaching in Texas. Her primary research interests lie in exploring the implications of Micro-Learning in Second Language Acquisition and generational learning, with a special interest in engaging Generation Z learners.

Dr. Francesca Beretta

Assistant Teaching Professor

Italian Language Coordinator

Wescoe Hall

Room 2063

1445 Jayhawk Blvd

Lawrence, KS 66045