There are so many programs that offer study abroad in Florence - why should I choose the Institute at Palazzo Rucellai?
Personal attention: the Institute at Palazzo Rucellai educates the whole student on a personal level. With a limited student body and a high staff/student ratio, the Institute provides unparalleled services in a personal environment; there is always someone available when assistance is needed.
Academics: The faculty at the Institute at Palazzo Rucellai is international, highly qualified and experienced. The courses are varied and usually site oriented.
Resources: The Institute is housed in one of the most prestigious historic buildings of Renaissance Florence. The educational resources at the Institute are among the finest in the city with computer and multimedia lab with Internet, research library with online holdings, audio/visual equipment, lockers, study rooms and student lounge.
Peers: The Admissions Committee carefully reviews and selects each participant based upon specific admission requirements. We seek to provide a student environment where peer learning may enhance the cultural and classroom experiences.
Do I need to speak Italian?
No, all courses are taught in English. However the Institute offers Italian on all levels, from beginning and advanced and literature, and requires all students to be enrolled in one of these.
What are the admission requirements?
The Institute welcomes applications from students who have completed at least one year of study in good standing at accredited colleges and universities with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. In addition, students should be flexible, adaptable and open to a new cultural environment that is at times very different to the one they are used to.
How long does it take to review my application?
The Institute at Palazzo Rucellai uses a "rolling admissions" system, so you are welcome to apply anytime before the application deadline. Once we receive your completed application with all requested materials (outlined on the application), please allow two to three weeks for the Admissions Committee to make its decision.
When should I start planning to study at the Institute?
Start planning early in your college career because finding the right moment can be crucial. Students sometimes reach their junior or senior year and sadly realize that their courses were not planned to allow for study abroad. Study abroad is an important experience for personal and academic growth, and should therefore be carefully planned.
How do I apply?
Just click here to begin your application.
What courses am I required to take?
During the semester, students are required to take one Italian language course; all levels beginner to advanced are offered. Summer students are not required to take Italian language.
What is the minimum and maximum course load?
During the semester you must enroll in a minimum of 13 and a maximum of 16 credits. During the summer, you may earn from 3 to 7 credits depending on the courses selected.
Will my courses count for credit at my home institution?
Schools with collaborative agreements issue transcripts for courses completed at the Institute for their own students. (University of Connecticut, Pennsylvania State University, Connecticut College, Roger Williams University, Marywood University, Notre Dame of Maryland)
For students coming independently, official transcripts for the program are issued by Roger Williams University (Bristol, Rhode Island), an accredited U.S. institution. Independent students should also note that each college or university (and sometimes academic school or department) has its own policies regarding how the credit will transfer, and courses should be pre-approved with a study abroad office or academic advisor. An academic approval form is provided with your application.
Who will be in the classes with me?
Your classmates will be other Institute participants; primarily students with junior standing at U.S. colleges and universities.
What's included in the program fees?
Tuition and housing
Airport Pick-Up (GROUP ARRIVAL ONLY) ( Florence)
Assistance in obtaining Permit of Stay
Institute Facilities (Internet and Library)
How much can I expect to spend while abroad?
Students usually find that the do much more in Florence than they are accustomed to doing. After all, how often do you fly to Chicago for the weekend? How often do you eat out at a restaurant? Doing more means spending more. A student budget that includes frequent traveling, evenings out, large mailings of letters and postcards, gifts and souvenirs can run between $3,000 - $5,000.00 a semester, depending on your lifestyle.
Can I use my financial aid for study abroad?
In most cases, yes. It depends on what kind of aid you receive. Check with the Financial Aid office to see if your aid can be used to help cover study abroad expenses.
How should I organize my personal finances while abroad?
We recommend that you change some U.S. dollars into Euro prior to departure for unexpected expenses upon arrival and to get you through the first couple days. You can order Euro from your home bank. Allow ten days for processing time.
There are various methods to obtain money:
Money from U.S. checking accounts can be accessed at an ATM by using a bankcard with the CIRRUS, Plus or Visa symbol and a four-digit Personal Identification Number (PIN).
Travelers Checks are a safe and secure way of carrying the money abroad. The American Express office in Florence gives American students a favourable exchange rate on travellers checks.
Visa, MasterCard and other major credit and debit cards are accepted in shops in Italy.
Where will I live?
You will be housed with fellow classmates in apartments located within walking distance from the Institute (15 – 25 minutes depending on location)
What are the meal arrangements?
The program does not have a meal plan. All apartments include a kitchen for cooking at home. Fresh foods are readily available in both grocery stores and indoor and outdoor markets throughout the city.
Who will help me if I have difficulties while I am abroad?
The Institute maintains an Office of Student Services with an experienced staff that is devoted to providing support and services when needed. A mobile phone number is provided to students outside of the Institute operation hours for assistance in emergency situations.
How much traveling will I be doing?
In Italy, on-site learning is an important part of the program, and many courses include visits to museums and other relevant sites of interest. Courses will have course-related site visits in Florence and throughout Italy. During the semester there are also additional optional trips offered.
Should I bring my computer?
Although the Institute makes computers available to students in its two computer labs, it is nevertheless highly recommended that you bring a laptop computer for paper writing and other assignments. To connect to the internet, the Institute provides students with a wireless access point. To connect using wireless, you need to check that on your laptop there already exists a working wireless connection. Otherwise, you will need to purchase a wireless card. You will also be able to access the Internet from your apartments.
How can I access my school E-mail while abroad?
The Institute has Internet access available and you may be able to access your school email directly. However, you could also just start a hotmail or other free account to use while abroad.
Is it safe to study in Italy?
While you should always be concerned for your personal safety when abroad, Florence is considered generally safe. As part of your pre-departure information, you will be given an overview of the safety issues that you should be concerned with while studying abroad.