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Italy, Florence: Elon Center Abroad
Florence, Italy (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall,
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Restrictions: Elon applicants only
Budget Sheets Fall,
Fact Sheet:
Class Eligibility:
1-Sophomore and Above
Minimum GPA:
Language Prerequisite:
Language(s) of Instruction:
English and local language, Italian
Course Prerequisite(s):
Housing Options:
Program Type:
Elon Center
Internship Option:
Volunteer/Service Opportunities:
Max Credits To Receive/Transfer:
Program Capacity:
Program Advisor/Manager:
Janelle Papay
Program Description:

Florence City

About the Location

Florence is known as the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, making it an epicenter for art and architecture.  Florence is the capital city of the region of Tuscany and is bustling with commerce and culture.  Situated on the national railway lines, it is extremely accessible to cities all over Europe.


A program that promotes experiential education by connecting class room content with the sites and sounds of Florence and Italy! Weekend study excursions, class trips, cultural events, and more are weaved into the semester program to enhance your study abroad experience. 

Florence Promo
Learn how to make pasta, join the club soccer team, take a photography course, create works of art in sculpting and painting, and make friends with local students all while earning credit at Elon.  

**All students are required to take either 4 or 8 credits of Italian Language during the program, and 16 credits total.** (8 credits of Italian will mean more classroom time--a great way to become FLUENT!)


The courses listed below are offered every academic semester (unless otherwise indicated, and as long as minimum enrollment is met.)  

Note: Although it is indicated in parentheses how these courses have counted for credits toward graduation in the past, please consult your advisor to learn how the courses will apply toward your particular degree program.

ARH 310 IS/ELR: Art History in Florence - 4 credits

(Credit for Expression as Fine Arts or Advanced Studies if outside your major; credit for Italian Studies minor*)

This course begins with the rebirth of the major arts of architecture, sculpture, and painting in the late Middle Ages in Florence, Pisa, and Siena, and then focuses primarily on the art of Florence in the early Renaissance, concluding with a consideration of the High Renaissance both in Florence and Rome, and the beginnings of Mannerism. The majority of the course is taught in the museums and monuments of Florence to exploit fully the possibility of onsite study. There are required field trips to Pisa, Siena, Arezzo, and Rome. In all phases of the course, the art will be related to the historical and cultural context in which it developed and of which it is a reflection. Among the artists covered are: Cimabue, Duccio, Giotto, Simone Martini, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Masaccio, Donatello, Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Alberti Paolo Uccello, Andrea del Castagno, Fra Angelico, Filippo Lippi, Verrocchio, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, and Pontormo. Course requirements include written midterm and final examinations and a term paper.

ENG 368 IS/ELR: Modern Italian Literature - 4 credits 

(Credit for Expression as Literature or Advanced Studies if outside your major)

This course will introduce students to Italian literature of the twentieth century using the theory of the avant-garde as a critical jumping-off point from which to study the movements within and the various resistances to Italian literary tradition that marked this turbulent period. To accentuate the stylistic and formal qualities of avant-garde literature, students will have the chance to choose between two different texts representing some of the movements that we will examine. I hope that this will enhance our in-class discussions and provide us with the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of the greater complexities of literary movements as a whole.

GST 380 IS/ELR: GST Seminar - 4 credits (The topic of the seminar changes each semester with the faculty member in residence.)

(Credit for upper level GST; credit for Italian Studies minor* - subject to approval of the coordinator each semester).

GST for Spring 2015 - Taught by Barbara Gordon (English):

GST 380 IS    Italy: Contemporary Culture and Institutions in Everyday Life (ELR)    4 s.h.
This course is an interdisciplinary exploration and explanation of the interrelationship between culture and institutions in contemporary Italy. Students will learn to use a culturally relativistic approach that is rooted in understanding the elements of culture (such as norms, values, beliefs, symbols, technology, artifacts and others), the reasons and ways in which they have developed in Italian life, and how they both have helped to shape and have been shaped by institutions such as family, religion, politics,  economics, education, health care, leisure and others. Students will learn through readings, discussions, media presentations, group work, and conducting ethnographic research. This course is writing intensive. Application and acceptance required. Counts toward the Italian Studies minor.

GST for Fall 2014:

GST 380 IS    Italy: A Tavola, non si Invecchia: Food Production, Distribution and Consumption Patterns in Italy (ELR)    4 s.h.
The study of foodways offers a particularly rich entry into the values, customs and traditions that structure life in Italy in the past and present. This course will explore the significance of food in Italy from a variety of lenses: cultural, social, economic, regional and historical. By considering the production, preparation and consumption of food in comparative contexts, we will be able to address a range of issues from broad historical shifts as with the decline of the peasant system, the negotiation of regional identities, and the globalization of Italian food, to more focused analyses of specific food rituals and behaviors publically and privately, providing insights into class, gender, and familial relationships. This course will involve fieldwork in the local community so that students connect course readings with the wealth of food traditions in and around Florence. This is an interdisciplinary writing and reading intensive course. Application and acceptance required. Counts toward the Italian Studies minor.

HST 380 IS/ELR: History of Contemporary Italy - 4 credits

(Credit for Civilization or Advanced Studies if outside your major; credit for Italian Studies minor*)

This course provides a review of modern and contemporary Italian history from the end of the Napoleonic wars up to the present day. The first part of the course will cover the Risorgimento and the movement towards national unity as well as the impact of the First World War and Fascism; the second part of the course will focus on World War II and the postwar republican era. The aim is to offer the student both a complete introduction to Italian history and a familiarization with the issues and themes of contemporary Italian history.

The course pursues these goals through lectures, readings, site trips, films and discussions. Some general texts offers a background on the historical development of towns while other readings will offer a choice of interpretations of actual cities and of their representations.

POL 350 IS/ELR: Italian Politics and Government - 4 credits

(Credit for Society or Advanced Studies if outside your major; credit in Political Science/International Studies major/minors)

The aim of this course is to explore the Italian political system and political parties as well as some politics related phenomena, such as the Italian media system, the Italian organized crime and the Italian unconventional political actors and informal political participation. Along the semester, the course is divided into three parts. The introductory lectures analyze the process of state-building in Italy and the consolidation of democracy in the early post-World War Two years. The focus will be on the rise and consolidation of mass political parties (Christian Democratic Party and Communist Party), the role of Italian unconventional political actors and the season of political terrorism. The second part of the course explains the current Italian political system. Starting from the Italian Constitution, lectures deal with the Italian government, parliament and the president; the judiciary power; the electoral system and the media system. The third part discusses the political upheavals that have characterized Italy since the early 1990s. Starting from the "Tangentopoli" political scandal, the remaining lectures deal with the origins and developments of the current Italian party system, the role of organized crime in contemporary Italy and the interaction between Italy and the European Union. The lecture program will also include slots for the showing of videos dealing with aspects of contemporary Italian government, politics, and issues in government and society.

Italian Language – 4 or 8 credits (REQUIRED)

(Depending on the level of Italian previously taken and the end of course test score – credit for Foreign Language requirement completion; credit for Civilization; credit for a Italian Studies minor*; or elective credit)

Italian Language will be taken at the appropriate level based on prior courses at Elon and is a requirement of the Elon in Florence Program.

Dance Seminar - 10 credits

(Credit for Expression)

Starting Spring 2013, a Dance Seminar will be offered every Spring semester. Students interested in taking dance will be required to take the following four dance courses:

  • DAN 214 IS Modern IV
  • DAN 216 IS Ballet IV
  • DAN 302 IS Dance History II
  • DAN 320 IS Special Topic: Dance in Florence

Music Program
Students interested in the jazz music program must have permission from Elon's Music Department Chair in order to participate.  The music courses listed below are just a sample of what one may find abroad.  Please contact the program manager or Elon's Music Department Chair for more information.

  • MUS 155        Piano Class II
  • MUS 432-B     Private Instruction Saxophone 
  • MUS 104        Jazz Ensemble 
  • MUS 219        Jazz Combo 
  • MUS 106-A     Saxophone Quartet
  • MUS 491        Independent Study: Jazz in Europe
  • MUS 491        Independent Study: Music Business in Europe

Credit/non-credit private Art Studio Lessons and music instruction are available for additional fees.

*Note: Students can only transfer a maximum of three courses toward the Italian Studies minor from their semester in Florence.

Things to remember about courses taken abroad:

  • Courses may not be taken on an audit or pass/fail basis.
  • Grades count toward an Elon GPA.

General Program Dates

  • Fall Semester mid or late August to December
  • Spring Semester late January to May


Costs for study abroad vary program to program and will not be exactly the same as on-campus costs of attendance at Elon.

For cost information for this program, please view the budget sheets:


Scholarships/Travel Grants

Need-based scholarships are available for Elon semester programs through the GEC.  For additional information on scholarships or other funding for study abroad, see the Funding for Study Abroad page.

If you qualify for a travel grant through any of the fellows or scholars programs, see the appropriate program director for more information on how to apply the grant to your study abroad program.  Visit the Deadlines and Events Calendar for travel grant deadlines.


Students will live in apartments within the city proper, walking distance of clases, restaurants, and shops. Elon University students will be placed in apartments that hold 2-10 students, and could be roomed with one to two other students. 

The apartments include:

  • Fully equipped kitchens (You can tap into your inner chef.)
  • A washing machine and drying rack
  • Bed linens (cleaning service for bed linens is surely something to brag about)
  • Free maintence services


Students must complete the online Elon University study abroad application by the published deadline.  See the Deadline and Events Calendar for the most up-to-date deadline information.  Applications are generally accepted one year in advance.

Note: This program has limited capacity. Applications for a given term will no longer be accepted once capacity has been reached.


A successful semester abroad is dependent upon adequate preparation.  Students will participate in a series of mandatory orientations during the semester prior to studying abroad.  These orientations will address issues of academic, cultural, logistical, financial, and personal preparation, as well as health and safety.  Failure to participate in the required orientations will result in dismissal from the program.  Any financial losses incurred by this dismissal, including program fees and international airfare, are the student's full responsibility.

View the pre-departure orientation schedule for semester programs.

Please read the Elon Center in Florence Orientation Guide before attending your first Florence-specific orientation.


Additional Information and Links

Please read the Elon Center in Florence, Italy Program Brochure.pdf for more information about the Elon Center in Florence, Italy. 

Want to know more?  Join the Florence study abroad Facebook page to connect with alumni and other prospective students. View AEF's official blog

Global Ambassadors (GAs) are GEC student representatives who have participated in one or more study abroad programs, and have been trained to speak about their experiences. You can be in touch with current GAs via email, or contact past study abroad participants who have attended your program. They are looking forward to hearing from you!

Embassy, Consulate, and Visa Resources


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Change Agent
Study abroad clarified my goals for life by reminding me just how much more cultural and artistic appreciation there is beyond the United States. It opened my eyes to a possible professional future in the arts in Europe.
     — Colleen O'Connell, Spring 2012
Read what others have said about this program.
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2014 02/21/2014
Rolling Admission 08/25/2014 12/05/2014
Spring 2015 10/16/2014
Rolling Admission 01/30/2015 05/08/2015
Fall 2015 02/19/2015 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
NOTE: The priority deadline is November 6. After November 20, this program will continue to accept applications on a rolling and space-available basis until February 19.

The start dates and end dates listed reflect the dates students are expected to arrive in and depart from the host location and reflect the best information available to the Global Education Center. Please do not purchase plane tickets based on these dates. Individual programs will provide updates after your acceptance to the program.

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applications will be reviewed on a space-available basis and applicants will be notified of their application status in a timely fashion.

Indicates that deadline has passed