AFS Study Abroad Summer Program in Italy

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About

Summer art: You will arrive in Rome and immediately transfer to Tuscany where you will participate in a 5-day orientation camp including a language course and lessons on Italian traditions. Italians love to eat. Be prepared for generous portions, strong coffee and tasty treats. Mealtime is usually a family affair; this is a great opportunity get to know your host family. Lunch is often the biggest meal of the day, and frequently consists of a big plate of pasta followed by meat, fish, cheese, vegetables and a salad. Italians are happy and easygoing, always ready to have fun or to laugh at a good joke. They place great importance on friendship and loyalty and are usually very willing to help others, even if this means going out of their way. Selfishness and strong individualism are frowned upon.

Summer language: One of our most popular programs, this five-week program gives you the full Italy experience through the window of a welcoming Italian host family. Spend the first week of the program at a language camp in picturesque Tuscany, taking lessons in the morning and cultural classes in the afternoon. It is possible that you would live in a multi-lingual community in northern Italy: your host family could speak multiple languages due to their proximity to France, Switzerland or Austria. Family ties are close, so you can be prepared to spend a lot of time relaxing over long meals on the evenings and weekends.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

94%
based on 5 reviews
  • Growth 9
  • Support 7.2
  • Fun 8.6
  • Housing 8
  • Safety 7.2
Showing 1 - 5 of 5
Default avatar
Lily
8/10

Family Change

I had a very unfortunate start to my year abroad in Italy. I was placed in a family that was not only an hours bus ride from my high school, and all of my friends, but they also treated me poorly. I was expected to cook for the husband when I got back from school, and I was unable to eat until he returned from work. I was also cleaning the house on a regular basis. I talked to my designated person, and she told me that I needed to deal with it. So, I did. I spent another two months without a fuss, and when things did not improve, I went to the program leaders. They told me that this was just Italian culture, and that I needed to deal with it. By this time I was sick and scared, and having serious depression. I was on the verge of going home. I called my parents one night crying so hard, that they were afraid for me. They contacted AFS USA, and raised hell. I don't like to have my parents do things for me. I like to solve my own problems, but I was very lucky to have them on my side. AFS USA finally got in touch with the people around me and said that a change had to happen. The people in Italy however, refused to move me without a family, and refused to look for a new one. I ended up finding my new host family myself through a class that I was in. I would like to say, that not everyone in the area was at fault. There was a nice older couple helping AFS that were wonderful to me, and even hosted me in the time between my family change. With their help, and the help of my new family, the last four months of my trip were the greatest of my life. I grew, and was able to finally learn the language and experience the culture. I do not think that AFS meant for me to be in the situation I was in. I am afraid that my lack of language skills and overall misunderstanding made the situation worse. If they had been able to see what I was going through, I am sure they would have been better able to help me. Or at least I hope so, because I don't want any other student to go through what I went through during my time in those first 5 months.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Steven
10/10

Loved Italy

My summer in Italy allowed me to further discover myself as a person due to the time I spent away from my family. While living with my host family I became a more independent person , and learned to do a lot of things by myself (e.g. cook Italian pasta). Furthermore I was able to get out of my comfort zone and try a lot of new exciting things, which I believe helped me break my shell and become a more social person overall. Traveling to Italy helped me discover my love for language learning, because different languages allowed a person to communicate with different populations of people and access to the cultures associated to those languages. Studying abroad allowed me to make friendships with people from all over the United States, and world in general. The program consisted of about 50 exchange students of which a large fractions which consisted of people from countries outside of the United States, this allowed me to greatly broaden my horizons.

How can this program be improved?
Better housing for the orientations.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Mariaelena
10/10

Best Trip that started it all

This trip was amazing. It was an opportunity that arose and decided to be spontaneous and go for it. Having the opportunity to have a host family for a summer was an amazing experience. It was a great way to learn about the culture and language in an immersive way.

Yes, I recommend
Diana
10/10

My travels in Italy

My host sisters and her friends had heard about this huge beach party with a famous DJ that was happening on a Saturday night. We spent two days going shopping for outfits, arranging transportation, gathering more people to come, and getting excited for the big night. Finally on the day of, we get to the beach, and the party in fact was grand. There were intense lights, beautiful lighted gazebos, loud music, and the stars were shining gorgeously. We danced and walked around for about 15 minutes and then the music randomly goes off. As everyone waits for the music to come back on with confused and angered looks, one of our friends comes over and informs us that we should leave; the DJ didn't have a license to play at the beach so the party was over. My host sisters and their friends let their tempers flare for a bit, and then we promptly gathered our stuff to headed back home. So much for a hyped up 15-minute beach party!

How can this program be improved?
The communication within the program could be improved. For example, I wanted to request a change of host-family for health reasons and it was hard to reach AFS-Italy at first.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Haley
9/10

More than just pasta- Italy

The road continued to twist and climb higher and higher, as I sat surrounded by a language I barely understood and people I felt like I had known forever. It was my first day with my host family as we weaved up the snow capped Alps and I watched as I became a giant compared to the small world below. My host sisters and I were traveling to a camp high up in the mountains to stay the night, I had figured some camping was in store but I was in for the geatest surprise of my life. We arrived just in time for mass and as I sat amoungst the grandiose jutting rocks and sparkling waterfalls, falling down a peak right above my head, I felt as if I were in God's arms. Night fell and that's when the actual fun took place in Italy, the children all huddled outside and we prepared to play games. The counselers hid from the children as they searched to receive enough keys to be uncuffed from one another. I hid in the grass near a stream and looked to the sky and in that single moment saw nothing in the world except the dazzling stars that lit the night sky of the Italian Alps. The world that I lived seemed so minute to the twinkling eyes that watched from above. My study abroad trip not only opened me to a new culture but allowed me to view the world in a greater perspective that has honestly changed the way I see the world and its inhabitants.

How can this program be improved?
During the group excursions we were always on such a short time limit that didn't allow much time to fully appreciate the greatness that surrounded us. Maybe longer time frames for these trips to see a sufficient amount of landmarks while also allowing time to actually grasp what we were seeing, would be beneficial to future participants.
Yes, I recommend

About AFS-USA

AFS-USA (formerly the American Field Service), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is a leader in intercultural learning and offers international exchange programs in more than 40 countries around the world through independent, nonprofit AFS...