Middlebury School in Italy: Florence

Video and Photos

A parade during the Florentine New Year (March 25), one of many, many traditional events I observed over the course of the year.
I got to walk past the magnificent Duomo every day to get to the Middlebury Sede, and I never got tired of it.
The Duomo at night
Piazza Signoria and the Palazzo Vecchio
The Arno and Ponte Vecchio
Palazzo Giugni - the site of the program's headquarters

About

Florence is the embodiment of the Renaissance, which began in Tuscany during the fourteenth century and continued to influence the region and ultimately the world for four hundred years. While Florence welcomes large numbers of international students each year, students at the School in Italy are noteworthy for their commitment to cultural immersion.

The program in Florence has three tracks of study, a Beginner level, an Intermediate Level, and an Advanced level. Outside of the classroom, the Language Pledge is in effect for maximum Italian exposure.

Depending on language proficiency and track level, students may take courses at the Middlebury Sede in the heart of the city and may take courses at one of our partner institutions: the Università degli Studi di Firenze or the Accademia di Belle Arti. They also live in a homestay or in an apartment with Italian roommates, which allows them access into the life of local families or peers.

Highlights
  • Students adhere to the Middlebury College Language Pledge
  • Tracks for students at all levels of Italian
  • Direct enrollment at local universities
  • Seminars complement all courses for additional support
  • Housing with Italian students or families

Questions & Answers

Reviews

93%
based on 3 reviews
  • Academics 8.7
  • Support 7.3
  • Fun 7.3
  • Housing 8.7
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 3 of 3
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Ricardo
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Yasssssss Florence!

Florence was an amazing experience. I am glad I stayed the entire year because I could fit in more traveling into my schedule. I hated my home stay, but it was honestly my host family. The location was great. Florence was fantastic with food, a social scene, and transportation. The food, outrageous. Take a cooking class, it will change your life! The classes were also pretty interesting and engaging. My recommendation for all of you is to travel in Italy first before you start leaving the country. There are so many hidden gems in Italy like Bergamo. Your Italian will never be as good as it is when you are abroad so utilize it! The sede is a great place to hang out and to talk to all of the fabulous staff. I wish they planned more events and trips for us, but they were a little lacking in that regards. But other than that, you need to seek out the opportunities yourself. The internships are also super cool and 10/10 would recommend. Also, Due Sorsi e un Boccone (sandwich shop down the street) is an absolute gem and you should eat there always. Say Hi to Violetta for me!

What would you improve about this program?
The sede should plan more events. Also, students should be able to live with each other. Italian host parents are literally crazy. We should also have more of a relationship with the grad students. Some of them were cool!
Default avatar
Eliza
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best decision ever

I had an amazing time studying abroad through Middlebury- so much that I chose to stay in Florence an additional month after the program had ended to pursue an internship (which I couldn't have found without the Middlebury program's help!). If you do go to Florence, I would recommend staying with a host family. I really clicked with mine, and I think my Italian improved a lot as a result. It was so nice to come home each evening and have conversations with them over dinner.

Default avatar
Catherine
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Program for Serious Italian Language Students

With the School in Italy, I had the freedom to make my experience abroad exactly what I was looking for. My classes at the Sede were unforgettable, and I got to see what life is actually like for Italian students by taking half of my courses at the Universita' di Firenze. I specifically chose this program in order to improve my language skills, and now, years later, I can say that spending a year abroad on the Middlebury program was the key to gaining fluency.

I lived outside the historic center of Florence, away from the tourists and English-speakers, and lived with an amazing family who treated me like a daughter. Through them, I made friends with other Italians of all ages and was able to practice my Italian 24/7 in an authentic, supportive context.

Part of the reason my language skills improved so much was my decision to spend the entire year abroad. A semester is just not enough time to explore the city and the rest of Italy. By the end of the first semester, I knew my way around and had a group of friends and an idea of how the university system worked, which made the second semester easier and more fun.

What would you improve about this program?
I was happy to have a lot of independence, but taking mainstream courses at the university is challenging, and some students who weren't prepared for that struggled.