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Drexel in Italy: Design in Florence
Florence, Italy (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Fall
Homepage: Click to visit
Program Dates &
Click here to view
Restrictions: Drexel applicants only
Budget Sheets Fall
Fact Sheet:
Minimum Language Requirement:
ITAL 101
Language of Instruction:
English, Italian
Minimum Cumulative GPA:
Class Eligibility:
Eligible Majors:
Design and Merchandising, Fashion Design
Housing Options:
Program Advisor:
Lisa Shen
Program Description:

The Programacademia

The Design in Florence program is open to Fashion Design, Design and Merchandising, and Product Design majors during the Fall term of their Junior year. Florence is one of the most beautiful and ancient cities in Italy, and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. While living in Florence, students will have opportunities to be exposed to students from around the world, gain a global prospective of fashion, and learn a foreign language. Students take courses with design students from around the world, taught by Italian faculty at the Accademia Italiana. This is a great opportunity to be exposed to a global design perspective and be immersed in a different culture.


The Academics

Students take courses at the Accademia Italiana ("Accademia"), one of the best fashion and design schools in Italy. They will have the opportunity to visit the Uffizi and the Pitti Palace, two of the most famous picture galleries in the world and be inspired by superb collections of sculpture at the Bargello, the Duomo Works Museum and more.  

All students are required to take 1 term of Italian at Drexel prior to participation in the program.

Fashion Design Majors

These courses have been pre-selected by Drexel's Fashion Design Department and are required for all Fashion Design majors.

Design & Merchandising and Product Design Majors

You are required to take Italian and can select 4 other courses from the  Liberal & Studio Arts Course List.  You can view the course descriptions here.

Course Equivalents: This spreadsheet is a historical list of pre-approved courses Drexel students have taken before.  Students can choose to take courses from this list, but there is no guarantee that these courses will be offered in the future.
Course Approvals: Students will need to get courses approved by the appropriate department for each course they plan to take if the course is not on the course equivalency spreadsheet (linked above).  For example, if you want to take a course at the University abroad for Drexel credit, its equivalent must be pre-approved by the appropriate department at Drexel.

Grading: Students are taught by local Italian faculty. Grades are noted as credit/no credit (CR/NCR) on their transcript and will NOT affect their GPA. In order to receive CR students must earn the equivalent of an American "C" or above. Students are not permitted to take more than 5 courses at Accademia.

Program Calendar

Arrival: Early September

Departure: Mid to late December (before Christmas)

Tuesday, September 6: students arrive in Florence and move in to student apartments
Wednesday to Friday, September 7 to 9: Orientation
Monday, September 12: classes begin
Saturday, September 24, Day trip to Siena and San Gimignano
Saturday/Sunday, October 15/16: Overnight trip (destination to be decided)
October 24 – 28: mid-term exams
Tuesday, November 1:  National holiday – AI closed
Saturday/Sunday November 5/6: Overnight trip (destination to be decided)
Saturday, November 26: Day trip  (destination to be decided)
Thursday, December 8: National holiday – AI closed
December 12 – 16: Final Exams
Saturday, December 17: return to USA


The Experience

Check out this blog from a Drexel student studying at Accademia Italiana during Fall 2014.

Accademia offers airport pick-up for groups of students arriving by a certain time. Students who choose to arrive independently will receive instructions on when and where to meet up with the group on-site.

The program starts with an extensive orientation on every topic relevant to student life in Italy, from public transportation schedules to cell phone providers to where to find the best deals on text books and daily needs. Students register for academic courses and are led on tours of the school buildings and facilities and the host city which highlight many typical day-to-day destinations such as daily markets, post offices, public transportation hubs, pharmacies, and more key essentials to help you get your bearings. Students will learn more about the discounts available at a number of book and art supplies stores, clothing stores and restaurants as well as local gyms.

Housing: Accademia offers a housing referral service that assists students in obtaining apartment housing in Florence. Students are placed in a double-room in a lovely, fully-furnished apartment within walking distance to the school and many historical sites. Student apartments are located in buildings which are home to Italians, allowing for a lively exchange of culture as well as the opportunity to immerse in the language. Students may request to share an apartment with Italians, an international mix or with other Americans. Each apartment varies slightly in size and amenities. The apartment owners will be able to provide you with all of these details. Students must pay their landlord directly for monthly rent which averages 350 - 400 Euro per month.

Student Life: Study abroad students in Italy have the opportunity to explore their host country through Accademia organized study trips, which are included in the program fee, to Italian destinations such as Venice, Milan, Bologna, Lucca, Siena, Naples, Pompeii and more. Many students choose to travel on the weekends as well.Accademia also organizes a host of local social and academic activities throughout the term such as dinners and trips to sporting matches and other cultural events.

Approximately 40% of Accademia's student body is Italian, 20% is American and the remaining 40% hail from across the world. This diverse make-up contributes to a unique learning environment in which students have an opportunity to exchange ideas and express their individual creativity within an international forum. The diversity also presents a unique level of immersion and the opportunity for students from multiple cultural backgrounds to explore the Italian language and culture together.

Visas: All students are required to apply for an Italian visa in order to study abroad at Accademia. 


Cost & Financial Aid

Students will be responsible for paying their apartment deposit and monthly rent directly to their landlord in Florence. Please refer to the program Budget Sheet link at top of this page for cost details.

This is a Drexel sponsored program, thus all of your financial aid applies. If you receive Federal Work Study, consider applying for the Study Abroad Online Journalist work study position (only available to students after acceptance).

Scholarships: If you are interested in seeking additional funding please review the Scholarships & Funding Opportunities. Remember that scholarship deadlines may be much earlier than study abroad deadlines, so plan accordingly.

Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Fall 2017 02/01/2017 03/01/2017 TBA TBA
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