The Florence Program

The Florence campus provides Benedictine College undergraduate students the opportunity to study abroad in Italy for a semester.

The Experience

Students at the Florence campus:

  • Live for three months in an incredible villa in Tuscany.
  • Experience Italy’s great food and hospitable people.
  • Come to better understand other cultures as well as their own.
  • Form an amazing community even if they didn’t know each other before.
  • Learn a language and use it with native speakers in real situations.
  • See more of the world.
  • Visit historic places in Italy and around Europe.
  • Take advantage of low-cost transportation.

 

It is the goal of Benedictine College to have its students in Florence experience:

  • Beauty in art, nature and relationships
  • Fellowship while living together
  • Discovery while living near the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance

The Program uses the city of Florence and its surroundings as a grand laboratory. The courses offered draw on the enormous literary and artistic heritage of the city of Florence, widely considered to be the cradle of Italian culture.

Location

The program is hosted at Villa Morghen, near Florence, in an area that has been home to elegant villas and hunting reserves of rich Florentine merchants.  Villa Morghen is located in Settignano, a village nestled in hills about 3 miles from the historic center of Florence. Students can easily take inexpensive public buses to see central Florence’s beautiful architecture and enjoy a gelato.  Florence’s convenient central Italian location makes it easy for students to visit other Italian cities by train on the weekends. Students can also take trains or inexpensive flights to other European cities.

Accommodations

Students both live in and take classes in Villa Morghen, a beautiful Italian villa more than 500 years old. Benedictine Olivetani monks used it as a monastery for many years.   All bedrooms have a view of Florence or the vast garden of the ex-monastery, rich with cypress, fir, olive, fig and cherry trees.  Visitors also enjoy outdoor evenings while watching the sun set behind historic Florence’s skyline.

Excursions

The program includes guided visits to Subiaco and Montecassino, Assisi and Perugia, Siena and San Galgano.

The first week of the program is spent in Rome, where the group will meet the Pope in the Wednesday Audience, as well as visit the main historical and religious sites.

Classes

Classes offered every semester:

  • ITAL-1000  Beginning Italian  I - 4 credit hours, fulfills Foreign Language requirement. 
  • ITAL-1020  Beginning Italian II  - 4 hrs, fulfills Foreign Language.
  • ITAL-3000  Europe in the Middle Ages - 3 hrs, fulfills Aesthetic Experience or Historical Perspective, Western Perspective, and Global Perspective.
  • GNST-3000  International Study Reflection and Practicum - 1 hour, General Education.
  • In addition to the classes above, a Benedictine College faculty member travels with the students to Italy as program faculty leader and teaches a class.
    • In the Spring 2019 Dr. Jeremy Sienkiewicz will teach a Theology class 
    • In the Fall 2019 Dr. Matthew Muller will teach a Theology class
    • In the Spring 2020 Dr. Daniel Pierson will teach a Philosophy class

Total credit hours: 15

Calendar

Spring 2019 (Subject to Change):

  • August 22, 2018 - Application time starts
  • September 30, 2018 - Final Application Deadline for fall semester
  • November 2018 - Orientation meetings
  • January 16, 2019 - Program starts in Italy
  • March 11 - 17 - Spring break
  • April 4, 2019 - Departure from Italy

The semester in Italy includes a week trip to Rome, Montecassino, and Subiaco as well as a weekend trip to Assisi and Perugia.

Cost

This is a list of program costs that will help students estimate their budget for the semester in Florence. 

  • Tuition, Room and Board - Regular Benedictine College tuition for a semester. Room cost is based on a Elizabeth Hall room, and meals on a full meal plan. All scholarships apply.
  • Administrative study abroad fee - Non refundable fee of $2,000 paid in two payments ($750 when students apply, $1,250 after they have been accepted).
  • Airfare - Cost depends on the airline and varies over time.
  • iNext Platinum card - Students pay $90 for Travel Medical Insurance.
  • Books - for the class taught by the BC faculty, if required. (You don’t need to buy books for the other classes).
  • Laundry - Washing: € 3.5 per load. Drying: €2.5 per load.
  • Telephone - Consider buying prepaid international calling cards or renting/buying a local cell phone.
  • Two meals on weekends - Saturday dinner and Sunday lunch are not covered by the meal plan at Villa Morghen.
  • Local transportation - when not on site visit with class. Cost of local transportation is € 1.2 for 70 minute bus ticket. Monthly bus passes in Florence cost € 35.
  • Personal expenses - The total amount of money for personal expenses largely depends on the lifestyle you choose. In particular, consider if you are planning to:
    • Travel before or after the program, as well as during weekends (trips to Italian cities by train are relatively inexpensive, trips to European destinations are more expensive, however, you can find excellent opportunities by flying with low-cost airlines like Ryanair)
    • Buy souvenirs for family and friends (including wine, food, clothes, etc.)
    • Spend on meals and entertainment during weekends.

Application Process

Students can apply starting from the first day of school of the semester prior to the one they intend to apply. The application forms are available online. The link is posted at the bottom of this page. Students have to submit the online form and pay a $750 fee at the Business Office. The capacity of the program is limited to 50 students. Selection criteria include: seniority, major (some majors require study abroad, others have limited flexibility on when the students can go abroad), academic concerns, financial concerns, student life concerns. Programs of Distinction participants (Presidential, Honors, Gregorian) have some priority in the fall semester. As long as students apply and pay within the deadline the timing of the application/payment is not a selection factor.

For more information contact Daniel Musso