Improve your Italian while living in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, Florence, Italy. Develop conversation, reading and writing skills. Equal focus will be given to grammatical structures, vocabulary and conversation skills. Students will develop a vocabulary that will enable them to engage in simple, but useful, everyday conversations thus enhancing and supporting their Italian experience. Our Cultural Workshops enable you to discover the workplaces of famous artisans, learn about designers in the Italian fashion industry and appreciate the role of food in Italian culture. Live like a Medici in our private residence located steps away from the Duomo. The city of Florence itself has changed very little from its inception; it is a small, largely pedestrian city, overflowing with culture making it one of the preeminent destinations for students to study abroad. When the three-week program is over we promise that you will never want to leave!
Italian Language is offered as a morning course option on our Pre-College Enrichment Florence program.
Each course is taught with a structure based on lectures, workshops, seminars and/or labs that promote student learning and creativity. Academic classrooms are located throughout Florence’s city center in historical palaces equipped with the most updated technologies and equipment including free internet access.
Choose One Enrichment Course or College Credit Course
These enrichment courses are private and exclusive for 360° Student Travel students only.
Digital Photo Journal
In this course students will use the digital photographic method as a tool to create a visual diary as a record of their interaction with society and the self. Special emphasis will be placed on Florence and cultural understanding. The goal is to develop meaningful journals that function at both public and private levels. Visits and walks around Florence and its sites are an integral part of this course. A digital camera of 8.0 megapixels minimum with an optical zoom lens of at least 3X is required. CLICK HERE FOR COURSE DESCRIPTION
Cooking: the Cultural Heritage of Italy
This course is designed for students with an interest in Italian cooking. Classes will be interactive and hands-on, and focus on the different aspects of regional food in Italy and the preparation of dishes that distinguish traditional Italian Cuisine. Emphasis will be placed on the history and how food relates to the local lifestyle and culture through introductory lectures. During practical cooking labs, students will be introduced to cooking methods, techniques, and preparations utilized in Italian cuisine and will learn how to use different ingredients to prepare representative Italian dishes. CLICK HERE FOR COURSE DESCRIPTION
Health and Wellness
Studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet has many health benefits, especially when combined with exercise. This course includes lectures on various forms of physical and lifestyle activities and an overview of their respective health benefits. Lectures will also include visits to athletic centers, cooking labs, tastings, field learning and physical activity. By the end of the course, you will create a customized exercise and nutritional program. CLICK HERE FOR COURSE DESCRIPTION
College Credit Courses (a supplementary fee of $575 applies)
On the college credit courses, 360° Student Travel participants are mixed with other students at Florence University of the Arts.
This course covers how street photographers strive to capture the life and culture of city streets, searching for what Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of the most famous street photographers of all time, termed the “decisive moment”. This course will cover both black and white as well as color practices as well as examine how wide-angle lenses are used by photographers who get in close to the action, a method that encourages interaction between the photographer and subject. Another technique covered in this course is the use of a lens with a long focal length to take photos from a distance and throw the background out of focus. Techniques by the well-known masters will be examined. CLICK HERE FOR COURSE DESCRIPTION
Introduction to Italian Language
This course develops conversation, reading and writing skills. Equal focus will be given to grammatical structures, vocabulary and conversation skills. Students will develop a vocabulary that will enable them to engage in simple but useful everyday conversations thus enhancing and supporting their Italian experience. Emphasis will be given to oral expression of practical vocabulary and newly acquired grammatical structures. CLICK HERE FOR COURSE DESCRIPTION
Fashion Accessory Design: Hats and Bags
This course introduces students to the design and construction of straw accessories such as hats and bags. 3D design principles and hat-making techniques are studied and applied to wearable and non-wearable creations. Students learn basic skills of millinery construction through the methods of patterned and blocked forms, how to manipulate straw and how to acquire an in-depth understanding of the material. CLICK HERE FOR COURSE DESCRIPTION
Introduction to Art History
This introductory course is for students who have little or no background in the history of Western art. Before examining the beginnings of Renaissance art which took hold in Florence in the fifteenth century, students will be given a broad overview of Greek and Roman art and architecture, which is fundamental to understanding the cultural revolution of the Renaissance. Special Emphasis will be given to Florentine and Italian art of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and to the “Golden Age” of the Renaissance Period. Classes will include visits to museums, churches and palaces as well as architectural walking tours. CLICK HERE FOR COURSE DESCRIPTION
Introduction to Social Media
This course provides an introduction to social media and its emerging forms in contemporary society. Topics include usage, tools, strategies and the pros and cons related to the social media platforms currently in use and in development. Case studies will focus on private and business practices in social media, and the impact of social media on society and professional fields. The course will conclude with an analysis of future trends in social media. CLICK HERE FOR COURSE DESCRIPTION
Ceramics – Beginner
In this course, students will work on pottery and ceramic sculpture projects. During the first portion of the course, emphasis will be on different clay hand-building techniques. During the second portion students will progress to a variety of surface decoration techniques and different methods of firing and coloring. Lecture content will provide students with essential information about the nature of clay and glazes and the history of Mediterranean ceramics. Students will be introduced to local Tuscan artisan traditions and the work of the contemporary ceramic artists during field learning activities. CLICK HERE FOR COURSE DESCRIPTION
We strive to maintain up-to-date course information on this page and to run these courses. Availability may vary due to full course enrollment, cancellation due to insufficient enrolment, or changes by the teaching institutions.
All workshops are private and exclusive to 360° Student Travel students only. All students will participate together.
Basic Italian Phrases
Learn basic phrases to help in your daily interactions with the locals.
Introduction To Florence Guided City Tour
Tour of the historic center of Florence with a Historian to see sights such as the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo and Piazza della Signoria.
Introduction To Italian Gastronomy: Gastronomic Walking Tour
Gain an overview of the social and cultural aspects of typical Italian food products such as extra-virgin olive oil and prosciutto during a gastronomic walking tour of the center where you will visit the central food market and historic cafes and food vendors with tastings of typical products.
Fashion – Made In Italy
On a walking tour of Via Tornabuoni, the high-end fashion area of Florence, journey through Italian fashion history, with an emphasis on Italian fashion design and designers from the 1950s to the present: Gucci, Ferragamo, Cavalli and Tods. Visit the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum.
Business And Economy: The Role Of Italian Family Business
Visit the Oltrarno area and an artisan workshop to explore the role of artisanship and small family businesses in the Italian economy.
On a guided tour, explore the home to Michelangelo’s Statue of David.
The Italian Soccer Experience
Enjoy an introduction to ‘calcio’, its history, rules, and the personalities – players, trainers and managers, who have shaped the game. Students will visit the Museum of Soccer at Coverciano and the world-renowned coaching school. Show off your skills during an optional game of soccer at a local facility under the supervision of the FUA soccer coach.
The Importance Of Pasta In The Italian Diet
Learn how to make fresh egg pasta with various accompanying sauces during this hands-on workshop. Students will work in groups to prepare the menu and dine on their creations at the end of the lesson.
Weekend Visits – Experience Even More Of Italy
You will enjoy a weekend excursion to visit this truly unique city made up of 118 tiny islands connected by canals and mini-bridges. Visit San Marco Square to feed the pigeons, barter at the Rialto Bridge markets and float away on your evening gondola tour.
Enjoy the following day trips:
This is a place of unparalleled beauty. The “five lands” are made up of mini villages built into the cliff tops overlooking the sea. Soak up the sun, eat some pesto or hike in the protected UNESCO National Park that joins one village to another.
Take pictures and be intrigued by the famous Leaning Tower, a sight that is sure to impress.
You will visit the enchanting city of Siena known for its pedestrian friendly streets, amazing shell shaped Campo, red-brick lanes and the summers of celebrations in the main square.
Perfectly located in the heart of Florence’s historic pedestrian center, these residences are nestled between the city’s two most famous sites: the Accademia (home to Michelangelo’s David) and the iconic Duomo. Step outside your residence doors and you will be able to enjoy all things quintessentially Florentine!
This is not a not typical dorm, it is a modern residence that quickly becomes your home away from home! Your residence is exclusive for Westcoast Connection’s use. It is located steps away from Florence’s most famous site, the Duomo, and is surrounded by cafés, boutiques and parks. Rooms have air conditioning, Wi-Fi and personal work desks. Your residence features a laundry room, common areas, full kitchen and work stations. The residence is a short walk to all classes, school facilities and all of the excitement that Florence has to offer.
After exploring the classic streets and canals of Venice, relax in the modern and comfortable Antony Palace Hotel.Visit Website
At Westcoast Connection nothing else comes first. From our extensive trip planning department through our management team and our leaders, it is our single biggest priority! Safety procedures, equipment – we’ve got it covered. All Trip Leaders and Directors are certified in First Aid and CPR. We are extremely proud of our safety record and welcome all questions you may have in this area. Please see more under Safety First.
Participants on this program have the option to fly overseas on our chaperoned group flight that leaves in the evening from the New York area to Florence. Our staff will be with you from the time you check in onward. For the many travelers from outside the New York area, you can choose to join the chaperoned flight and we are happy to assist you with arranging connecting flights at suitable times into New York; or if you prefer, you may meet us in Florence and we will help you coordinate your flight and times and greet you after you proceed through immigration and customs.
For the 21-day program return flight from Florence, our leaders help you to check in and remain in the airport until flights in designated times have departed. They then remain in Italy for the duration of the longer 28-day program and chaperone that group flight home. Depending on the number of students departing after 21 days, one staff may chaperone that flight as well.
Once you are on your program, you will have sensitive leaders that are caring, approachable and always there for you. Your Program Director and Program Leaders are people with incredible backgrounds including teachers, guitar players, IRONMAN triathletes, SCUBA divers, volunteers, and so much more.
Every staff member takes part in and must complete our extensive training weekends that review our philosophy and procedures to provide a well-supervised and fun-filled program.
Our Program Directors, the individuals responsible for overseeing each itinerary, take on the roles of teachers, coaches, camp counselors, mentors, concierges and hosts. They’ve been trained to provide individual attention, help you navigate your courses and pre-college life, and create an inclusive environment within the residence and each class. There’s a definite art to building dynamic groups, and we’ve worked hard to master it! We want you smiling on day one right through to a teary goodbye at your farewell banquet.
Our leaders are non-smokers. To learn more about our staff, please visit our Summer Leaders section.
Our Pre-College Enrichment programs are designed to give you a taste of the excitement and independence you will experience in college. Just like in college, you will be part of a large group of students, live in a residence, and have your choice of classes. And like in college, you will enjoy a warm, family environment within your residence where you enjoy many opportunities to socialize with other students within your residence and classes. Our staff hiring and training emphasizes social safety and establishing an inclusive culture. We are extremely skilled at this. We take great care in crafting an environment that simulates and prepares you for life as a college student, both academically and socially.
Course offerings cover a diverse range of academic disciplines and interests so you can explore your passion, whether it’s Italian language, business, photography or cooking to name a few. The courses are taught by university faculty. Receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the program.
8:45 AM - Wake Up
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM - Breakfast
10:30 AM - 1:00 PM - Morning Course
1:00 PM - 2:45 PM - Lunch
3:00 PM - 5:30 PM – Exciting Afternoon Highlights
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM - Student's Choice (Sports, Gym, Staff-Planned Activity, City Exploring)
8:30 PM - 10:00 PM - Dinner
10:00 PM - 11:30 PM - Evening Activities (Group or Several Options)
11:30 PM – Curfew
Talk about an incredible summer. This program is the perfect balance of study, cultural immersion and touring highlights. You will have the unique opportunity to study while living in the heart of Florence. You will get a true taste of the college experience while staying in a student residence, taking enriching courses, working out at the gym and exploring your local surroundings.
Getting a sneak peek at college life wouldn’t be complete without gaining some independence. Within structured daily schedules, our summer leaders provide guidance and supervision and are always available at designated meeting spots. This means that, together with your classmates, you’ll be able to navigate your way around the city, and explore neighboring sights, restaurants and cafes. Our tightly knit groups also come together for evening meals and activities, making it easy for our students to meet and build lasting friendships!
As you travel to new places and experience different cultures, your journey may challenge your ideas and preconceived notions. We recognize this and strive to provide an environment where you are free to question and learn. This is nurtured by our leaders’ open and non-judgmental guidance.
Our experience lends itself to trying new things and stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. While living, working and learning together, you are afforded the chance to interact with very different communities. Everybody grows in their social acceptance of others. Your perception will change as your understanding of and empathy for others grows. Whereas prior to your travels, you may have held stereotypes for some communities, your new first-hand experience will enable you to see we often share more in common with others than we may have known.
There really is a difference in how different summer programs operate! Motivated students going away with qualified leaders is a given. But what sets us apart is the depth of our qualified personnel that allow us to perform with the greatest consistency at the highest level.
Your Program Director and Program Leaders are with you throughout your program. They have daily contact with one of our two 24-hour Communication Centers and are in regular contact with our Company Directors. Our Company Directors are the most seasoned veterans who each oversee specific programs providing support to program staff and to assist with any situations that may arise. Our Company Directors alternate between traveling to visit programs and being reached in the office. Program visits enable us to provide ongoing support and development to our Program Directors, allows program staff to have a sounding board for their own progress in reaching program goals, helps us to identify any challenging areas for improvement while it still has relevance to your summer rather than as a mention on your end-of-summer survey, and helps us to identify the future Directors from the current crop of all-star summer staff. These visits are by Company Directors along with our Regional Supervisors, who are former Program Directors with further experience out in the field. Collectively our planning, supervisory and management team is an incredible resource with over 420 summers of combined teen travel experience. This way we can lend a hand wherever and whenever a little extra effort is called for. Last year we had 208 scheduled supervisory program visits to make sure all was running well, provide ongoing support to our staff in the field, and have fun! This investment in depth of personnel is unrivaled in teen travel and is a critical element to achieving consistent, excellent program quality and surpassing client expectations!
Included in the trip tuition are all activities and entertainment described, breakfast & dinner daily, lunches as indicated on your specific program, gratuities, taxes, land transportation, accommodations, and fanatical customer service from our full-time team and summer Communication Centers. This can add up to tremendous value!
With 37 years of experience creating perfectly-planned summer programs, students will also take in the sights, impressive weekend and day trips, all included in the program tuition. Considering travel as education in itself, students get to immerse themselves in a new city and culture for an overall enriching experience. This study - travel balance is unique as, when not in class, our groups can be seen enjoying Florence and many of Italy’s most famous sights and simply having the summer of a lifetime!
A big part of your Pre-College Enrichment program’s success depends on how well you eat. We are proud of the fact that year after year we are complimented for our quality, quantity and choice of food! Breakfasts are eaten in the residence and at hotels. For dinners, there will be occasions when the whole group eats together at the same restaurant. When not dining as one group, we will divide into smaller groups with staff to sample quainter restaurants and a variety of cuisines. For lunches, you enjoy the choice of eating in smaller groups and choosing from local cafés and small restaurants. Food options are varied and plentiful; taste fresh pasta, mouthwatering pizza, delightful gelato, fresh fruits and vegetables and so much more. But don’t worry, they also have North American style options on the menu.
We have satisfied the choosiest of eaters and gladly accommodate most special dietary requests including vegetarian, anaphylactic food allergies, lactose intolerance, celiac disease and kosher style. We welcome discussing your individual requirements with you and have extensive personal experience in this area. International travel may present more challenges than domestic locations and we are happy to review your personal needs and help you select an appropriate itinerary.
Your central location makes it a short walk or commute by local bus to all classes, activities and meals within Florence. On day and weekend excursions, you’ll ride in a chartered deluxe, air-conditioned motor coach with a professional driver or on occasion with our staff on Public transportation.
You only need to bring one week’s worth of clothing as outlined in our packing list as you will have the opportunity to do laundry at your convenience. You can do it yourself at the residence or drop off your laundry at a local wash and fold service and then pick it up clean, folded and ready to go.
While you’re out having the summer of your life, your parents should feel like they are in on the action as well. We post updates to our blog and Facebook page and e-mail photos approximately once a week so those at home can be in on the fun. Parents also have access to our dedicated office Trip Monitors 24/7 for any questions and/or concerns. We’re as in touch as any trip operator could possibly be via smartphones with e-mail and text. The goal is uncompromising safety and peace of mind, day after day, hour by hour, minute by minute. Participants may bring their personal cell phones.
In last summer’s surveys, 98% of responding teens and parents said they would recommend us to others. We must be doing something right!