Italian Adventist College

Academic Year Program (Quarter) | Summer Program

About the School

Istituto Avventista Villa Aurora (Italian Adventist College) is located on a 14th Century Renaissance Villa in suburban Florence, the main city of the Province of Tuscany. Its location gives optimal access to Italy’s rich historical, musical, and artistic culture and resources. The villa, itself, is of great architectural value and beauty. The garden surrounding it contains many indigenous and exotic species of plants and flowers, and many trees dating back several hundred years. The surroundings provide a serene environment ideal for study and the various cultural and recreational activities offered by the school.

Founded in 1940, the school offers governmentally-recognized university-level studies in theology. A coeducational institution with an average class size of 15, the school family consists of approximately 100 members during the regular academic year.

A new, large classroom building was opened during the 1995-96 school year. Students attend most of their classes in the morning. Elective courses take place during afternoons, Monday through Friday, at different locations around campus.

Three residence halls provide separate housing for men and women. In recent years the residence halls, kitchen, and dining room have been remodeled to better serve students. The bathing facilities of the women’s dormitory have been refurbished, and the men’s dormitories now enjoy bathrooms within each room. Depending on enrollment, there will be 2-4 students per room.

Taking advantage of their location in the center of the Italy’s artistic culture, Villa Aurora students will focus on the significance of the Etruscan, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance eras to Italian and Western culture and make numerous visits to local and national art treasures. During the year students will tour such sites as Tuscany, including Siena and the surrounding areas (Chianti), Rome (a 2-3 day tour), Venice, Assisi, Cinque Terre (the Italian Riviera), a 5 day tour of Naples, Capri, Sorrento and Pompeii, and a week-long trip to Sicily or Puglia.

Campus Life

The 15,000 volume library is under constant development. It offers easy access to various works of Italian and foreign literature, history, sciences, ecology, and works dealing with theology. A moderate amount of outside educational subsidies are dedicated to the further development of the multi-media department. Beyond the library, the greater resources of Florence’s museums, palaces and churches provide extended opportunities for students to learn about the culture of Italy and the city that was so vital in initiating the Renaissance and Western civilization.

Students will find the school library and the multi-media lab a user-friendly environment for studying, word processing, and surfing the internet. The campus has a multipurpose athletic field (tennis, basketball, soccer, and volleyball), a TV room, a game room, and a student cafeteria. These, along with the many other resources available on campus, compliment the first-class instruction provided by the Institute’s qualified faculty and staff.

The cafeteria features a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet in the best of Italian culinary traditions. Known for its good food, the institute notes that there is an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in the cuisine offered and that no pre-cooked food is served. Everything is prepared in the clean, modern kitchen of the cafeteria and results in abundant breakfasts, hearty lunches, and light dinners. Food allergies are always taken into consideration. Students are advised to inform the school of their food allergies so that special arrangements can be made for meals. Also, students may choose to learn to cook many Italian recipes as part of their program.


Students find the city of Florence readily accessible (1 euro and 15 minutes by city bus). The school is easily accessible by road, train, and air.

By Road: Toll road (autostrada) exit (uscita): Firenze Nord. Follow signs to Careggi Hospital (Careggi). Once you reach the main entrance of Careggi Hospital, turn right. About 100 meters later, Via del Pergolino starts winding up the Hill (The Hospital ”C.T.O” will be on your right). Follow the road up the hill and about 300 meters further is the entrance to Villa Aurora, on the right hand side. Parking is available on campus.

By Train:   From the Santa Maria Novella station, which is also the bus station, we suggest that you take a taxi.  However, they can be expensive so if you would like, you may purchase a bus ticket and take bus #14 going towards Careggi hospital.  The name of the stop often changes, so ask the drive where the stop is for the Careggi hospital.  ”Dov”c la fermata per l”Ospedale Careggi?”  Currently the name of the stop is Brambilla. You will see a large glass building across the street.  From there, follow the road as it curves to the right about 300 yards.  Then turn left across the roundabout when you see the CTO Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico.   You will pass the CTO on your right and the SDA church will be up the hill on your left.  You will see a Y on the road, stay to the left up Via del Pergolino.  The school is on your right #12.

By Air: Students are advised to avoid using the Milan airport. The Pisa international airport is connected by bus or train with the Florence main railway station (every 30 minutes until 8:30 p.m). Students may also make international connections and arrive at the local airport in Florence usually at a higher price, but much easier and safer.

Students who have sent their Notice of Arrival Form ahead of time and arrive at either the Florence central train station or the Florence airport will have free transportation at first arrival and at departure. A Notice of Arrival Form is provided in the admission packet.  You may use this to fax your arrival information, or you can go to the ACA web page, click on Preparing to Travel, Arrival Form, and submit your arrival information directly to the international program director.

Students enrolled in the ACA program are permitted to stay at the campus no earlier than two days before the published arrival date, and stay no later than two days after the published departure date, and/or if you stay two days after the published departure date.   Provided that space is available and students ake the proper reservation with the administration AHEAD OF TIME, an additional charge will be required for any days exceeding this grace period. Students who need to stay at Villa Aurora during Christmas and Spring breaks may do so at no additional charge, but should be aware that the cfeteria closes for a few days (dates will be posted) and the students will be responsible for their own food.

Program Objectives

The aims of the Italian Language and Culture Department are:

  • To increase students’ knowledge rapidly and efficiently so that they can fluently express themselves both in oral and written forms.
  • To initiate the learning of the language with an introduction to literature, history and the art and culture of Italy.
  • To stimulate the development of the intellect of the students with an emphasis on spiritual and social aspects, thanks to the opportunities offered by a multi cultural environment.

Conditions of Admission

The program at the Department of Italian Language and Culture is open to college and university level students. Admission and participation in the course are subordinate to the conditions of the college or university members of the North American Consortium of ACA.  Conditions of general character include the following:

  • The students must demonstrate that they have the seriousness and maturity needed to apply themselves to their studies so that they will pass final examinations.
  • The Istituto Avventista Villa Aurora follows an educational philosophy that proposes a precise lifestyle. We ask all of the students to show respect to our position by their sincere cooperation.
  • Because of the principles upon which the school is based, we ask all of the students to integrate with cultural Italian customs and life at Villa Aurora, and to participate in the organized activities.
  • Villa Aurora subscribes to the philosophy of the integration of education and practical activities. For this reason, students are required to contribute three hours per week on campus to assigned tasks.

Academic Program

Students can obtain a minor in art or Italian by taking courses offered by ACA Villa Aurora to complete many of the requirements of their own home colleges/universities. For this purpose, prior advice must be obtained from their respective colleges/universities as to what courses to take in Italy.

The following certificates are provided:

  • First Level – Certificate of Elementary Italian: The certificate given when a student successfully completes Level 1 (Beginning) corresponds to 160 hours of instruction. The course of instruction provides a structured, integrated program, as well as incorporating the full immersion method. By using this method, the student gradually learns grammar through familiarization with the spoken language which is similar to how one learns to speak their native language. The contents of the first course are essentially grammar and conversation. The final exam includes a written section which tests the material covered in the grammar class, and an oral section for the material covered in the conversation class, as well as questions concerning the art class.
  • Second Level – Certificate of Intermediate Italian: The certificate acquired at successful completion of the Level 2 (Intermediate) corresponds to 160 hours of instruction. The structure provides for an integrated program composed of courses of grammar, conversation and Italian culture. The acquisition of this material is finalized by in-depth study, in which the student gradually obtains notions regarding the ambient Italian culture which were introduced in Level 1. The exam has three parts: a written grammar test, an oral conversation (also consisting of an analysis of the contents offered in the Art class) and an oral section which tests the material covered in the Italian Culture class.
  • Third Level – Certificate of Advanced Italian: The certificate earned in Level 3 (advanced) corresponds to 160 hours of instruction. The advanced grammar course includes lessons in professional syntax and composition, in which the student becomes more familiar with the language. The conversation lessons are more in-depth so that the students are able to express themselves more completely. Upon completion of this program, the Advanced Italian course integrates lessons of history up to the 1990’s, including the history of Italian music. The final exam has a written grammar section and an oral conversation. The latter includes an interdisciplinary conversation to verify the student’s basic knowledge of literary history, art lessons, political history and music history learned during the quarter.
  • Fourth Level – Certificate of Advanced Italian II: The certificate earned in Level 4 (advanced II) corresponds to 160 hours of instruction. This level Builds on Level Three (Certificate of Advanced Italian) and brings the student forward in every aspect of the study and use of the Italian language. The final exam is similar in format to that of the Third Level, but the level of difficulty and integration is superior.
  • Further Opportunity: At the end of the school year, students who desire to obtain a further Certificate of Knowledge of the Italian language can take an exam at Dante Alighieri’s Institute in Florence (PLIDA). There are six levels to choose from and the Certificate is recognized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The program at Villa Aurora will cover the areas needed by the students interested in taking this external exam. Additional fees are required.


ITLN 397: INTERNSHIP – 1qh – 7.5 hours per week (75 hours total per quarter)

  • Art
  • Radio
  • Public Health
  • Nutrition
  • Accounting
  • Hotel Management
  • Library

Cultural Tours

All students must participate in the outings designated as ACA cultural tours. These tours are an integral part of the instructional program. Record will be taken and specific assignments given. Students’ completion of these assignments and positive participation on the tour will affect their overall grades in certain courses for which they are enrolled.

Visa Information

For summer programs or applications for just ONE quarter, a visa is NOT required. Please wait for the ACA official admittance email, before purchasing airfare.

For two or more quarters, a visa IS required, and necessary documentation will be issued by the ACA office. All information and instructions will be provided in the ACA official Admittance email.

Cultural Trips & Tours

Scheduled outings may include the following:

  • Cinque Terre, Ravenna & Bologna
  • Naples, Pompeii, Capri, Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano Milano, Volterra, San Gimignano
  • Poppi (weekend retreat), Pisa, Siena
  • Rome & Vatican, Venice and its carnival
  • Verona, Lago di Garda, Sicily, etc.

Program Dates & Prices


Summer 2018
20 Jun
29 Jul
Fall 2018
17 Sep
18 Dec
Winter 2019
6 Jan
15 Mar
Spring 2019
17 Mar
31 May

See a summary of Dates & Prices for all programs