Study Italian in Italy

Istituto Avventista Villa Aurora

Italian Adventist College

Academic Year Program (Quarter)Summer Program

Program Dates & Prices

Summer 2024 US$3,707 23 Jun '24 31 Jul '24
Fall 2024 US$7,989 16 Sep '24 12 Dec '24
Winter 2025 US$5,375 7 Jan '25 9 Mar '25
Spring 2025 US$6,147 10 Mar '25 2 Jun '25

See a summary of Dates & Prices for all programs

About the School

The Italian Adventist University Villa Aurora is located on a 14th Century Renaissance Villa in suburban Florence, the main city of the Province of Tuscany. Students enjoy the birthplace of the renaissance which changed the course of the world’s history. Only a 15-minute ride to the Center of Florence, 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.

*Students attending the program will receive a tram/bus pass that will have unlimited use (value of approximately €300). Students attending the program for the entire school year will also receive €100 during the 3rd quarter for their personal expenses.

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, Pisa and the surrounding areas (Chianti), 2 days in Rome & the Vatican, Venice, Assisi, Cinque Terre (the Italian Riviera), a 5-day tour of Naples, Capri, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii, and a week-long trip to Sicily.

Founded in 1940, the university also 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 academic year. Students attend most of their classes in the morning from Monday to Friday, while in the afternoon Monday through Thursday students get the opportunity to experience hands-on courses geared towards art.

Three residence halls provide separate housing for men and women. In recent years the residence halls have been remodeled while a new kitchen, cafeteria, and library have been built to better serve students. Depending on enrollment, there will be 2-4 students per room.

Campus Life

The 15,000-volume library is under constant development and it offers easy access to various works of Italian/foreign literature, history, sciences, ecology, and works dealing with theology. A moderate amount of outside educational subsidies is 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 University 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.

Important  Info: 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 (at no extra charge).  Arrangements must be made with the administration Ahead of time if students need to stay more than the two days allowed (upon the arrival and departure dates) an additional charge will be required.  Students who need to stay at Villa Aurora University during Christmas and Spring breaks may do so at no additional charge but should be aware that the cafeteria closes for a few days (dates will be posted) and the students will be responsible for their own food.


*Villa Aurora will provide free transportation only from the Florence airport and train station to students attending the ACA program when arriving for the first time and when departing at the end of their stay.

For Students to benefit from this service, it is necessary to send their “Notice of Arrival” form ahead of time. Students can find the Notice of Arrival Form online.  After logging in to the ACA web page you can fill out your Arrival Form. You can also email your arrival information directly to the international program director if you have trouble filling the information online.

*Although it is strongly discouraged to purchase tickets to any airport other than the Florence airport a student may choose to use a different one, but they will need to take a bus or train to the Florence train station (Santa Maria Novella). Tickets can be purchased online or at the connecting train station.

If visiting Villa Aurora independently these are the instructions to follow:

By Air: Everyone is advised to fly directly to the Florence airport (the best option) because it is much easier and safer. From the Florence airport you can take a shuttle that will take you to the Florence train station Santa Maria Novella (SMN).
directions from SMN train station to Villa Aurora are as follows:

To get to the school from the train station the easiest way is by tram and it runs from 5:00 A.M. till 12:30 A.M.  There are 2 options to get on the tram once you get to the station. You can either turn right on the platform and go down the stairs to get to the tram stop “Almanni” but if you go left you will find the tram stop called “Valfonda” and both to the same destination. To make sure you’re going the right way, ensure that the stop says “Careggi Ospedale” on the destination where the times are located. You can take the Tram towards the Careggi Hospital from the train station. There are machines on both sides of the Tram stop that allow you to purchase tickets for the tram that are also valid for the city buses or you can purchase tickets at any newsstand. Please make sure to get your ticket “time stamped” inside the Tram car by inserting the ticket into any of the machines inside, failure to do so could result in a fine of up to €200. The stop you get off on is called “Careggi Ospedale” and is the very last stop on the tramway. The tram ride should only last about 20 minutes at the most. You will see a large glass building across the street.  When you arrive, cross the road on the right side of the tram stop and follow the road as it curves to the right about 300 yards.  Then turn left across the roundabout when you see the Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico (CTO).   You will pass the CTO on your right and the SDA church will be up the hill on your left.  When you reach the fork on the road, stay to the right on Viuzzo del Pergolino.  The school is on your left and you can enter the school gates from there.

By taxi:

Villa Aurora University address: Via del Pergolino 12 (University dorms)

University Main entrance
Viuzzo del Pergolino 8 (cafeteria and university/office building)

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 and on the right-hand side you will find the entrance to the Villa Aurora University dorms. If you want to stop by the School Building or the cafeteria, instead of following the road up the Hill, follow the narrow street to the right. You will find an open gate on the left during work hours. If arriving later than 6:00 P.M. please make arrangements with the school by contacting us at or  Parking is available on campus.

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 Italian Adventist University Villa Aurora follows an educational philosophy that proposes a precise lifestyle. We ask all 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 the students to integrate with cultural Italian customs and life at Villa Aurora University, and to participate in the organized activities.

Academic Program

Students can obtain a Minor in Art or Italian by taking courses offered by ACA Villa Aurora University to complete many of the requirements of their own home colleges/universities. Some Universities may also offer a Major in International studies with an Italian Emphasis. 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 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 can 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 University 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

Tours/trips are a fundamental part of learning by allowing students to fully immerse oneself in the Italian Culture. All students are given information about each trip and location during school hours so that they may enjoy each trip to the fullest. All students are required to participate in the planned activities.

Visa Information

For summer programs or applications for just ONE quarter, a visa is NOT required for students staying no longer than 90 days. Please wait for the ACA official admittance email, before purchasing airfare.

For more than one quarter or those exceeding 90 days 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.

*Although uncommon, Italian consulates can take up to 90 days to process a visa application. To ensure that a student receives the visa on time, it is strongly advised to start the  process 90 days prior to the departure date (including the visa appointment date).

Cultural Trips & Tours

Scheduled outings may include the following:

  • 5-day trip to Naples, Pompeii, Capri, Sorrento, Amalfi, Positano 1st quarter
  • 8-day trip to Sicily at the end of the school year
  • Firenze and its Museums
  • Le Cinque Terre, Ravenna & Bologna
  • Milano, Volterra, San Gimignano, & the Ferrari birth place & Museum
  • Poppi (spiritual weekend in the Tuscan countryside), Pisa, Siena
  • Rome & The Vatican, Venice and its carnival
  • Vinci (Leonardo’s home town), Verona, Lago di Garda