Top Questions about Studying Abroad in Italy with JWU 

Studying abroad is a great opportunity for students looking to expand their education beyond the classroom and learn from different perspectives across the world. Last spring, I had the opportunity to study in Italy at the Florence University of the Arts through JWU’s exchange program. Being able to study abroad allowed me to step out of my comfort zone and learn in a new environment with a different culture. JWU offers many study abroad opportunities which consist of Affiliate, Faculty-Led, Exchange, and Direct Enroll programs. 
 photo of the skyline in London from the London Bridge

What is the difference between each type of study abroad program?

A faculty-led study abroad experience is guided by JWU faculty and is conducted with a group of other students. There are guided tours and experiences within the program to partake in with your peers. Faculty-led programs are also typically a part of an existing JWU course where the trip abroad enhances the learning objectives of the course.

Affiliate programs are programs offered through third-party providers who manage the experience. Affiliate programs are offered to multiple universities in the country, so you will likely be with students from other universities. Two examples of affiliate programs are the Semester at Sea program and the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). Semester at Sea is its own program on a cruise ship that will allow you to study while traveling the world. CIEE is an example of a study abroad site that will plan out your itinerary and courses when you go abroad.

Exchange programs allow you to have more control over your experience. There are many different options for exchange programs in countries across the world. Exchange programs allow you to choose exactly what courses you can take. You can choose to learn the primary language spoken in the country of your choice. Exchange programs also allow you to meet students from across the globe since some of the schools offer their exchange programs to multiple schools around the world. Exchange programs allow you to be immersed into student life and culture in a way that a typical study abroad experience may not.

Lastly, Direct Enroll programs are very similar to Exchange programs. They are designed by JWU and provide a typical class schedule as well. The main difference between Direct Enroll and Exchange programs is the list of universities for you to choose from.

photo inside the lourve paris, hall of paintings

What is FUA? Is it only for art?

The full name is FUA-AUF which stands for Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence. The school is a liberal arts university that has tons of courses in the arts and sciences, as well as culinary courses. Some interesting courses they offer are film photography, history of the mafia, art therapy, Italian regional cuisine, and pastry. These courses have great professors that love to teach and are incredibly involved in the classroom. The professors at FUA really take the time to get to know their students and care for them. The professors also like to help students get adjusted to the culture in Italy.

Is FUA only for study-abroad students?

Since FUA is an American university, it is home to many study abroad students from other American schools. But, FUA does have full-time students that are a mix of Italian and American students who have chosen to remain at FUA for their degree. There are actually many American students who study full-time at FUA because of how much they enjoyed being there for their study abroad trip.

Florence university courtyard
Are classes taught in English or Italian? 

At FUA, courses are taught primarily in English unless you choose to take an Italian language learning course —which is recommended to help you immerse yourself more into the community of Florence. Florence is a city in Italy which is used to English-speaking tourists so, fortunately, many people know at least a little English but, it is nice to know some useful phrases so you can speak to locals that are not as comfortable with English.

Photo of Arno River in Florence Italy
What are the different semester sessions at FUA?

At FUA, there are multiple different course schedule options available for students to create a schedule that will work best for them. FUA has full semester courses that are similar to the typical course schedule you'd have at JWU. They also have three week intensive courses.

The intensive courses take place Monday through Friday and they are three-hours long, this makes it easy to get a full semester's worth of information in the three-week time limit. These courses are intense, but if you are up for the challenge and want to get course requirements out of the way so you can travel and enjoy the country, these are perfect. I'd recommend only taking one intensive course at a time because it is a lot of time spent in class.

The good thing about the intensive course option is that they are split up into 4 sections throughout the semester so you could take one per session. When your three-week intensive ends, you have a week off until the next three-week session starts. This way you can plan trips for when you have time off

FUA also has regular full semester courses which take place once or twice a week depending on the class.

I hope this information helped clear up some questions about JWU's Direct Enroll program with FUA so you can find out if this program is right for you. If you would like to learn more about other study abroad opportunities available at JWU, you can visit JWU Study Abroad for more info. Also if you'd like to hear more about my experience abroad, I shared my story on how I overcame my anxiety to study abroad.

Related Reading

Studying Abroad with Anxiety

Be a JWU World Traveler

Apply to JWU

Visit JWU

Transfer to JWU