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Learning Italian in Florence

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BOSP Florence students learning Italian

“The Italian language class was my most meaningful academic experience. Not only did my ability to speak and understand Italian improve, but I also became more confident in expressing myself. Thanks to this class, I feel more prepared to face challenges or obstacles.” Fall 2021 Program Participant

On-site Language Requirement

BOSP Florence students

“My FAF has been so kind and helpful in helping me adjust to life in Italy. Having a local show me around and introduce me to their favorite places has been so helpful throughout my stay. Together, we have gone ice skating, seen movies, grabbed meals, and spent time with other students from both Stanford and the University of Firenze.” Winter 2022 Program Participant

All students are required to study Italian once in Florence. Course enrollment will be determined by the Language Center on the basis of students’ placement level or previous coursework.

As part of the language program, students are also given the chance to participate in a set of fun and engaging co-curricular language and cultural activities in addition to their regular classes. Whether it be through the Friends a Firenze Program, participation in laboratories designed around a given topic such as contemporary Italian music, theater, art, current events, or improvisation workshops, every single activity the Program offers represents a unique opportunity to meet locals, improve language skills in an authentic context, and deepen students' understanding of the local culture and people.  

Stanford Language Center

  • All students, including native speakers, are expected to demonstrate their level of language ability (writing, verbal and reading) by providing results of a recent language placement test (taken within the last 10 months) or previous coursework. Students who have already begun Italian language coursework at Stanford will be placed according to the last class completed and should not take a placement test.
  • Students who have taken language coursework at another institution or are native speakers will require a valid language placement test, taken within the last 10 months, in order to be placed appropriately. 
  • If you need to take a placement test, please click here for the updated testing schedule. Please complete the written exam before the time of your oral interview. For any questions, please contact the Language Center ( with "BOSP" specified in the subject line.