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Before You Go to Florence

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You can direct any questions to the Florence Program Advisor, Juliette Green, or reach out to our Student Ambassadors or to us at

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Study Italian!

  • Italian is the language of opera and great cinematic and literary works. Studying Italian and becoming proficient in it means finding a key to access Italy’s rich cultural heritage and to understand its unparalleled contribution to western civilization.
  • Mastering another language gives you a competitive edge in a globalized world.
  • Italian courses offered on Campus are very flexible and enable students to fit in studying the language with a variety of majors.
  • Learning Italian will help you understand other languages better and it will also open the doors for new interests like Italian cinema.
  • Students with a very strong background in another Romance language (French, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish) can complete the first-year sequence in two rather than three quarters by taking the First-Year accelerated sequence.
  • Italian is one of the most beautiful languages and can make a great foundation for learning other romance languages. If you already have experience with French or Spanish, Italian grammar and vocabulary is not too difficult to understand and you can be rewarded quickly if you put in the right amount of effort.
  • Taking Italian will enable you to meet great teachers and classmates.
  • Featuring the Italian language on your résumé is not only a conversation starter, it also sets you apart from others.

For more information

Italian Language Program
Stanford Language Center
450 Jane Stanford Way
Building 30
Stanford, CA 94305
Phone: 650-725-9222

Follow Italian News

Corriere della Sera
Firenze Today
Il Sole 24 Ore
La Repubblica
The Florentine
News in Slow Italian

What to Pack

  • Identification: Passport, US Driver’s License, Stanford ID card
  • Debit card/Credit card
  • Photocopies of your passport(s), all credit cards, ID cards, etc. Keep them in a safe place in case you lose anything.
  • Though the weather tends to be nice and sunny, there may be rainy seasons throughout each quarter, including during the Spring. In addition to shoes and clothing, think about bringing:
  • Durable/comfortable/waterproof shoes: close-toed shoes are a must! Make sure you feel comfortable walking a lot in them, especially on the cobblestone streets (there are many in Florence)
  • An umbrella
  • Good, warm waterproof jacket or coat (for rainy seasons)
  • A couple of nice/more formal outfits to wear at fancy occasions (i.e. program dinners and events)
  • Camera (your cell phone camera will also do)
  • Backpack for travelling, field trips, and going to class
  • Small duffel or travel carry-on suitcase for short overnight trips
  • A laptop computer, make sure it has a transformer built in (most do)
  • Outlet converter and plug adapters (U.S. plugs will not fit in European electrical outlets)
  • Headphones for studying/Facetime, etc.

What not to pack

  • Electrical appliances (e.g. hair dryers)
  • Bedding, towels, or hangers (host family provides these)
  • Flip flops as streetwear (except for shower shoes)
  • Trunks: pack in easily moveable luggage that you can carry up multiple flights of stairs.

Shipping personal items and receiving packages

We are happy to accept packages for you, but please be aware that additional shipping fees are often required by the Customs Office, especially for electronics, computers or just about anything that is sent to you with a value declared on the shipment. To avoid having to pay exorbitant customs fees, we suggest that you have your family and friends follow these simple guidelines when sending you packages:

  1. Declare used personal items or gift: no commercial value as a description of contents or the package could be delayed at customs for inspection and charges.
  2. As a rule, never ship prescription medicine, vitamins, food, computers or electronic devices.

Mail and packages can be sent to your attention to the following address:

The Breyer Center for Overseas Studies in Florence
Stanford University
Palazzo Capponi alle Rovinate
Via de’ Bardi, 36
50125 Firenze, Italia