Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When is the program offered?

A: Two weeks in May, beginning with the week following spring graduation.

Q: How many credits will I receive?

A: Three 400 level credits

Q: Is this course designed primarily for music majors?

A: Definitely not. Tones of Florence is an interdisciplinary survey of the masterpieces of music, literature, painting, sculpture, architecture, mathematics, science and theology that made Florence, Italy the  center of humanism in the Renaissance.

Q: Will I need to transfer this course to receive Iowa State credit?

A: No: this course is in the ISU catalog and no transfer is necessary.

Q: Can I afford it?

A: This depends on your and your family’s financial situation. Expenses for the Tones of Florence have been kept as low as possible. Student discounts on air travel are available and housing arrangements include a kitchenette for preparation of food. 

If you are receiving aid through the Financial Aid Office, you can use that money for study abroad. In addition, study abroad scholarships are available as well as scholarships provided by the Colleges of LAS, Human Services, and Agriculture. 

Q: Do I need to learn Italian?

A: No. Almost every Florentine can communicate in English. However, a knowledge of basic phrases in Italian would be helpful. The Ames Public Library has Italian courses in cassette tape, CD, and computer formats.

Q: Do I need a 3.00 point average to study abroad?

A: A grade point lower than 3:00 will not keep you from being accepted into the program. Other factors, discussed in the interview with the program directors, will be considered. 

Q: Will this experience be helpful to my career?

A: In today’s world, almost any career you enter will have an international aspect. In order to have a successful United States foreign policy and to compete in world markets, we must be able to work successfully with other cultures. This means that educators must be prepared to give students a global education; managers, researchers, and producers, sales, advertising, and communications personnel must be sensitive to other cultures and to developments throughout the world.

While all students should have a good, solid background in their major field, significant international study or work experience may give you the edge over other candidates for employment.

Q: Do I need a passport?

A: Yes. Applications may be found at the Main Post Office in Ames at the counter to the right as you enter.

Q: Where will I live?

A: All students will be housed in the 15th century Palazzo Mannaioni Residence, on a quiet street in the Over the Arno section of Florence. Two to three students will live in each studio apartment with bath and kitchenette.

Q: Is Florence a safe city?

A: Yes. Violent crime is rare. The most frequent crimes are pick pocketing and purse snatching. However,  Statistics show that during the last eight years the former has decreased 11% and the latter, 22%. Proper precautions taken will shield you from these types of crime.

Q: Will I have time to travel on weekends?

A: Yes. Traveling is encouraged both during and after the program dates. About half of our students remain in Europe after the end of the Florence program to travel to other parts of Europe. A popular weekend trip is to visit the five towns (Cinque Terre) along the Mediterranean coast and walk along the bluffs from one town to another, staying overnight in one of them and bathing in the Mediterranean.