Fall, Spring, Academic Year
• Minimum 2.8 GPA
• Good academic and disciplinary standing
• Sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the program begins
• Approval by UI and Wells College
• 18 years of age
• Check the 'Eligibility' section under the Application tab for more details.
• September 16 for Spring
• February 24 for Fall and Academic Year
Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.
Founded in 1980, Wells College in Florence is one of the oldest U.S. study abroad programs in Italy and one of the few located in the historic, medieval heart of this remarkable city. The Wells in Florence study abroad program offers a unique opportunity to study and live in one of Italy’s most important and dynamic cultural centers. You will be living and studying just a few blocks away from the Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi Gallery, the Galileo Museum, Medici Chapel, San Lorenzo Market, and some of Europe’s most renowned outdoor spaces.
Thousands of students from more than 200 American colleges and universities have participated in the Wells College Florence Program and have praised it for its efficient organization, as well as its excellent personal, academic, and logistical support.
For this program, you will enroll at the Lorenzo de' Medici, The Italian International Institute, where all courses—except Italian language and literature courses—are taught in English.
More information about the program can be found on the Wells College Florence program website
The Wells College Florence study abroad program is offered during the Fall, Spring, or Academic Year sessions.
Students receive transfer credit for the courses taken on this program.
Students enroll at the Lorenzo de’ Medici International Institute, where all courses (aside from the Italian language and literature courses) are taught in English. Students do not need to have prior experience with the Italian language to participate in this program.
Students will take 12-15 s.h. per semester. Tuition fees include 4 classes and 1 language class for a total of 15 s.h. If students want to take a 5th non-language class, they must pay a surcharge.
Lorenzo de’ Medici offers coursework in a huge variety of disciplines, including:
You can find course descriptions for the courses offered at Lorenzo de Medici on their course schedule website.
On this website, select the Florence schedule for whichever session you plan to attend.
The course fee includes a one-week, on-site cultural immersion and orientation program that covers cultural adaptation, academic expectations, and health and safety issues. The orientation also provides a good introduction to the Tuscany region and the Italian language.
The Wells College program fee includes more excursions, cultural events, and social activities. Past programming throughout the semester have included:
Program dates vary from year to year, but typically follow the University of Iowa’s academic calendar.
This program is not offered during the summer session.
You can find the specific dates for the upcoming sessions on the Wells College website under the Apply tab.
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242
Located in the historical and business center of Florence, Wells study abroad students attend classes at Lorenzo de’Medici, the leading private international school in Florence.
Occupying several buildings in the heart of Florence (all within a few minutes from each other), the main building on Via Faenza dates to the 13th century. The school offers a variety of modern conveniences, such as a café-cafeteria, air conditioning, classrooms and reading rooms, professional kitchens, and a garden. LdM is an urban campus, consisting of six building sites within walking distance of one another. Originally a convent, over the years it has been renovated to become one of Italy's most enriching and well-established places to study abroad.
The office of the Wells College Florence Program resident staff is located in the main building.
Feel free to view this video for more program information. You'll hear from the program directors and resident directors. The video includes a glimpse of Florence, apartments, and classrooms. Program Video Tour
The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence (Firenze) is possibly the most beautifully preserved and artistically rich city in the world. Here, artistic treasures and architectural masterpieces of the past blend with ancient streets lined with elegant boutiques, peaceful parks, streetside cafes offering steaming hot expresso and fresh biscotti, unforgettable dining establishments, and breathtaking views at every turn. Set in a valley on the banks of the Arno, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, Florence is one of the best-known and best-loved cities of the world. Striking buildings, treasure-filled galleries, and ancient churches attest to the nature of the Florentines to proudly display their riches for all to enjoy. With the historical part of the city largely contained in a small area, many of the places to visit can be reached easily on foot where pedestrians often mingle between the popular mopeds dashing through the city streets.
Aside from the unending, tangible history in Italy, the nation has beyond remarkable landscapes which bring any visit to an entirely new level. You can go skiing in the Alps, visit Roman ruins and Greek temples, or explore the Grand Canal in Venice.
As one of the world's most-loved destinations, Italy is also the land of la dolce vita, meaning "the sweet life." After an adventure, tourists can unwind, relax, and be pampered by staying at one Italy’s high-end spas or simply enjoying Italy's sophisticated dining pleasures, such as family-owned restaurants where you can experience real Italian cooking.
Karlyn Lienhard, Academic Year 2016-2017An American in Florence
Hannah Grahek, Spring 2016Ciao Firenze!
The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.
Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.
Wells College study abroad students are housed either in centrally located apartments or in homestays in Florence, in accordance with their preferences.
Note: Homestay option unavailable fall 2023 and spring 2024 semesters due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Students can learn more about the housing options available through this program on the Florence Housing website.
If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:
US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.
Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.
Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.
Students who are not US citizens should contact their consulate for more information if they need to get a new passport or renew their passport.
Students will work with their program provider to make travel arrangements to their program site. UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.
Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from your program provider.
Within your host city and around Italy, students will utilize public transportation such as buses and trains. Italians are also very used to walking, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes!
This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:
Program eligibility requirements may change per Wells College’s policies. Before applying, it is important that you review the eligibility requirements listed on the Wells College Florence Requirements website to ensure you meet all listed requirements.
The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include fees charged on students’ U-Bill as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.
Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.
The following cost sheet applies to the Fall 2023 session.
The following cost sheet applies to the Spring 2024 session.
Out of pocket expenses include round trip airfare, passport, visa fees, text books, etc. Consult the cost sheet and talk to your study abroad advisor to further understand out-of-pocket expenses.
Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.
For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:UI Financial Aid Information
You can find more information about options for funding your study abroad experience including scholarships on Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad.
Acceptance decisions are made by Wells College. Once you receive your official acceptance from Wells, your study abroad advisor and Wells will be in contact with further information about any documentation you will need to complete the admission process.
Notice: Students will pay a $1,000 program deposit directly to Wells to accept their position on the program. This deposit goes towards the total cost of the program and is not an additional expense.
Applications for the Fall session are due on February 24. You need to meet with your study abroad advisor before applying.
Applications for the Spring session are due on September 16 . You need to meet with your study abroad advisor before applying.
In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:Health Preparation Guide for International Travel form with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.
Students will receive information regarding the visa application process from Wells College. Participants need to be checking their e-mail often, so they don’t miss important information or deadlines. Wells College also provides students with some of the required application materials for the visa application process.
U.S. Citizens will need a student visa if they are going abroad for a semester, or academic year. Typically, they will not need a visa for the summer sessions.
Non-US Citizens - should refer to the Italian Consulate webpage for more information on Italian visa requirements.
The closest Consulate available to UI students is the Chicago consulate.
UI Study Abroad will hold advising appointments and/or information sessions to provide details on the visa application process. Your Study Abroad advisor will notify you of any scheduled visa information sessions. Students with questions about visas/visa application process should contact their Study Abroad Advisor.
UI Study Abroad staff can provide some assistance on the Italian visa application process, but ultimately the individual traveler (the student) is the person who is responsible for providing correct information on the visa application and securing the visa and all other required documentation prior to travel.
In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.
You are required to complete the International Programs ICON course "Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation" prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals, and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.