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Wells in Florence: Lorenzo de Medici

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Academic Year


Florence, Italy




• 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 in Florence

• 18 years of age

• Check the 'Eligibility' section under the Application tab for more details.

Application Due:

• September 16 for Spring

• February 24 for Fall and Academic Year

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

Wells 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 in 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 in Florence program website

Limited Admission Spring Semester

IMPORTANT: Please note that this program is highly competitive during the Spring semester and there is a possibility that it will fill up before the designated deadline. We recommend that you make an appointment with your study abroad advisor as soon as possible. Students are not advised to wait until closer to the deadline to apply as they will risk being waitlisted. We cannot guarantee placement in the program if students are waitlisted.

Academic Program

The Wells in 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:

  • Ancient Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Religious Studies
  • Art: Painting, Drawing, Performing Arts, Photography, Sculpture, Ceramics, Graphic Design, Jewelry Design
  • Communications
  • History
  • International Business
  • International Studies
  • Italian Language
  • Literature
  • Political Science
  • Psychology, Philosophy, Sociology
Students at local soccer game


You can find a full list of the courses available through this program on the Wells Florence Curriculum website. Once on this website, you can view the list of courses.

Course Descriptions:

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.

Cultural Activities

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 in Florence program fee includes more excursions, cultural events, and social activities. Past programming throughout the semester have included:

  • Two orientation week excursions to Castello di Verrazano and Pisa or Siena.
  • An inclusive overnight weekend trip to Venice and the islands of Murano and Burano.
  • 2-3 cultural activities in and around Florence. Past activities have included: soccer matches, night at the theatre, chocolate sampling or olive mill tour, the grape festival in Impruneta, Carnival in Viareggio, San Gimignano, and Cinque Terre.
  • Welcome and goodbye group dinners

For more information on cultural activities visit Wells in Florence program website.

Program Dates

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 in Florence website under the Apply tab.

For More Information

Steps to Studying Abroad

  1. Before initiating an application with Wells in Florence, students must complete a Discover Study Abroad session at the University of Iowa. 
  2. After completing the Discover Abroad session, students must call the Study Abroad office at 319-335-0353 to be assigned to the appropriate study abroad advisor.
  3. Once assigned, students must meet with their study abroad advisor to receive program application instructions.

Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242

Phone: 319-335-0353

Lorenzo de Medici

ponte vechhio

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 in 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


UI student in Florence

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.


Students in cooking activity

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.

Cultural Resources

The Florentine
Timetables and Train Ticket Information
Hotels, Restaurants, etc. in Florence

Student Blogs

Karlyn Lienhard, Academic Year 2016-2017

An American in Florence

Hannah Grahek, Spring 2016

Ciao Firenze!
Wherever the Tracks May Take Us
Get to the airport early, they say. Listen, I did not.
The teachers becomes the student
It's time to adjust... again

US Department of State Country Information

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.

Living Arrangements

Student Apartment

Wells in Florence study abroad students are housed either in centrally located apartments or in homestays in Florence, in accordance with their preferences.

  • Apartment:Students will share an apartment with 2-6 students. Students will typically share a bedroom with another student. Single rooms are available but carry an additional cost. The apartment has a fully stocked kitchen and Wi-Fi. Linens, towels, pillows, blanket, and a bedspread are also provided.
  • Homestay:Students will be placed with a local Italian family in a shared bedroom. This is a good fit for students that would like to improve their language skills. Host families provide continental breakfast 7 days per week and dinner 6 days per week for the duration of the program. Students can expect wifi, linens, towels, pillows, blanket, and a bedspread. This housing option costs more than the apartment option since it includes meals.

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.

Non-US Citizens

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.

Travel Arrangements

Statue reaching upward with clock tower in background

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.

Local Transportation

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:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 2.8 GPA- Students must have a minimum 2.8 GPA to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a GPA below 2.8 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa at the time of application. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing- Applicants must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing by the time the program begins to participate in this program.
  • Approval by Wells in Florence and UI Study Abroad- Applications will be reviewed by UI Study Abroad and by Wells in Florence staff. Students will be accepted based on their review of their application materials.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming presented by UI Study Abroad and Wells in Florence staff.

Additional notes on eligibility

Program eligibility requirements may change per Wells in Florence’s policies. Before applying, it is important that you review the eligibility requirements listed on the Wells in Florence 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.

Cost Sheets

The following cost sheet applies to the Spring 2024 session.

The following cost sheet applies to the Fall 2024 session.

Costs charged to the U-Bill

Additional Optional Costs Paid to Wells in Florence

  • Optional homestay fee
  • Single Room Upgrades
  • Course materials fee
  • Course fee for enrollment over 15 semester hours

Out-of-pocket expenses

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.

Personal Travel Costs

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.

Scholarships & Financial Aid

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.

How to Apply

NOTE: Make appointment to meet with Study Abroad Advisor BEFORE submitting application. See application deadlines below.
  • Meet with the appropriate study abroad advisor to discuss your study abroad plans well ahead of the application deadline. Your application will not be approved until you've completed this step. You can set up an appointment by calling UI Study Abroad at 319-335-0353.
  • Meet with your academic advisor to review your program and ensure that it is a good match for your academic and personal goals.
  • If you and your academic advisor agree that the program is a good match for you, complete the UI Study Abroad application. Please note that the non-refundable $50 application fee will be charged to your U-Bill as part of this online application.
  • Complete the Wells in Florence Application. Follow the other application requirements outlined on their website. Students can expect to have to submit official transcripts, a Letter of Recommendation, an Institutional Approval Form, and a Statement of Purpose.

Acceptance decisions are made by Wells in Florence program staff. 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.

Confirmation Deposit

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.

Application Deadline

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.

Limited Admission Spring Semester

IMPORTANT: Please note that this program is highly competitive during the Spring semester and there is a possibility that it will fill up before the designated deadline. We recommend that you make an appointment with your study abroad advisor as soon as possible. Students are not advised to wait until closer to the deadline to apply as they will risk being waitlisted. We cannot guarantee placement in the program if students are waitlisted.

Health & Safety Planning

In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:

Prepare for Departure

Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

Students are also encouraged to complete the PDFHealth 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 in Florence staff. Participants need to be checking their e-mail often, so they don’t miss important information or deadlines. Wells in Florence staff 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.

Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

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

Program-Specific Orientation

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.