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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Ferrara, Italy
  • Program Terms: Academic Year, Fall, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: CIEE 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 09/26/2018 10/12/2018 TBA TBA
Fact Sheet:
Areas of Study: Art, Art History, History, Political Science Minimum GPA Requirement: 2.75
Academic Level: Sophomore Language of Instruction: English, Italian
Housing Options: Apartment, Host Family
Program Description:


Spend a semester or a year improving your Italian language skills and knowledge of contemporary and historical Italy in one of its most beautiful, renaissance towns.

Whether you’re an intermediate or advanced level Italian student, CIEE study abroad in Ferrara offers intensive coursework, homestay options and cultural activities that provide you with a challenging and truly immersive international experience. 

Study abroad in Italy and you will:

  • Study on a program which offers highly effective and innovative Italian language teaching for intermediate to advanced level language students
  • Speak Italian every day in a true Italian environment
  • Visit local festivals, art museums, and cathedrals, and join in group dinners
  • Get to know nearby cities such as Mantua, Bologna, Siena,  Venice, Verona, and Padua
  • Enroll in university courses and study alongside Italians if you have advanced language skills
The CIEE Difference


With three sections of language courses, ranging from Intermediate to Advanced High, you’ll find a course of study that perfectly suits your needs and abilities. You’ll also have access to a host of English-language electives on a variety of topics from History, Art, and Cinema, to Contemporary Italian Literature, and Culinary Arts.


The academic program is supplemented with excursions to local places of interest and cultural activities including local festivals, visits to art museums and cathedrals, and group dinners. Students are grouped by language level wherever possible. Ferrara’s physical ambience was greatly influenced during the Renaissance period and is home to many museums, cathedrals, and spectacular architecture. In addition, field trips to nearby cities such as Mantua, Siena, and Bologna provide you with a unique insight into the region.


One of the greatest ways to immerse yourself in Italian culture is to live with a local family. Through limited homestay options, CIEE offers you the opportunity to drastically improve your language skills, experience authentic Italian culture, and custom, and form relationships that endure long after your completion of the program.


Total recommended credit for the semester is 15–17 semester/22.5–25.5 quarter hours and 30–32 semester/45–48 quarter hours for the academic year.

Course contact hours are 45 and recommended credit for all courses is 3 semester/4.5 quarter hours per course, unless otherwise indicated.

Program Requirements

All study abroad students enroll in a required, intensive Italian language course at the start of the semester. Following the intensive language course, all students are required to continue their Italian language study at the appropriate level throughout the semester, and select three content courses taught in Italian with Italian texts. Students with a very high language level may audit select courses at the University of Ferrara. This can be arranged with the Resident Director upon arrival in Ferrara.

About Ferrara

The beautiful renaissance city of Ferrara is close to Bologna, midway between Venice and Florence, yet it is relatively unknown to tourists. Shaped over the centuries by the River Po, Ferrara was one of the centers of the Italian renaissance in the 15th and 16th Centuries. Today, you can walk the city walls that surround Ferrara, ride a bicycle to class just like the locals, and visit Ferrara’s outstanding museums. The city is extremely safe, clean, and accessible, with a small-town feel yet boasts world-class art treasures and exhibits.

Where You’ll Study

The University of Ferrara was founded in 1391. Faculties and departments include history, philosophy, languages and literatures, education, law, and natural sciences, among others. There are approximately 12,000 students enrolled, with a teaching staff of 600. CIEE students have access to the University’s libraries, computers, student canteen, sports facilities, playing fields, tennis courts, and gymnasium. There is a  9 km path on top of the city walls and another 15 -km path below the city walls surrounding the city of Ferrara.

Housing & Meals

Housing, in apartments or homestays, is included in the study abroad program fee. Limited homestay options, with two meals per day included, are located in and outside the city center. Living in a homestay is a great opportunity to experience how Italians live firsthand, but requires a commitment on the part of the student. Families that welcome American students in their home may be interested in U.S. culture and enjoy the opportunity to house foreign students and the possibility of cultural exchange that this offers. Students who choose a homestay must adapt to another mentality, a different daily schedule, and new ways of dealing with day-to-day issues. CIEE cannot guarantee a student’s first choice housing placement.

Students staying in the apartments share a double room with another CIEE student, with shared bathroom and kitchen facilities.

Academic Program

The CIEE Study Center in Ferrara opened in 2003. The Liberal Arts study abroad program began in spring 2006. This program is designed for students with intermediate to advanced Italian language skills with a strong interest in immersing themselves in the language and culture of Italy through intensive Italian language study and content courses taught in Italian. Students with a very high level of Italian also have the opportunity to enroll in a regular university course at the University of Ferrara.

Academic Culture

The courses are designed for U.S. undergraduates, and the teaching and learning methods will be familiar to most students from the U.S. However, all classes are taught by local faculty and require students to work independently outside the classroom. Learning takes place through a coherent blend of lectures, group seminars, visits, and practical work. Most U.S. students consider the courses to be rigorous in comparison to courses at their home universities. Classes take place Monday through Friday.