Overview

Learn Italian while being immersed in the culture of one of Italy’s most beautiful cities! Florence is located in the northern region of Tuscany, and draws visitors from around the world seeking the art and history of this city that sparked the dawn of the Renaissance.

Picture yourself in Florence studying Italian and exploring Renaissance culture!

Course Details:

  • 20 morning classes a week (4 classes per day for 50 minutes each)
  • Classes are taught by native Italian teachers who specialize in teaching Italian as a foreign language
  • You should take a Italian/English dictionary, notebook and pencil for class but your school will provide all books and workbooks.
  • Italian lessons involve speaking, listening, reading, and writing in lively and informal small classes with no more than 12 students in a group
  • Students receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course

ELIGIBILITY: 

  • Must be at least 14-17 years old
  • Be in good mental* and physical health
  • Beginner level of Italian is accepted, but a general knowledge of basic questions and phrases is helpful

Classes and School Info

There are 3 different levels — Elementary, Intermediate, or Advanced. The levels are sub divided up into two sub levels depending on your linguistic skills. You will be given an admissions test on your first day to evaluate your skills and place you in the proper level.

Italian Courses

  • 20 morning classes a week (4 classes per day for 50 minutes each)
  • Classes are taught by native Italian teachers who specialize in teaching Italian as a foreign language
  • You should take a Italian/English dictionary, notebook and pencil for class but your school will provide all books and workbooks.
  • Italian lessons involve speaking, listening, reading, and writing in lively and informal small classes with no more than 12 students in a group
  • Students receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the course

School Location and Classrooms

The school is located on a quiet street just steps away from the famous Florence Cathedral (Il Duomo). It is nearby to shops, a hospital and many cultural activities. The school includes a computer lab with easy access to the internet and wifi.

Florence Language camp map

Sample Itinerary

Each afternoon, students will participant in educational visits and cultural excursions within Florence. Educational visits and excursions form an important part of the program because they allow students to practice their Italian in real life situations outside of the classroom. Once a week there is a full day excursion to nearby Tuscan cities, such as Pisa, Lucca or Sienna

Please note: These activities are run and supervised by school staff. Students will not be allowed to venture off on their own without staff or host family chaperons.

Florence Sample Itinerary copy

 

Costs & Dates

Participants should plan on arriving the Sunday before classes start before 5:00pm and depart on the Sunday when the program ends after 11:00am. Students can choose to travel on a 2, 3 or 4 week program.

Exact start dates for summer 2018 will be released by October 2017. 

Program Fees

  • 2 weeks: $1,940
  • 3 weeks: $2,720
  • 4 weeks: $3,360

Please note, all prices are listed in USD

What’s Included:

  • Accommodation with a welcoming host family
  • 3 meals per day
  • Medical and accident insurance
  • 24-hour emergency assistance
  • 20 hours of Italian language lessons per week
  • Daily excursions in and around Florence
  • Airport pickup and drop off to/from Florence Airport
  • Greenheart Travel also donates a portion of your fee to offset the carbon footprint of your travels.

What’s Not Included:

  • Flight to Italy
  • Spending money for souvenirs or snacks in Italy

Accommodation

All students live with carefully selected local host families near the school – 10-20 minutes walking distance to the school or public transportation. Prospective host families undergo a rigorous screening process. Participants can rest assured that only suitable host families will be selected. In order to qualify as a host family, the prospective hosts must:

  • Successfully pass a criminal background check
  • Undergo and pass an in-person interview with program staff
  • Agree to and pass a home inspection

Usually two students will share a room and there can be up to 8 students with one host family depending on the size of the family’s home. They will only share rooms with students of the same sex and will be closely supervised by their hosts.

For Parents

The decision to send your teenager abroad can be difficult and there are a lot of questions to consider. We understand your concerns and the Greenheart Travel staff is there for you every step of the way! We want to make the process of traveling and studying abroad as fun and painless as possible for you and your child. Here are some of the common questions we get from parents as they consider the program:

What does it mean to be in good mental health in the program eligibility requirements?

Moving to a new culture and staying in unfamiliar surroundings without your normal support structure can be very stressful, even to the most well-adjusted student. Sending a student with pre-existing conditions on a long term exchange program could exacerbate whatever challenges the student was previously facing. In order to ensure the safety of our participants, we must be rigorous in our pre-screening of (High School Abroad/Teen summer Language Camp) candidates.

We cannot accept students who have struggled with any kind of mental illness within the last 2 years and/or are reliant on medication to address their existing mental health condition.

These include, but are not limited to:

  • Depression
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Debilitating anxiety
  • Eating disorders

If the student’s mental health issue has been resolved (post-medication) for over 2 years, we will ask for a note from his/her relevant practitioner(psychologist, therapist, psychiatrist, etc) as part of the application process.

How much supervision is there?

Students are supervised and chaperoned at all times. Students are never allowed to leave the school grounds or residence without being accompanied by a chaperone.

Should my child fly using an unaccompanied minor service?

Greenheart Travel does not recommend this service because the “additional” services advertised by the airlines are already provided to all travelers and are not worth the money invested by you the traveler. At any time, a student can ask an airlines professional for help finding their gate or for connecting flight information, and paying for this add-on UM service is not necessary. We have sent hundreds of semester abroad students internationally, for whom we book their flights, and we never use unaccompanied minor services. If you would like the peace of mind a UM service provides, Greenheart Travel offers more self-empowering alternatives (such as reviewing airport maps, mapping connections, etc) that we believe teach teenagers relevant life skills about traveling independently.

How many other students will there be and where are they from?

A majority of our students are American between 14-17 years old. However, there are students participating from around the world, so your child will have a cross-cultural setting both in the classroom and out. While the number of students does vary by start date, we like to keep small classes with no more than 12-15 students.

Will my son/daughter be required to speak the language outside of the classroom?

Language practice and immersion are the main priority of this program. While we do not require the students to sign a contact stating they will only speak in the local language, it is highly encouraged that they use their language skills when talking to friends, partaking in the daily excursions and at night in the residence hall or host family home. Program staff and chaperones primarily communicate and answer questions in the local language to encourage this immersion culture.

How will this program improve my child’s foreign language skills?

In a traditional classroom, students may learn language skills; however, they are not forced to practice these skills in real world situations. Through language immersion, your child will both learn the practical language skills in a classroom while also being forced to use them with local, native speakers during the excursions and/or host family experience. Studies show that 4 weeks of a full language immersion experience can be equivalent to a yearlong college language course because of the intensity of use.

Why should I choose Greenheart Travel?

Greenheart Travel provides 24-hour support to you and your child throughout the application, program and alumni processes. We are a small staffed non-profit that is accredited with CSIET, so you know you’ll always be talking to a real person on the other line. We are proud to always be available for your questions and concerns and we always answer our emails and phone calls quickly. We pride ourselves on developing a personal relationship with our participants, and love staying connected with them throughout the experience on social media & email. We offer the personal connection and support that many of our competitors do not.

What are meals like?

Your host family will provide you with three meals per day. You will usually eat breakfast and dinner at home and take a packed lunch to school. You will have the opportunity to experience typical, home-cooked Spanish cuisine!

What if my child has an allergy/specific dietary requirement?

We can cater to vegetarian needs quite easily. Any other specific diets should be discussed with us to see if we can arrange to have your needs met. In some cases you may need to provide your own food.

What happens if my son/daughter gets sick while abroad?

They will be covered by mandatory health insurance. You will receive a policy brochure and insurance card via email 2 weeks prior to their departure.

Can they apply with friends?

Absolutely! We are happy to accept friends.

Application Process

Complete the Online Application

 There are 4 short steps in the application process, which are outlined below. The whole process takes about 30 minutes and can be done in stages.

  1. Select the APPLY NOW button to the left. You will fill out the first portion of the application, which asks fo general information about you.
  2. Once you complete part 1, you will be emailed a link to fill out Greenheart Travel’s Terms and conditions. Follow the link and you will read through and sign our policies.
  3. In part three, you will pay a $250 deposit to hold your position in the programs. It is very rare that our volunteer applications are declined, but if you are rejected from the program, you will be refunded the $250. Otherwise, it is applied to your overall program fee.
  4. Now, you will complete a second application that includes more detailed information about yourself (such as education background, interests and experience) and why you would like to learn abroad.

Once you are done with the application, you will need to upload a copy of your passport.

Review your Application

Greenheart Travel will thoroughly review your application and will contact you within 2-3 business days to confirm your acceptance. If we find something in your application that we have concerns about, we will let you know immediately. 95% of applicants are accepted on the program they apply for.

You’re Accepted – now what?

Your program manager will be in touch with you directly about your acceptance. You should expect to receive an orientation packet via email, which talks more about your program, as well as supplemental information about dealing with culture shock and our insurance program. We will also schedule a pre-departure orientation to answer any lingering questions you may have.