Kent State University, Florence Program

Palazzo Vettori
Via Cavour, 26
50129 Florence
Telephone: 055.265.8365
Fax: 055.265.8124
Home Campus Web site:
Italian Program Web site:

Kent State University is proud to offer students and faculty the opportunity to live and study at its newly-renovated historic Palazzo Vettori. Programs designed to serve the needs of students at various levels and across disciplines provide a sound academic experience in a state-of-the-art environment while enabling students to partake in the daily life of this historic center of culture, art, and civilization. Kent State offers a number of programs of interest to students (

The Florence Semester

The comprehensive Semester in Florence offers a number of general education or liberal education courses designed to satisfy a variety of undergraduate requirements, interests and needs of students at most universities. All courses, allowing for an emphasis on European or Italian issues, are regularly available in Florence, with a different selection offered in both the Fall and Spring semesters ( Classes meet Monday – Thursday, allowing for weekend travel and involvement in other cultural offerings. A number of educational field trips are included as part of the experience. Participants live in fully furnished apartments located within the ancient city walls and within walking distance from Palazzo Vettori. Students are responsible for their own meals, with each apartment featuring a well-equipped kitchen and being close to many fresh markets, local stores, and restaurants. The Fall semester goes from mid-August to mid-December while the Spring semester goes from mid-January to mid-May; the Florence Summer Institute takes place in June.

Florence Summer Institute

Since 2014 Kent State University Florence Program offers the Florence Summer Institute which is open to participants from any other university. Students will choose 2 courses from those offered ( and they will earn 6 or 7 credits, depending on their choices. All courses will be taught in English (in palaces in the heart of Florence), and will meet Monday through Thursday, allowing students to have long weekends for travel. Academic credit will be awarded by Kent State University and will easily be transferable, thus allowing also non-KSU students to keep progressing toward their degrees. Students will live with other Kent State Florence students in fully furnished apartments (wireless internet included) within a short walk from their school facility. The student’s program fee will cover extracurricular activities including a day trip to Siena, a cooking class, rafting on the Arno, an opera performance, a medieval rugby match, and more. Students will be able to use their weekends to explore and travel.

Architecture and Fashion Design Programs in Florence

It was the Architecture program that initially brought Kent State University to Florence. Since 1972, Kent State architecture students have participated in a Semester in Florence experience. Since its inception, the program has grown considerably, now offering graduate-level program in Fall semester and an undergraduate each Spring semester. While the Architecture in Florence program is generally restricted to Kent State students, a small number of non-Kent students can participate each semester with permission from the College. Special architecture courses are available each semester to non-majors.

Fashion Design and Merchandising

Fashion Design and Merchandising has been offering exemplary experiences for their students in Florence since 2002. Each Fall and Spring semesters, junior-level design studio and merchandising classes are offered along with a course exploring Italian fashion and culture. An integral component of the program is a study tour which features visits to other European fashion capitals such as Paris and London in the Fall semester. In Spring, the focus of the study tour is on Italian cities, such as Rome, Como, and Milan. Participants in the program live in fully furnished apartments located within the ancient city walls and within walking distance from the Palazzo. Students are responsible for their own meals, with each apartment featuring a well-equipped kitchen and being close to many fresh markets, local stores, and restaurants.

Business and Administration

The program is ideal for Business Management students as well as students pursuing a minor in International Business. The courses offered are in subjects of business, art, politics, fashion, history, architecture, and Italian language and will satisfy the needs and requirements for undergraduate students. The following courses are regularly available in Florence in both the Fall and Spring semesters: International Business, Financial Finance, International Marketing, Government & Business Relations, International Entrepreneurship. Kent State University offers an amazing opportunity to explore the European market on field trips to Milan and Geneva, Switzerland, engage in workshops, and guest lecturers with foreign business leaders and CEOs.


The Communication Program in Florence is designed around the needs of a XXI century communicator who has to be able to effectively operate in a different environment and with a variety of media of communication, and it is meant to outline differences and similarities between Italian/European media and American ones in terms of culture, technologies and styles. Apart from the variety of courses offered, specifically designed for communication students, the program is enriched by fieldtrips (at least 3) to the main Italian cities. The fieldtrip experience allows the students to relate what was discussed in class to first-hand experiences on the field by speaking with professionals and experts of the media sector, and by visiting museums and exhibitions. The overall result is a unique learning experience through which students will develop a sensitivity towards the Italian media and the Italian culture.

Education, Health and Human Services

The Education Program was introduced in the Florence Program curriculum in 2009 when a network was created to connect KSU-Florence Program to some Italian schools, so that students participating in the program could have a field experience in one of the Italian schools, actively cooperating with teachers. The field experience is strictly connected to the Italian History and Culture class, which offers a framework for the learning service. A visit to the Reggio Emilia “Reggiochildren” center, a visit to the Montessori Museum in Rome and specific lectures focused on the Italian educational system intensify the quality of the program experience in Florence.

Arts & Sciences

Kent State University Florence Program offers a strong and aligned humanities curriculum of art history, history, and cinema, along with a newly focused concentration in social research. Studying abroad in Florence means an encounter for students with the city of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio; the study of art history in the birthplace of the Renaissance and other cornerstones of Italian Studies curricula, such as Italian history and cinema courses. This cohort offers to all students the KSU-Florence Lecture Series that make the Florence campus a dynamic center for scholarly activity and global policy discussions. A&S courses in Florence are offered through the following A&S academic departments: Biology, Classics, English, History, Italian, Politics, Psychology, Criminology.

Your Classroom

Home to Kent State University Florence is the Palazzo Vettori, which is a prestigious and ancient building located in the heart of Florence, at the corner of Via Cavour and Via Alfani, next to Piazza del Duomo. The fabric of the building started at the beginning of the 15th century and its facade proclaims the new ideas of Renaissance architecture based on the use of rustication.