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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Ferrara, Italy
  • Program Terms: Fall, Fall plus Spring, Spring
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: CIEE 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2025 10/06/2024 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Click here for a definition of this term Class Standing: 2 - Sophomore, 3 - Junior, 4 - Senior Program Type: Affiliated Program Provider
Click here for a definition of this term Minimum GPA: 2.75 Language of Instruction: English, Italian
Click here for a definition of this term Area(s) of Study: Art and Art Studio, Art History, English, History, International Studies, Political Science, Women's Studies Click here for a definition of this term Estimated Cost of Attendance: $12,001 - $15,000
Program Description:


Spend a semester or a year developing your language skills and studying Italy’s history and culture in a beautiful renaissance town. Never studied Italian before? Not a problem. CIEE study abroad in Ferrara is designed for students with little or no Italian language background, meaning anyone can enjoy a challenging, immersive cultural experience in Italy.

Study abroad in Italy and you will:

  • Immerse yourself in Italian through an intensive Italian language course, whether you are at a beginning or intermediate level
  • Take courses in English concerning contemporary and historic Italian issues
  • Visit art museums, cathedrals, and participate in group dinners and local festivals
  • Explore nearby cities such as Mantua, Bologna, Siena,  Venice, and Ravenna
  • Learn how to make Italian food by taking a cooking class
The CIEE Difference


CIEE study abroad in Ferrara offers four sections of language courses, ranging from Beginning to Intermediate. That means 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, and Renaissance Art, to Ferrara and the European Union, and Gender, Ethnicity and Italian National Identity.


The academic program is supplemented with excursions to local places of interest and cultural activities such as attending local festivals, visits to art museums and cathedrals, and group dinners. Ferrara 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, Ravenna, Padua, and Bologna provide participants with a solid understanding of this region of Italy.


Maybe the greatest way 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 study abroad 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

A full course load for the semester is 5 courses. All study abroad students enroll in a required, intensive Italian language course at the start of each semester. Following the intensive language session, all students are required to continue their Italian language study at the appropriate level throughout the semester, take the CIEE core course, and two content courses in English, and for the optional Seminar on Living and Learning.

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, and has 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. If you choose a homestay, you will have to adapt to another mentality, a different daily schedule, and new ways of dealing with day to day issues. CIEE cannot guarantee 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. This study abroad program is designed for students with little or no Italian language background with a strong interest in learning the Italian language and culture through content courses taught in English and an intensive Italian language class. Eligible students may want to consider spending the spring semester in the Liberal Arts program in 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, 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.