Florence, Italy

Check out the blog post of our student Gineen Sidara


The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Study Abroad Center offers undergraduate students the opportunity to study for the fall and/or spring semesters in Florence, Italy. On-site, the program is coordinated by Lorenzo de’ Medici (LdM).

The period of study is August through December for the Fall semester, and January through May for the Spring semester.

This program is open to all majors, but is particularly ideal for students who are pursuing degrees, minors and/or certificates in the following fields of study:

  • Anthropology
  • Architecture
  • Art History
  • Business: BUS, MKT, MGT, IB
  • Communication
  • Fashion Design & Merchandising
  • Geography
  • History
  • International Business
  • Mathematics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • STEM courses (limited – Chemistry, Biology, Math)
  • Studio Art
  • Travel Industry Management

Students may choose from a wide variety of courses offered at Lorenzo de’ Medici (LdM).

Informational meetings: March 2024

  • Tuesday February 27 12pm HST ZOOM
  • Friday March 8 11am Moore Hall 155A

Schedule an Appointment with a Study Abroad Adviser on STAR Balance.

Program dates

Spring 2024: arrive Jan. 30, depart May 18

Fall 2024: arrive Aug. 27 depart Dec. 14

Spring 2025: arrive Jan. 28, depart May 17

Application deadlines:

Fall 2024: Monday, Apr. 1, 4pm HST

Spring 2025: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 4pm HST

Host Institution

Established in 1973, Lorenzo de’ Medici (LdM) is located in the heart of this elegant city, on Via Faenza, in the San Lorenzo quarter, just a few steps from the famous Medici Chapel and the San Lorenzo Market. Originally a convent, the main building was completely renovated in 1988. It occupies four floors and offers a variety of modern conveniences, such as a cafeteria, air conditioning, reading rooms, three professional kitchens, and a garden. The church of San Iancopo di Corbolini dates to the 13th Century and is an integral part of the school. LdM is an urban school, consisting of six building sites within walking distance of one another.


The UHM Study Abroad program has a designated UHM Resident Director when appropriate. In addition to teaching two classes, the Resident Director will monitor students’ progress, serve as an advisor, and provide student support services such as counseling and tutoring to UHM study abroad students when appropriate. Classroom facilities, in-country instruction, excursions, accommodations, student counseling and additional tutoring are provided by LdM. Classes are taught by LdM faculty who hold appropriate teaching credentials.

Curriculum and Internship

The UHM Semester in Florence program provides students an opportunity to fulfill UHM major, minor, elective, focus, foundations, diversification and foreign language requirements for graduation. Students on the program must be enrolled full-time and may earn up to 15 credits.

The program runs from late August to mid-December for the Fall semester and late January to mid-May for the Spring semester. All courses are taught in English (with the exception of Italian language and culture) by Italian professors at LdM.

The UHM Study Abroad Center appoints a designated UHM Resident Director when appropriate. The Resident Director teaches two classes, oversees students’ academic progress and mentors all participants. All students are required to take one of the two UHM Resident Director’s classes. The subjects vary each semester according to the expertise of the UHM professor.


LdM offers classes in English and in Italian within four main divisions:

Art and Sciences (classes taught in English)

Anthropology, Archaeology and Classical Studies, Art History, Chemistry, Communications, Cultural Studies, Gender Studies, Geography and Environmental Studies, History, History of Architecture, International Business, Literature and Writing, Mathematics, Music, Cinema and Theatre Studies, Psychology, Religious Studies, and Sociology.

Creative Arts (classes taught in English)

Culinary and Nutritional Arts, Dance, Music and Theatre Performance, Painting, Drawing and Mixed Media, Photography, Printmaking, Restoration and Sculpture and Ceramics.

Design (classes taught in English)

Fashion Design & Fashion Marketing and Merchandising, Graphic Design, Interior Design and Jewelry Design.

Italian Language Learning

Courses in Italian Language (Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Levels), Art History, Literature, Performing Arts

Please consult LdM’s online course schedule page to view the most updated information on the courses offered. Select “Florence” as the location and the appropriate term you wish to attend.

Click here for a list of LdM Florence courses with UHM course equivalencies. Course offerings are subject to availability and may change without prior notice.

Internship: LdM Internships Spring 2023

*Business students: Please consult with the business school “Partner Schools” page for approved, unexpired equivalencies.


All students are required to take one of the two UHM Resident Director’s classes.

Fall 2024: Kathryn Hoffmann, UHM Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas. Her courses:

Spring 2025: Robert Littman, UHM Department of Religions and Ancient Civilizations. His courses:

Courses taken at LdM will appear on UHM transcripts as UHM credits.

Current as of May 31, 2024


Amid the beauty of the rolling hills of the Tuscan Valley lies Florence (Firenze), a city replete with history and charm. Florence is definitively one of the preeminent treasures of Europe. It is through Florence’s beginning as a Roman settlement in the First Century B.C. and provincial capital at the height of the Roman Empire that one finds the framework for its future greatness.

Photos of Florece, Italy

Due to its link to antiquity, Florence spurred a revolution which shook Europe by becoming the birthplace of the Renaissance. The move from feudal conflicts with the rise of the Medici “dynasty” under the guidance of Giovanni di Bicci allowed commerce to flourish. In turn, this created an environment conducive to intellectual pursuits.

Foremost on the list of intellectual pursuits was the study of antiquity. Soon, the glory that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome became a Florentine passion.

Modern-day Florence is also shaped by its recent history. In 1865 Florence became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, overseeing the unification of most of the Italian city-states. In 1871 Florence relinquished the honor of being the capital of the Kingdom of Italy when the final unification of Italy was effected by the capitulation of Rome.


Students are housed with an Italian family (two students share a room) and have breakfasts and dinners on weekdays. Students are responsible for meals on weekends and during breaks. Single accommodations are available at an additional supplement.

University of Hawaii at Manoa students in Florence, Italy

A major value of the homestay is that it provides students with the opportunity to interact with and learn from host country nationals. In addition to taking students beyond the public face of the Italian people, the contact with everyday Italian language in a natural setting is extremely valuable to students’ progress in acquiring language skills and understanding the culture.


LdM arranges several excursions in the Tuscany region and beyond. A few excursions will be included in the total cost of the program, while others will be available on-site for an additional fee. All excursions are led by professors of Lorenzo de′Medici. An orientation meeting will be held prior to each excursion. Please make sure that you attend each meeting so that you know the details of the excursions, cultural protocols, and all the logistical details. The two overnight excursions that UHM students are participating in are:

University of Hawaii at Manoa students on excursions in Italy

In addition, LdM offers excursions to Rome, Venice and several other locations of interest.


Florence, Italy

Program Cost, from Fall 2023

single apartment: $17,659

shared apartment: $16,839

Cost includes Lorenzo de’ Medici tuition and homestay fees, meals, airport pick-up, city visits, textbooks, two excursions, health insurance and UHM Study Abroad and student visa fees. Additional expenses could include lab fees.

Roundtrip airfare between Honolulu and Florence is not included; students have the option of taking the flight arranged by Third Eye Travel or making their own travel arrangements.


FOR UHM STUDENTS ONLY: In order to receive financial aid, please ensure that either: a) you are receiving financial aid during the current semester, or b) that you complete the Financial Aid application during the current semester. www.hawaii.edu/fas

NON-UHM STUDENTS (those attending other colleges and universities during the regular school year) must apply for financial aid at their home institutions


UHM Study Abroad Center Scholarship

See the Money Matters & Resources page for a list of possible scholarships.


Students participating in the UHM Semester in Florence program must obtain a student visa prior to arriving in Italy.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Schengen visa-free

Admission Requirements

Students are eligible to study abroad as early as the second semester of their Freshman year or later.

The program is primarily designed for undergraduate students who are interested in studying in Florence in English with specific academic interests. All candidates must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0, strong English writing skills, absolute fluency in English, and successful completion of course pre-requisites. However, students with a lower GPA may be considered. Non-native English-speaking students must have taken the TOEFL exam within the last two years and earned a composite score of 600+ or have taken the UHM ELI placement exam.

Admission to the program is selective. All applicants for the program will be judged on their academic performance, reasons for wishing to attend the program, flexibility, and sensitivity to other cultures, and ability to adjust to a new cultural setting.

Immediately upon acceptance to the program, students are required to pay a $500.00 non-refundable initial payment to ensure a place in the program. The initial payment will be applied toward the cost of the program.

Please note that students accepted to the program are required to attend mandatory pre-departure class sessions totaling 12 hours. Failure to attend will result in students being withdrawn from the program.


A completed Study Abroad Center application and three academic references must be received by the Study Abroad Center by the following dates to receive consideration. Students from outside the UH System must also submit official transcripts from every college attended.


  • Fall 2024: Monday, Apr. 1, 4pm HST
  • Spring 2025: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 4pm HST

Please note: The Study Abroad Center is closed on weekends, and Federal and State holidays.