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Spend your summer in Italy soaking up Roman architecture and Renaissance painting or tasting some delicious homemade pasta. This five-week summer program in Italy gives you the full immersion experience with one week of language classes and four weeks living with a host family. You’ll also explore the historic cities of Tuscany and take a grand tour of Rome, where you’ll get the chance to see the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, Vatican City, and St. Peter’s Basilica, among other world-famous sites. If you’re looking for more than a typical summer abroad, then this is the program for you.

Things to know

Italians tend to be demonstrative; many conversations involve enthusiastic hand gestures and facial expressions. They’re generally outgoing and friendly, but people in the north can be a bit more reserved than those in the south. No matter the region, Italians know how to enjoy la dolce vita (the sweet life) and can show you how to appreciate art, food, and the company of friends and family. Italy is also famous for its style, so you’ll likely pass through cobblestone streets teaming with elegant, well-dressed fashionistas.

Eligibility Requirements

Current high school students and recent graduates are eligible. Specific age requirements may apply; contact AFS for more details.
Must be in good academic standing (recommended GPA of 2.0 or above).

Your journey to Italy

Your journey to Italy will begin in New York, where you’ll meet your fellow AFSers from the US. You’ll attend an overnight orientation and get a crash course on Italian culture. Then, you’re off! You’ll travel with a group to Rome where you’ll be welcomed by AFS staff and volunteers.

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Intensive Language Learning

As you head north, you’re likely to see medieval castles and remnants of ancient Roman architecture. Before long you’ll arrive in sun-drenched Tuscany, where you’ll spend your first week amid the green, hilly landscape of northern Italy. Here you’ll attend a language camp as part of the summer program, with lessons in the morning and cultural classes in the afternoon.

Your language lessons will be interspersed with activities related to Italian music, cuisine, art, and history. You can also take trips to nearby towns such as Florence, Pisa, and Lucca, paying attention to the subtle changes in food and lifestyle as you travel to each new place.

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Settling into daily life in Italy

Meeting Your Host Family

After the first week, you’ll begin your homestay. You’ll live with a host family for four weeks, experiencing life as a regular Italian teenager. You can put your new language skills to the test and taste some delicious regional delicacies.

Italian families tend to be large, and it’s common for many generations to live together under one roof. Young adults often stay at home with their parents until they get married, so you might have older host siblings living with you as well.

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Exploring the Area

Italian teenagers like to play sports, spend time together in cafés, or go out dancing. Calcio, or to Americans, soccer, is often the cause of singing, chanting, and celebration. Calcio fans are called tifosi, literally “typhus patients,” because of their feverish dedication. When they’re not watching or playing soccer, your host family and friends might also enjoy basketball, motor racing, or cycling. At the end of the five-week program, you’ll take a grand tour of Rome, visiting historic sites like the Forum, the Colosseum, Vatican City, and St. Peter’s Basilica.

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Food you’ll encounter

People in Italy take their time eating, and often come home in the middle of the day to enjoy lunch with family and friends. This isn’t a place where you eat a salad alone, in front of your computer. Mealtimes are a social event, lasting for hours on weekends or holidays. Be prepared for generous portions, strong coffee, and tasty treats. Italians know their bread and cheese, so you’re bound to taste some incomparable pizza and pasta. But you can also enjoy seafood, breaded meats, and fresh vegetables. For dessert there’s a long list of traditional pastries, including tiramisu, a rich cake whose name means “pull me up” because of how satisfied and full it makes you feel.

What's Included

  • 70+ years of experience delivering high-quality programs through a worldwide network of 50,000 dedicated volunteers
  • Accommodations
  • Round-trip international airfare for the designated program dates
  • Program activity fees
  • Worldwide, 24-hour emergency assistance
  • Access to an in-country support team and network, as well as our Participant Support Department based here in the U.S.
  • Secondary medical coverage
  • Visa support and guidance
  • Inclusion in a worldwide returnee and alumni network of over 1,000,000 people
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Returning Home

“Life-changing” is hard to describe, yet it’s nearly always the first thing that AFSers say when asked about their experience abroad. “Transformed” is another one.
When you return home, if you’re like most AFSers, you’ll bring with you a sense of accomplishment unlike any other. You’ll have gained maturity and independence, discovered new passions, and developed the confidence and resilience to accomplish anything you set out to do.
That transformation isn’t only visible to you, though – others see it as well. AFSers gain critical skills for college and careers. Second language fluency, intercultural competence, creativity, and critical reasoning will help you succeed, whatever path you take. “Life-changing” means it’s only the beginning.
It’s not just an adventure abroad; it’s a whole new reality. The perspectives and personal connections you gained will stay with you and likely draw you back to the second home you found in Italy.

In fact, our alumni reviews have made AFS one of the top-rated organizations in the study abroad industry.

A new you awaits.

Apply for Summer Homestay Program in Italy!

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