Tuscania embodies the ideal of a small town in the Italian countryside, along with having some pleasantly surprising parts for study abroad students as well. Nestled in Central Italy, Tuscania’s medieval center boasts tall, stone walls which encircle a maze full of cobblestone streets and centuries old architecture alongside an array of modern restaurants, shops, and residences. This quaint town offers a true cultural immersion experience with friendly locals (as opposed to big city living in Rome or Milan). With quick access to several neighboring cities and outdoors destinations, studying in Tuscania offers a different adventure every day for students.
Subjects & Courses
The campus of Lorenzo di Medici in Tuscania is located inside the walls of the town’s medieval center. The school’s weathered stone exterior, consistent throughout this very old part of town, reveals little of the sleek, modern interior of the facility. With campuses also in Rome and Florence, this private educational institution has flourished since its founding in 1973. Courses at Lorenzo di Medici pertain closely to arts, literature, culture, history, and language. Favorite classes among students in Tuscania are the Food of Italy, Travel Writing, Photography, Italian Cinema and Theater, and the Wines of Italy.
Four month-long spring and fall terms are offered along with a month-long summer semester that provides an exclusive opportunity for hands-on participation at an archeological excavation site of ancient Etruscan ruins. The warm late-summer weather and seasonal changes in autumn and early winter makes studying in Tuscania in the fall semester an eminent choice.
Courses are taught in English, but it is required that students enroll in one Italian language course. These classes range in skill level and follow a progression that allows students to gradually develop their language skills over the semester. Grading is dependent on weekly and semester-long projects, along with midterm and final exams scores. Class time is primarily devoted to lectures and discussion, resulting in most course work to be done outside of class.
Most classes meet bi-weekly and partake in several field trips throughout the semester. A week long midterm break and weekend excursions offered through certain providers allows students to indulge in many travel opportunities while studying abroad in Tuscania.
Life in Tuscania
Tuscania extends an invitation to a life at a slower pace, with closer connections to the locals and a sense of familiarity that will come from immersing yourself in a town of 9,000 residents. Tuscania’s identity balances between its past and present, and its rural and urban attributes. Modern neighborhoods sprawl into the countryside, but every place is still within walking distance. Grocery stores, museums, restaurants, and parks are only a leisurely stroll away. For a couple of euros, the public bus system can deliver you to the largest city in the region, Viterbo, or the Mediterranean coastline in only 20 minutes.
Tuscanians are very welcoming people and they’re accustomed to students studying abroad in Tuscania. The potential for genuine cultural immersion through study abroad in Tuscania is truly unique, and having competent Italian language skills will be vital to your success. Many Italians speak English, and you do not need to be fluent to survive in Tuscania, but you will gain a lot of respect from the locals by simply trying to learn and speak Italian. There are a lot of college-aged residents in Tuscania, and being able to talk with them in their language could result in enriching friendships during your study abroad program too.
Accommodations & Visas
In Tuscania, you can find yourself with your own apartment tucked away on a sleepy side street in the medieval district. Imagine following a twisting cobblestone lane that leads to the front door of your own little cottage. Living arrangements in Tuscania take full advantage of real estate throughout the city. Students will either live alone, with roommates, or with a host family depending on their language skills and the availability of the accommodation.
You’ll need a student visa to study abroad in Italy for more than 90 days. Your state of residence determines the specific Italian consulate’s office you will associate with. Be aware that the visa application process requires several documents from various institutions and processing may take two or three weeks. Give yourself plenty of time to obtain this paperwork prior to your departure. You will also need to include your actual passport with your application, so plan accordingly knowing you will not have your passport during this time. Obtaining your student visa is an important, albeit mundane, part of the study abroad process. The more prepared and informed you are, the smoother it will go.
GoAbroad Insider Tips
Immersion with the Locals. Studying in Tuscania will afford students with countless opportunities to absorb the culture of this tight-knit community. Your ability to communicate with the locals will greatly impact your study abroad experience. Developing a foundation of the language prior to your departure will serve you well. Once you’re there, you will notice your language skills improve daily. And you’re sure to make some local friends!
Lifestyle Differences. Family time is central to the Italian lifestyle. Consequently, the town essentially shuts down for a couple hours every afternoon for siesta and most businesses are typically closed all day Sunday. Being in tune with cultural norms will help you assimilate into this vibrant culture.