With its romantic canals and unique architecture, Venice is a classic city that tourists flock to in groves to fall in love. Spend time wandering through the streets, taking in the distinct Italian culture, and savoring seafood tapas that you won’t find anywhere else in Europe. While many tend to fly in and out of this town during their Italian tour, it is best to slow down a bit and soak up the pace of Venetian day to day life — after all, 118 islands and 150 canals leaves you with plenty to do here. Watch an opera and take a gondola ride when you study abroad in Venice!
How to Study Abroad in Venice
With such nicknames as the “City of Water,” the “City of Masks,” the “City of Bridges,” and more, it’s no wonder that its core is in art and beauty. Whether you’re looking to get a taste of Venice or immerse yourself here for several months, you’ll find a range of study abroad Venice programs that can meet your credit needs and desires.
Popular Subjects to Study. Known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Venice boasts remnants of important artistic movements, especially the Renaissance. That continues still today. Some more popular study abroad Venice programs include art, architecture, and fashion. Venetian Gothic architecture, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings are just some of the styles you could study here!
Short Term & Summer Programs vs. Long Term Programs. More than two-thirds of the Venice study abroad programs are available to take during the summer, where you can take courses in anything from culinary arts to the popular subjects to European studies. Many summer programs also take students to other cities in Italy, such as Florence, Milan, and Pompeii. You could also take courses throughout the year, a full year, fall, winter, spring, a trimester, during spring break, and even May term courses.
Attending University vs. Other Program Types. Some students might choose to directly enroll in the Istituto Venezia -The Venice Institute or one of its many other higher education institutions in Venice. You might also opt to study abroad through your own university or through a program provider. Consult a study abroad advisor at your university to help you determine your goals and sift through your options before choosing a study abroad Venice program that is the right fit.
Student Life in Venice
When you’re studying in Venice, you won’t want to miss Carnivale, which is Venice’s Mardi Gras, happening annually in February over a span over ever changing dates. The celebration is packed with people dressed in ornate, traditional costumes. There are frequent parades and marches through San Marco’s Square, so you’ll have to jockey with the crowd to get a good spot for your viewing pleasure.
For you student foodies, the Rialto Fish Market is great place to come for lunch, as there are dozens of bars and stalls to choose from, serving up the freshest seafood you’ll find anywhere in Italy. Muro, a stall that serves heaping plates of their dish of the day for $8 to $11, with a glass of wine included, is a must try.
If you’re traveling by train into Venice, you’ll arrive into Venezia-Santa Lucia train station. Be sure not to get off at Venezia-Mestre, as this is a common mistake with tourists! On the main island, you can explore the city by foot, or navigate with any one of the many vaporetti, or bus-boats. Vaporetti are not cheap, but they can easily get you across the city in a hurry.
GoAbroad's Insider Tips
While you may find that the citizens in Venice can speak English in popular tourist spots, most of the people will speak Venetian (an Italian dialect) or Italian — per favore or grazi are a good start. You should probably learn a few common phrases and carry a phrasebook with you to help you navigate the city a little easier. If your study abroad Venice program is from fall to early spring, you might also experience acqua alta, which is flooding from high tides — try to avoid San Marco area during these times.
The crime rate throughout Italy is moderate but generally only involves petty street theft, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching. Thieves generally work in groups, so be mindful if a stranger comes up and starts talking to you out of nowhere. A common trick they use is to have one guy “accidentally” spill something on you, and while he helps you clean yourself off, his accomplice empties your pockets clean. Also, be mindful of groups of children encroaching on you, as they aren’t as innocent as they appear.
Whether you’re indulging in the Venetian seafood cuisines or shopping until you drop in the Piazza San Marco, you’ll never run out of things to do and see when you’re wandering the alleyways of Venice. When you study in Venice, the city is sure to cast a spell on you with its luxurious charms.