First Semester in Florence Program

In this unique program, first-year students can spend their very first semester studying abroad in one of Italy's most historic cities.

Wells College First Semester in Florence Program

The Wells College First Semester in Florence program is a unique first-year experience for a select group of students to begin their fall semester studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Upon successful completion of the fall academic semester abroad, students will be offered the option to seamlessly transition to the lakeside Wells College campus in picturesque Aurora, N.Y.

Students take 13 to 14 credits (a full semester course load) and participate in culturally enriching, life-changing experiences. Wells College has over 40 years of experience in Italy and manages one of the premier semester-long study-abroad programs in Florence.

Students in the First Semester in Florence program are fully supported by qualified administration, faculty, staff and residence life personnel in both Aurora, N.Y. and in Italy while they study and live in this unique learning environment. Special excursions, workshops and events have been designed to foster a sense of community and encourage cultural immersion. Partnered with established and innovative educational organizations in Florence, Wells College has been offering life-changing study abroad opportunities to students from across the United States for many years.

Top reasons to consider the First SEMESTER in Florence program

1)     Explore the world and clarify what you want to do before choosing a major

2)     Create a shared experience with like-minded peers as part of a learning community abroad

3)     Develop your language skills through intensive language study and cultural immersion activities

4)     Develop leadership and intercultural competence skills to enhance your resume

5)     Hone your skills in the classroom while also enjoying the benefits of a gap year*:

-  Gain a better sense of who you are as a person
-  Gain a better understanding of other countries, people, cultures, and ways of living
-  Gain additional skills and knowledge that contribute to your career or academic major

6)     Benefit from the transformative learning that comes with starting college in an international context

7)     Avoid obstacles accessing upper-level courses abroad by focusing on general education requirements

Is a First Semester Abroad Program Right for You?

How independent and mature are you?
If you consider yourself to be independent and responsible, and do not mind foregoing a more “traditional” freshman experience, studying abroad as a first-year student may be right for you.

How committed are you to your academics?
As an incoming first-year student who has not yet experienced a typical semester on a college campus, it might be hard to resist the urge to view this program as an extended vacation. It is important to remember the primary purpose of the First Semester in Florence program is academics.

How interested are you in experiencing other cultures and different ways of life?
If you tend to be intrigued by new opportunities and agree that living life to the fullest involves openness to trying new things, this program may align well with your goals and future aspirations.  

Are you naturally curious? Are you looking for something beyond what most colleges offer?
This type of experience is not offered by most other colleges or universities. It is a unique opportunity that will give you a head start, set you apart from your peers, and provide you with the opportunity to indulge your curiosity in a non-traditional, individualized format.

THE Bottom line:

Studying abroad as a first-year student can help you develop valuable skills that relate to any course of study. Gaining these skills early in your college career can equip you for future academic and career success. As a first-year student, learning more about the world around you can greatly expand your way of thinking and help you analyze problems on a global scale — an ability that is difficult to master at any age.

Why spend a semester in Florence with Wells College?

Hear what some of our students have to say!

Explore the Wells College First Semester in Florence Program


You can contact Amy Torea, Wells in Florence Program Coordinator, at or call 315.364.3291 for more information.