IMPORTANT: This program has a deadline (before the general October 1/March 1 deadline) that must be met. Applications may be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Click "Apply Now" above to begin your MU online study abroad application and receive further instructions on the program-specific application process.
Gonzaga-in-Florence’s campus is equipped with wireless Internet and desktop computers. In addition, the center’s Martin Library collection contains over ten thousand volumes. For research, students have access to Gonzaga University’s Foley Library on the main Spokane campus through GIF’s campus computers. A student lounge and small fitness room are also located on the lower level.
The Gonzaga-in-Florence campus is home to a full-time Student Life staff. Throughout the semester and full year, the staff coordinates a broad range of programs and provides an array of services to ensure that each student’s experience in Florence is safe, successful, and full of rich opportunities. Options for engagement in outside-the-classroom learning include cooking classes, community service programs, Toastmasters, English-for-Pasta, entry in Italian athletic tournaments, yoga classes, internships, resume-development classes, Forza (GIF’s leadership and ambassador group), and much more. You can attend the opera, have dinner with an Italian family in exchange for teaching their children English, or explore intriguing destinations on sponsored weekend trips. The Student Life staff also assists students experiencing culture shock, homesickness, medical issues, or emergencies.
The weekend before classes begin, Gonzaga hosts a welcome orientation and tour for new students, including campus tours. You will receive more info before departure. Each semester begins with an opening tour that serves as an orientation.
Gonzaga-in-Florence offers over fifty different courses in a variety of disciplines. Beyond humanities and arts & sciences, the program has special tracks for teacher education and engineering. Classes are typically three credits each and students normally take between 15-18 credits. Courses are held Monday-Thursday. For a full list of courses, go to the Gonzaga-in-Florence academics page. To explore more courses offered, please visit their website
Students in the semester program must either complete Italian 101 before arriving or while abroad. The only students excluded are those in the engineering or teaching tracks.
Grades do not transfer to Marquette University for this program. Only credits will transfer, provided a grade of “C” or higher is earned.
While studying in Florence, students live in one of the Italian "boarding hotels" (pensione) located close to the school in the heart of Florence. The accommodations are run by locals or Italian families who provide regular meals, safe living conditions, and support staff. The living arrangements are conducive to learning the language and to better understanding Italian culture. The pensiones are carefully screened and most have hosted GIF students for numerous years.
Each pensione generally accommodates twenty to twenty-five students. Most pensioni are co-ed, although the rooms (double, triple, and quad) are gender specific. Homestays are available on a limited, early request basis. Homestay requests would need to be made directly to Gonzaga.
Please see the budget link above.
Gonzaga chose Florence because the city is central to the past of Italy and to European civilization itself. Capital of the region of Tuscany, Florence inherits the culture of the Etruscans, the mysterious forgotten people who were heirs to the glory of Greece long before there was a Rome. The city was founded by Roman veterans returning from the wars. More than any other city in Italy, Florence was the stalwart defender of civic liberty during the Renaissance. Her intensely loyal citizenry produced the people and ideas that served as models for a Europe in transition from the medieval to the modern. Florentine museums are brimming with paintings that transformed European taste in the fifteenth century. Her streets are lined with buildings that initiated modern architecture. And yet, the city is more than a museum piece. It is intensely alive - a center of modern art, fashion, and refinement.
Florence is also central to Italy’s present. It is three hours by train to the region of Lombardy, the humming center of Italy’s economic miracle, and a stepping-off place for the ski slopes and lakes of the Alps. It is three hours to Venice, a city to which no photograph can do justice. It is two hours to Rome, capital of Italy and of the Church, where ancient, medieval and modern culture mingle on every street. Florence is four hours from Naples, Pompeii, and Mount Vesuvius, the southern region.
In Florence, Italy’s center, Gonzaga maintains a campus offering a core of historical and cultural studies, rich and varied in content, but unified by the experience of Italy, past and present. Courses focus on liberal arts, business, engineering, and education.