First-Year Students, First Term Abroad

Spend your first semester as a first year student in Prato, Italy, the second largest city in Tuscany and just 25 minutes from Florence. While studying in Prato you will be immersed in the Italian culture while taking your necessary classes.

Apply: First-Year Students, First Term Abroad
“This experience was life changing. From traveling to major Italy cities, going on mid-semester group vacations, "family" dinners, university-run trips, and the food, the experience cannot become more amazing. ” Brianna Valente

Highlights of the Program

The Campus Location: Prato is a historically rich city with old city walls, a castle, and art all around you. It is not a touristy city and therefore you will be able to experience the real Italy.

Fun Ways to Meet Locals: The University organizes fun ways to meet local Italians including a conversation exchange program, a family dinner program, and a volunteering experience at a local school.

Day Trips! While in Italy you will travel with the University on five day trips around the Tuscany region including Pisa and Siena. This is no extra charge to students.

Value. It costs the same to study abroad in Tuscany as to study at the main campus as a resident student. All financial aid applies. The only extra costs are the round trip airfare (approx. $1200-1500) and a cell phone.

Course Offerings: Take the coursework you need from international professors who bring a new perspective to your coursework. Your coursework will often include field trips or guest lecturers.

Why YOU Should Study Abroad in Your First Semester

Make close friends in Italy before starting on the main campus. Hopefully you will make some friends from across the globe too.

Many students enter college wanting to study abroad but less then 10% actually do because they get busy with obligations on campus or it becomes challenging for some upperclassmen to find the courses they need abroad. Study abroad before it becomes too hard to.

Study abroad has been proven to develop such skills as problem-solving, intercultural communication, open mindedness, cultural understanding, flexibility, and independence. These are skills valued by graduate schools and employers.

Learn Italian! It always comes in handy when ordering out at an Italian restaurant or trying to impress someone.

Majors that can study abroad during their first year:

College of Arts and Sciences: Biology, Communication, English, Global Studies, History, Liberal Studies, Mathematics, Music, Music Industry, Music and Sound Recording, Political Science, Psychology, Theatre Arts, Undeclared

College of Business: Business Management, Economics, Finance, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Management of Sports Industries, Marketing

Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences: Criminal Justice (all concentrations), Fire Science, Fire Protection Engineering

Tagliatela College of Engineering: Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Engineering, Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Sustainability Studies, Systems Engineering

Students must be 18 years old by August 1st in order to study abroad as part of the First-Year Program at the University of New Haven's Tuscany Campus. Exceptions to this date can be made on a case by case basis. The Italian Consulate does not issue student visas to minors.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many students study at the University of New Haven's Tuscany Campus?

    Approximately 60 students study abroad each semester at the University of New Haven's Tuscany Campus and about half of them in the fall are first year students.

  • How are students selected for the first year study abroad program?

    The selection process is based on your application and interview. When reviewing your application we consider your high school GPA and SAT and/or ACT scores as well as your essay.

  • What are the semester dates?

    The official semester dates are similar to those of the main campus. We will add the exact semester dates to the website once they are determined.

  • Do we book our own flights?

    The Study Abroad Office purchases group airfare for the program. Everyone flies out together from JFK airport in New York. The round trip airfare is approximately $1200-1500. It will be billed to the student’s University of New Haven account and will show up on their fall bill.

  • Can minors study abroad in Italy?

    Students must be 18 years old by August 1st in order to study abroad as part of the First Year Abroad Program at the University of New Haven Tuscany Campus. Exceptions to this date can be made on a case by case basis. The Italian Consulate does not issue student visas to minors.

  • Do you need a visa to study abroad in Italy?

    A study visa is required for U.S. Students who participate in a study abroad program that is longer than 90 days. Students must secure a student visa prior to the start of the program otherwise the student will be unable to participate in the program. International students should consult the Italian Consulate website to determine if they are required to obtain a study visa. Citizens of European countries in the Schengen Region do not need visas for any Schengen Country. Student visas will not be issued to students under the age of 18.

    Students must secure a student visa prior to their departure to Italy.

  • What is a student visa?

    A student visa or study visa is an official stamp issued by the Italian government that is affixed to a page inside your passport before you depart the United States. You must present it to immigration control when you arrive in Italy.

    You must have a study visa because it is illegal to study as a full-time student in Prato without it.

  • What is the student visa process?

    The Study Abroad Office will assist you with the process of obtaining a student visa. Student visas are issued by the Italian government via Italian Consulates located in various cities throughout the world. Please keep in mind that the Italian Consular Service offices are not affiliated with the University of New Haven, they are entities of the Italian national government that issue visas and perform other official functions.

    The Study Abroad Office is eligible to participate in a process called 'batch processing'. This allows a representative from the Study Abroad Office to submit all visa application materials to the Consulate on the student’s behalf. The Study Abroad Office will send out detailed instructions on how to complete the visa forms and submit supporting materials. The guidelines provided by the University of New Haven are based on the information we have at the time regarding the visa process. It is important to remember, the Consulate can create and/or change their requirements for obtaining a student visa at any time and without prior notification. The University of New Haven does not have the ability to change visa requirements, though we are happy to help you in whatever way we can, the decision to issue you a visa rests solely with the consulate or embassy.

    The Study Abroad Office cannot submit visa applications for minors or non-US Citizens. Non-US citizens must obtain an appointment with the Italian Consulate and submit their visa application individually. The Study Abroad Office will assist, as able, in helping students prepare for their visa appointment.

  • What pre-departure preparation is provided by the University of New Haven?

    The Study Abroad Office provides a mandatory pre-departure orientation for all the First-Year students going on the program. It will take place a day before one of the first year orientation sessions (SOAR). The exact date will be announced. Topics covered during pre-departure orientation include: culture shock and homesickness, communicating back home, Italian cultural norms, academics, money, housing, and health and safety. It is also a good opportunity for the first year students going on the study abroad program to get to know one another.

  • Do I need to know Italian to study at the University of New Haven Tuscany Campus?

    You do not need any prior knowledge of Italian. In fact most students do not know any Italian beforehand. Everyone is required to take an Italian course while in Italy but the other classes are taught in English. Your Italian class will teach you the basics to be able to get around in Italy. If you know some Italian that is great! We offer several levels of Italian.

  • What courses are being offered at the University of New Haven's Tuscany Campus and how can I choose my coursework?

    The courses on offer at University of New Haven's Tuscany Campus change from semester to semester. There are many required core courses on offer in Italy. We work with the First Year Success Center, the Criminal Justice Advising Center, department chairs, and the College of Engineering to place you in the correct courses.

  • What happens when I return to the University of New Haven in the spring?

    You will return with the group in mid-December for your winter break. You will move onto campus in late-January. We will provide you with a re-orientation to get you acclimated to the main campus.

  • How much spending money should I plan on bringing with me?

    This really depends on how much traveling you want to do, what type of traveler you are, and how much shopping you want to do. Students who do not do much traveling outside of the excursions that are provided can spend as little as $500. It is much more typical for a student to spend about $2000-2500.

  • How safe is Prato?

    Although Prato is a city it feels more like a small town. Those who you will see in Prato are almost all locals. Major cities you go to in the U.S. and abroad are home to individuals who prey on the ignorance and vulnerability of tourists. You will not find this in Prato. We provide detailed safety advice during pre-departure orientation but what it comes down to is that one should apply the same safety habits they have at home, abroad.