The University of New Haven opened its satellite campus in Tuscany, Italy in the fall of 2012. The Tuscany campus, the University’s first solely operated international campus, is central to the University’s mission, because Prato is an ideal venue for a range of personal and professional development opportunities.
The University of New Haven is fortunate to enjoy the friendship and collaboration of the Province of Prato. Without the Province’s vision and confidence the University of New Haven would not have been able to establish itself in Prato. New Haven is the first permanently based program of any US University in Prato, and so we feel privileged to be here and to enjoy the warmth and generosity of the Province, the Comune and the people of this city.
The choice of Prato as a location for the Tuscany Campus was a strategic one. Not only is the city located at the heart of Italy – it’s a centrally-located city in one of the country’s most central regions – but it differs from other cities in that it can offer our students a truly authentic experience.
Almost all North American university programs are located in more popular tourist destinations such as Florence and Rome, where tens of thousands of students and tourists saturate the environment. In those places it is easy to spend a whole day just speaking English and eating at typically American chain restaurants.
But Prato is a typical Italian city, unspoiled by tourism and strong on tradition, so it gives students a genuine international experience. The University of New Haven Tuscany is also the first US program in town, so the local community has embraced us with curiosity and affection, which means that experiential opportunities abound for our students. Many local institutions and local firms enthusiastically offer our students opportunities for first-hand experiences and collaboration, from biscuit makers to the mayor, from local radio stations to the local music academy.
While Prato is off the beaten path for most tourists, the city is anything but isolated. When our students want to spend a day in a larger, more bustling city, they’re just 20 minutes away from Florence and less than 2 hours from Rome. And when the sun is shining, Tuscany’s beautiful beaches are just an hour away too.