UofM Students

Study & Intern in Florence: Site Access Summary

Program website

Learn about Study & Intern in Florence.

Attitudinal

Italians are very aware and understanding of the needs of those with disabilities. Fiorentini (Florentines) are very accommodating when it comes to helping others, especially those with special needs. However, given the layout of this historic city, with its narrow sidewalks, uneven cobblestone and old buildings, navigation becomes difficult. The majority of sites and places of interest are not handicap accessible.

Classroom and Academics

A student is typically in class 4-7 hours per day depending on the courses, and there is approximately 10-12 hours per week of homework. How students learn the course material is greatly dependent on the class and professor, but a great deal of on-site experience, site visits, excursions and guest lectures are utilized to take advantage of the student’s overseas experience in Florence. Again depending on the student’s courses, weekly assignments and quizzes will be held as well as a midterm exam and/or paper and a final exam or paper. Homework is generally computer based.

Academic accommodations available to students are note takers, recorded lectures, separate room to take exams, extra time to take exams, sign language interpreters available but very expensive, and service dogs are allowed in the classroom.

Excursions and Field Trips

The majority of the excursions in Florence are very difficult to access for students with a mobility disability.

Housing and Food Services

There are a minimal amount of apartments that are full service for students with minor physically disabilities or sensory impairment; however, most homestays would not be suitable. In the apartments, there are no dining facilities and are all self-catering, so students either cook their own meals or they eat out at restaurants. All accommodations are within a 30-minute bus ride to classes.

Technology

A large computer lab is located in the program’s center and all accommodations have wireless Internet. There is no assistive technology available.

Library Services

Library facilities are available and assistance to access library materials is available.

Transportation

Public transportation in Florence is in the form of city buses and a TRAM service, which run daily from 6am to 10pm. A late-night bus service is available, which runs irregularly until about midnight. The majority of buses do, in fact, have wheel-chair accessibility. There is also a local organization for the disabled, which provides wheelchair-accessible van service for a reasonable fee. Distance to and from classes will vary on the housing options.