Italian Graduate Exchange
Lorenzo de’ Medici School in Florence
The Department of Romance Studies sends one student of Italian to the Lorenzo de’ Medici School in Florence, where more than two hundred UNC students are enrolled during the academic year and summer sessions. Graduate students may stay a semester or an academic year, during which time they teach a course and advise undergraduate students. They may also take advantage of their stay in one of Europe’s major cultural centers, by improving their language skills, familiarizing themselves with archival research, and auditing courses at the University of Florence. Roundtrip airfare is paid by the Department of Romance Studies, up to $1200.
The Lorenzo de’ Medici exchange allowed me the unparalleled opportunity to witness a different teaching style and share pedagogical methods with the excellent cohort of Italian instructors in Florence. In between classes, I was able to complete fruitful pre-dissertation research at the Biblioteca Nazionale and in the Archivio di Stato, a stone’s throw away from the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici. I took advantage of the geographical location to present my research at conferences in Italy that might have been otherwise difficult to attend in the academic year. I was thus able to share ideas with and receive feedback from an entirely new pool of scholars.
My year-long exchange at LdM is surely one the highlights of my graduate career at UNC. I learned a great deal about Italian language pedagogy from colleagues at LdM, who are among the best instructors I have encountered over the years. The inspiring environment of Florence is as active in the arts, culture, and cuisine today as it was historically, stimulating senses and intellect. In a way, Florence also surprised me. Its side streets and lesser known quartieri are gems, still untouched by the steady flow of tourists. Helping some of our undergraduates navigate their stay in Florence is one of my most cherished memories, and it has allowed me to gain better perspective as an instructor on my goals for students, now and in the future. The exchange is an opportunity everyone should consider!
Lorenzo De Medici is the school I’m working in, right in the center of Firenze, which is also my home town.The school, as well as the town of Firenze, is very welcoming and will be one of the most important experiences of your life.Indeed Firenze is one of the most beautiful and important cities in the world if we talk about art and culture and all those aspects are treated and expanded in LdM school by competent teachers with so different backgrounds. The relationship between students and teacher is quite informal but always based on both academic and human mutual respect. Furthermore (as my personal photos try to show…) teachers often help students to know particular places or situations of the Firenze which is difficult to know for ‘tourists’.
— Giovanni Del Giudice