Istituto Avventista Villa Aurora is situated in an original Renaissance villa in a 2 1/2 acre park on a hillside at Careggi in suburban Florence, the main city of Tuscany and one of the most beautiful provinces in Italy, rich in history and art. The villa is of great architectural value and beauty dating from the late 1300's, and is surrounded by a variety of valuable trees several hundred years old. The surroundings offer an ideal environment for study and various cultural and recreational activities as well as serenity and quietness.
Opened in 1940, the school offers both government-recognized junior college level studies in theology plus language courses. A coeducational institution with an average class size of 15, the school family consists of about 100 members during the regular academic year. Summer enrollments are much smaller, but are drawn from students from Europe, the Americas and other points of the globe.
The 15,000 volume library is under constant development putting various works of Italian and foreign literature, history, sciences, books on ecology, and documents and books dealing with theology within easy reach. A moderate amount of education subsidies is dedicated to the development of the audiovisual department. The great resources of the museums, palaces, and churches of Florence provide extended opportunities for students to learn the culture of Italy and this city so vital to the birth of the renaissance and western civilization.
A computer classroom, video library, multi-purpose athletic field (tennis, basketball, and volleyball) and a student cafeteria which features a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet in the best of Italian culinary traditions complement the first-class instruction provided by the Institute's qualified faculty and staff. Villa Aurora is known for its good food. There is an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables in the cuisine and no pre-cooked food is served. Everything is prepared in the clean, modern kitchen of the cafeteria and results in abundant breakfasts, hearty luncheons and light suppers. Students learn to cook many Italian recipes as part of their program.
A new, large classroom building opened in the 1995-96 school year. Students attend most of their courses in the morning except, sometimes, on Tuesday afternoons when they have extra lectures on Italian art and culture in preparation for all-day outings which will take them to such places as Cinque Terre, Siena, the Chianti Region, Rome, Venice, Pisa, Lucca and the Tyrrhenian Seaside.
Taking advantage of their location in the center of the Italian Renaissance, Villa Aurora students will focus on the significance of Etruscan, Roman, medieval and renaissance eras to Italian and western culture and make numerous visits to local as well as national art treasures. Each week special recreational events are planned as well as Sabbath outings to beautiful countryside locations. Students find the city of Florence readily accessible by city bus.
Entering Italy: Citizens of US, Canada, and European Union Countries, do not require a visa to enter Italy and stay up to 90 days. However, you must have a valid passport (valid for at least 3-6 months longer than your stay abroad). Citizens of other nationalities require a tourist/visitor visa. Please check your consulate's website for more information.
The school is easily accessible by road, train and air. By road: Toll road (autostrada) exit (uscital): Firenze Nord. Follow signs to Careggi Hospital (Ospedale). Once you reach the main entrance of Careggi Hospital, turn right for about 100 m. Via del Pergolino starts winding up the hill to the left. After branching off to the left, it becomes a one-way street. About 300 m. further up is the entrance to Villa Aurora, on the right side of the road. Parking is available on campus.
By train: From the Santa Maria Novella station, which is also the bus station, we suggest that you take a taxi. However, they can be expensive so if you would like, you may purchase a bus ticket and take bus #14 going towards Careggi hospital. The name of the stop often changes, so ask the driver where the stop is for the Careggi hospital. 'Dov'e la fermata per l'Ospedale Careggi?' Currently the name of the stop is Brambilla. You will see a large glass building across the street. From there, follow the road as it curves to the right about 300 yards. Then turn left across the roundabout when you see the CTO Centro Traumatologico Ortopedico. You will pass the CTO on your right and the SDA church will be up the hill on your left. You will see a Y on the road, stay to the left up Via del Pergolino. The school is on your right #12.
By Air: Students are advised to avoid using the Milan airport. The Pisa international airport is connected by bus or train with the Florence main railway station (every 30 minutes). Students may also make international connections and arrive at the local airport in Florence usually at a higher price, but much easier and safer.
Students enrolled in the ACA program are permitted to stay at the campus, no earlier than two days before the published arrival date, and no later than two days after the published departure date. Provided that space is available and students make the proper reservation with the administration AHEAD OF TIME, an additional charge will be required for any days exceeding this grace period.
You must send in your arrival information by visiting the ACA web page, click on Preparing to Travel, Arrival Form, complete it and submit it. This information will go directly to the international ACA program director. Someone from the school will pick up the students from the airport. There is no transportation fee for one pick up or one drop off after the end of the program.
Two residence halls provide separate housing for men and women. In recent years the residence halls, kitchen and dining room have been remodeled to better serve students. New showers and bathing facilities provide hot and cold water. During the summer time, it will not always be possible for ACA students to room with an Italian roommate, but the administration will try to avoid placing two ACA students in the same room. Depending on summer enrollments there will be two or three students per room. A brand new men's dorm has just been inaugurated. The rooms are very modern and comfortable and each room includes a private bath.
These are the average high and low temperatures at Florence for the summer months:
June 82/45°F (28/7°C)
July 88/48°F (31/9°C)
August 84/45°F (29/7°C)
From 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., the campus may be reached by phone, fax and e-mail.
Inside Italy: 055-41-20-14 or Fax: 055-41-27-97
From outside Italy: 39-055-41-20-14 or Fax: 39-055-41-27-97
All students must participate in the outings designated as cultural tours. These tours are an integral part of the instructional program. Record will be taken and specific assignments given. Students' completion of these assignments and positive participation in the tours will affect their overall grade in courses for which they are enrolled.
Since the program provides some Art classes, students may choose on their transcript to have for all levels: 10 semester hours or 1 Carnegie unit or divide into language hours (6.5sh) and Italian Art (3.5sh), Total: 10 semester hours or 1 carnegie unit.