AEF: Florence School of Arts, Italian Language and Culture
AEF is in the heart of Florence, halfway between the Duomo and Piazza San Marco. The study centre is located in a late Renaissance palace, the Palazzo Niccolini on Via Cavour, and is fully equipped with modern teaching technology. Most importantly, the city of Florence is used as a large classroom where students can immerse themselves in the art and culture of Florence while getting to know its people and institutions.
AEF offers programmes developed according to the guidelines of the Bologna Process with courses assessed using the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS) through an equivalence in US academic credit. The ECTS system allows some of the most prestigious European institutions of Higher Education to dialogue with the whole world, defining course characteristics, contact hours, clarity of information, and guidelines for evaluation.
Elon University (North Carolina, USA) is AEF’s School of Record and AEF is Elon University’s Centre Abroad in Italy. AEF also represents Elon in AACUPI (Association of American College and University Programs in Italy).
AEF is a member of the Forum on Education Abroad.
AEF is authorized by the University of Siena (Università per Stranieri di Siena – Ateneo internazionale) as an Exam Center for the CILS Certificate in Italy.
AEF also offers certificate programmes in Voice & Opera, Drawing & Painting, Dance, and Italian Language & Culture; custom designed intensive Summer and Winter study abroad programmes for US Universities, and joint academic programmes developed for universities from around the world.
Community engagement is at the heart of AEF’s pedagogy, and we proudly support and actively engage with the following local and national charities:
- Venerabile Arciconfraternita della Misericordia di Firenze
- Caritas diocesana Firenze
- Fondazione Angeli del Bello
- Progetto Itaca.
AEF’s Vision, Mission and Values
The City of Florence holds an historical significance of global proportions in the development of human thinking for both the Arts and Sciences. Florence’s history provides an enduring and consistent meaning to humanity’s interpretation of the world.
By understanding the development of our human history, inspired by Florence’s spectacular environs and the Italian language, AEF aims to provide new meaning and interpretation to the present, and to re-imagine a better future.
AEF’s commitment is to realise this aspiration in an academic and social context through innovative programming, exceptional delivery and comprehensive content – both inside and outside the classroom.
- To provide a nurturing and learning community in an environment that practices academic excellence, stimulates intellectual curiosity and personal growth.
- To help maintain and improve students’ physical and mental wellbeing.
- To foster intercultural understanding and ethical engagement throug community-based learning initiatives, the teaching of the Italian language and culture, and other courses tied to the Florence experience.
- To train music and dance performers inspired by the city of the Renaissance. To this end, to teach and support students to develop their performance skills and provide a platform for their career and academic ambitions.
- To redefine the role of artists as creative thinkers who will drive future social, cultural, and economic advancement.
AEF’s Values provide the foundations to its Vision and Mission:
AEF is guided by and teaches the principles of mutual self-respect based on honesty, trust, empathy, and transparency. Our environment celebrates freedom of expression. We embrace these principles in our own exceptional service and by promoting and advocating service within the Florence community.
AEF actively fosters knowledge based on inclusiveness, sharing and co-authorship. This is a collaborative endeavour between students, faculty, and staff and is driven by the strength of AEF’s learning community where all its members learn creatively from each other. AEF is also an active member of the wider Florence community and regularly collaborates with local institutions to design and implement meaningful and mutually constructive initiatives based on the community-based learning methodology. We invite and welcome students, staff, and faculty to Florence as equal partners in this venture.
AEF develops the skills and understanding necessary to live and work in ways that contribute to a more balanced relationship with the environment. By doing so we help to create a more ecologically and socially just world by focusing on practical and local community solutions.