The AEF headquarters in the center of Florence

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.