Should I study in Rome or in Florence?

Old Apr 28th, 2008, 04:09 AM
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Should I study in Rome or in Florence?

Hi everybody,

I'm thinking about taking a 4 week TEFL course in Italy. I can either study in Rome or in Florence, but I have some questions about these two cities.

The website states that I'll have time to tour the cities, although I know that I'd be studying most of the time, but even though I've already been to both, I don't know which one to choose.

On one hand, I know there's plenty to do in Rome for a month, but, on the other hand, I know there's plenty to do in Tuscany for a month.

If you had to choose, which one would it be?

I'm leaning towards Rome, but I'm wondering if Florence would be a better option.

Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion.
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 04:45 AM
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I'd definitely choose Rome. There's certainly enough in both Rome and Florence to keep you occupied for a month, but in Rome you can just hop on a local bus, whereas getting to some places in Tuscany can be more complicated: buses are generally timed more for the convenience of locals than that of visitors.

Also, because Florence is much, much smaller, the historic center can be jampacked with visitors. In Rome, they can spread out more.

Finally, both Rome and Florence host innumerable study-abroad programs. Again, the concentration of college students per square kilometer is lower in Rome, although there are a few places that seem to attract large numbers of them, such as Campo de Fiori at night.

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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 04:55 AM
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Hi C,

I expect that you will have weekends off.

Venice, Bologna, Siena, Orvieto are all within 2:30 hr of Florence.

Florence is the home of the official Italian language.

Enjoy your visit, and keep in mind that wandering around Florence and talking to people is part of your "studying".

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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 05:12 AM
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I vote for Rome. Florence is flooded with American study abroad students and, since it's a small city, you hear English everywhere. I love both cities, but would definitely choose Rome for 4 weeks.
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 05:14 AM
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I vote for Rome,
too many english speakers in Florence.
Here in Rome if you take the underground for 5 stops ... no chance to listen to english !
Ciao from Rome
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 05:19 AM
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As Ira says, the "official" version of Italian is that spoken in Tuscany. Italy became a single state less than 150 years ago, and there are distinct regional dialects which are almost separate languages. The Tuscan dialect is regarded as "standard" Italian.
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 05:22 AM
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In Florence, you could of course have a "'o'a 'ola 'olla 'annuccia 'olorata", but definetely, for a 1 month period, I think Rome will offer you more. It may also ask a greater effort to discover the other Rome.
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 09:34 AM
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Hey again everybody,

The 4 week TEFL course is to be a certified English teacher; it isn't really to study Italian.

I chose Italy because, well, I just can't get enough of it. I speak Italian (not perfectly, though), so I'd like to take this course there to practice it and experience a bit of italian culture from a different point of view.

I do remember seeing a lot more tourists in Florence than in Rome, but I also thought that it was because Florence's historic center is smaller.

Like I said, I like Rome better because of everything that it has to offer, but the day trip options in Florence are very attractive.

However, this is something that I have to give a lot of thought. I'm not planning on doing it right away, because I'm traveling to Southern Italy this summer and I'd have to save money for the TEFL course, but I wanted to have other people's opinion before I take a decision.

Of course, I also must take into account that I'm going there to study and that I'll probably won't have as much time to tour as I'm thinking.

Thanks Zerlina, Ira, Mgbleuven, Pincopallo, GeoffHammer and BaldRick for your opinion
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 04:39 PM
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What time of year?
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 05:03 PM
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I would most likely pick Florence because as Ira said you will have weekends off and for me there would be more of a lure from Florence.

Dd and I are going to study Italian and we are going to a little seaside village far down outside of Lecce and I am worried about being there for 3 weeks and her getting a little bored.
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 06:44 PM
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Florence!
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Old Apr 28th, 2008, 08:56 PM
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At any given time I have read, Florence has over 25,000 study abroad students primarily American students. My friend's son studied there last summer and spent most of his time doing beer pong with other American college students at the local "American" bar-so much for mixing in the culture.

Having spent a semester studying French and Italian Art in Florence in college a thousand years ago, I would definitely say ROMA. Florence does get old after awhile with all the American students and tour groups.Rome has more options in my opinion.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Where would you live? With a family or in a dorm-type?

Our daughter lived with a family in Florence during a semester, and she loved it. She was able to immerse herself in the culture, since her family spoke no English. She didn't speak Italian when she arrived, but quickly learned!
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 08:05 AM
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Mambo, how did your daughter find the homestay from a social point of view? I am curious about homestays for immersion learning, but I worry about things like making some horrible cultural faux pas, not to mention hanging the towels up wrong, not helping enough or helping out too much, etc.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 08:17 AM
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Willtravel - I opted for an apartment for our immersion program. I think that it would simply be "too" much for my dd and myself and am too worried about things like you are!
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 01:36 PM
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Willtravel, my daughter's college program in Florence was very small, held in a villa owned by the college, for just 20 students. They have established relationships with some families who take in the visiting students. They do a good job of matching the students with their families.

We were both anxious about it before she got there, but she definitely did NOT want to live with other American students. She wanted to be introduced to the real Italian culture. So she took the leap of faith, and it was a good one.

She had a wonderful family: a 50-something woman, with two twenty-something daughters, who all live together. They have a spare bedroom, and they need the income for letting it out to students. My daughter had a female classmate who was also her roommate there.

Also, the college held a reception evening when the students arrived, and introduced them to their families. The students had already been instructed about your concerns-- faux pas, manners, etc.-- and the basics of Italian home life.

She was told the family would expect her to be there for all dinners. If she couldn't make it, she needed to let them know.

Her family didn't speak any English, and she didn't speak any Italian when she arrived, so her first dinner there was interesting, she said.

They were very nice, and so's my daughter, so they found ways to communicate, and they enjoyed each other.

I was fortunate to meet her Florence family, because I traveled to Italy when my daughter was ready to come home. Her family invited us to dinner, so it was fun to see where she'd lived.

It is very different than how we live in this country. Makes you look at things in a different light. It was a very good learning experience all the way around.
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Old Apr 29th, 2008, 04:14 PM
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Mambo, I'm glad it worked out so well for your daughter to take a leap of faith.

MDDT, it will be nice for you and your daughter to have your own private refuge. The hard part will be not speaking English to each other!
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