Villa Aurora College in Florence, Italy is a historic school from the 1940s. This school became a haven for many people in times of war and the hostility of the fascist movement. Since then, generations of students from around the world have come to Villa Aurora College to make friends, pursue educational goals, and grow in their faith.
The campus is tucked away on a hill, just 10 minutes from downtown Florence. The architectural beauty dates back to the 14th century. The dormitory used to be a castle and to this day the headmasters have kept most of its original shape. The campus offers plenty of space for students to enjoy the property and many olive trees.
This study abroad program is usually popular with American students. In the past few years, the enrollment was so high that they had to reject applications. Many students want to come to this college because of their planned academic year trips. Villa Aurora College takes students to over twenty locations across Italy. That year only nine American students came.
The Italian government has closed most programs and schools abroad. Villa Aurora College will remain open while other schools will be closed. Study Abroad Program Director Antonietta Riviello said: “Programs have been canceled here in Italy and across Europe. It was a surprise for us too. “
While they were surprised to find out more in person, the school found that some state regulations did not apply to them. Villa Aurora College is viewed as a community rather than just a place to study. Everyone lives, eats and gathers under one roof. Riviello said, “Public schools are closed because students and teachers are going home so they can’t review what they are doing while they are home and living their lives.”
Even if you have close contact throughout the day, this college is COVID-19 free. “We’re like a big family so it’s difficult to keep your distance,” said Riviello. However, the school has put in place social distancing rules to keep their campus safe. Students are asked to keep a distance of one meter and wear their mask in class and at social gatherings.
Although the number of students enrolled is the lowest, Riviello said, “We were ready to accept just one student.” Their goal is to provide a year of rich cultural experiences for every student, regardless of the number. Having nine students was more than expected.
The school hopes enrollment will return to its regular numbers the following year. You can’t go on living with just a few students. Registrations are open for the 2021-2022 school year and they encourage students to apply early. Those interested can visit the Adventist Colleges Abroad website and sign up for their program this fall.
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