Welcome to my blog, Con Piccoli Piedi. Here I document the ins and outs of  the study abroad experience in Italy! We'll talk language, culture, food and of course travel, both domestic and abroad. 

 Hope you enjoy your stay!

American students seem to love studying abroad in Italy... will you join them?

American students seem to love studying abroad in Italy... will you join them?

Updated 4/19/17 with Open Doors Data from 2016.

So you want to study abroad in Italy…

But, you seem hesitant-- scared even. Well, you are not alone.

A view of Ponte Vecchio from Ponte Santa Trinita, Florence.

A view of Ponte Vecchio from Ponte Santa Trinita, Florence.

According to the Open Doors data report on the academic year of 2015-2016, provided by the Institute of International Education with the support of the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, Italy has been reported as the second most popular study abroad destination for U.S. students, hosting approximately 11% of the student population, falling just behind the U.K., which hosts about 12%. With popular countries like France and Germany slipping far behind, hosting 9% and 4% of American students, respectively.

With magnificently historic and romantic cities such as Rome and Florence hosting the majority of American students, many other smaller cities, towns, and villages host American students all year round as well. So, statistics are showing that we are certainly not immune to the beckoning call of Italy, especially as current day opportunities to study there become more robust and available.

And since we are talking statistics, another notable report published back in 2013 titled, “Educating in paradise: The value of North American Study Abroad Programs in Italy- Characteristics, Impact, and Prospects,” conducted in partnership with the AACUPI (Association of American College and University Programs in Italy) explains to us in detail why American students turn to the beautiful boot as their number two study abroad destination, and how American students fare while pursuing la dolce vita.

Seasonal chocolate market in Piazza Del Campo, Siena.

Seasonal chocolate market in Piazza Del Campo, Siena.

The study states that 40% of students reported that their motivation to study abroad in Italy was due to a “particular interest in the artistic and cultural heritage of Italy.” And as someone who pursued their abroad experience in Italy, I can assure you that each destination, from piccoli paesi to grandi città, is a gold mine of vivacious, cultural wonder.

Also interesting to point out? Those of you looking to pursue your study abroad januts in Italy due to your cultural heritage and family backgrounds are also not alone. According to the “Educating in Paradise” study, 18.5% of you will choose Italy because of your roots.

And I can’t say that didn’t play a crucial role in my decision either.

So, simply speaking by the book, studying abroad in Italy is quite popular among us Americans, and for good reason. This is not to say that it is “mainstream,” however, nor does it dull the uniqueness of the experience. I would argue that Italy’s popularity is largely due to the vast spectrum of cultural experiences one can have while there.

So, finalizing Italy as your study abroad destination? Fabulous. What’s next?

Well, keep in touch. For my next article, I’d like to unpack some of the common fears students have in choosing to study abroad in Italy. Perhaps this can bring you one step closer in feeling confident in your decision!

Until then, buona giornata belli ragazzi!