Located in northeast Italy, Verona is the ideal place to study abroad if you’re seeking an authentic Italian experience rich in culture and history. Three of Shakespeare’s plays are set in Verona: Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew. The city was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2000 for its urban structure and architecture.
The USAC Verona program is great for students looking to study in International Marketing, Business, Communications, Tourism and Italian Studies. As a student, you will have plenty of school and entertainment activities, local and international food, and multiple transportation options. Students can study during the fall, spring, and summer, or for a full academic year.
If you’re planning to travel during your study abroad time, Verona is located one hour by train to Venice and Milan, and 1.5 to Florence. It is close to the Austria, Switzerland and Slovenia borders making it easy to reach a variety of European cities.
Why Choose Verona, Italy?
So why would you choose Verona over other locations? We spoke with Alyssa Nota, Ph.D., the Resident Director for all of our Italy programs, and here is what she says makes Verona stand out from the other locations.
- Located near Venice, Lake Garda and the Dolomite Mountains, Verona has a great microclimate between the lake, mountains, and the sea. It keeps the weather relatively mild compared to other parts of Europe, and fosters the beautiful countryside and wine country around the city.
- It’s ideal for students of business, communications, art or language who want a city that is not too big and not too small with a unique, authentic location away from cities that are full of tourists or other American students. If you want to live in a beautiful, safe, peaceful city — but with plenty of student life and international food — then Verona is for you.
- The city has a long, delicious history of food and wine, so classes, field trips, and field studies take advantage of this. For example, you’ll find Italian Cuisine and Food and Culture courses, an Italian Food and Wine business field study, and field trips to places such as Treviso, the birthplace of Tiramisu and Prosecco wine.
- Verona is home to many wine, cheese, pasta, and olive oil companies.
- Fashion and tourism are also hot topics in Verona. USAC offers courses in these areas as well.
Fall 2016 was the inaugural semester of the USAC Verona program. Below is a video of what a semester in Verona will entail!
Living in Verona
Unlike some of the larger Italian cities, Verona’s size makes it a comfortable and manageable city that is not overrun by tourists. An affordable and lively city, you’ll enjoy busy days and fun nights.
You’ll find it easy to get around via bike or on foot across the cobblestone and marble streets and sidewalks. Around nearly every corner, your breath will be taken away by beautiful sites like the Roman Arena, Giusti Gardens, Roman stone bridge, Castelvecchio bridge, medieval castles and the beautiful Adige River. No matter how much time you spend in Verona, these sites never get old.
Verona is nestled between the Adige River and the Veneto region of Italy, so you experience the best of both worlds. You can walk by the river and enjoy the water, head to the many parks and be in the middle of a bustling city all at the same time. If you want to get out of the city, a quick one-hour train ride will land you in Venice for the afternoon or evening.
All year-round you’ll find a number of festivals and activities happening around the city. Whether it’s art, culture, food, wine, shopping, outdoor markets, sports, music, etc., you’ll never be without something to do or see during your time abroad.
When it comes to being an international student in Verona, you’ll be welcomed by the Veronese locals who are friendly and open. The locals love sharing their city and their traditions with students, and you’ll have a variety of opportunities to interact with and get to know Italian students on and off campus.
Some tips for students to save money in Verona are:
- Take advantage of the free bikes that are offered in the residence halls
- Obtain a student bus pass for public transportation
- Make friends with locals to discover the hidden gems of the city
A favorite student activity is volunteering for the “Juliet Club” where students experience a real life “Letters to Juliet” moment. You’ll be responsible for answering letters written to Juliet from around the world. Thousands mailed each year and the organization is completely volunteer based with the goal of keeping the love of Romeo and Juliet alive!
Dining in Verona
Just as you would imagine when you dream of living in Italy, Verona is filled with authentic Italian cuisine and beverages.
Verona cafes will make you a “macchiatone” — not as big as a cappuccino but not as small as an espresso, but a great way to start the day!
You’ll also quickly find yourself consuming tasty pastries as part of your daily routine. Called “risini,” these small cooked rice tarts are a delicious temptation. If you want something bigger, go for a slice of pandoro, a traditional Italian sweet bread most popular around Christmas and New Year.
Since Verona is located in northern Italy, you’ll experience cuisine that’s different than you may expect. Traditional dishes expand beyond pasta and feature more risotto and polenta. There are plenty of international and local cuisine choices, and students are encouraged to take the Italian Cuisine course to learn how to make traditional Veronese dishes.
Aside from a myriad of cafes which Verona life revolves around, there is no shortage of wine and cheese. Consider taking USAC’s Food and Culture course to fully immerse yourself in the local dining scene.
Thoughts from a previous student
“Before coming to Verona, Italy, I had no idea what to expect. I had never traveled outside of the United States and I had no idea what kind of life changing experience I was in for. Verona opened my eyes to so much of the world and has encouraged me to pursue new opportunities and experiences. What I really enjoyed about Verona is that you really feel immersed in the Italian culture, which is different from more of the larger touristy cities in Italy. I was able to meet local Italians, enjoy the beauty of Verona every day on my walk to class, go to aperitivo in the piazzas, and so much more! This city completely made me feel like I had a home away from home. I was also able to travel quite extensively during my time in Verona to many places in Italy and other countries as well. Verona is a great hub for transportation, but every time I left to go to a new place, I was eager to get back home to Verona. Being in Italy changed me so much as a person and I would recommend it to anyone — no matter where you are at in life! After my departure, I find myself missing Verona every day, and I cannot wait to come back! – Olivia Jobson, University of Cincinnati, Fall 2016 student.
Convinced that Verona is the place for you?