Ca' Foscari University, established in 1868 as a Business School (the first in Italy and the second in Europe), is a public university based in Venice, in northern Italy. From the very beginning the Business School integrated theoretical exploration with practical activity and the study of western and eastern languages, so as to provide students with a complete education in economics and business. Today Ca' Foscari University of Venice teaches approximately 20,000 students and covers four large scientific and cultural areas: Economics and Business, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Humanities, and Sciences. Freeman students directly enroll in courses in the department of Economics and Business. Students may also enroll in courses in Ca' Foscari's School for International Education, which offers classes that are specifically designed for international exchange students.
Venice is a city unlike any other. With canals where streets should be, water shimmers everywhere. The fabulous palaces and churches reflect centuries of history in what was a wealthy trading center between Europe and the Orient. Getting lost in the narrow alleyways is a quintessential part of exploring Venice, but at some point you'll almost surely end up in Piazza San Marco, where tourists and locals congregate for a coffee or gelato.
Situated in the heart of a lagoon on the coast of northeast Italy, Venice was a major power in the medieval and early modern world, and a key city in the development of trade routes from the east to Europe. Its strategic position on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, within reach of the Byzantine Empire and traders from the Near East, allowed the city to become a hub of trade in the west, receiving goods from the east by sea and disseminating them into the growing European market.
The current economy of Venice is based mainly on tourism. The city's beautiful architecture, canals and other cultural and artistic heritage such as the Venetian Carnival and numerous film festivals, attract tourists from all over the world, throughout the year. In addition to tourism, heavy industry dominates Venice. In recent years, Venice has also attracted a number of startup companies. Venice today has a fairly diverse economy with the main sectors being tourism and hospitality, arts, heavy industry, and technology.
As a visiting student directly enrolled at Ca' Foscari, you can participate in on-campus student organizations and associations. You can find descriptions of student organizations on Ca' Foscari's Student Associations website. Past participants recommend joining the ERASMUS student network. As Ca' Foscari study abroad alum from Freeman said, "Participating in the ERASMUS student network was a great way to meet people and join events."
The program at Ca' Foscari runs on a quarter system. Quarters at Ca' Foscari are referred to as "terms". Fall students study at Ca' Foscari for the first and second terms (September - December). Spring students study at Ca' Foscari for the third and fourth terms (February - May).
Ranking and Rigor
Not featured in 2017 QS World University Rankings.
Some past participants have reported that courses at Ca' Foscari are generally more challenging than courses at Tulane, while others have reported that courses at Ca' Foscari are moderately less difficult.
In the Department of Business and Economics, students take the same courses undertaken by Italian students who are studying for their degrees. Courses are offered in English or Italian. Four semesters of Italian language are required for any students taking courses in Italian. All courses are taught by Ca' Foscari faculty.
For a list of courses offered at Ca' Foscari, please see the Course Search. Search for courses offered using the following filters:
Period: Select 1st Term and 2nd Term for Fall semester courses, 3rd Term and 4th Term for Spring semester courses.
Level: Select Degree for undergraduate courses.
Where: Select the Venezia campus.
Properties: If interested in courses in English only, select English-taught courses. Deselect for courses in English and Italian.
Language and Culture Courses
Incoming exchange students may also enroll in language and culture courses offered by Ca' Foscari's School for International Education (SIE). SIE's classes are specifically designed for international exchange students. Course offerings can be found on SIE's website. SIE courses are semester-long and credit-bearing.
Students do not pre-register for courses but rather attend classes of their choice and then register for the final exam.
There are several fundamental differences between the Italian and the American higher educational systems that have important impacts on the overall educational experience of the student. In the United States there are many private universities, while in Italy higher education institutions, like Ca' Foscari, are mostly public. Students in the U.S. can personalize their degree programs. Italian universities have stricter curriculum requirements and it is rare to combine courses from different disciplinary fields together.
American universities are centered on students' learning experience. Therefore, lectures are often followed by group discussions. Participation is required. Students have more engagement with their peers and professors. Homework is assigned throughout the semester. Exams are usually written, and a student's final grades represent all of his or her work throughout the whole semester.
In Italy, relationships with professors are usually more formal. Instructors are considered experts in their field and their primary role is to impart knowledge. Student-professor interaction is typically limited. When past participants were asked what they wish they would have known prior to their semester at Ca' Foscari, one student said, "I wish I had known the extent to which the communication with professors was difficult."
Lectures are the most common teaching style. Participation may not be required. There are few homework assignments. Rather, students are expected to be self-disciplined and stay on top of reading assignments.
In Italy, a good student:
has a positive self-esteem and a good sense of humor
is proactive and uses inner resources to find solutions without depending too heavily on others
is able to get to know other students, forming study groups and asking other students for help if necessary.
Exams are more often oral ones and based on a comprehensive final evaluation of the student's learning.
Freeman students at Ca' Foscari have the opportunity to experience a very different style of teaching and learning. As one past study abroad participant put it, "I didn't go abroad to experience what I already know, I went abroad to experience something different."
One final examination at the end of the course is the most common form of student learning assessment at Ca' Foscari. Exams may be oral. Oral examinations may be limited to very few questions.
Grading Scale and Conversion Guide
The Italian grading system works on a scale from 18 to 30. 18 is the lowest passing grade (sufficiency). 30 is the highest grade. Tulane works with World Education Services (WES) for credit evaluation and grade conversion. Below please find the U.S. equivalents for grades earned at Ca' Foscari.
For Freeman semester abroad programs, students must:
complete their lower division business core requirements prior to their semester abroad;
earn a 2.5 GPA in the lower division business core courses;
be in good academic, financial and disciplinary standing.
Students who are on disciplinary probation, academic probation and/or honor board probation during the semester or term in which they intend to study abroad are not eligible to participate in a Tulane study abroad program. Approvals are revoked for students who are placed on probation after being approved to study abroad.
Students on disciplinary, academic and/or honor board probation during time of application are considered only if the probation period ends prior to departure for study abroad. Such applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis by Study Abroad & Exchange in consultation with Tulane's Division of Student Affairs and/or Academic Affairs. If the application is approved, the host institution will be notified of the probationary status. It is within the discretion of the host institution and/or Tulane to place additional restrictions on a recently-disciplined student's participation in a study abroad program.
For the program at Ca' Foscari, students must meet the following requirement:
4 semesters of college-level Italian or the equivalent.
Freeman Semester Abroad Application
To access the Freeman semester abroad application, please attend a Semester Abroad Info Session and make an appointment for follow-up advising with a Study Abroad & Exchange advisor.
Some exchange programs are more competitive than others. Students can list up to 10 school on the semester abroad application, in order of preference. All qualified applications are reviewed on a competitive basis based on GPA; completion of 3010s; academic, personal and professional relevance of study abroad programs; and academic, linguistic, personal and cultural preparation.
Upon nomination, exchange participants are required to submit secondary application materials to the host university. Please see Ca' Foscari's Factsheet for more information. The secondary application is due by the host university's deadline.
Exchange program participants pay their regular Tulane tuition plus a $1200 study abroad fee but do not pay Reily Center, Health Center or Student Activities fees. Housing is not charged by Tulane University but rather paid directly to the housing provider abroad. Students are responsible for additional expenses, including international airfare, passport, visa, meals, local transportation, books and supplies, and personal expenses. See the budget sheet for more information.
Ca' Foscari Housing
Ca' Foscari's Housing Office helps international students search for a suitable and affordable accommodation in either one of Ca' Foscari's student residences, or in flats and hotels holding agreements with Ca' Foscari University. Alternatively students may opt to arrange their own housing in Venice.
Finding housing in Venice can be difficult. Past Ca' Foscari study abroad participants recommend the dormitories if there is space. Dormitories are located on a different island than the university campus and students take the ferry to classes. American students may be surprised that the dormitories are smaller than what is common in the U.S. and there are no kitchens or WiFi, but past semester abroad participants say the dorms are nice and convenient because they save you the trouble of securing independent housing.
In addition, past students recommend joining the ERASMUS student network to make friends, join events and possibly find housing. See the Student Life section for more information.
One past participant said, "I would recommend staying near Campo Santa Margherita in an apartment, especially if you want to have a kitchen."
Note: Study Abroad & Exchange does not endorse any of the housing listed on the above links. Students are responsible for checking the condition of the property before signing a lease or making a deposit.