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Secondary school study programs

We provide Australian secondary school students with an exciting opportunity to study and live in Italy while attending courses at Australia’s most internationalised university. We can act as a base for your school’s study tour to Italy and Europe by providing intensive courses in a variety of disciplines and tailoring a program to suit your school’s tour itinerary.

A great location

Located near Florence, the city of Prato is a two-hour train trip from Rome and within easy striking distance of Pisa, Siena, Bologna, Lucca and San Gimignano. Surrounded by Medieval towers and Renaissance masterpieces, students will be immersed in Italian culture. In Prato, students and teachers will be exposed to an Italy little affected by the great influx of tourism, an experience which will enrich and deepen their understanding of cultural diversity.

Benefit from established relationships with the local community, including schools

We have established relationships with the local school community in Prato, as well as with many other cultural and educational institutions that your students can benefit from. Choose from programs in art, language, and culture. You also have a unique opportunity to attend music classes at local schools alongside your Italian contemporaries.

Study programs in Prato

Short courses of varying length in:

  • Italian Language and Culture
  • Music
  • Fine Arts
  • Art History and Renaissance History

We suggest a minimum of 3 days to allow sound curriculum development and delivery

What we can offer secondary schools

  • A base for secondary school study tours to Italy and Europe
  • High quality tuition
  • Short courses in various disciplines
  • Tuition by local experts, in small classes
  • Classroom, computer and internet facilities
  • Visits to local secondary schools and the opportunity to participate in classes
  • Unique experiences and engagement with local communities
  • Assistance in organising low cost accommodation and meals in Prato
  • Guided tours of Prato and Florence

Unique opportunities

  • Exclusive access to museums

  • Exposure to local expertise

  • Authentic experience of contemporary Italy

  • Opportunities to engage with local families


  • Classrooms of varying sizes
  • Performance space (130 person capacity)
  • Two networked computer laboratories
  • Wireless internet access
  • AV equipment
  • Office spaces available
  • Large outdoor terrace

Please note: There is no on-site student canteen or accommodation available.

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Course descriptions

Italian Language and Culture

We can provide tailor-made programs to suit each group's specific learning needs based on their language level and knowledge. All programs are taught by experienced local teachers and are designed to maximise the opportunities to put classroom learning into practice, including activities such as visits to local schools, markets, treasure hunts in the historic centre of Prato, and day trips to nearby towns.


Joint classes and practice sessions with local musicians and students from the Giuseppe Verdi music school in Prato can be arranged. The Monash Centre has a large elegant performance space and can assist in the organisation of combined concert programs.

Fine Arts

Printmaking workshops expand students' visual vocabulary, as they work in close relationship with the cities around them, their landscapes, museums and people. These experiences are brought back to the print shop and are integrated into the art making process. These courses are open to students at all levels but we do advise that they have a keen interest to learn and some knowledge of drawing and sketching.

PrintmakingFresco workshop. 3, 5 or 7-day introductory workshops. Each student will become acquainted with all the steps of buon fresco and fresco secco painting, development of the cartoon and pounced tracing, mix colours, building plaster coats, laying of intonaco and experience the golden hour, the best time of the day for the fresco painter. This course enables students to examine historical examples of this technique in situ.

History and Art History

Taught by specialists in the field, courses in History and Art History provide students with the opportunity to experience Renaissance masterpieces of art and architecture in their original context. The City of Florence comes alive as students are guided through the streets, churches and piazzas that were home to prominent families, artists and thinkers that made the Renaissance. Class-based exercises are balanced by on-site teaching as students familiarise themselves with the major political, artistic and intellectual movements of the age. Day trips introduce students to rival powers, such as Siena and Pisa, and help situate Florence in the wider political climate.

Suggested study program itinerary (16 days)

Day 1:    Depart Australia

Day 2:    Rome

Day 3:    Rome and the Vatican

Day 4:    Pompei

Day 5:    Rome - Assisi

Day 6:    Assisi - Prato

Day 7 to 12: PRATO (Monash Prato Centre - Intensive course)

Day 13:   Prato - Venice

Day 14:   Venice

Day 15:   Venice – Milan

Day 16:   Departure for Australia

We can provide advice as to suitable itineraries but we recommend working through a registered travel agency to organise airfares and accommodation outside of Prato.

For more information or to make a booking contact us:

By telephone: +39 0574 43691
By email:    


“Staying in Prato and studying at the Palazzo Vaj made it possible to live as part of the community, and to get to know many local people and businesses. Prato is a beautiful jewel of a Tuscan city, and I loved being there.”

Fiona Millimaci, Head of Languages, Chisholm Catholic College, Perth

“An amazing learning experience and a place I would absolutely love to come back to in the future……..Grazie Monash!”

Emily – Year 11 student, St Francis Xavier College, Canberra

“I really enjoyed being at Monash because it is in a great location in the city and the building is gorgeous. Being based in Prato was fantastic; we had the chance to feel like one of the locals.”

Annie – Student, St Catherine’s School, Toorak, Melbourne