API program sneak peak – Italian Soccer Experience

As we prepare for the upcoming fall semester, we wanted to give you a sneak peak to some exciting new API study abroad programs. Today’s installment – the API/OSA Italian Soccer Experience program in Florence, Italy.

Run in conjunction with the OSA Soccer Academy and ACF Fiorentina, this intensive soccer training program is intended to complement API’s extensive academic program at Lorenzo de’Medici – the Italian International Institute, in Florence, Italy.

Athletic Component
Students enrolled in the program will be placed on a team and will train with OSA and ACF staff, playing a series of games against Italian teams of the same level. The interaction with European soccer allows players to learn from a variety of player and coaching styles. Student athletes also have the chance to be seen by scouts who are part of the OSA network and are always looking for new talent. Soccer training will take place 3 mornings per week for 2 hour sessions, and teams will participate in friendly matches and competitions with other Italian soccer clubs. This program is available to male and female students, who are trained in separate groups.

Note: A minimum number of 15 participants per semester are required to be able to form a team and play games. If the minimum number is not reached, participants will be placed on local Italian teams. Should the number of participants be large enough, multiple teams will be formed according to player’s skill level.

Academic component
Students build their academic schedule around their athletic training (MWF mornings), and may choose from the entire list of course offerings at LdM, including sports marketing and communication courses.

Q&A with OSA’s Paolo Dellafiore

1) Who is OSA and what is special about the program? OSA Soccer Academy has developed relationships with a vast number of professional and amateur Clubs in Europe and the U.S starting from our partnership with ACF Fiorentina, (Italian Serie A), and Impact Montreal (soon to join the MLS), just to mention a few. This allows us not only to provide the best training through ACF Fiorentina staff to the students enrolling in the program, but also to provide players the opportunity to train under the vigilance of OSA representatives that may provide future opportunities abroad or back in the U.S to those players that distinguish themselves on the program. The mix of Italian Soccer methodology, second to none, and our international network is what distinguishes this unique program.

2) What is the training like? The ACF Fiorentina youth academy is renowned in Italy and Europe for its teaching methods and scientific approach. Players will be evaluated to provide to each the ideal training so to maximize their learning. This allows us to offer the highest level training through staff which in many occasions have competed themselves in the Serie A and in Europe. The ACF Fiorentina scientific method will be applied to participants just as it is applied to their youth teams. Players of all levels will find this extremely stimulating and effective, as the coaches will be able to point them in the right direction for their future development.

3) What are the facilities like? The facilities are the same as used by ACF Fiorentina youth teams and consequently of the highest level. Nestled in the lush Tuscan countryside, they can be reach by train or public transport in just a few minutes from downtown Florence. The players will find the ideal training facility with both grass and astro-turf pitches, changing rooms, gym and physiotherapy lab, medical staff and everything a professional team needs for training.

4) What is the competition like? Competition will be selected according to the teams’ potential. In this way players have the opportunity to execute what they have learned by competing with Italian opposition, providing a great learning opportunity.

5) What do I need to bring? Match and training gear will be provided. Players must bring their boots (both grass and astro-turf), shin pads and anything they feel comfortable with for training depending on the seasons, for example a hat and gloves, during the winter time. Students will also have the possibility to buy gear on location at specially discounted prices through OSA.

Further details will be available in the coming weeks on the API website and 2012-2013 API catalog.

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  1. Wow! This looks like such a cool program!! Do you have any age requirements? Or do you need a program manager? I mean, if you’re in the market.. haha =)


  2. What is the commitment like? Do participants have to attend every practice and game?

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