Founded in 1965, Florida International University is the largest University in South Florida, the second in the state and the fourth in the entire United States for the number of students. An academic reference point for the territory, it welcomes over 41,000 students from all over the United States and the world. The educational offer is really wide with 190 different programs, including undergraduate degrees, masters, research doctorates and career paths. Located a few miles from downtown Miami and Miami Beach, FIU has two main campuses in Miami-Dade County: University Park, the main campus, and Biscayne Campus, as well as several branch facilities and research labs throughout Southern Florida. The international dimension is one of the added values of this university which has offices in Asia and Europe as well. The Wolfsonian-FIU Museum, one of the three museums of Florida International University together with the Frost Art Museum and the Jewish Museum of Florida, has a branch in Italy in Nervi, in the province of Genova, as does the school of architecture. In the Asian territory, in particular in Tianjin, we find a branch of the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management. Noteworthy as well is the International Hurricane Research Center located in University Park, which is the only university research center on tropical storms in the world. Further confirmation of the importance of the university in the research's field.
Another crucial component in the life of FIU students is certainly sports. There are 14 university teams. The Panthers, this is the name by which the representatives of the university are called, compete in the NCAA Division 1. The main sports are American football, soccer, basketball, volleyball and women's beach volleyball. There are many facilities available to athletes, in particular the FIU ARENA which has recently been renovated with the expansion of the seats and today it can accomodate over 5,000 spectators. Another flagship is the Riccardo Silva Stadium, a multipurpose facility owned by Florida International University, used for soccer and American football, in which, in addition to the FIU Panthers, also the Miami FC club, where in the past the Italian world champion Alessandro Nesta coached. The stadium has a capacity of 20,000 seats created in the two renovations that involved the facility starting from 2007. The structure was renamed Riccardo SIlva Stadium, after the donation of the Italian entrepreneur of over $3.72 million specifically to the athletics department.
A university that we started to know thanks to the experience of Margherita Bianchin, now back in Italy, Federica Frasca, freshly named CCSA Preseason All-Conference witht the FIU beach team, Rachele Mancinelli and Emma Erteltova. Head Coach, both of the indoor and beach volleyball teams, is Rita Buck-Crockett, former volleyball player and Olympic silver medalist in the Los Angeles 1984 edition. Also known in Italy for wearing the jerseys of Matera and Rome, she also participated in our first Showcase, a great pride of us. Today, as mentioned, she leads the FIU Panthers as head coach, certainly an added value for athletes and for the indoor and beach volleyball programs.