Semester in Florence

Study and explore in the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. The Duomo, the Medici Chapel, and the Galleria dell’Academia are all next door with this affordable semester option.

Start your Semester in Florence with a 1 week traveling seminar!  All of our Semester in Florence students are automatically enrolled in the 3 credit Cultural Introduction to Italy course.  This program begins in Rome, and itineraries vary from Fall to Spring semesters based on the weather.  Transportation from city to city, hotel accomodations, all breakfasts, and seven additional meals are included during this first week.

We have courses to fit your major. In addition to perfecting your Italian-language skills, Semester in Florence offers classes in topics ranging from Food and Wine to Accounting to Economics. Study Italian in Florence. Classes are small, and learning takes place outside the classroom, so you’ll gain first-hand knowledge of this amazing city and culture.

You have questions, and we have answers. CISabroad staff are here to help you in any way we can as you go through the application process, arrive in your new Florentine home, and more. We have all traveled the world, and the greatest perk of our job is helping you prepare for your time abroad!

We offer the most affordable study abroad option in Florence. We want you to enjoy your time in Italy, but we don’t want you to break the bank while studying abroad. Extra savings mean extra money for traveling, shopping, and hanging out which makes for an amazing cultural experience while you study abroad in Italy.

On Semester in Florence, you will be a local in one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. Florence is an amazing location for cultural immersion, and Florence University of the Arts, home to Semester in Florence, focuses on creating an outstanding cultural environment where you’ll be able to nurture your talents while you study abroad in Italy. Here, you’ll experience:

Pasta, Pizza, and Tiramisu, oh my – Local, family-owned restaurants are found at every corner in Florence. Or shop for yourself in the large 2-story food market in the city center and make your own Italian creations at home.

Courses in your major, plus exciting electives – Study within your major to further your degree back home or attempt a new hobby by taking an elective such as Intro to Photography. Study Italian in Florence- there's no better place to learn!

Europe and the rest of Italy in your backyard – By air or train, Florence is near hundreds of other Italian cities just waiting to be explored. Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, hop on a plane for a weekend in Spain! It's all possible when you study abroad in Italy.

An art-lover’s paradise – View world-renowned masterpieces in museums such as the Uffizi Gallery, then purchase your own treasure from a local street artist.

History brought to life – Listen to a class lecture on the powerful Medici family, then walk minutes from campus to see where the family lived during the Renaissance!

If you've ever wanted to study abroad in Italy, check out our Semester in Florence study abroad program. Here are a few of the key highlights that make this program unique.

  • All CISabroad participants enroll in a 1 week, 3 credit traveling seminar that starts in Rome*
  • Courses to suite your major or minor 
  • Service Learning/Community Service course options for credit or non-credit
  • Traveling Seminar for Fall visits Rome, Bagnaia, Capalbio, Papulonia, Versilia, Viareggio, Forte dei Marmi, Liguria, and Cinque Terre
  • Study abroad in English or Italian
  • Excursion options to Lucca, Pisa, and Sienna; Rome is only 3 hours away by train
  • Small classes of 8–20 students
  • A full cultural calendar allows you to enjoy Florence’s best music, art, dance, and food. Study Italian in Florence! There's no better place to learn.
  • Cook for yourself in your apartment or enjoy food from the local market and many restaurants
  • Gym, internet, and library all on campus
  • Everything you could ever need or want is within walking distance of the Florence city center

* Accepted students will receive more information and instructions on booking flights. 

While studying in Florence with CISabroad, you'll be able to take part in two built-in weekend trips through FUA at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from semester to semester, listed below are excursions that have run in the past:

Weekend in Venice and Murano
Considered to be one of the most romantic locations in the world, Venice is made up of over 110 small islands connected by a network of bridges and canals. The city appears to be floating in the Venetian Lagoon, giving it a peaceful and serene feeling. As a part of this trip, you'll visit the Venetian island of Murano, which has been the home of the Venetian glassmaking industry since 1291.

Weekend in Orvieto, Assissi & the Marmore Falls
Orvieto offers one of the most dramatic sites in all of Europe, with the city rising above nearly-vertical cliff faces. You'll then be able to visit Assisi, a city renowned for its incredible history of art and religion. Visit the Basilica of San Francesco and the many other castles and cathedrals in this rich cultural location. Finally, you'll head to the Marmore Falls. This man-made waterfall was created by the ancient Romans, and has become known for its spectacular beauty throughout the centuries. Its total height is 165 m (541feet), making it the tallest man-made waterfall in the world. 

Weekend in Milan and Lake Como
On this trip, you'll get to experience the industrial, commercial, and financial center of Italy. Milan is known across the world as a thriving metropolis and a global fashion and design capital. For a little break from the bustling city life, you will then visit the famous Lake Como, which houses celebrities such as George Clooney, Madonna, and Sylvester Stallone on its shores. You can enjoy kayaking and lake tours on what is widely regarded as the most beautiful lake in Italy. 

Once in Florence, you will have many opportunities to travel around Europe and Italy. Our on-site staff can help you coordinate additional trips that are not included in your program fee. Alumni have enjoyed the following excursions:

Rome, Italy
Rome is without doubt one the most beautiful cities in the world; every year millions of tourists come from around the world to admire the treasures and masterpieces of Roman art and architecture. It may no longer be Caput Mundi (capital of the world), but Rome is an epic metropolis harboring lost empires as well as modern attractions.

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is Europe's largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, and the second largest city in Spain. It's also a leading center of tourism, economics, sports, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts. 

The Swiss Alps and Munich, Germany
There's nothing quite like the feeling of awe you will experience when looking at the famous peaks of the Swiss Alps for the first time. A trip to these breathtaking mountains will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvinated. Afterward, you can tour Munich, one of Germany's most popular destinations. Here, you can enjoy the city's famous architecture, parks and greenery, beer gardens, night life, and shopping.

Parma and Modena, Italy
If you're passionate about good Italian food, then this trip is for you.  You will learn firsthand all of the steps that it takes to make favorites such as Parmigiano Reggiano, Prosciutto di Parma, and Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena.

Day trip to Cinque Terre, Italy
Get out of the city and enjoy this day hike in Cinque Terre. The area consists of miles of rocky coastline filled with bays, beaches, and deep seas, and surrounded by mountains. This natural reserve connects five tiny fishing villages through the hiking trail, and was declared a World Heritage of Humanity in 1997.

Tuscany, Italy
This trip will take you to the charming and relaxed town of Pienza, which is often considered the ideal renaissance town. Here, you will be able to taste the town's famous goat cheese before heading to Montepulciano, another town in southern Tuscany. This scenic town lies atop a hillside, surrounded by beautiful countryside. Relax with some of the town's famous Nobile wine before heading back to Florence.

Sicily, Italy
Taoromina is Sicily's main tourist destination.  Here, you can look down on the sparkling Ionian Sea and enjoy the natural beauty and refreshing climate that has attracted people for years.

You can select courses from the following departments: College of Liberal Arts, College of Fine and Visual Arts, College of Life Science, College of Environmental Studies and Human Services, College of Business and Economics, and College of Science, so you’ll certainly be able to find the courses you need. All courses, except for the Italian-language courses, are taught in English. Plus, there are opportunities for service learning and community service that enhance your coursework and engagement with the local Florentine community. 

GPA Required: 2.8. If you find your GPA is lower than the requirement, do not despair! Use the "Contact An Advisor" button on this page or call us to let us know your situation. We'll do all we can to find the right program for you.

Course selection: Now the fun part! As part of the application process you will be required to complete the CISabroad Course Selection Worksheet found in the CISabroad Application Page.

Course load: 4–5 classes (12–15 US credits). You can take up to 5 courses per semester.  Please note: You are automatically enrolled in the 3 credit "Cultural Introduction to Italy" traveling seminar. 

Course approval: Although you will only take 4–5 classes, it is best to meet with your current academic advisor and obtain approval for 7–8 classes. Courses are generally approved as requirements for your major, but also as elective credits.

Course descriptions: Please click here to see a list of courses offered during the semester. New classes are being added all the time! Be sure to check out the course catalog for the classes just added today, 'Sustainable Tourism, and 'Visual Merchandising and Display.'

Interested in Service learning or community service? Click here.

How to read the Florence University of the Arts course catalog

In the catalog, courses are numbered 100–299 for lower-division courses, 300–399 for upper-division courses, and 400–499 for introductory courses to graduate studies. An example of a full course number is “LA HS MI 280.” The first abbreviation represents the college within the University (LA=Liberal Arts); the second, the department within the college (HS=History); and the third, the course within the department (MI=Modern Italy). 

Course Fees:
Students should be advised that some courses offered by FUA require additional fees ranging from approximately $50 - $320 for various supplies, texts, and lab use. These fees apply to some courses in the School of Fine Arts, Squola, School of Sciences and Mathematics, and the School of Liberal Arts.  This charge will need to be paid directly to FUA upon arrival to the university.

Did you know that 70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships or grants to study or intern abroad? You can get a grant for something as simple as applying early, or a scholarship for blogging.

For details on all scholarship and grant offerings and to apply, please click here.

Located in the heart of Tuscany, Florence (Firenze in Italian) is alive year-round with locals and tourists taking in all the beautiful city has to offer. Anyone who has been will tell you how great of a city it truly is. The mild climate invites you to walk around the city, but public buses are available for the occasional rainy afternoon. Affordable trains will quickly take you to the nearby cities of Pisa, Venice, Milan, and Rome to further explore the amazing country of Italy. Although Florence is one of the most popular Italian destinations, the city itself is manageable in size, with so much to offer!

Florence is an art-lover’s dream! Visits to the Galleria dell’Accademia—home to Michelangelo’s David—the Gallerie degli Uffizi, and the Duomo are a must. Art is a great way to experience the culture and history of this wonderful city. The view from the Ponte Vecchio (not to mention the fabulous market there) will make you want to stay forever. But there’s much more to do in Firenze, like hiking up to Piazza Michelangelo, exploring nearby villages, or bargain shopping at the famed leather market. But many will say that the best thing to do in Florence is just walk around and get lost: this is how you find the hidden gems not mentioned in any guidebook.

Our Semester in Florence program is located at Florence University of the Arts (FUA). Founded in 1997, FUA is accredited by the Region of Tuscany, as delegated by the Ministry of Education. Students receive a University of South Florida transcript.

In the heart of the city with a fabulous location making all the great Florence sights easily accessible. With magnificent monuments such as the Ponte Vecchio and the Basilica of Santa Croce just minutes from school, you’ll never have to complain about your walk to class. You will enjoy small class sizes of 8–20 students and excellent courses taught by Italian and other European professors. With the exception of your Italian-language course, all courses are taught in English and there is an extensive variety to choose from. In terms of academics, FUA truly has it all!

FUA challenges its students to see beyond the beautiful art work that Florence has to offer and truly live in the city and experience everything it has to offer. This includes learning some of the language in order to truly interact with the culture and the people in the city. The institution is historically focused on humanities and looks at the past as a lens to understand principles of present day context. It is a rewarding academic experience!

As a CISabroad student, you will find that the staff and faculty provide a learning environment that allows you to soak in as much of Florence as possible. Full-time advisors will assist you academically and personally in areas such as course selection and overcoming culture shock. They will help you become accustomed to the city and get the most out of your study abroad experience. The friendly student-services staff will encourage you to join other students for local concerts and help you get involved in a community-service project.

CISabroad will prepare you for your new life in Florence, whether you have been abroad before or have never left your home state. Upon arrival in Florence, you will be met at the airport and brought to your new accommodations. Over the next several days you will take part in an extensive orientation where you will learn important tools to enhance your study abroad experience in Florence. You will receive an introduction to the university and all the facilities at your disposal. You will then learn about the program and the classes you’ll be taking, and of course, get a tour of Florence and everything the city has to offer.

Culture in Italy is extremely connected to the food they eat. You will certainly never be hungry in this country. Italians tend to be known for their delicious cuisine of pizza, pasta and gelato, and there is a lot to be learned from the way Italians prepare and enjoy their meals. FUA’s campus has a fully functioning restaurant that is completely managed, catered, and run by FUA students. This is a unique aspect of the campus and allows you to enjoy this amazing cultural link first hand. The food in Italy is truly a cultural experience of which you will have plenty during your summer in Florence!

The Student Services Office connects you with students who share your interests, making it easy for you to make new friends and get out into the city! From volunteering to book clubs to movie nights, FUA has something to offer each and every student. While on campus, you will have outlets for personal and academic enjoyment. Modern amenities include an internet lab, a large library, a gym, a reading room, and fully equipped media and photo labs. Field trips and class work take you beyond the walls of the classroom and immerse you in the history and culture that Italy is loved for.

While studying in Florence with CISabroad, you will live in shared apartments with other students from around the world. The student apartments house between four and six students and are fully furnished with multiple bedrooms* and bathrooms, as well as a living/dining space. Each apartment comes with bed linens, pillows, refrigerator, oven, stove, basic cookware and eating-ware, and a washing machine. Internet is also included and available in each apartment. The apartments are self-catered meaning you would need to prepare your own meals, however the apartments are within walking distance of markets and restaurants where students can purchase food and other supplies. You will be in close proximity to the campus as well as museums which allow you to meet and socialize with new friends. 

*Bedrooms are shared between at least two students, some bedrooms may be shared between three or more students. You may request a single bedroom for an extra fee.

A home-stay option is available upon special request. Your home-stay might be further from campus than the apartments and there are a limited amount of families who participate so if you are interested, please let your program coordinator know during your application process. Please also note that this housing option has a supplement fee.

CISabroad’s Site Directors in Italy - Florence:


Site Director - Florence

Linda was born and raised in Skanör, Sweden, but has spent the past sixteen years studying and working in the United States, Australia, and Italy. An international student for more than seven years, she holds a Masters in International Relations from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and a Bachelors degree in History and Political Science from Brenau University in Gainesville, Georgia. Most of her professional experience is within the field of Student Development, but she has also spent more than six years directing a travel program aimed at offering American study abroad students abundant travel opportunities throughout Europe and beyond. As a result, Linda has traveled extensively, visiting more than 60 countries across the globe. The last eight years, Linda has called Florence, Italy her home where she has worked within the field of international education, specifically with American study abroad students. In her spare time, she enjoys to read and write and is an avid runner and coffee drinker.

Travel Tip: No matter where you are traveling to, spend some time doing research - learn about the culture, the history, and the people. Connect with locals, explore, and experience. Be prepared, but always expect the  unexpected!

Assistant Site Director - Florence & Perugia 

Alessandro Bruno was born in Maryland and raised in Rome, Italy. He has traveled extensively through Europe, Central America, North America and China and considers himself a citizen of the world. During his travels, he acquired a passion for the environment and its preservation, cultures and languages. This passion led him to obtain a BA in Geography with a minor in Chinese Studies from Humboldt State University. In 2010 he spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Shanghai in China and has since become an even stronger proponent of study abroad programs, no matter where. Alessandro has also successfully completed the National Park Service Law Enforcement Training Program and a Wilderness First Responder course. Among Alessandro’s favorite activities are wake-boarding, kayaking, diving, traveling and getting lost on purpose in new places, eating sushi, learning new languages and cooking. 

1. What is the cost of the program? What is included in the program fees?

The program cost for Semester in Florence can be found on the Price and Dates page. You can also see a full breakdown of the program prices and budget here.

2. When are the program fees due?

CISabroad will email invoices to students approximately one month before the program payment deadline. For example, if your payment deadline is July 15, you should expect your invoice in mid-June. If you are using financial aid, please ensure all financial aid paperwork is returned to our office by the payment deadline. If your financial aid does not cover your entire balance, CISabroad accepts these payment methods.

3. What is due with my application and when is my application due?

The application process can be broken into easy steps!

The first step is to fill out the online application, which includes your contact information, what program you are applying for, etc. (Only takes five minutes!)

After filling out the online application, an advisor from our Global Advising Center will grant you portal access with a set of preliminary forms.

The next step is to pay the $200 application deposit in order to secure your space in the program. This amount will be applied toward the final cost. 

Within a day after submitting your deposit, you will receive a welcome email from your Program Coordinator—the person you will work with until departure. Your Program Coordinator will then give you program specific items in your portal. (Note: Both preliminary portal pieces and program specific tasks must be completed by the application deadline.)

#CISabroadTip: Contact your school’s registrar and have them send us your transcript early on in the application process (you can send us your transcript even before you’ve made the $200 deposit!) since snail mail makes this the slowest piece to submit. (We do also accept electronic OFFICIAL transcripts if your school provides them.)

For detailed instructions, see application instructions. The application deadline for Semester in Florence can be found here.

4. Do I need a passport or visa? When should I apply for my passport/visa?

For almost all CISabroad programs, you WILL need a passport. Your passport must be valid for 6 months BEYOND the date you return to the United States. For detailed passport instructions, U.S. citizens should check the State Department's Travel Site. For Semester in Florence, you WILL need a visa. For specific visa details, check here.

5. Is there a GPA requirement?

Yes! For Semester in Florence, the GPA requirement is 2.8.

6. What are my housing options?

Semester in Florence offers housing in shared apartments. These apartments are within walking distance of the campus and you may choose either a single bedroom or multi-bedroom. Home-stay options are available but come at an additional fee. Please contact your program coordinator immediately if you are interested in this housing option.

7. Will other students participate in the program with me? How many?

CISabroad programs are not only a great way to meet local and international students, but also students from around the United States. Program size varies each year - if enrollment size is important to you, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

8. How many credits are offered in the program?

For Semester in Florence, you will enroll in 4-5 classes (12-15 U.S. credits). To see the courses available, go to the course catalog.

9. Can I combine this program with another CISabroad program like intern, summer, or semester abroad?

Yes! A great way to extend your CISabroad experience is participating in another program. Combine semester programs to create a full academic year or if an academic year is just a little too long and a semester is too short, combine a semester and summer session or a semester and January term program. You can also participate in a semester abroad and combine that with a summer intern abroad. To find out more information on the application process for more than one CISabroad program, contact a CISabroad advisor at 1-877-617-9090.

Term: Spring 2017
Arrival January 18
Departure May 11
Application Deadline EXTENDED TO October 15
Term: Fall 2017
Arrival Approx. August 27
Departure December 14
Application Deadline June 1
Term: Spring 2017 Price: $13,990-$17,290 more info
Term: Fall 2017 Price: $14,290-$17,290** more info

Dates posted here are for reference only and are subject to change. Please do not book flights until you have received the confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork.

To view expected additional expenses for this program, click here.

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • One week 3 credit Cultural Introduction to Italy traveling seminar (all accommodation, breakfasts, some lunches and dinners, admission to museums, activities listed in itinerary)
  • Two overnight excursions plus local excursions and activities
  • University of South Florida official transcript
  • CISabroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advisingFinancial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Full-time tuition & fees
  • Housing (shared bedroom in apartment, single supplement fee)
  • 15 meal plan units per every three weeks
  • Pre-departure and on-site orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • Medical & Accident Insurance
  • Carbon offset of travel
  • Green Travel Guide
  • Free use of gym and gym classes


CISabroad reserves the right to alter our fees at any time due to exchange rate fluctuations and/or changes in partner university fees.