January in Florence
Florence University of the Arts

Gap Year Friendly
January 2021

Skip the crowds for a winter in Florence.

Can’t find time in your busy schedule to fit in a whole semester abroad? Get your fill of Italy (the views, the culture, the food) during January in Florence. Spend the month as a student at Florence University of the Arts, taking 1-2 courses and fulfilling 3-6 credits. You’ll get a better feel for the local culture and easier access to all the great sights by going abroad during the low tourist season when the crowds of spring and summer are long gone.


What to Expect:

  • Language: English and Italian
  • Average Courseload: 1 course (3 U.S. credits)
  • GPA Requirement: 2.8

Highlights:

  • Winter break program allows you to get ahead academically
  • Great support services with English-speaking staff
  • Busy social programming schedule—pick and choose what you want to do
  • Two to three day trips included
  • Exceptional campus facilities, including a gym, wireless internet, library, and restaurant on campus

Program Details

Florence University of the Arts

Founded in 1997, Florence University of the Arts (FUA) is located in the heart of Florence. As you walk to school, you’ll pass magnificent monuments such as the Ponte Vecchio and the Basilica of Santa Croce. You’ll enjoy small class sizes of 8–20 students, which gives you individualized attention. Your Italian and European professors are experts in their fields. With the exception of your Italian language course, all courses are taught in English. As a result, you’ll choose from an extensive variety of classes. In terms of academics, FUA truly has it all!

Most importantly, you’ll find a learning environment that allows you to soak in as much of Florence as possible. Many classes use the city itself as a core part of the curriculum. Full-time advisors assist you academically and personally, helping you choose courses and overcome culture shock. Therefore, you’ll quickly get to know the city and make the most out of your study abroad experience. Also, you can join other students for local concerts and get involved in a community service project. Turn to the friendly student services staff to jump right into campus events.

Accreditation(s): FUA is accredited by the Region of Tuscany, as delegated by the Ministry of Education and students can receive a University of South Florida transcript *FUA is also reviewed yearly for European quality certification:
Certified by IMQ S.p.A. –ISO 9001:2008 Cert. N. 9175.FLRU

Areas of study with 3 to 7 classes available

  • Communications
  • Italian

Don't see your major listed here? There may still be courses available. Browse our programs by major.

Areas of study which have more than 8 classes available

  • Art & Design
  • Business

Don't see your major listed here? There may still be courses available. Browse our programs by major.

Course descriptions:

Please click here for a list of courses offered during the January program.

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.

Course Credit:

Transcripts from your program will be issued by the University of South Florida. Please note that transcripts will be sent directly to your home university 8-12 weeks after the close of the full Spring semester at the Florence University of the Arts (i.e. late July-mid August).

Why Life in Florence

Florence (Firenze in Italian) is a culturally vibrant city located in the heart of Italy’s Tuscany region. Around every corner you’ll encounter jaw-dropping architecture, like the terra-cotta-domed Florence Cathedral. The mild weather makes it ideal for exploring the city on foot—we recommend getting lost so you can meander the streets and interact with the friendly locals.

Thanks to the city’s small size, you’ll feel like a local in no time. You can explore the historic city center and beyond in less than 30 minutes. Florence is also an art lover’s dream! Must dos: visit the Galleria dell’Accademia—home to Michelangelo’s David, the world-renowned Galleria degli Uffizi, and the iconic Duomo. Explore the lesser-known Boboli Gardens and Palazzo Pitti. Art is a great way to soak in the culture and history of this wonderful city. The views from the Ponte Vecchio and Piazzale Michelangelo will steal your heart, but the food, culture, and people will make you want to stay forever.

To explore outside the city, you can easily hop on a bus and head up to the hillside town of Fiesole. You’ll catch a full panoramic view of Florence and enjoy the peaceful Etruscan ruins. Sienna, San Gimignano, and other Tuscan villages are also a short bus ride away. If you have the travel bug, trains and nearby airports make it easy and affordable to travel to Milan, Venice, Rome, and beyond in Europe.

The best way to experience Florence is simply to wander through its wonders. This is how you’ll find the hidden gems not mentioned in any guidebook.

Live La Vida Local

  • Florentine Fridays

    On no-class Fridays, we meet for breakfast and explore Florence! Discover markets, museums, art galleries, churches, beautiful gardens, and many of the city’s hidden treasures!

  • Sports Events

    Florence is the home of the Fiorentina soccer club. Attend a game and cheer “Forza Viola!” from the stands with the locals.

  • Cooking Class

    Attend a cooking or pizza-making class and learn how to cook like a local! Fresh pasta is always on the menu, along with fresh, seasonal produce!

  • Opera

    Where better to enjoy a glittery evening performance of La Bohème or Madam Butterfly than in the birthplace of Italian opera? Join us for an evening at Florence’s stunning new opera house!

  • Theatre

    Florence is well-known for its many ornate theaters and theater productions. Spend an evening at Teatro Verdi, founded in 1854 at the site of an old prison and listen to a performance by the Orchestra della Toscana. Or attend a Medici Dynasty Show, set in a stunning Baroque church and learn about the cultural heritage left to the city of Florence by 300 years of Medici family rule.

Apartments in Florence

Location

Semester in Florence students stay in apartments close to campus that house 4-8 students and are fully furnished with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as a living/dining space.

Watch Faith’s video tour of her Florence apartment to get an idea of what your housing could be like.

See the COVID-19 Plan tab for changes to housing for the Spring 2021 semester.

Meals

Apartments come with a kitchen to prepare your own meals (put your on-site cooking class to good use!) and are within walking distance of markets and restaurants.

Students at FUA also get points they can use at student-run restaurants – read one of our alumni’s blogs about it!

Inclusions and Amenities

  • BathroomShared
  • Bed linens
  • CommutePublic TransportationWalking
  • Desk
  • Double Room
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • LaundryOn-site
  • Single RoomOptional
  • Triple Room
  • Wi-Fi

What's Included

Inclusions

Program fees are in US dollars and include the following:

  • Two day trips
  • Weekly visits to sites around Florence and optional excursions
  • University of South Florida official transcript for up to 6 credits
  • CIS Abroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Full-time tuition & fees
  • Housing (shared bedroom in apartment, single supplement $250)
  • 20 meal plan units
  • Pre-departure and on-site orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • Medical & Accident Insurance
  • Free use of gym and gym classes
  • La Vida Local cultural program

Welcome & Orientation

Once you have arrived and settled into your apartment in Florence, you will attend two comprehensive orientation sessions. The first will be led by staff from your academic institution in Florence and may cover topics such as academics, student life, housing, and health and safety. You will then participate in a second session, presented by your CISabroad onsite staff. We’ll introduce you to Florence, help you become familiar with many practical matters relating to your stay in the city, equip you with tips and suggestions for a safe, healthy, successful, fun term abroad as well as answer any questions you may have. Specific topics covered during orientation may include housing, health and safety, emergency response and the Italian Permit to Stay process. After orientation, students and onsite staff attend a fabulous (and plentiful!) Welcome Dinner at a well-known Florentine restaurant.

Farewell & Re-Entry Program

Towards the end of your study abroad term you may feel a little nervous, or perhaps anxious, at the thought of leaving your new home and returning to your old. If you asked around, you’d find that a lot of study abroad participants share your apprehension. It is not uncommon to wonder what re-entering your home culture will be like after having spent time in a new – and different – culture. To make things a little bit easier, we will come together for a Farewell Event (it includes amazing Italian food, of course!) and talk through some of the things to expect as you return, positive things to focus on as you leave your host country, and essential tools for how best to share your important experience with people back home.

Program Excursions

While participating on a CIS Abroad program, you'll be able to take part in built-in day trips at no additional cost. These trips are subject to change from term to term; listed below are excursions that have run in the past.
Lucca

Lucca

Strategically located on the Serchio river, Lucca is a famous Tuscan town primarily known for the Renaissance walls that still encircle the historic city center. Strolling or biking along the tops of the wide, tree-lined ramparts remains a favorite pastime for tourists and locals alike. Lucca is also the birthplace of famous Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (La Bohème and Madama Butterfly) and Pope Lucius III.

Chianti

Chianti

Discover quaint towns and villages set in the rolling hills of Chianti and learn about the olive and grape production that makes this region famous. Visit during the harvest season to see the changing colors of fall and sample products at small, family run wineries and oil producers.

Site Director

Travel Tip:

Never forget to pack an open mind, a lot of patience, a couple of snacks from home to cure homesickness and last but not least…serenity. Once in town, LOOK UP when walking around. Take a different route to class everyday. Live, love and accept your destination!

Travel Tip:

Never forget to pack an open mind, a lot of patience, a couple of snacks from home to cure homesickness and last but not least…serenity. Once in town, LOOK UP when walking around. Take a different route to class everyday. Live, love and accept your destination!

About:

Alessandro Bruno was born in Maryland, United States, and was raised in Rome, Italy. He has traveled extensively through Europe, Central America, North America, and China. He definitely considers himself a citizen of the world. During his travels, he acquired a passion for the environment and preservation, cultures, and languages. This passion led him to obtain a B.A. in Geography with a minor in Chinese Studies from Humboldt State University. In 2010, Alessandro 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, and returned to Italy to join the CIS Abroad Site Director team in 2015. Aside from traveling, Alessandro’s other favorite activities are wake-boarding, kayaking, diving, eating sushi, learning new languages, cooking, and getting lost on purpose.

Your Support Staff

Global Advising Team
Travel Tip:

We love what we do and want to talk to you! The Global Advising Center is here to help you decide on a program, and complete the Online Application. From the moment you first hear from us—be it through a text, phone call, email or personal visit—you will find that our passion for international education is contagious. We’re ready to launch you abroad.

Hadley Byrne
Travel Tip:

When in doubt, reach out! More often than not, locals will respect and respond matching the effort that you put into communication. Practice makes perfect, and leaving your comfort zone means expanding your comfort zone!

Linda Hallbäck
Travel Tip:

Be patient with yourself and kind to those you meet along the way. Show gratitude daily, laugh often, and give thanks for the journey you are on. There will be hard days, but remember, the magic is in the journey and each day makes that journey complete. Smile!

COVID-19 Plan

COVID-19 Plan

We believe that study abroad is still possible during the COVID-19 pandemic, but certain policies and procedures will need to be in place to ensure every student can be safe and healthy during their semester abroad.

We monitor international indicators and health standards in the country and our risk management team makes decisions based on those and our own policy. We will make a decision no less than 45 days before a program starts what options are available to you and what the contingency plan is for your program. We will do all that we can to support you during this time.

Learn more about CIS Abroad’s Risk Management Team’s three step process for operating  our programs around the world and important program refund policies.

On-Site Program Modifications

We are excited to offer you this program after many months of travel restrictions! Just as you’ve experienced at home, many aspects of day-to-day life and program components may be altered to keep you and the community you are visiting safe. These may include single accommodations, certain academic offerings being delivered online, safety protocols such as mask-wearing, and other changes.

While some excursions and activities we’ve offered in the past may not be available, we do know that you’ll still be able to soak in the beauty of the country and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Prices and dates are subject to change based on any changes that are required to accommodate changing local laws and guidelines.

See our COVID-19 page for more information. Speak to your Program Coordinator or Advising Team for the most up to date information about any changes to this program.

Dates & Prices

ADVISOR TIP: Please WAIT to book flights until you have received confirmed dates in your acceptance paperwork. Dates posted here are subject to change.

  • Application Deadline: Oct 1 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: January 3 (Estimated)
  • Departure: January 22 (Estimated)
  • Price: $4,790 - $5,990
Additional Information:

3 credits: $4,790
6 credits: $5,990

As with all study abroad programs, you should count on a few additional expenses.

CIS Abroad reserves the right to alter fees at any time due to currency fluctuations and/or fee changes made by our partner universities.