Semester in Florence
Florence University of the Arts

Gap Year Friendly
OPEN Fall 2023
OPEN Spring 2023

Study, live, and explore in the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.

On our Semester in Florence program, you can be a local in one of the world’s most popular and timeless destinations. Hit the ground running, connecting with your fellow program participants, sharing the food, culture and endless art of your new home city! Study alongside other study abroad students just as excited to experience Italy as you are at Florence University of the Arts, situated throughout downtown Florence.


What to Expect:

  • Language: English and Italian
  • Average Courseload: 4-5 courses (12-15 U.S. credits)
  • GPA Requirement: 2.8
  • Visa Requirements: YES - Pre-departure

Highlights:

  • Small classes of 8-20 students
  • Service learning course options
  • All classes in English, except Italian Language courses
  • One overnight trips and one day trip included
  • Live and study in the historic city center

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 8 or more classes available

  • Art & Design
  • Communications
  • Business
  • Education
  • Natural & Applied Sciences
  • Health
  • Humanities
  • World Languages

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

Browse all courses available for the 15-week semester here.

Notes on Course Load:

During the 15-week semester, students may enroll in up to 6 courses for a total of 18 credits. Please note, courses will vary by length with some running for 3 weeks during your semester while others may run for longer durations.

How to read the Florence University of the Arts course 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. As for the letters, in “LA HS MI 280,” for example, the first pair 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).

Looking for practical experience with your academics? Consider a Special Project Experiential Learning (SPEL) course

Similar to a practicum, students are placed within a local organization, while also attending weekly classes. Students learn by doing and observing the assigned tasks while receiving academic supervision. Please note these courses allow for one-on-one interaction with your faculty member with independent assignments, though there may be 1-5 students in your cohort. If your program spans multiple sessions, you may want to consider this in later sessions versus your first session to allow you to acclimate and socialize upon arrival.

Course Fees

Some courses 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.

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. Siena, 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 The Local Life

  • 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.

The Social Hub in Florence

Location

Students are housed at The Social Hub (previously known as The Student Hotel) in Florence. All rooms are fully furnished with double rooms and private bathrooms. Students will have access to study areas, a games and entertainment room, a shared kitchen, a restaurant, and a gym. There are also onsite laundry facilities and 24-hour security. Room amenities include desks for studying, flat-screen TV and high-speed Wi-Fi.

Inclusions and Amenities

  • 24-hour security
  • BathroomEnsuite
  • Fitness Center
  • Kitchen Equipment
  • LaundryOn-site
  • Study Areas
  • Television
  • Wi-Fi

Apartments in Florence

Location

For some terms, students may be placed in apartments, which are close to campus and house 4-10 students total. All bedrooms will be based on double or triple occupancy. Apartments are fully-furnished with multiple bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens and living areas.

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

Inclusions and Amenities

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

What's Included

Inclusions

Program fees are in U.S. dollars and include the following:

  • Two overnight excursions plus local excursions and activities
  • University of South Florida official transcript
  • CIS Abroad support services before, during, and after the program
  • Academic advising
  • Financial aid counseling
  • Assistance with travel arrangements
  • Full-time tuition and fees
  • Housing
  • Pre-departure and on-site orientation
  • Airport pickup
  • Medical and Accident Insurance
  • The Local Life cultural program
  • Free use of gym and gym classes
  • The Educational Field Learning department of FUA organizes Field Learning activities in Italian destinations as a part of the educational experience. Field learning itineraries may feature daylong or multiple-day durations

Welcome & Orientation

Once you’ve arrived and settled into your housing in Florence, you’ll 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’ll then participate in a second session, presented by your CIS Abroad 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’s 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’ll 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.
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.

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.

Pieve di San Leolino

Pieve di San Leolino

Join in a day of silence, reflection, and spirituality at the parish church of San Leolino, near the Tuscan town of Panzano in Chianti. The original church dates back to 982, and the current structure was erected in the 12th century. You’ll spend the day journaling, reflecting, and working on small-group projects alongside the San Leolino community, away from modern conveniences like cell phones and wifi.

Site Director

Travel Tip:

If while traveling there’s no internet, embrace it. Play a card game with someone in the hostel common room, read a book, lie on the beach, go for a walk, talk to a stranger, think about life. Some of my favourite travel memories are from times when I didn’t have an Internet connection.

Travel Tip:

If while traveling there’s no internet, embrace it. Play a card game with someone in the hostel common room, read a book, lie on the beach, go for a walk, talk to a stranger, think about life. Some of my favourite travel memories are from times when I didn’t have an Internet connection.

About:

Romina is a native Roman with degrees in International Communications (2005) and International Relations (2007) at the University for Foreigners of Perugia. Shortly after graduating, she moved back to Rome and began her study abroad career working for IES. In Rome, she began pursing her M.A. in International Affairs at the SIOI. After completing an internship at the Italian Development Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome, her career took a turn as Romina was offered a position to work as a Communication and Public Information Officer within the civilian component of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Herat for the NATO mission in Afghanistan. Between 2008-09, Romina completed two missions in Afghanistan. In 2009, she began working for the Italian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, which then led her to cover the same position at the Italian Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen. In Spring 2011, the Italian government ordered embassy staff to return home due to the uncertain situation of the Arab Spring. Ever since, Romina has enjoyed her return to the eternal city, and to her career in study abroad through CIS Abroad.

Your Support Staff

Aimée Devitto
Travel Tip:

Studying abroad can seem slightly intimidating, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the language. However, force yourself to meet new people, take part in cultural activities, and practice the language regardless of the many errors you may end up making. You’ll find that you’ve discovered new things about yourself and others.

Advising and Enrollment
Travel Tip:

You’ll be supported every step of the way!

Advising

Our advising team can help match you with a program that fits your academic and personal objectives. It’s not always an easy choice, but you can’t go wrong! Once you’ve decided, we’ll guide to you submit an online application.

Enrollment

Once you’ve submitted your initial application and the fee, you’ll be assigned a Program Enrollment Coordinator. We’ll work closely together to guide you through the enrollment process and prepare you for a life-changing experience!

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 15
  • Arrival: January 25
  • Departure: May 11
  • Price: $15,890 - $18,990
  • Application Deadline: Jun 1
  • Arrival: August 30
  • Departure: December 14
  • Price: $15,990 - $19,890
  • Application Deadline: Oct 15 (Estimated)
  • Arrival: January 24 (Estimated)
  • Departure: May 9 (Estimated)
  • Price: $15,990 - $19,890 (Estimated)
Additional Information:

Price range:
FALL 2023
12 credits: $15,990
15 credits: $17,890
18 credits: $19,890

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.