Semester in Florence
Florence University of the Arts

Gap Year Friendly
Spring 2021

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

On our Semester in Florence program, be a local in one of the world’s most popular and timeless destinations. Hit the ground running by participating in a one-week, three-credit traveling Cultural Introduction to Italy course, connecting you with your fellow program participants and your new home country! 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: NONE Required! (Fall 2020 ONLY)

Highlights:

  • 1 week traveling seminar throughout Italy
  • Small classes of 8-20 students
  • Service learning course options
  • All classes in English, except Italian Language courses
  • Two overnight trips and one day trip included

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 which have more than 8 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.

Course load

Students may take 12-18 credits. Program price varies according to the number of credits a student is enrolled in.

Course descriptions

Please click here to see a list of courses offered during the semester. New classes are being added all the time!

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 & Fine Arts Materials

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.

Experiential Learning & Field Learning at FUA

What is EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING at FUA?

Some courses include experiential learning hours with our Community Engagement Member Institutions (CEMI). CEMI are dynamic learning environments created to foster learning through a structured interaction with the community. For more information about experiential learning opportunities at FUA, please refer to this page. For example, if you’re interested in adding an internship to your course load, please contact your program coordinator!

What is FIELD LEARNING at FUA?

Field learning is a method of educating through first-hand experience. Skills, knowledge, and experience are acquired outside of the traditional academic classroom setting and may include field activities, field research, and service learning projects. The field learning experience is cultural; because it is intended to be wide-reaching, field-related content is not limited to the course subject but seeks to supplement and enrich academic topics. Students will have the opportunity to integrate theory and practice while experiencing Italian culture, art, and community within the Italian territory.

Faculty will lead students in experiencing Italian culture through guided projects and field experiences as planned for the course. Field learning will be developed through classroom preparation, follow-up projects, and guided learning outcomes.

  • Field learning will provide students with the opportunity to develop skills and appreciate the multifold components of Italian Culture through direct experience.
  • Field education will advance student learning as a relationship-centered process.
  • Field learning activities are an integral part of the course content and not additional excursions. Attendance is mandatory.

 

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

Homestay in Florence

Location

A homestay option is available upon special request. Your homestay might be further from campus. There are a limited number of participating families, so please let your program enrollment coordinator know of your interest during your application process.

NOTE: This housing option has a supplemental fee, but offers an additional immersive experience!

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

Meals

If you decide to double-down on the cultural immersion side of your study abroad experience by staying with a homestay family, they will provide some AWESOME Italian meals!

Inclusions and Amenities

  • CommutePublic Transportation
  • Homestay
  • MealsHomestay

What's Included

Inclusions

Program fees are in U.S. 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). If you are taking 12 credits, you can choose to omit the traveling seminar.
  • 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 & 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
  • La Vida Local cultural program
  • Free use of gym and gym classes

Welcome & Orientation

Once you’ve arrived and settled into your apartment in Florence, 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. Then, participate in a second session, presented by your CIS Abroad on-site staff. They’ll help you become familiar with many practical matters relating to your time in Florence, 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 on-site staff attend a fabulous (and plentiful!) Welcome Dinner at a well-known Florentine restaurant.

Farewell & Re-Entry Program

Toward 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, 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:

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.

Julia Sementilli
Travel Tip:

Be open to meeting new people! Some of my favorite memories while traveling include meeting people in hostels, or by getting involved at my school abroad. You never know who will be a lifelong friend! Try all of the local foods, even if you don’t think you will like it. Write everything down in a journal- you will appreciate those stories later!

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!

CIS Abroad's COVID-19 Plan

 We want you to have the study abroad semester of a lifetime, and also know that Spring 2021 is a unique time to be having this experience. We want to provide useful information to you so you can make the best decision for your finances, academic career, and personal health and safety.

We are making three commitments to you.

Our Financial Commitment

100% Refund Guaranteed 22 Days Before Your Program Starts

CIS Abroad has worked with international partners to create refund and withdrawal policies that limit the financial impact on students and families should COVID-19 change a student’s plan to travel. 

  • 100% refund of total program costs 22 days prior to the start (arrival) date of the program 
  • 80% refund of total program costs 21-15 days prior to the start (arrival) date of the program
  • 50% refund of total program costs 14-8 days prior to the start (arrival) date of the program
  • 20% refund of total program costs 7-1 days prior to the start (arrival) date of the program
  • Academic continuity is guaranteed, see below.

To insure yourself from additional loss, such as the loss of airfare, or any other non-recoverable loss after your program begins, we recommend purchasing trip protection insurance, aka CFAR/IFAR insurance. 

Our Academic Commitment

Course Continuation Guaranteed

CIS Abroad has carefully selected programs where there is zero to minimal academic risk. 

  • If a student cannot travel to the country due to host country COVID-19 restrictions, remote academics are guaranteed. These may be synchronous or asynchronous, i.e. live or recorded.
  • If a student arrives in-country and must quarantine or miss classes due to sickness, remote academics are guaranteed. These may be synchronous or asynchronous, i.e, live or recorded.
  • If a city or country goes on lockdown due to sickness, remote academics are guaranteed. These may be synchronous or asynchronous, i.e. live or recorded.

Our Health & Safety Commitment

COVID Care Package Included

CIS Abroad has developed a site-specific risk management plan for every location so that health and safety protocols are monitored, managed and communicated throughout the semester. 

We have developed a COVID Care Package included in our program fee for all Spring 2021 programming to make traveling and living in a host country easier on students, especially those first few weeks on-site: 

  • COVID-19 compliant airport pick-up and transfer to housing.
  • 14-day Quarantine housing cost, if quarantine is required when entering the country
  • Information and assistance on meal delivery, if quarantine is required when entering the country
  • Welcome packet of masks, hand sanitizer, and cleaning supplies
  • Single rooms in host families (Costa Rica only), student residences, or apartments.
  • Access to accommodation if isolation is necessary due to positive COVID-19 test or exposure; this housing may incur additional charges. 
  • Access to COVID-19 testing; this testing may be an additional charge.
  • Medical and accident insurance that covers COVID-19-related illness
  • La Vida Local cultural activities and reflection that emphasize safe, local exploration geared to the specific context of being abroad at this special time. 

Note: For our programs in Florence, Italy local officials have advised the necessity of a 2 week quarantine will be confirmed closer to departure. In the case a quarantine is not required, the cost of quarantine housing will be fully refunded in the amounts below:

    • Florence, Italy: $860 (for 2 weeks of a downtown apartment, meals not included) 

 

We recognize not every student, family, or university will allow travel this Spring, despite the risk mitigation outlined above.  We are committed to providing our Virtual Global and Virtual Accelerated Internships so that we can bring international learning & career skills to you.

Quarantine

If Italy is requiring students to quarantine upon arrival, CIS Abroad will have you covered. CIS Abroad is closely monitoring changing international regulations and will help you plan accordingly. We’ve built into the CIS Abroad COVID Care Package two weeks of housing in an apartment and a few meals to help you get settled in. 

Housing

All Spring 2021 students will have a single room in a shared apartments with 2-5 other students. The homestay option will not be available.

Visa Requirements

The Spring 2021 program is less than 90 days, so no visa will be necessary.  

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:
    EXTENDED!Dec 13
    Dec 1
  • Arrival: February 24
  • Departure: May 13
  • Price: $14,990 - $16,690
  • Application Deadline:
    EXTENDED!Dec 13
    Dec 1
  • Arrival: February 10
  • Departure: May 13
  • Price: $15,850 - $17,550
  • Application Deadline: May 15
  • Arrival: September 30
  • Departure: December 17
  • Price: $14,490 - $18,690
Additional Information:

12 Credits – 11 Week Intensive Program (Single Room): $14,990

15 Credits – 11 Week Intensive Program (Single Room): $16,690

15 Credit Intern Option – 11 Week Intensive Program (Single Room): $16,690

For Spring 2021, you will be charged the 14-day quarantine price. This additional $860 covers 2 weeks of accommodation in Florence.

If quarantine is not required for your first 14 days on-site, you will be refunded this amount. Please do not book flights until CIS Abroad confirms the start date.

 

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.