It’s hard to find a reason not to spend a gap year in Florence. As the birthplace of the Renaissance, this city is still considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Florence is located in the heart of Tuscany and boasts some of the best food, scenery, museums and architecture in all of Italy. Whether you are an aspiring Michelangelo or not, Florence has a way of drawing out the artistic soul in everyone, allowing you the find creativity and beauty in food, people, wine, and even soccer.

The Florentines think about life a little differently than you may be used to—with an emphasis on slowing down and enjoying little things, you’ll find yourself free to discover your passions and gain a deeper sense of what really matters in life. Even Kate Middleton was drawn to Florence for her gap year, and we can only assume she picked up some of her poise from living in a city defined by its history of beauty.

Florence has been capturing the heart of travelers for ages and inspired poems, books, and art. It is a beautiful, lively, passionate city full of history and legend. You can’t go wrong living La Dolce Vita in one of the most unique cities in the world!

Teaching English

There are countless opportunities to teach English in Florence whether in schools or as a private tutor. Often, schools and students want to learn from a mother-tongue English speaker to help them perfect the language, colloquialisms, and accent. A TEFL certification and visa are required to teach English and there are many programs that provide both TEFL certification courses and visa sponsorship for a small fee. These programs often provide job placement assistance as well as housing during your TEFL course.

Language Study

Italian. La Bella Lingua. Though not a widely spoken language, many people are drawn in by the song-like nature of the Italian language. The Florentine dialect is what is considered standard Italian, making Florence a great place for language study and immersion. You can enroll in a local language school for relatively low costs and get to Florence on a free student visa. With a student visa, you can work up to 20 hours per week to pay for living expenses and further immerse yourself in the language. There are tons of local programs to choose from that range from all-inclusive with housing placement to just language courses.

Culture Study (cooking, wine and food pairing, art)

Florence has perfected many of the finer things in life and is a great place to learn if you want to pick up a unique skill. There are culinary schools, art schools, and sommelier courses that will sponsor a student visa and allow you to study in depth about living la dolce vita. You can still work part time on this visa to off set costs. Whether you want to perfect your pasta skills, learn how to craft leather goods or make jewelry, Florence is home to artisans and craftsmen who are eager to pass on their skills.

Aupair

Aupairing is a very popular way to make a little money while in Florence and have the comfort of a family. Because Florence is small, there are fewer professional opportunities for ‘gappers’ so aupairing is a great way to be immersed in the culture, meet new people, and often families will provide housing and some pocket money for the aupair. Additionally, they may pay for a language course while you’re there. With so many families looking for English speaking aupairs, you’re sure to find a family that fits your needs.

Cost of Living

The cost of living can depend on the neighborhood you choose to live in, but in general, costs are on par with New York or London--though rent is significantly cheaper. While this is still pricier than you were hoping for, there are often unique resources for students and young people that can help offset the costs. Apartments Florence has apartment listings for students and can help you find places within your budget. By cooking in and grabbing a cheap panino for lunch, you can keep your food costs relatively low as well. Just make a budget and stick to it. Here are some average prices:

  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center: $899 (40% cheaper than NYC)
  • Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment: $244
  • Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant): $15

However, with a little planning, and the right 5 euro sandwich shop, Florence can be affordable.

Florence is one of the safest tourist destinations—violent crime is practically non-existent. You’ll feel safe walking the cobbled streets, even at night as long as you stick to areas you know. Of course, you have to use common sense. Pick-pocketing in the tourist areas is a problem: con artists try to distract tourists with baby dolls or by begging.

As long as you stay in control of yourself and your belongings, you shouldn’t have any issues- and always keep copies of your personal documents and the number of the embassy available just in case.

Contributed by Olivia Salmonese

Gap Year Programs in Florence

Displaying 1 - 9 of 9 programs
Global Experiences
Gap Year for High School Grads and Students
Multiple Countries

After years of planning and preparing, Global Experiences and AIFS...

Art History Abroad
Art History Abroad | Summer Gap Courses in Italy
Italy
9.79 •29 reviews

If you are between 17 and 22, AHA's 2-4 weeks courses are a brilliant...

Art History Abroad
Art History Abroad | The Autumn European Gap Semester Program
Multiple Countries
9.88 •17 reviews

Starting college in the spring or taking a Gap Year? Why not kick...

CET Academic Programs
Pre-College at CET Florence: Global Perspectives & Intensive Italian
Italy
10 •2 reviews

Take on the rich culture of Italy through three facets—food, art, and...

Cultural Homestay International
CHI: Au Pair Abroad in Italy
Italy

You know the expression, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do"? Well...

CESA Languages
CESA Languages - Italian Gap Year Course in Florence
Italy

Practicing your Italian on a long term basis with other language...

Au Pair International
Travel to Italy as an Au Pair with API
Italy

Our Au Pair Program provides young people with a unique opportunity to...

Performing Arts Abroad
Film Acting Gap Year in Florence
Italy

Spend six weeks of your summer living in Florence and learning how to...

Gap Year Internships in Florence

Make the most of your gap year experience with an internship in Florence
  • Global Experiences
    Global Experiences Internships in Florence, Italy
    Italy
    9.76 •59 reviews

    Florence is an incredible city full of history and fantastic...

  • CEA Study Abroad
    CEA Internships in Florence, Italy
    Italy
    10 •3 reviews

    From fashion houses to design companies to major wine labels, Florence...

  • CAPA: The Global Education Network
    CAPA Florence: Study & Intern Abroad
    Italy
    9.77 •48 reviews

    An enchanting, awe-inspiring and culturally rich global city, Florence...

  • Istituto Europeo
    Internships in Florence Italy
    Italy
    9.64 •11 reviews

    Undertake an internship in Italy while studying conversational Italian...

  • Study Abroad Europe
    Study Abroad Europe Programs at Apicius in Italy
    Italy
    10 •1 review

    Study Abroad Europe has teamed up with Apicius International School of...

  • STsicily Group
    The Internship Camp Program: an Internship in Italy with students from around the world
    Italy
    9.69 •65 reviews

    We are unique company world wide to help students from over the world...

  • Forum-Nexus Study Abroad
    Internships in Europe: Traveling For-Credit Summer Internships
    Multiple Countries
    10 •3 reviews

    Stuck between studying abroad or completing an internship this summer...

  • CIS Abroad
    CIS Abroad - Intern in Florence
    Italy

    It’s easy to see why Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance—on...

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View the latest job postings on our job board. A great way to earn work experience during your gap year!

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I had an amazing two weeks on the AHA southern course! We saw the beautiful Naples and ended up visiting many towns in Sicily, a poorer part of Italy yet still so stunning, and full of incredible...

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