Location
  • Italy
    • Florence
Term
Academic Year, Fall, Spring
Subject Areas
Architecture Art History Arts Business Classical Studies Communications Culinary Arts Cultural Studies Economics English European Studies Fashion Design Film Global Studies History Humanities International Business International Relations Liberal Arts Linguistics Literature Marketing Music Philosophy Photography Political Science Psychology Religious Studies Service Learning Sociology Theology Visual Arts Women's Studies +23

Program Details

Program Type
Provider
Degree Level
High School Diploma Bachelors
Housing
Apartment Host Family
Language
English

Pricing

Price Details
AIFS is a premier provider of study abroad programs. Program fees cover tuition and housing, and over 50% of our study abroad participants receive financial support from AIFS in the form of scholarships or grants. A meal plan, tours and excursions, insurance, and 24-hour emergency service are also included. Coordinated AIFS Flight Packages with major airlines are also available.
What's Included
Accommodation Activities Classes Some Meals Travel Insurance
What's Included (Extra)

Round trip flights, airport transfers and 2-night stopover in London included for students on the optional AIFS Flight Package.

Oct 27, 2019
May 25, 2021

About Program

Spend a semester or academic year in Florence with AIFS. Earn up to 16 credits studying at Richmond University in Florence. No previous Italian language study is required.

Select the Traditional Academic Program to begin or advance your Italian language and select courses from a variety of subjects. During Spring semester, a Fashion Management and Marketing Program is also available.

The program includes a one-week orientation. Fall semester orientation is on the coast of Tuscany, while orientation for spring semester is in Rome.

Live in an Italian homestay or a shared student apartment. Both housing options include a meal plan.

You’ll enjoy cultural and social activities including:
• Guided city walks
• Visits to museums
• Italian cooking classes
• Day trips to Pisa, Lucca and the Vespa Factory.
Fall students take a 3-day trip to Rome. Spring students take a 5-day trip to Rome. All students enjoy 2-days in Venice and a day trip to Siena.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • 3-day trip to Rome (Fall) or 5-day trip to Rome (Spring)
  • 2-day visit to Venice
  • Earn up to 16 credits and transcript issued by Richmond, The American International University in London
  • No previous Italian language study required
  • Internship opportunities

Related Programs

Program Reviews

9.77 Rating
based on 44 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 93.18%
  • 7-8 rating 6.82%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Academics 7.9
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.5
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 8 of 44 reviews
Default avatar
Monica
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AIFS Study Abroad Semester in Florence

A kind of fun fact about my study abroad experience is that I knew absolutely nobody because I had to petition to my university's study abroad center so I would be able to do my particular program. I chose my particular program because I wanted to be able to have an experience that revolved around Italian Renaissance art, but wanted to be able to spend a whole semester in Italy as opposed to a few weeks during the summer. My program was perfect for an immersive experience, but the school itself was a bit rigorous with very limited absences permitted and lots of schoolwork. While the grades and schoolwork were a lot at times, I did feel like my art skills weren't pushed because I was one of the few art majors so instead of increasing my skillset in painting or drawing, I was treated as an example and didn't really improve. If I did have questions, my professor would do it for me which wasn't very helpful nor was having limited studio hours. I did enjoy having the ability to do still life drawings and paintings outside of class in the beauty of Florence, which was a unique experience I treasure to this day. Pros of this program were that our meal plan was "tickets" that acted as vouchers for a list of restaurants so we could properly try Italian food without breaking the bank, a range of activities to sign up for (like going to a vineyard to pick grapes or having appretivo with Italians), access to notable Italian locations (museums, architecture), three optional group trips within Italy (Siena, Venice, Rome) which also allowed time to explore the city, and great housing options that allowed one to feel like they were really living in the hub of Florence. I would do it all again in a heartbeat, mainly for the food and wine of course haha.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Florence is one of the most exciting cities to live in with its richness in culture and accessibility to other cities via the Santa Maria Novella train station. Really make Florence your own by becoming a regular at a cafe or restaurant so that they begin to recognize you, attending the different events the city has to offer (like the Gelato Festival or the Christmas Market at Santa Croce), hang out at Santo Spirito and meet the locals, and/or try to find what the city has to offer outside of the main hub (like olive oil tastings or going on a bus to get the best view of the city). Of course travel everywhere you possibly can go, but don't forget to take advantage of how you are essentially living in Florence and you get to make it your own.
1 person found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Patrick
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Choice to Study Abroad in Florence

My experience abroad was incredible. Although my semester was cut short due to COVID-19, AIFS made my time in Italy so exciting. The housing offered through AIFS is perfect, centrally located throughout the city and are filled with plenty of character and culture. If you choose the apartment living style in Florence you are no more than a 25-min walk from the university and walking distance to all your friends/peers apartments and major attractions in the city. AIFS is very caring and attentive and when we had an issue with out shower they sent someone to fix it within the hour of our call. AIFS also provides a great list of activities and field trips to take outside of class that are usually free or at a very low price. Activities included cooking classes (making homemade ravioli, and tiramisu), trips to Venice and other cities around Florence, and reduced tickets to Florentine Soccer Matches, ballets, operas and other performances. These cultural activities allow you to feel more accustomed and like this city really is your new home. The knowledge from these activities give you a better understanding of the culture of your host city more than any class could. The professors and staff at the University of Richmond Florence are extremely intelligent and caring. They took such grate care of all students and really made sure they knew every student at the school and said hello to them everyday. The professors were passionate about their topics and it showed through their teaching. The classes were interesting and went by so fast because of how hands on they were. Professors took classes on field trips many times throughout the semester to give students a better understanding of the material and they also believed that students could learn more outside of the classroom. When we unfortunately had to go online due to COVID-19 our professors were extremely helpful in that transition from in-person class in Italy to online class in our American homes. The classes from home were still as interesting and mostly the same as before we left in Italy. Lastly, AIFS also offers a meal plan that gives you access to a large majority of restaurants located throughout the city. These restaurants are delicious and provide authentic experiences of living and eating in Italy while offering some of the most delicious food you could get in the city. With our meal vouchers we were able to enjoy the city and dine out most nights making my friends and I really feel like Florence was our new home. We even made friends with one of the waiters who worked at our favorite restaurant! AIFS was the perfect choice for me and this was proven with how the staff, faculty and professors handled the COVID-19 pandemic and how they helped get us all home safely and quickly. I am so thankful for AIFS for offering me this experience and making the time I spent in Florence, Italy some of the best memories of my life.

4 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Brianna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Worth Every Penny

There are so many different program options when it comes to going abroad, but AIFS makes going abroad easy, fun, and worth every penny. I was blown away by how much was provided within my program. Before arriving in Florence, I did the two day London stopover and then we had our orientation in Rome. The AIFS staff did such a great job in letting us get to know the others within our program, providing us with tours, and so many unforgettable moments before our time in Florence even began. While in Florence, I had the best meal plan ever where I got to eat out at restaurants around the city. The staff were helpful and easy to talk to, which really helped me when I got homesick. They made my time in Florence worth every moment, to the point where I want to go back more than ever! AIFS cares about their students and made my time abroad so memorable, I definitely recommend their program.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice would be to take advantage of all of the extra excursions that AIFS provides. There are so many, so don't plan flights or trips until after you've arrived and seen what is offered during the upcoming months. There are certain things you won't want to miss, and things that will help you become immersed in Italian culture. This program will offer extra tours, tastings, trips, etc. and to not go on them will only be something you'll regret later on! There's plenty of time to explore what is outside of Florence, but take the time to discover what is in Florence too because it will surprise you.
5 people found this review helpful.
Samantha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!!!!!

My time in Florence, Italy was an incredible experience I will never forget thanks to the American Institute For Foreign Study. They made applying and and getting ready for departure easy and seamless by walking me through the visa and passport applications, and by providing the option to have my flight to and from Italy booked by the company. That was such a relief for me because I had never booked a flight overseas before, another perk of having my flight booked by AIFS was a 2 day layover in London on they way to Italy.

After arriving in Florence, AIFS did such a great job helping students make the most of their time, they always had free or cheap events for us to attend like gelato tours, cooking classes, soccer games and even tickets to the opera. There were also many excursions included in the price of tuition, one was a week long trip to Rome and the others were weekend or day trips to places like Venice and Viareggio.

A cool opportunity I got to partake in thanks to AIFS was working as a tour guide at the Church of Santa Croce, this church was across the street from my apartment and is where Michelangelo is buried! All students at AIFS are offered the opportunity to partake in volunteer work, a friend of mine got to help teach children at a local school.

All in all I loved my time abroad and if I were to do it over again I would still choose to go with AIFS!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would go for a year rather than just a semester!
7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Chelsea
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Semester Ever

I went abroad with AIFS to Florence, Italy in the spring semester of 2018. Even before getting there the AIFS staff was really helpful with helping me with the application and my obtaining my visa.

I utilized their flight package option which included a 2 day trip to London before getting to orientation in Rome and then eventually Florence. This was so nice since I was able to make connections before classes even began. It also helped to know I was flying with other people in my program.

The Rome orientation was so cool! Every day after school orientation, we would go on tours of the city. A great start to the program.
The staff in Florence are absolutely amazing. They were so kind from the start and helped me with everything from course selections to more serious issues as well. They made school a safe and welcoming environment.
The classes were my favorite, I loved learning about so many different parts of Italian culture. From espresso to the vespa, I really learned a lot. The best part was you do a lot of hands on learning in the actual environment itself, not just from a textbook.

I stayed in a beautiful, spacious apartment located >1 minute from the Duomo, and >10 minutes from school itself. The meal plan was unreal it was so amazing. We were given breakfast vouchers and dinner vouchers as well as grocery store gift cards. The vouchers could be used at a ton of cafes and restaurants around town. (I didnt even get to them all) The food was always delicious.

My experience with AIFS in Florence was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

7 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Carly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made!

I studied abroad in the beautiful city of Florence in the Spring of 2018, and it was definitely the best decision I ever made. After traveling to Europe on a high school trip the summer before my Senior year, I knew that studying abroad was something that I wanted to do in college. As a Pre-Nursing student, I knew it might be a little more difficult for me to study abroad. I was determined to make it happen, and decided that I wanted to go in the Spring semester of my Sophomore year. I decided that I wanted to study abroad in Italy, because I have always dreamt of visiting places like Florence, Rome, and Venice. I was scared and nervous to be heading to another country completely by myself, but I am so glad I decided to do it. I ended up meeting such amazing people and met some of my best friends who I have been able to meet up with again since we have all been back in different states. I was able to see and experience so many things that I have only ever read about or seen pictures of, and learn so much about other cultures in the process. I was able to travel and see so much more of the world than I ever thought possible in four months. AIFS and the staff at Richmond in Florence did an amazing job of providing cultural activities and events for us students. I never would have done some of the things that I did had it not been for the school organizing the activities, such as attending the world-famous Carnivale in Viareggio (truly and unforgettable experience!). One of the best parts of the Florence program in my opinion is the meal plan. Being able to experience dining in authentic Italian restaurants became one of the highlights of my experience abroad and became a routine for my friends and I. One of my favorite parts of a typical day in Florence was getting to go out to dinner with my friends, enjoy amazing food, and create memories. I could not imagine my semester abroad without the nights spent at our favorite restaurants, all thanks to the meal plan! Studying abroad was the best decision I have ever made, and if I could recommend it to anyone and everyone I absolutely would!

5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Samantha
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Best Program to Study Abroad in Italy with!

I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for the spring semester of 2018, and I can confidently say it was the best decision I ever made! Florence is not only a culturally rich city, but the people are friendly, and the food is to die for! The city and the food were not the only reason I had a great time abroad, the program I chose to go with was the American Institute for Foreign Study and I truly believe they made my experience the best it could be. Here's why:

-Academics:
• Wide variety of classes available to choose from (I was a junior studying fashion when I went, and I was able to take all fashion related courses which kept me on track for graduation)
• Amazing Instructors (I LOVED all my professors and felt a personal connection to each one; it was obvious how much they cared for the students)
• Small class sizes (classes aren’t too large which made communicating with them when I needed extra help easy)

-Immersion:
• AIFS wants you to be immersed in the local culture!
• They set up dinners and lunches to allow students to mingle with locals their age
• Almost every day AIFS has different cultural activities students can participate in for free or at a low cost (ex: Gelato tours, discounted tickets to the opera, cooking classes, etc)
• AIFS allows students to have an “Italian Buddy” during their semester (A local who has volunteered to show students around the city, help students practice their Italian, and be their buddy!)
• Program also includes a 2-day stopover in London and a week in Rome

-Food and Safety:
• The best part of the program is the food plan! AIFS gives students meal tickets each month which work at tons of restaurants all over the city. It’s a great way to explore the city, try new things and save money!
• AIFS provides students with a number they can call at any time if they are ever in trouble (I never felt unsafe during my time in the city!)

Overall, I loved my time in Florence, and if I were to go back in time and do it again I would without question still choose AIFS!

5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Alexandra
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Studying Abroad Saved My Life

I decided to study abroad spring of my sophomore year of college. I had always wanted to, and it was something I considered when looking at colleges. My sophomore year was incredibly challenging. I had a heavy class schedule and was involved all over campus. I began to lose myself in all of it. I needed a break. So I decided to study abroad to get away, explore a new place, and most importantly, find myself again. I knew I wanted to go to Italy, since that's where my family originates from. I met with the study abroad office on campus, picked my program and made it happen. I fully believe it was the best decision I've ever made, to study abroad. I met so many new friends, traveled to some beautiful places and was able to do some soul searching. I had never been to Europe before so I definitely took advantage of that, traveling to six new countries. I was ahead of required course at my home university so I took class in Italy that allowed me to indulge in the culture of my new home. Being away from home and my friends at school allowed me to focus on myself and focus on what I needed. It allowed me to appreciate the connections I did have at home, and give attention to the areas that may have needed growth. I allowed myself to be selfish that semester. I did not only what I needed to do, but what I wanted to do. I had been so caught up in the pressures of work and school at home that I had forgotten how to enjoy myself. I can remember my trip to Cinque Terre. When I stepped off the train into the sunlight, could smell the ocean, I was so overwhelmed with so much happiness, I actually teared up a little. I couldn't remember the last time I was that happy. Studying abroad really allowed me to come full circle and fall in love with school and life again.

What would you improve about this program?
Everything was perfect. I just wanted to travel more and more. If they could build more excursions into the included trips it would only make it better. I never wanted to stop traveling.
6 people found this review helpful.

Questions & Answers

Yes, this program is open to seniors.

You don't have to know any Italian! I hadn't taken any Italian classes prior to studying abroad and I knew maybe three words total before I went over. You will have to enroll in Italian classes through AIFS while you are studying there, but you need no prior experience with the language.

Do it! I spent a summer in studying Art History in Perugia (about 2 hrs south of Florence) and didn't know a lick of Italian. Particularly in a place like Florence you don't need to know much Italian to get by, other than learning how to order gelato. While you're there though you should definitely take a language class. It helps make the experience more authenticate and memorable.