AIFS Study Abroad in Florence: Semester or Academic Year
98% Rating
(36 Reviews)

AIFS Study Abroad in Florence: Semester or Academic Year

Earn up to 16 credits studying in beautiful, historic Florence. Students choose from a wide array of courses in humanities, business, fashion, studio art, photography and more. All courses are taught in English. Volunteer and internship opportunities are also available.

Students live in an apartment or homestay and cultural activities such as museum and gallery visits, Italian cooking classes, and more. An optional meal plan is available and internet access is included in all housing. Enjoy trips to Rome, Siena and Venice, and orientation in Rome (fall semester) or Pietrasanta (spring semester). Volunteer and Internship opportunities are available and interested students can enhance their volunteer work with a for-credit Service Learning and Active Citizenship course.

In Florence, artistic, cultural and historic richness is ever present. Whatever your tastes, Florence is the perfect city to acquire a genuine experience of Italian life and culture.

  • Wine tasting and cooking classes
  • 2-day visit to Venice
  • Day trip to Siena
Program Type
Subject Areas
Art History
Cultural Studies
European Studies
Global Studies
International Business
Liberal Arts
Media Relations
Service Learning
Visual Arts
Degree Level
High School Diploma
Academic Year
Host Family
Travel Insurance
Online Application
Official Transcripts
GPA Requirement
Price Details
AIFS is a premier provider of study abroad programs. Comprehensive fees cover tuition and housing with $800,000 in scholarship and grant funding available each year. A meal plan, tours and excursions, insurance and 24-hour emergency service are also included. Coordinated AIFS Flight Packages are available.
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Questions & Answers

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.

Program Reviews

based on 36 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 16 - 30 of 36
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A Worthwhile Experience

My time in Florence was one of the best times of my life. While it was there, at times it was hard to see how amazing it was because I was preoccupied with worrying about things happening back home. But in the end, I realized how incredible the experience really was. Living in the city and experiencing the Italian way of life was something that most people never get to do, and something I will probably never get to do again. I discovered some of my favorite foods and restaurants during my time abroad, and made some lifelong friends who I shared unrepeatable experiences with.

How can this program be improved?

Some of the classes felt a little like a waste of time. They were incredibly easy, which is maybe expected for a study abroad program, but I felt like the teachers could have put more stock in what they were teaching. The Italian language class was the only class I really felt like I learned something valuable from.

Yes, I recommend
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The best 4 months of my 23 years of life

Studying abroad in Florence, Italy with AIFS remains one of the best decisions I have ever made. My only regret is that I didn't stay there for a year! Right from the start, AIFS made everything so easy. They took care of all my travel arrangements and were readily available to answer any questions that I had. This type of care continued throughout my stay in Italy. The staff at AIFS was a wonderful resource for learning about the Italian culture. There were always fun activities planned for students, from wine tasting and cooking classes to trips to Rome and Venice for Carnivale. In addition to the cultural activities, the required Italian language classes were a HUGE help when it came to communicating with locals and forming international friendships. Aside from the comprehensive nature of AIFS, I chose Florence because I wanted a location that had all the beauty, excitement and culture of a big city, but the charm and warmth of a small Italian village. In my experience, Italians were a very generous, welcoming people who were always willing to help you--even when you were stumbling through their language! There was always something exciting to do in Florence: hiking up to Piazza Michaelangelo to watch the Sunset, dancing to a Beatles tribute band at Bee Bop, savoring gelato on the Ponte Vecchio, exploring the beautiful Boboli Gardens, admiring Michaelangelo's David, enjoying 3 hour long dinners with friends, cheering on the local soccer team Fiorentina, or simply wandering around the city. While abroad, I made lasting friendships with both students and locals. I still consider my host mother Bruna to be my adopted grandma! It was these relationships, combined with the enchanting Italian culture and the organization of AIFS that made my sophomore year of college an exrtaordinary one. I left Florence a much stronger, wiser, courageous, open minded, ambitious and adventurous young woman. I think about my experience abroad almost daily, and it brings a smile to my face everytime.

Yes, I recommend
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Study in Florence

The AIF Florence program was absolutely amazing. Not only did I learn a lot, but we were given far more opportunities then other study abroad programs in Florence. Many other programs didn't have room or board, but we had amazing apartments, and our meal plan was through authentic italian restaurants in Florence. We also got to go on day-trips with the school for little or no cost -- we went to Cinque Terre for 15 euro and Pisa for free! The staff at the school was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. If I had the choice to do it all over again, I'd still pick AIF Florence.

Yes, I recommend
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Incredible study abroad experience!

Studying abroad in Florence with AIFS was the best decision I made during my undergraduate career! The housing, meal plan, cultural excursions and activities were top notch. The classes were taught by Italian faculty members with first-hand knowledge of their subjects. The staff was excellent and available 24/7 for the students. I have recommended this program to many friends and will continue to do so!

Yes, I recommend
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I believe AIFS has the best program in Florence. While other students had to cook pasta every night, we were able to eat out at tons of different restaurants because of our meal plan, spending no money. AIFS also included fantastic trips to London, Siena, Rome and Venice - all included! The staff was fantastic; they would always make sure everything went smoothly, from travel arrangements to the legal stuff (visas, registering with the city) and took the extra step to help you out. The extra activities were great as well, from cooking classes to wine tastings, you name it. I wish I would have had the courage to do two semesters, because now I can't wail until I go back.

Yes, I recommend
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If you're going to study abroad, go with AIFS!

My semester in Florence was one of the best experiences of my college career! The classes I got to take through the AIFS were extremely interesting. Learning about art history and then being able to actually visit the sites was incredible. One of the best perks compared to other programs is the meal plan. They set you up with fantastic restaurants that you normally would not go to on a regular basis - friends on other programs were cooking rice in their apartments! The apartments are all in central locations in the city. I lucked out and mine was right near the Ponte Vecchio and 1 minute from school - how much better can it get! I would recommend this program hands down to anyone looking to study abroad. AIFS is fantastic!

Yes, I recommend
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Best semester of college

My semester abroad in Florence was by far my favorite semester of college. The program was fun, flexible and filled with great people from the other students to the staff. I would absolutely recommend the AIFS Study Abroad Programs at Richmond in Florence to anyone considering studying abroad in Italy!

Yes, I recommend
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my life experience

When I first arrived in Italy I was extremely excited, nervous and worried thinking the worst because I had never left the United States before. But after a while I got to meet the other students and the staff and I can honestly say that this experience has changed my life forever. I am extremely grateful for having the opportunity to come to a country that I have wanted to visit since I was a little girl. I love being able to walk outside of my apartment and immediately be surrounded by art and history. Everyday you discover something new while exploring the streets of Florence. While here one of my favorite experience’s has been getting to know the family I live with. Being able to see an Italian family and how they interact with each other over the past few months has been a wonderful addition to this semester. I have a new opinion of family meals and have been given the chance to try many new foods while living with them. It was a great comfort to be able to talk with a family and get to know them each individually over the months. Their daughter Simona published her very first book “Secretum vitae” in October. It has been a great experience to witness the excitement of the family and to have the chance to be one of the first to read the book. The book is in Italian so I am slowly reading it and it is helping me learn Italian. I believe that every student should experience living in a home stay while studying abroad. When applying to the Richmond program we are warned not to create high expectations. I agree with this because when you get to Italy and experience Italian life you realize any expectations you could of came with were wrong. This is because Italy is different in a way you could never imagine.

Yes, I recommend
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AIFS lovin'

It may seem excessive that I rated this program 10/10 in every category, but it was seriously the greatest experience of my life and I can't imagine how any aspect of it could have been better. The location was fantastic, the professors and staff were amazing every step of the way, and I could not possibly recommend this program more highly. I miss Florence and the people at Richmond every day!

Yes, I recommend
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Life-Changing Experience!

My time abroad in Italy through the AIFS Richmond in Florence program was an incredible, life-changing experience! The AIFS and Richmond staff were great- they were extremely supportive both before and during my stay. Our apartment was perfect and located only 3 minutes down the road from the school building. I especially loved the meal card system that Richmond in Florence offered. We got to eat some incredible authentic Italian meals using meal cards that were already paid for. No other program in Florence that I know of did that. The classes and professors were extremely interesting and the cultural activities that the program provided were very diverse and fun! It was amazing getting to learn about a foreign city and culture as you were living and studying there. By the end of the semester, I felt like I was truly a citizen of Florence. I don't regret going abroad with AIFS Richmond for one second!

Yes, I recommend
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A life changing experience

I was extremely nervous before leaving for my trip abroad. Although, soon after our arival I realized I had nothing to be worried about. My trip was full of adventure, laughs, and even tears(the good kind). The days were always very relaxed with 2-3 classes a day Monday through Thursday. A few nights a week i would go out on the town with my other program members, who I became every close with. There was always something to do and always something to see. It was an unforgettable journey.

Yes, I recommend
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AIFS Richmond in Florence

My experience abroad was amazing! If I could do it all again I would without a doubt do it through AIFS again. The program was great, welcoming and very helpful. The meal tickets and restaurants were amazing and definitely saved me a lot of money which came in use for traveling.

Yes, I recommend
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an incredible program, with some of the greatest and most unique characteristics of an abroad program, including:
- meal plans: use provided meal cards to dine at some of the greatest restaurants throughout italy. a great way to save money and get exposed to places and people you would not otherwise. restaurant staff look forward to having american students, give you GREAT deals on food because of AIFS' established connections with each restaurant. this opportunity cannot be missed!
- pre-organized trips: Venice, Milan, Rome, Cinque Terre and more!
-extra curriculars: cooking class, wine tastings, vineyard tours, pizza making class, arts and crafts, trips to various cities throughout italy, soccer games- pay with MEAL PLANS- SAVE SO MUCH MONEY THROUGH AIFS!
- housing is incredible!

Yes, I recommend
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AIFS-Best Program in Florence

MEAL PLAN MEAL PLAN MEAL PLAN! Restaurant vouchers for 20+ various and different restaurants all over the city where you eat off their special menu for Richmond students (2 or 3 courses, wine & dessert)or add up your food and pay the difference.

Apartments were nice, clean, safe located in unbelievable locations around the city.

Staff was extremely nice & helpful and always there if you had any issues/questions

Orientation was a huge success and really got you prepared for life in another country

Weekend/day trips around the country included in price (Rome, Pisa, Venice, Cinque Terre, day trips to vineyards, cooking lessons, pizza making, wine tastings)

Academics were very interesting, some challenging but well worth it! (Take renaissance art & History of the Mafia)

Yes, I recommend
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Emily Clarke's Review of AIFS- AMAZING

AIFS has left me with hands down the best experience of my entire life that I will never forget. Studying Abroad is always a great experience but going through AIFS has changed my life in the most positive way possible. The classes that were offered were all interesting and fairly simple to complete as long as some effort was put in. The teachers all spoke English (some broken English but not difficult to understand) The hours for the classes were great and all teachers were helpful and understanding. The staff at AIFS were always willing to assist me with an issues I was facing from homesickness, to health issues, to a reccommendation to a good restaurant. These people gave me a family away from home and were available 24 hours a day. A major positive that AIFS has compared to other programs (A friend of mine went through a different program and was jealous of this aspect) was that we had a 2 week orientation in a different part of the country where we took the language for 2 weeks prior to starting our semester. While there, I was able to meet and become friends with all of the students in my program. Other programs throw you into school right away and those people have seemed to find a difficult time adjusting and making friends. AIFS also includes a few weekend trips to see the country in which you are staying in and include great tour guides. These trips include transportation and stay. If I have one thing to say to anyone reading this, it is to GO ABROAD WITH AIFS. They have single handedly impacted my life forever.

Yes, I recommend

About AIFS Study Abroad

AIFS is a leading provider of study abroad programs. Since 1964, more than 1.5 million students have traveled abroad with AIFS. Comprehensive program fees make it convenient for students to study abroad and experience all that the world has to offer....