AIFS Study Abroad in Florence: Semester or Academic Year

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About

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.

Highlights
  • Wine tasting and cooking classes
  • 2-day visit to Venice
  • Day trip to Siena

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.

Reviews

98%
based on 36 reviews
  • Academics 7.6
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 31 - 36 of 36
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JeniB
10/10

When can I go back?

The AIFS Study Abroad Program Richmond in Florence was one of the best experiences of my life! The students were from all over the US and were interested in similar subjects and open to new experiences like me. Though for the first few days of my trip my luggage had been lost by the airline, the staff were as helpful as possible by providing translation with local airport staff. The classes were everything I hoped for. My favorite part was that I not only learned about the art history and culture of Italy, but I was immursed in it. As one of the teachers in the program would say "you can touch it, you can look at it, you can smell it, you can bite it". I learned a lot of information in a shorter amount of time than I might in a whole semester class at my university, and feel like I have a very in-depth understanding of the material. I loved learning about paintings and sculptures and then going to see the actual pieces either locally in Florence, or in other places like Milan or Vinci. My favorite part of the experience was actually a seemingly mundane activity: my walk to school every morning. Every morning my roomates and I would make the fifteen minute walk past the Duomo and across the Arno to get to class. Florence is beautiful and calm in the morning. After I found my way around the city, Florence felt like my hometown during these morning walks. Of course the social aspect and the nightlife was very exciting as well. With all the friends I made in the program, I got to explore the restaurants, bars, and attractions of Florence and enjoy all the diverse people. Our apartment was in a great location and was very comfortable for me and my three roomates. We especially loved our landlady who would take us out every week to get gelato and talk to us about our experiences and help us with our italian (while we helped her with her english!). While the program sponsored trips and activites were a blast, I also liked that we had plenty of independence and free time to plan trips of our own to explore a foreign country using our own resources while learning some important lessons in traveling and social interaction. There were a million more things that I loved, but I can't list here. However just a few more; the gelato, the shopping, the friends, the views, the art, the music, the food, and the Italians. My only complaint is that I had to leave!

Yes, I recommend
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Amanda
10/10

Amazing!

Absolutely one of the most memorable and amazing experiences! From the beautiful scenery to the delicious food, everything was perfect! AIFS is a wonderful, safe, educational and extremely entertaining program. I wouldn't have changed a thing. You are NEVER bored and are constantly experiencing different things everyday.

Yes, I recommend
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danauri
10/10

Best experience of my life

There are countless memories I made while abroad and I recommend to every student to do it. Choosing a program was hard but it was clear AIFS was the right one when I got to Florence. They give you every opportunity to experience the city, museum passes, meal vouchers for ALL over, volunteer opportunities...and the list goes on. The trips with the program were always really fun as well and you get to bond with every other member on them. The hotels we stayed in easily held all 150 of us and were never dirty. Pick one of your teachers to be your guide and you can't go wrong (Angela is the BEST for whoever is in Florence.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
aerkoc
10/10

Best Life Experience

Prior to college I knew I wanted to study abroad. When it finally came the time I was bombarded with a list of different programs and unsure I which to go with. My main concerns included getting the most for my money, inclusive experiences, and meals. AIFS provided me with the best opportunity. During orientation, we were able to go on weekly trips throughout the area of Lido di Camaiore. Whether it was open markets, see the leaning tower of Pisa, I feel like I saw so much in just two short weeks. Once in Florence, AIFS ensured that we were educated on safety rules. They would even email us to remind us about important information. The school provided us with ample internet access and the program directed us to getting our own internet access at home if we wanted it. The meal plan was by far the greatest bonus of the program. I was worried about spending so much extra money on food, it was Italy after all. The meal plan AIFS provided us with was amazing. We were giving meal tickets each month that allowed us to not only explore traditional Italian cuisine but also provided us with an array of different restaurants and cafes. We had trips to Venice and Rome within the program and aside from the organization of the trip being so easy for me as a student. I was able to learn about these areas through the help of guiding staff but we were also given plenty of free time to explore and experience the cities. It has been almost 3 years since I visited Florence and to this day I feel like I was there just yesterday. I miss all the teachers and staff and hope to one day visit them again. Between holiday dinners and our good bye dinner, everyone in the program became this diverse family. I was able to make life long friends that I am able to visit and stay in close contact with. In the beginning the great difficulty I had was not knowing how to get around and missing my family. By the end of the semester, I felt like I knew Florence better than my hometown and I wished I could stay for one more semester.

Yes, I recommend
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RedSoxFlorence
10/10

Best Program in Europe

I have spoken to many of my friends who went abroad and no one has been able to top this program. The BEST part about this program are the meals. NO OTHER program utilizes the meal ticket system better. The restaurants are top notch and not touristy... they're authentic Italian cuisine. The staff was also very helpful. They offered numerous activities on a daily basis. I can not say enough about this program, simply the best. But don't take my word for it... GO! Overall I would say if you're looking to travel abroad, go to Italy. If you chose Italy go to Florence. If you chose Florence pick Richmond in Florence.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Ashley
10/10

Fantastic Experience!

Spending a year in Florence through AIFS is easily one of the best decisions I've made in my life. I chose AIFS over my own university's program because they offered more choice in enrichment activities, living situations, and classes. You can choose to live in an apartment with other students, or with a family. I chose an apartment with other students, and was placed in a great area of town within walking distance to both school, restaurants, bars, and other activities. Our apartment was a good size, clean, and had everything we needed to feel at home.

The academics are obviously a part of the program, but they are not overwhelming, and I left the year feeling like I had learned more than I had in most of my regular courses at home, but without as much stress! You can choose among a good variety of classes that include language, literature, art history, fine arts, and many others. The classes are interesting and the instructors were very personable and easy to understand. My art history courses were focused on both local and international art, and we took frequent field trips to see in person what we were learning about, which made the course seem so much more relevant to my actual life.

The program also offers a lot of extra-curricular activities that you can choose to participate in - wine tasting, cooking, museum trips, weekend trips to Rome and Venice, soccer games and concerts to name a few.

I found it very easy to make friends in this program, which was great because I came into it alone. In the first few weeks the program hosts multiple gatherings at restaurants and bars to help you meet other students. I have kept in touch with many people from the program, and some have become my closest friends. We had ample time to travel (most weekends are 3 day weekends) and I felt like I had the perfect balance of education and adventure.

Yes, I recommend

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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....