API Study Abroad at Lorenzo de Medici, Florence

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About

API students in Florence study at Lorenzo de’ Medici - The Italian International Institute (LdM). Come see this rich Italian culture first-hand on one of API's most popular programs! The campus is primarily located in a 13th century AD convent in the heart of Florence. The facilities have been modernized and the city surroundings offer students a canvas on which to learn, create and challenge themselves in their academic and personal endeavors. LdM offers students a wide selection of courses from The School of Arts and Sciences, The School of Creative Arts, The School of Design and The School of Italian Language and Culture.

Questions & Answers

Hi, you can travel by yourself. I traveled to a few cities on my own during the week at one point. Also, API plans weekend trips for you but you aren't necessarily required to attend so you can travel elsewhere during that time. Also during your free weekends you are free to travel.

Reviews

95%
based on 20 reviews
  • Academics 7.4
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 20
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Jill
9/10

Great and friendly API Staff

Although it was almost 10 years ago (eek!) that I studied abroad in Florence, Italy with API, I still have fond and positive memories of my time there. They were extremely accommodating and helpful as at that time I was the only student doing the year long program. I lived in two different apartments each semester and they did a fantastic job with matching me with compatible roommates. I am still in touch with some of them today! My apartment during the second semester was steps from the Duomo.. absolutely incredible!
For future participants I would highly suggest using API. I would only remind you that Florence is extremely touristy and one of the more popular study abroad destinations. Perfect, if this is your first long term trip as I'm sure you'll make lots of new friends from your home country and even find American style restaurants. If you want a more cultural and authentic experience I would suggest trying a different city, but continue with API!

How can this program be improved?
I truly had a positive experience with API and have no specific recommendations on how to improve the program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Kristie
10/10

Best Experience of My Life

Seriously...BEST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE! API's Study Abroad program in Florence, Italy is something that will resonate with me forever. The staff was overwhelmingly kind, welcoming, and they truly made us feel at home while abroad. API was so helpful from the minute I decided to study abroad, and kept that communication throughout my program, and even after I got home. Studying abroad can be intimidating, but it was comforting to know API was there if I needed anything. They also planned AMAZING excursions to places like Cinque Terre, Venice, Verona, and more. When I say amazing, I mean experiences that you read about on travel blogs. I couldn't be happier with my choice to study abroad with API in Florence. Since studying abroad, I became a Study Abroad Peer Ambassador at my school, started my own travel blog, and just came back from traveling in Europe for a month. Thanks for forever inspiring me, API!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Cole
10/10

Time of my life

API's study abroad program at LdM in Florence is truly remarkable. I went in the summer of 2015 for a month and studied Italian and it was hands down the most incredible month of my life. Florence is absolutely the most amazing city in Italy, and probably in all of Europe. On top of that, the social scene there is great for college students, you will always run into people from all over the country that you would have never had the opportunity to meet without API. API put me in an ideal apartment, just a block from the Duomo, and 15 steps from Edoardo (the best gelato in Florence). API allows you to live with people from different universities and different backgrounds, and these people will become your closest friends on this trip. The opportunity to travel with your roommates on the weekends and go out and have a good time with them is the best part.
This program allowed me to meet some amazing people, see some amazing things, and have memories that will last a lifetime. This is hands down the best program available, Florence is a beautiful, inspiring place, you will never regret the decision to go.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Krista
10/10

Andiamo!

My experience studying abroad with API was better then I could have ever imagined! I was set up in an apartment on the Arno River, looking over the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge. Not only was the view amazing, but my roommates and I had live music outside our window almost every night. The school is located near the Duomo and the Central Market, so you are always in the middle of the excitement of Florence. LDM and API also provide a variety of free activities for students every week, including wine tastings, tours in the city, and live shows. Most importantly, there are tons of travel groups for students that make it VERY easy and inexpensive to travel Europe on the weekends! Also, API provides free excursions to cities in Italy like Rome, Venice, Verona, and Cinque Terre!

How can this program be improved?
I wish more students would branch out and engage in Italian night life more. The American bars and clubs are very frequented by students.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Heather
10/10

Best Study Abroad in Florence!

Stepping off of the bus, onto the cobblestone in Florence was like a fairytale. The city is the most beautiful I have ever seen and the food is second to none. The university also offered great courses including Italian cooking, the impact of the Holocaust on Italian Jews, Italian philosophy, and much more. You could study almost anything here. I would highly recommend this program. We also got to go on excursions to classics like Rome and Venice to name a few.

How can this program be improved?
It would be nice if the campus wasn't as spread out. One of the buildings was a 10 minute walk from the rest of campus. Not a huge deal, but during the winter it can be cold.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Dominic
8/10

Experience Focused Program

I purposely chose an abroad program that would allow me to focus on traveling and experience Europe. Lorenzo de Medici had a relatively easy academic program with classes ranging from 3 to 4 days per week. This allowed me plenty of time to explore both inside the city and beyond while also providing a basic academic challenge that introduced me to Italian life.

How can this program be improved?
I would love to have been introduced more to the locals in the beginning. While I did end up befriending some Florentines by the end of my stay, it was initially rather difficult to find the same social scene as the locals.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Fan
8/10

Best experience in life

API staffs were the best! They were always there when you need them, no matter how much trouble you got yourself in, they always helped you with a warm smile on their faces. The trips are the best, they left you enough time do your own stuffs. I also traveled to many other European countries and cities while I studies abroad in Florence, but no where can compare with it, It is small but it has everything you need! The best food, the richest Renaissance history, etc. I would totally do it again!

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I could pick out was, I wish we could have more interactions with local people. API can host more events for students to hang out with real Italian families.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Meghan
10/10

The Best Experience

Traveling abroad to Florence, Italy with API was the experience of a lifetime. I attended Lorenzo De' Medici where I took classes on Monday, Wednesdays, and Thursday. This gave me a lot of time to travel around the city and become very familiar with it. My apartment was in an amazing location. I was on Via San Gallo, about a 5 minute walk from the Duomo, and a block away from the vibrant San Lorenzo market, as well as a close walk to the other LDM buildings. I lived with five other API students, who have become some of my best friends. My apartment building also housed many other API students so I was able to meet so many friends that way. The size of the city is perfect, there is so much to do, yet you can walk everywhere. The city has so much to offerer and is unbelievably beautiful (especially as the weather warms up).
API also has so much to offer. Within the study abroad package there were four amazing excursions to Rome, Venice, Lucca and Tuscany. They were amazing trips and were a great time to meet other API students.
I would highly recommend API to anyone. Traveling to Florence with API was the best experience to date, and I think that everyone should go abroad.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Tshop
10/10

Such a great abroad program!

I loved my experience with API in Florence, Italy. My apartment had a good location; close to Mercato Centrale, the Duomo, and several of the LdM academic buildings. I shared an apartment with 4 other API females. The only downside of our living arrangement was that we were the only API students in the building. Other API apartments had more than one apartment per building with students within the program. However, we had nice Italian neighbors who we did not see to often beside leaving and entering the breezeway of the building. We had a few mechanical problems with some kitchen appliances, but API was helpful and quick about having them be fixed.
My daily schedule varied from day to day. I only had classes Monday through Wednesday. LdM did not hold classes on Fridays. My classes were not always in the same building, usually a 3-4 minuet walk to my next class. I enjoyed this time in between classes because it allowed me time to casually walk around the city.
I walked every where! I found the public bus schedule within the city to be very confusing. Unless I was going to Fiesole, which overlooks the city of Florence, I never bothered with taking transportation while in Florence.
I had studied Italian before I arrived and while enrolled in LdM, I continued to take it. I was not fluent in the language, but knew enough to get by. The Italians appreciate the effort! Florence is a popular abroad destination and many of the shops, cafes, and restaurant staff can speak English. However, it more fun to try and speak as much of their language as you can!

How can this program be improved?
I wish we had been put in a building with a least one other API apartment group. My roommates and I were the only API students on our street as well as in our building. Our street was very ethnic and late at night, it would attract a group of musicians.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Alyssa
10/10

I Think About It Every Day!

I had a wonderful experience studying abroad through API at Lorenzo de Medici in Florence, Italy. API provided me with a trip of a lifetime. They did a great job at engaging the students with the Italian culture by providing us with many cultural excursions and activities. The staff were extremely friendly, and always available whenever you needed them. I enjoyed the class I took at LDM and my professor was very knowledgeable. All of the students are located in apartments within the city, and within walking distance to classes. API did a great job at providing me with an amazing memory that I will always think about. I would love to do it again, and I definitely recommended API to any student who is thinking about studying abroad.

How can this program be improved?
If i had to change one thing, I would try to make all of the apartments closer to one another. Some of the apartments are farther apart, which made it more difficult to meet up with the students who lived in them.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Maria
10/10

The Best Months of My Life

API Florence is a fantastic program in so many ways. Everyone lives in apartments in the center of town with other students in the program. I lived right next to Piazza del Duomo (amazing views, let me tell you!). All of the class buildings were centrally located too. All of my non-language classes took us out into the city at least once. In one class, we went out everyday to look at what we had been talking about.

Some of my favorite perks of this program over other were the four day/weekend trips with the program (we did Rome, Venice during Carnevale, Siena, Perugia and Lucca) and the city museum pass. It saved me a lot of money and I could go to the Uffizi or the Boboli Gardens whenever I wanted, no wait, no money, just grab a ticket and head in. The program staff even helped me contact the landlord when a roof tile came loose and we got a small leak during a rainstorm.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would change was the difficulty level of some of the classes. Most were good to challenging, but one or two were just too easy. In one literature class, I barely ever had to do the work and did really well, but part of that was because I was familiar with a lot of the material.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Hayley
10/10

Can I Go Back Yet?

API is AMAZING. This time last year, all I knew was that I wanted to study abroad. I had no idea which program to choose, so I began my search by looking at websites such as this. Thankfully, I was convinced by a review on a website much like this one. I am now hoping to do the same for someone else. I honestly don't know how I could have had a more worthwhile or life changing experience through a different program. It was the perfect amount of supervision with the staff and freedom with my peers. I had so much fun taking in the culture and history that I could while still feeling safe and secure. My apartment in Florence was literally five steps away from The David. I'm actually half-wishing I wasn't writing this review right now because it's making me upset that I can't go back.
First of all, the apartments are AMAZING! Talk about the complete Italian experience. I was prepared to be living in a tiny one-room apartment with six other girls, but they are very spacious with many rooms, a living room, fully equipped kitchen, and two bathrooms! We had absolutely no problems. We were also in a building with other Italian neighbors which really helped assimilate you to the environment. The ONLY thing is that if you are there in the summer, it gets HOT!! I mean, we were literally melting during a couple nights. So I would highly recommend bringing something to help you cool down (a wet towel and water bottle for me did not suffice). I know some had air conditioning, but our particular unit did not.
I took Foundation Oil Painting (I'm a Nursing Major) and it was SO much fun! It wasn't too challenging. We got to listen to music in class, it was so relaxing and I learned so much!
The food is AMAZING (OF COURSE)! Gusta Pizza is a must. So is the very first gelato shop you come to when you cross the Ponte Vecchio (GET PINEAPPLE GELATO--it is the best here!) Everywhere else is equally delicious, of course. Also, did I mention there is a Secret Bakery? YES. a Secret Bakery. It is only open at night, and there is no sign. If you're lucky, sometimes you can follow your nose (of find some other wanderers at night) to the frosted glass doors where you knock three times and wait for the most delicious treats to be secretly brought to you! One of my favorite memories was searching for the Secret Bakery!
I also felt very safe in Florence. There were a couple of times when my roommates would leave our doors unlocked at the apartment, but nothing was ever stolen. I DO know a couple of students that were with us who were pickpocketed as we were out at night, so I would just recommend having a side purse that you can always have your eye on, or just keep your money in a front pocket where no one can reach it. Never bring ALL of your money or credit cards with you. It does get a little creepy at night, as some italians do tend to whistle at you and/or walk behind you. I always stayed with at least one other person. If you just ignore them they usually give up, and nothing ever happened beyond that. Besides a couple of whistles at night, there was nothing else that caused me to feel unsafe!
Overall, I couldn't have done it without the API advisors. I loved going on all of the excursions each weekend (Cinque Terre, Rome, Padova, Verona, Venice--all included in tuition) and I loved talking to the advisors. They were all so nice and hilarious. They also lived right around the corner, so if you ever needed them, they were just a few steps away. Another one of my favorite things about the program was the group cooking class. We all went to a giant kitchen where we all learned to cook a three course meal (we got all the recipes afterwards). Studying abroad is best and worst thing you can possibly do. It's a life changing experience: once you're home all you want to do it go back. I encourage you to Study Abroad and guarantee that you can't go wrong with API! I wouldn't trade the memories or friendships for anything.

How can this program be improved?
Bring a fan to keep cool in the air conditioning! This is the only fault I can find. I absolutely love everything else!
Yes, I recommend this program
Rachael Taft
Rachael
7/10

The living's a little too easy - little cultural immersion

I imagine this is a problem for any program in Florence, but there is very little immersion with API and LDM.

API is great if you have never been abroad before and are nervous, but I felt there was almost too much hand holding.

The accommodations are extremely nice. We had a huge apartment right downtown, within close walking distance of classes... and in a building full of other American students. Yes, the social life can be great, but I didn't go to Italy just to party with other Americans.

The same goes for the classes. The subjects are really interesting, there is some challenge but they aren't overly difficult, but all the other students are American. I had one Mexican girl in my Intermediate Italian class, and the rest were Americans. There is no difference of perspective, except perhaps from your teachers (at least most are Italian).

Overall, there is a lot of support in this program, great housing, interesting classes, and little cultural immersion. My Italian only improved because I had some previous study, my professor was challenging, and I traveled a lot and stayed with Italians (luckily, my roommate had relatives still living in Italy).

Too many of the students go with closed minds and spend all their time partying in Florence's clubs with other Americans and the Italians who party there just to meet Americans. Then they sit and complain that they can't split checks when they go out to dinner or that things aren't exactly like America. I have nothing against sorority girls from Long Island, but they seemed to make up 75% of the students and they had no interest in having any kind of an authentic experience.

Lastly, this is a pretty expensive program. It includes a lot of field trips, including an overnight one in a hotel, but I would have rather paid less and just done those trips on my own. (Again, more hand holding.) The housing must also be extremely pricey. I wouldn't mind living a little further out of the city around actual Italians. I was prepared to live in a tiny apartment, not a gigantic loft.

All of these views are from my experience in Spring 2007, so perhaps things have changed. Just my opinions.

No, I don't recommend this program
Ashley Day
Ashley
10/10

My best college experience

I couldn't have been more pleased with my API Florence experience. The staff was extremely helpful, the city was amazing, the trips were well organized and fun, and the classes were so enjoyable. I learned so much in such a short time and had a blast in the process. Plus, we all made lifelong friends from all over.

Yes, I recommend this program
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AniMaria27
8/10

Florence, a second home

Florence is the perfect place to study abroad. I have missed it since the second I left. Every morning, I would wake up, stop at a cafe for a cappuccino and walk by the Duomo on my way to classes in the Piazza Repubblica. I would walk by the leather market, through the crowds of tourists wishing they could stay longer than their one week vacation is allowing them too, and finally up the stairs of a gorgeous building behind a theater house, where my small classes would take place. It was a dream.. only it didn't end for four months. Every weekend I traveled, four of my trips with API that were always enjoyable. I'd take advantage of Siesta some days with a short nap and others I'd meet up with my roommates to go out for a delicious lunch at the never-ending choices of restaurants. Florence is the only choice for a study abroad experience that will give you memories, and new friends, forever.

Yes, I recommend this program

About API

College students may study abroad with API in over two dozen countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. With a wide variety of courses offered in almost every major discipline and in various languages of instruction, it is...