Athena Study Abroad Program at Lorenzo de' Medici, Florence

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About

Studying abroad in Florence, Italy means that you will experience one of the most artistically and culturally rich cities in the world. This location also gives easy access to exploring other parts of Europe in your free time. In addition to exploring the city, excursions are included in the program cost to two different places every semester. Past destinations include Rome, Venice, Milan, Portofino, Cinque Terre, Capri, Sorrento, Pompeii, Nice, Montecarlo, The French Riviera, Switzerland, the Alps and Verona.

Florence has one of Athena's widest selections of courses, from International Cuisine and Art to Business and even Internship options! This program also offers special term options like a Restoration Workshop and Conflict Resolution. Centrally located and fully furnished student shared apartments are close to campus and are easily accessible to the city center. Students also have the option to choose a home stay!

Questions & Answers

I'm an education major and I knew ahead of time that I would have trouble finding classes so I held back some of my pre-requisite classes during sophomore year in order to take them abroad. The classes that counted for me back at my home institution was my upper level English, Religion, and Music class and then I took Italian and Cooking out of interest.

Reviews

96%
based on 12 reviews
  • Academics 7.4
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Housing 9.4
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 1 - 12 of 12
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Rachel
10/10

Panino! Not Panini! - My time in Florence, Italy

Studying abroad presented a huge challenge because I am such a homebody. I wanted to see the world but I was hesitant to leave my family and familiarity. Since I chose an independent program, I didn't have any friends to accompany me in my travels. I was so nervous to be alone. I did not expect to meet people I didn't want to leave. I have friends from studying abroad that live all across the states. I've already visited them three times since leaving Italy! I miss Florence SO much. I'd give anything to be back in the streets that smell of panini and fresh bread. Studying abroad has made this homebody itch with the travel bug. I've kept an entire journal of useful tips! For those of you about to study abroad - get out every single day to do something new. That could just be trying a new café, but experience every little detail your country has to offer.

How can this program be improved?
Athena was so helpful throughout my study abroad experience - start to finish. I think something that could be improved is having more of an opportunity to connect with people that also studied abroad in your country. It would give people someone to talk to about all of their amazing stories (family gets sick of it after awhile).
Yes, I recommend
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Julianne
10/10

Athena LDM Florence

I was very happy with my decision to study abroad with Athena's LDM Florence program. The best part of Athena's program is their commitment to the students they are helping. If you work with them, you are guaranteed to receive individualized attention and a strong support system throughout the entire study abroad process. The program at LDM was also great at setting up students with very helpful and knowledgable advisors for the time spent in Florence. The courses were both challenging and engaging and my professor ended up being one of my favorites from my undergrad. I was initially unsure about the Athena program because it was smaller and I was unable to complete the program I had originally wanted to do in Paris. However, they were so kind in working with me to ensure that I found another place to study abroad and made sure that I had an amazing experience. I would strongly recommend them to anyone.

Yes, I recommend
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Grace
7/10

Spring Semester 2018 - Florence

I studied abroad in Florence at LDM for spring semester 2018. The Athena staff were really friendly and it is a small company so you feel like you're important to them. The only downside of being a small company is that you don't get to know the people that you're going with beforehand. My roommates all went through their school's programs, so they knew a lot of people who were going beforehand.

Florence is a beautiful city and Italy is a great country to study in. I recommend traveling EVERY weekend or as much as you can because the semester does go by really fast. I also recommend the LDM field trips that are included with Athena's program. Everyone else had to pay $300 or so, but I liked that mine was included in my tuition. I definitely recommend the Amalfi Coast trip, but DON'T miss the bus!

LDM is a great school for many programs. However, their policies are not the best. You can only miss 2 classes before your grade goes down and if you miss 4, you automatically get an F. If I could do the semester over again, I would have studied at a school that is more lenient with absences.

I LOVED Florence and everyone I met there and I would definitely recommend studying here to anyone!

Yes, I recommend
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Regan
10/10

Fantastic Florence

Studying abroad in Florence was like a dream. The historically and culturally rich atmosphere made every moment fantastic. I can say that I also have a greater appreciation for various art forms, including architecture. Athena was personal in their support, both in pre-departure and during the program. One of the aspects that made living in Florence truly special was the amazing host family that I stayed with. Not only were they the most kind and welcoming people, they have also been hosting students for many years. I lived with and experienced a new city with people from all across the world. That in itself was valuable to be exposed to diverse global perspectives. I also really enjoyed the classes I took from LDM.

How can this program be improved?
There could have been activities among Athena students specifically or an alternate orientation just for students who were studying abroad with Athena.
Yes, I recommend
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Paige
10/10

Couldn't have gone better

I always wanted to study abroad in Italy! I went to my university's study abroad office and saw they only had one option in Italy. I wanted more out of my study abroad experience than my school was offering, that is when I came across different outside agencies to study abroad through. I found Athena Study abroad and I am so glad that I did!

Athena worker's truly care about the students they work with. My advisor (Brooke) addressed me by name, worked with me during the application progress, promptly called me back and responded to emails, and even helped me when I had a few struggles while I was abroad.

Athena also offered field trips to their students which was an amazing experience and bonus to see more than what my study abroad city had to offer!

If you're looking to customize your study abroad experience to the fullest, working with people that know what they're doing and are there to help you with anything that comes up, Athena study abroad is the way to go!

Yes, I recommend
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Natasha
10/10

study abroad changed my life!

Studying abroad was my first experience flying in an airplane, leaving the country, traveling by train, using the metro, taking a taxi, showcasing my art in a Piazza and taking photos for a fashion show and more. I was living my dream and it was surreal to be living in Florence, the home of renaissance art. I am an art major and I loved being surrounded my historical artworks. I'm so thankful for the Athena Study Abroad program for making these experiences possible.

How can this program be improved?
I would increase some of the program deadlines, it was tough to get so much paperwork done within the time frame of getting accepted and leaving the country.
Yes, I recommend
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Emily
10/10

If you get the chance GO TO FLORENCE WITH ATHENA

I would recommend Athena Florence program in a heartbeat. Going to Florence through Athena was a life changing experience and one I will never forget. The staff in the office here in the U.S. was beyond helpful. They made sure all the legalities were handled properly and when issues arose with the visa process they responded effectively and in a timely manner to ensure the process didn't drag on.
I remember a few days before leaving the U.S. for Florence I received a phone call from my contact at Athena to make sure everything was set to go and to ensure I had all the contacts I needed for both the U.S. contacts as well as the Athena representative in Florence. Once I got to Florence, the staff were so helpful in making sure everything was they way it should be. In addition the advisors at LdM ensured that the transition was as easy as possible. In addition, while I was over in Florence I never once had an issue reaching my US Athena contact via email.
As far as the personal experience, it was a time and growth and change for me and Athena made it perfect! I would definitely use them again!!

How can this program be improved?
No improvements necessary in my opinion
Yes, I recommend
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Gabrielle
9/10

My Journey Abroad

This program was fantastic! They were with me every step of the way and they were very organized which made me feel comfortable and well taken care of. We had a great apartment and school and the city in general was very safe and walk-able. I gained such a perspective of other cultures as well as my own. I realized how fortunate I am to have had this opportunity and I hope that many others can share in the Florence study abroad experience or in their own journey similar to this. If you have the chance take it and learn something new such as a perspective, skill, or something about yourself, you won't regret it! Explore, experience wanderlust and give yourself the opportunity to say "I have lived."

How can this program be improved?
The only modification I would make is to have more integration with the locals.
Yes, I recommend
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Nicole
10/10

My Beautiful Semester Abroad

I absolutely loved every second while being abroad. My program was extremely helpful the entire time and I felt was always there if I needed them. I ate incredible food, I traveled a ton, and met amazing people. Florence is such a beautiful city, and it is a city that is so easy to get lost in. I would go back in a heart beat if I could, and one day I will!

How can this program be improved?
I think this program has done a wonderful job at remaining small and intimate so that they give you a very personalized experience.
Yes, I recommend
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S
10/10

My Semester in Beautiful Florence!

Living in Florence, Italy for 4 months was something I'll never forget. The city is beautiful, the food is obviously amazing, and I don't think the local people quite understand how incredible it is to live in a city built over 500 years ago. The experience was overwhelmingly brilliant, most of the time I forgot I was even at school! Athena Study Abroad was pivotal in my success in Florence, and they really helped me every step of the way to have a safe and effective semester!

Yes, I recommend
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Nicole
9/10

An Unforgetable Adventure

I had the time of my life while I was studying abroad in Florence. I would do it again in a heartbeat! The school I attended called Lorenzo de Medici (LDM) had teachers that were willing to help out with any questions I had and were very enthusiastic about their subject areas. LDM also has advisors that are very helpful if there are any types of problems that arise while you are abroad.

I only had classes three days a week, so I was able to travel around Europe almost every weekend. I got to go to Venice, Pisa, Rome, London, Paris, Prague, Athens, Capri, and so many other wonderful places.

I got to meet so many different people. If you can try and talk to the locals, I think you will get so much more from your experience. It will be so much more culturally rewarding. They usually have wonderful stories to share too!

One thing I wish I knew before I arrived at the school was that even though the student visa was free, there is a fee of around 160 euros for the visa.

Now that I am back in the United States, all I can do is think about all the wonderful places I saw and how much more there is still to see. I am just waiting for an opportunity to get back over to Europe.

How can this program be improved?
It would be great if the program had an airport pickup that brought us to our meeting spot upon our arrival. Luckily, there were other students that were studying at LDM that were on my plane so we all shared a cab and everything worked out. I was just very worried and nervous about getting to the meeting spot before I left.
Yes, I recommend
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Jessica
10/10

The Best Four Months of My Life

Florence is an incredible, lively city with a lot to offer students. With Athena, it's really easy for students to fit right in and feel at home because Athena takes care of all of the big stuff like housing, class registration, and cell phone rental, leaving students free to devote their time to experiencing and embracing a new culture. While I was in Florence I learned how to make homemade pasta, how to buy groceries from the Mercato speaking only in Italian, where to grab cappuccinos with the locals, what to expect when they say the "fifth floor" (that means I get to haul my booty up SIX floors, not five) and how to shed my own perceptions and embrace those of a different culture. I fell in love with Italy and the Florentine people in four months and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

How can this program be improved?
Nothing!
Yes, I recommend

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About Athena Study Abroad

Athena Study Abroad was designed by knowledgeable and caring professionals with one goal in mind: to bring authentic study abroad experiences to life that involve real cultural immersion aspects. Athena strives to provide programs that embrace...