CET Florence

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About

Want to study in one of Italy's most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities? Looking to travel to a different European destination every weekend? The CET Florence program provides individual attention from professors and staff, first-rate academics, and the chance to embrace Italian culture--you can visit the Gucci factory or learn from a Tuscan chef. Check off major requirements with classes like Cross-Cultural Psychology or International Marketing. Try something new with Renaissance Art and Architecture...the class meets at least half the time in a museum, church, or piazza. You'll take Italian, too, and practice with a local language partner. Choose to live in a picturesque apartment with CET peers, or in a homestay with an Italian family. CET partners with Vanderbilt University to run this program. CET Florence is open to students of all majors, from all universities. There is no language prerequisite.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

91%
based on 17 reviews
  • Academics 6.6
  • Support 8.7
  • Fun 8.9
  • Housing 7.8
  • Safety 9
  • Growth 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 17
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Jonathan
7/10

2018 Semester Experience

The CET Florence program allowed me to have a very special study abroad experience. With their dedication to teaching combined with an excitement for traveling, CET provides students with one of the greatest educational experiences of all: experiential learning. This experiential learning came at times such as writing a paper on a local wine bar and getting to know a local business owner or the ability to travel on weekends (Thursday through Sunday) to new countries or taking class trips to see the management of leather factories. Not only are credits transferable and as stimulating as courses at some of the most prestigious US universities, but they are also taught in an environment that pushes students to look at the world around them in ways that you wouldn’t know to without some guidance. Professors are happy to discuss with you and lead you in the right direction in understanding cultural differences, how to tackle important shocks, and even where the best gelato shop in town can be found. I will take both the skills and the new appreciation of leisure time that CET helped instill in me far into the future. Furthermore, the fact that CET is a smaller institution in Florence, creates a warm CET community. Because of this, you are the staff’s number one priority and it is near impossible not to create wonderful relationships with all of the hardworking administrators.

How can this program be improved?
The business model of CET as a whole, I believe, would greatly benefit from major restructuring. The way that the CET headquarters are set up in DC in the US with overarching policies for all CET programs makes for a bureaucratic atmosphere in which there is little room for accommodation. Because of what study abroad is in nature and the very many circumstances that have potential to arise, I think a major element to being a successful program is the ability to accommodate and alter regulations under extenuating circumstances. I saw these policies fall short first hand in terms of absences, housing, and professor leeway. On the flip side, these stringent policies cultivate a safe, by the book environment where you can know exactly what to expect by referencing the rules and guidelines of the program. The program could also improve by ensuring that ALL professors are suited well for the particular class they are teaching. Although most professors were wonderful I know of some cases of professors who were well versed and educated in the general subject they were teaching but not in the particular course. This may come as a result of difficulties in finding English speaking teachers for the necessary classes that the home institutions require.
Yes, I recommend
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Tyler
10/10

Wonderful Program in a Wonderful City

I had not traveled extensively before this semester, so I was pleasantly surprised at the level of ease involved in applying to and preparing for CET’s program in Florence. From the first movement, the experience was well-organized and simple. CET provided accurate and helpful information about classes, daily life, and travel. Upon arrival, the CET staff was helpful, friendly, and organized.

In terms of academics, this program was strenuous but not over-difficult. I took classes on the Medici, Renaissance Art, European Economy, Italian Politics, and Italian Language. By the end of the semester, I had a working knowledge about large portions of Florentine history, Italian culture, and local politics.

The city is full of art museums, gardens, and old palaces. As the center of the early Renaissance, Florence still houses many works from the 15th and 16th centuries in its churches and museums. There are many things and places to explore, and the city has a fairly vibrant nightlife for its relatively small size. The food in Florence is excellent but can be pricey in the more touristy parts of town. There are more than enough restaurants to allow you to try something new every day. There are many hidden gems located throughout the city, and exploration is rewarded.

Students were housed throughout the city, although our apartments were generally concentrated in well-trafficked areas close to the river and other landmarks. The apartments were pre-furnished, relatively spacious, and most had well-stocked kitchens. Mine came with heating and air conditioning, although this is not the norm in Italian apartments.

Although Florence’s airport is rather small, and flights can be pricey depending on the time of year, Florence is just a short train ride away from Pisa, Bologna, and Milan, which serve as hubs for European discount airlines. CET does not hold sessions on Friday, which was a major boon to weekend traveling.

Overall, I cannot recommend this experience enough. It was a fantastic time with a wonderful group of people.

Yes, I recommend
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Shawn
10/10

Amazing Semester

The staff at CET were absolutely incredible. They were extremely kind and always willing to help if I ever needed anything. They set you up with apartments close to the center of the city and organize a lot of fun trips and activities around Italy. I would really recommend it to those who want to have a great experience in Florence. The professors were all experienced as well and very friendly and helped you learn in a meaningful way. The location of CET itself is great as it is close to many sightseeing spots and close to the center of the city.

Yes, I recommend
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Brett
10/10

Solid Semester

Living in the city center of Florence was unlike any experience I have ever had as I am from a suburban town in Mee Jersey. I really felt like a Florentine for the time I was here and was immersed in the culture. The classes were very thorough and intrigueging and I would recommend it to everyone! The food is to die for if you are into that and the culture of Florence is much more laid back than I expected.

How can this program be improved?
They could be more prepared for adversity with housing issues and medical leave.
Yes, I recommend
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Sarah
10/10

CET Florence

This has by far been the best semester of college yet! Florence is an incredible city with great food and lots to do. The staff at CET were always helpful with recommending activities and places to eat around the city. All of the classes are very interesting and designed in a way that allows students to engage with city by incorporating field trips and guest speakers. Classes are Monday through Thursday which gave us a lot of opportunities to take weekend trips around Italy and Europe.

How can this program be improved?
My one critique of the program would be the housing. A lot of students had issues with internet access and air conditioning over the course of the semester.
Yes, I recommend
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McKenzie
9/10

CET Florence Spring 2018

This has been the best semester of my life! CET offers an array of interesting courses. Although the professors don't always speak perfect English, they are usually very helpful and the classes are enjoyable. CET is very helpful preparing you for the journey the semester before you leave and also in integrating you into the culture of Italy once you get there. Not having any classes on Friday was PERFECT because it made traveling so much easier. I was not very well traveled before but now I have been all over Europe! Florence itself is amazing. There are so many awesome restaurants, bars, clubs, and things to do. The food is incredible. If you are into art, this is the perfect city for you! The school work was challenging but not so much that I did not have time to enjoy other experiences. I have learned so much about the world and also myself this semester. Nothing can replace the people I've met and the experiences I've had. I wish I could stay longer!

How can this program be improved?
We had a lot of problems with the wifi, toilet, gas, and some other issues in our apartment. CET tried their best to help us but wasn't always the most responsive. Of course, these are the issues that occur when living in a very old city, and when there was a point in the semester where we could no longer live in our apartment, CET located us to a new one very quickly.
Yes, I recommend
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Kamaria
10/10

Incredible Staff

Florence has been more amazing than I could have ever imagined. Being in a city filled with such a rich culture has enabled me to grow in many ways. CET has definitely been a major factor in this experience. CET allowed me to explore many of the gems of Italy and Florence, and make the most of my academic experience. The staff are some of the most welcoming, charismatic, and knowledgeable people I have encountered during my experience. The professors are well-versed and passionate about their respective fields and challenge us learn more about Italian culture. The staff also were tremendous help in making my adjustment to Florence very comfortable and helping me navigate this city. Thank you CET!

How can this program be improved?
I would have liked to see more interactions with Florentine students.
Yes, I recommend
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Mary
9/10

Great program in Florence

CET Florence is a great program for those wishing to study in Florence. All of the housing is in the center of the city, which is a great way to immerse yourself in the Florence culture. The academics are relatively difficult, and do a good job of exposing you to many aspects of the city and culture of Italy. The program also organizes a few trips and activities for the students, which are not required but are available, which is nice. The staff is very nice and goes out of their way to get to know you, although I think that they could have been more supportive when it comes to absences for cases that should be excused (such as sickness, this is not excused). CET was a great program for me, an art history student, who wanted to learn more about the culture and history of Florence.

How can this program be improved?
I think that the absence policy could be improved.
Yes, I recommend
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Jordan
9/10

Semester in Florence

My semester abroad was fantastic, and CET was a big part of it. The program offered interesting classes that I could take with my friends, and they also do a good job of offering activities outside the classroom to give students the Florentine experience. I spent a little less than half my weekends in Florence, but I still found things to do while I was here, and being here really made me appreciate the Italian culture. While it might be nerve-racking committing to spending 4 months on the other side of the world, I've had the absolute best time, and I also got the chance to grow personally. Coming to Florence was the best decision I ever made, and I'm thankful I got the chance to cross so many things off my bucket list!

Yes, I recommend
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Perry
10/10

CET Florence Spring 2017

CET Florence provides an amazing abroad experience. Florence is such a beautiful city filled with so much history and delicious food. I didn't speak any Italian going into the program, and the teachers and staff were more than happy to help me translate and get around. Also, taking classes at the CET center makes it super easy to meet all of the other students on the program and make new friends. The classes aren't too difficult either, which makes it easy to travel every weekend too. It was definitely my favorite semester of college!

Yes, I recommend
Erin
10/10

A Chance for Growth

CET Florence gives its students the perfect opportunity to grow as adults but also offers support when necessary. Whenever I asked for help from the CET staff they were overwhelmingly helpful and informative. I hope that anyone who participates in this program takes special care to spend time with Elena and Laura. They were amazing to talk with on the CET trips to Rome and Venice and I highly recommend getting to know them.

Yes, I recommend
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Alexi
10/10

Una bella esperienza in Italia

My time studying abroad was incredible to say the least. The city of Florence was so different from anything I had experienced in the US and it was so fun to learn about and experience a new culture, especially one as renowned as Florence's. One of my favorite parts about the CET program was the housing. I had considered other study abroad programs in Europe that had a home stay option, but ultimately chose CET because I liked that I would live in an apartment that was a 10-15 minute walk from the program center, was in a central part of the city so I could easily explore, and that I would be living with other students in the program. CET did an amazing job finding apartments that were central, comfortable and had great amenities. Where you live and its convenience and comfort level play a key role in your time abroad and I think that CET does a great job acknowledging and responding to that factor.

How can this program be improved?
The only improvement I would recommend would be that the size of the building that the CET program is housed in be enlarged. Fortunately, this matter was fixed this past semester. The CET center moved down the Arno to another building that has bigger facilities to accommodate the growing number of students choosing to study abroad through CET in Florence.
Yes, I recommend
Zoe
10/10

Spontaneous Trip to Elba Island

Halfway through the semester, there was a clear planner of our group of friends and that person was not me. At the same time as the "planner" of our group went to Oktoberfest with another group of friends, my favorite professor abroad mentioned an island her and her family enjoyed visiting. Thus, I became the interim planner and a fairly spontaneous and unorganized one at that - having decided to go only a couple days before leaving. Waking up for a 5:30 am train ride and then a 15 minute transport on a boat, the four of us made it to Elba Island. As unplanned as this trip was, it was equally as perfect. We stayed in an Air BnB overlooking the ocean, met locals who were willing to lend us their bikes, experienced rocky instead of sandy beaches and even went scuba diving (for me) and snorkeling (my friends). We may have been the only ones on this island who's first language was not Italian and it was a truly beautiful glimpse into an undisturbed region of Italy.

How can this program be improved?
I would make the program more diverse. Specifically, I think this program would benefit with representation from a more diverse range of universities.
Yes, I recommend
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Arden
5/10

Florence in 4 months

This program will most likely not greatly improve your Italian language skills as a beginner. The Italian lanuage class is only twice a week for an hour and a half. Because I already knew Italian I made a commitment to talk to people on the street only in Italian which helped. However for a beginner this can be difficult. Also the language class was not heavily focused in grammar, instead we mainly talked during class. I was the only one in my program who had prior experience with Italian so it was a one on one language course. All of the other people in the program said that they could not speak Italian after 4 months.

No, I don't recommend
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Kristine
10/10

My Italy Journey

During the summer of my sophomore year in college, I decided to study abroad in Florence, Italy for two months. Being that I had a struggled with an eating disorder for eight years, I hoped that, being around a culture that embraces spontaneity, creativity, flexibility, art, freedom, and food would change me.
I remember Italy clearly, there were many ups and downs; it was a journey to say the least, one that I needed to take, and I do not regret it. For a few days, I was living the dream as I climbed the Duomo, visited the Baptistery, went to authentic restaurants with incredible food, went to famous museums where I saw breathtaking works of art, and just explored this fantastic city of Florence while taking college courses at The University of Florence and learning about this incredible place.
I had some incredible and enlightening moments in Italy that I will never forget, and these moments were the ones that truly motivated me to change. Turns out that I met another young woman in my study abroad group who had also suffered from an eating disorder; what are the odds, right? She confided in me one day, and this time, instead of running away and shutting her out, I listened, hoping to gain some insight into how to beat this disorder by listening to someone who was fully recovered. She told me about intuitive eating, a new concept that I had never heard of before, but something that I always dreamed of, being able to listen to your body and know what it needs in terms of nourishment, whether it be through food, spirituality, movement, etc. It is that crucial mind and body connection that the eating disorder severs, and therefore, in order to break free from my disordered mindset, I had to start listening to my body again, which is what this beautiful culture emphasized.
Overall, what I had learned from my journey to Italy was that life is a journey, and therefore, we must choose to make the most of it by living in the moment. I truly believe that Italy was a step in my recovery that I needed to take in order to get to the place that I am at now, and that is, living a balanced life.

How can this program be improved?
I would have had more social events going on during the semester. It was great that we got a lot of time to study, but I was there to experience Italy.
Yes, I recommend

About CET Academic Programs

CET Academic Programs is a study abroad organization that has been developing and delivering innovative educational programs abroad since 1982. Originally “China Educational Tours,” CET began operations in Beijing, and today offers a varied portfolio...