CET Florence

Video and Photos

view of Florence from Piazzale Michelangelo
Enjoying the sunset on Elba Island.
No white sand on the beaches of Elba? How about white rocks? Yes please.
Spontaneous scuba diving off the coast of Italy!
At the top of the Duomo-me on top of the world!
CET academic programs, CET florence, italy, florence
CET academic programs, CET florence, italy, florence
CET academic programs, CET florence, italy, florence
CET academic programs, CET florence, italy, florence
CET academic programs, CET florence, italy, florence
CET academic programs, CET florence, italy, florence

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. Choose to live in an apartment with CET peers, or in a homestay with an Italian family. CET Florence is open to students of all majors, from all universities. There is no language prerequisite.

Highlights
  • Academically engaging courses that suit a variety of majors
  • 4-day group excursion to Rome & Tivoli
  • Out-of-classroom learning & assignments
  • Italian language classes
  • Live in the downtown area of beautiful Florence: apartment or homestay options available

Questions & Answers

Hi Kimberly, After you're accepted to CET Florence, we provide a packing guide resource on what to bring and what not to bring. Generally, you just need a laptop for coursework, clothes, and personal items. Your apartments are fully equipped with linens, blankets, pillows, towels, and kitchen equipment, so there's no need to bring any of these supplies from the US. Get in touch with us if you have...

Reviews

92%
based on 26 reviews
  • Academics 7.1
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 8.2
  • Safety 9.1
  • Growth 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 16 - 26 of 26
Default avatar
Kamaria
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

What would you improve about this program?
I would have liked to see more interactions with Florentine students.
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Mary
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
I think that the absence policy could be improved.
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Jordan
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

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Perry
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

Erin
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Alexi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
Zoe
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
I would make the program more diverse. Specifically, I think this program would benefit with representation from a more diverse range of universities.
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Arden
5/10
No, I don't recommend this program

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.

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Kristine
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Emma
7/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Great-- but not perfect

Overall, I was pretty satisfied with my study abroad experience through CET Florence. Many of the classes offered (such as Renaissance Art and Food & Culture) allowed us to study aspects of the local culture in situ, through museum and market visits.
However, there were some classes and activities listed in the program description that were not actually offered as a part of the program. One main example would be the opportunity for language partners. I would have really appreciated a native Italian to meet and converse with on a regular basis to help practice my Italian even more. It also would have been great to have been able to meet more locals through CET-organized activities.
I would also not recommend this program to non-Vanderbilt University students. As someone who does not attend Vanderbilt, I was of a very obvious minority on the program. And as the program continues to grow, this factor will become even more overwhelming. CET needs to do a better job of advertising the fact that their Florence program is co-hosted by Vanderbilt, so applicants are aware that almost all participants will come from the same school and already know each other. This is not the study abroad experience that most students expect.
However despite all this, CET did a great job of making the program enjoyable and enriching. The program included group visits to both Rome and Venice (although the <2 day trips were extremely quick), where we were able to have guided tours of almost all of the important sites. They also tried their hardest to come up with group activities that related to the local culture, such as aperitivos or a mafia-themed movie night. The staff and teachers were extremely friendly and helpful, so they definitely made the experience much more positive overall. It was clear that they wanted us to have the best study abroad experience possible.

What would you improve about this program?
The academics were much weaker than I was anticipating, but it provided for a lot of free time to be able to explore the city and relax.
See above review for more information.
Response from CET Academic Programs

Thank you for taking the time to submit this review of CET Florence! We appreciate all feedback and take it to heart.
Since reading your comment about language partners not being offered as advertised, I’ve followed up with our Italy staff. The “Language Exchange aperitivos” that you mentioned attending were our staff’s method of giving students the opportunity to find language partners. Your perspective on this has made us rethink our own terminology. We realize the term “language partner” would cause you to expect something more formalized. We are working to change our promotional materials so future students have a realistic expectation of that immersion tool.
I’m sorry that the student make-up of many Vanderbilt students was overwhelming to you and something that you preserved to be a negative aspect of the program. While CET always advertises that we partner with Vanderbilt to run the program, I can imagine how you felt coming from a different institution. That said, we hope that this will become less of an issue as the program grows. Nearly 20% of the students came from other institutions last fall, and that percentage is even larger this spring – at 30%. It isn’t unrealistic to imagine that it could be even more balanced a year from now.
Again, we appreciate your feedback. It helps us to continually improve the CET Florence program. – Sarah Dixon, CET Academic Programs; [email protected]

Default avatar
Julia
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CET Florence: "La Dolce Vita"

"La Dolce Vita" means "the sweet life" in Italian, and very accurately describes my time in Florence. In Florence, there are unlimited fun activities in which to partake and the best food you've ever tasted. Classes are stimulating, but not so challenging that you don't have time to travel every weekend. International travel out of Florence is a bit more challenging than other cities, but totally doable. Florence feels very safe, and there are MANY American students there. I would go back in a second if I could!

What would you improve about this program?
I don't have any complaints - seriously!