CIS Abroad - Semester in Florence - Florence University of the Arts

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About

Study at the famous Florence University of the Arts, with classes from Fashion Marketing to Travel Writing, all taught in English. Become engaged with your new neighborhood through numerous service learning and community service opportunities. All housing and classes are located within walking distance to the historic city center, home of the Duomo, Baptistry, and other well known Florentine icons. You’ll never be bored with a cultural calendar offering sports nights, wine tastings, walking tours, cooking lessons, fitness classes, and concerts. What will be your new found passion in Florence?

Highlights
  • Robust social and academic calendar
  • Small classes of 8–20 students
  • Service learning course options
  • All classes in English, except Italian Language courses
  • Two over night trips and one day trip included

Scholarships

CISabroad Scholarships
CISabroad Scholarships and Financial Aid

70% of all CISabroad students receive scholarships, grants, or discounts to study abroad. We're unapologetically committed to increasing access to international education for all students.

Value
$250 - $500

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.23 Rating
based on 22 reviews
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.7
  • Housing 8.1
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 22
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Madison
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Semester in Florence: My Experience

My decision to study abroad was one of best I have ever made; I challenged my comfort zone, gained a global perspective and learned how to become truly independent. One of the biggest contributors to my success abroad was the support system I had from CIS. There were negative and positive aspects to this program, but overall I am very satisfied with my choice.

Molly Bond was a great asset to have during the application process and was able to answer all of my questions and concerns about my visa! I also appreciated that CIS met us at the airport when we first arrived in Italy and arranged transportation to our apartments as it helped make that overwhelming day easier.

I ended up falling in love with the city of Florence instantly. I lived less than a 10 minute walk away from the breathtaking Duomo and the view of the Arno River from my classroom was incredible! I was able to travel to a number of different countries in Europe and cities in Italy such as Rome, Venice, Milan, Sorrento and Pisa and was amazed at the differences between each region! I also made it a priority however to fall in love with my host city and explore as much of Florence as I could. Studying abroad was a life changing experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
I would improve the housing arrangements. Halfway through the semester our washing machine broke and it took almost two weeks for someone to come and fix it. Although I was a 10 minute walk from the Duomo, our apartment was closer to the outskirts of the city rather than the center. At the end of the semester after we had already arrived home, we were charged for windows that we had supposedly broke even though they were out of reach and never been touched by us. We did not think this specific charge was fair.
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Shaye
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

And So It Begins: Exploring Florence as a First Time Traveler

Italy has always been my dream country to visit. It’s the home country of my beloved grandparents and the site of many of the most influential pieces in art history. Being given the opportunity to live and study in this country for an entire semester was truly a surreal experience. I was so excited when I heard that I would be taking a traveling class (Cultural Introduction to Italy) around Italy before actually settling into Florence for the semester. As I had anticipated, we saw so many incredible monuments, gardens, museums and art. My favorite portion of the traveling week was visiting the region of Umbria. From Orvieto to Assisi, I was continuously humbled by the sheer beauty and history of every city that I visited. The traveling week was the perfect way to get acquainted with Italian culture and to experience life in various areas of this country. I was immediately pushed to step outside of my comfort zone and visit unknown places. Studying abroad was the first time I had ever been outside of the country, and by the time everything was said and done, I had visited a total of 8 countries and been to over 30 cities across Europe. Florence was the perfect city for me: it allowed me to immerse myself in the culture and history of Italy and the Renaissance and gave me the opportunity to explore my ancestry on-site. If you love art, food, exploration and adventure, CISAbroad's Semester in Florence is definitely the program for you.

What would you improve about this program?
There was a bit of confusion in communication with the Italy coordinator leading up to my departure for my semester abroad. I think that a better job could be done of sending out information and ensuring that each student received that information.
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Aly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Making a new home

Going abroad was something I never imagined in my life. I have always considered myself a "home body," loving being comfortable and knowing everything around me. I am very close with my family and often times have struggles with leaving home, even for college. It took a lot for me to actually step outside of my comfort zone to do something like this. My experience was unique because I was very unsure, even on the plane, if I could physically go through with this. It was something that was definitely a challenge for me at first. I began to create a routine for myself that really helped me get comfortable in this new place. For the future, I want people to know that it gets better. No matter how scary it might seem at first, it will always get better. This experience is what you make of it so you have to make sure you keep yourself busy and do everything in your power to make this a positive experience. For me, it taught me so much about myself as a person, living with people you might not know so great at first, being independent, and so much more. This impacted my life in a really big way. During this semester, my older sister moved out into her own apartment, my little sister committed to college, and I went through a very messy breakup. Even though there were up and down emotions throughout the semester, it really taught me how to deal with big life events like this. My favorite memory was being on Piazza Di Michael Angelo with my new 6 roommates, not realizing we would all become best friends, we looked out to our new city and realized this is what we were going to call home for the next 4 months and we can't waste one minute of it. Leaving was very bittersweet for us and we still are adjusting back to America but this experience really taught us so much about being an independent adult being able to take on anything that comes our way. I think studying abroad is something very important to experience and if you have the chance to do it take it. You have a lot more support than you think as well. I ended up getting my passport stolen as well which was a stressful time but it allowed me to take initiative to something very important with the help of the right people and ended up teaching me a lot of things about how to handle issues and about myself.

What would you improve about this program?
N/A
Default avatar
Toni
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CIS Review

Honestly, in the beginning of this process I was very stressed out and thought that the guidance through the process could have been better. Molly tried her best to support me and help me as much as she could but I do think that she had a lot on her plate which meant that each student didn't get enough attention (a lot of students that dealt with her felt the same way). when I got on the plane I didn't think I was fully prepared to begin this journey but at the same time, who is prepared to live in another country for 4 months?
One of my biggest concerns about going abroad was how would I set up a phone once I get there. CIS sent us emails and websites that were meant to help us prepare for our semester so I was sure to look through it all and take every advice they had for me. One of which was going through a service known as PICCELL. that was by far the worst recommendation they could have given me. this service didn't work anywhere and charged me over 100 dollars a month when my friends were going through services that costed much less. I think that CIS should recommend an actual service they know is good and reliable or recommend nothing at all. that was a very frustrating aspect.

BUt, overall I will say that CIS was the best choice I made. after hearing what all the other students were saying about their programs I know I picked the right one. my favorite part was the mandatory travel week, I met some of my best friends during that week. I heard nightmare stories about other people only being friends with their roommates because they never had te opportunity to meet other people besides in class. this three credit travel course was a great place to learn about Italy, see amazing places, and meet amazing friends. Also, the group dinners nd trips were a great place to meet up with friends we made during the first week but weren't able to keep in touch with. The support from CIS was amazing and I look forward to recommending them to all my friends choosing to study abroad

What would you improve about this program?
Try to prepare us more before we get to italy, maybe offer kids a tur of the city before sending us off to our apartments in a foreign place
Response from CIS Abroad

Thank you so much for providing such valuable feedback, Toni! We appreciate your feedback regarding pre-departure services, which, as you seem to understand, can be strenuous leading up to large group departures. We're glad that you considered all the advice and resources we provided, but sorry that the cell phone advice wasn't optimal. Despite some inconveniences, we appreciate your holding us in such high regard and for recommending us to prospective participants!

Default avatar
Maison
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CISAbroad Florence

The program was perfect in the sense of getting us everything we needed as well as help us when things went awry. The only major concern I had was our housing situation because our landlord did not seem to be prepared for a group of college students to be staying in her apartments. There was a lot of back and forth between us and her, but CIS was very helpful in this situation and we were always able to come to a solution. The program also had a lot of extracurriculars to participate in which helped connect students with the city and people they were living around.

What would you improve about this program?
In the future the only suggestion would be to match student preferences to the landlord preferences as well.
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Sara
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

New Yorker in Firenze

As someone who is of Italian heritage, studying in Italy meant more to me than traveling and food. It was about connecting to my ancestors and their home country. My experience was everything that I had hoped it would be and more. Future participants would want to know the address of where they are living and their class schedule prior to moving in. Post-program, I miss Florence every day and I now have a better understanding of the lifestyle of my ancestors. My favorite CIS memory was the cooking class.

What would you improve about this program?
More activities/trips!
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Rachel
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Spring 2017

The CIS staff made this experience amazing. Although there were issues with housing and the staff at the school, the CIS staff was always there for us. Also all the excursions were awesome and exciting. We went on wine tastings, to soccer games, many restaurants, and more. They welcomed us as soon as we got to Florence and helped us make it feel like home. Florence is an awesome city to study abroad in and they made it that much better. Great experience overall.

What would you improve about this program?
ISI needs to work on their service. The housing staff were rude and unaccomodating.
Default avatar
Erica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

CISAbroad Semester in Florence

I studied abroad in Florence with CISAbroad, and it was an amazing semester! The on-site staff was very supportive, the classes offered at Florence University of the Arts were very interesting and engaging, and the city is very fun as well as walkable! We had a lot of interactive class periods including field trips and demonstrations. There is a lot to do in Florence, and the on-site staff shared their favorite spots and helps students get aclemated. I would recommend this program to everyone!

What would you improve about this program?
My apartment was a little small for 7 girls. We felt cramped, but it helped us get to know each other.