CISabroad - Semester in Florence - Florence University of the Arts

Video and Photos

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

Questions & Answers

Reviews

92%
based on 21 reviews
  • Academics 7.8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 8.7
  • Housing 8.2
  • Safety 8.9
Showing 1 - 15 of 21
Default avatar
Shaye
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
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.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Aly
10/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
N/A
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Toni
10/10

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

How can this program be improved?
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 CISabroad

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!

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

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.

How can this program be improved?
In the future the only suggestion would be to match student preferences to the landlord preferences as well.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sara
8/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
More activities/trips!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Rachel
8/10

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.

How can this program be improved?
ISI needs to work on their service. The housing staff were rude and unaccomodating.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Erica
10/10

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!

How can this program be improved?
My apartment was a little small for 7 girls. We felt cramped, but it helped us get to know each other.
Yes, I recommend this program
Kristen
9/10

Amazing Semester

Florence is an amazing city and CIS treated us really well. Our advisors in Florence were great- so nice and really responsive whenever we had questions or concerns. The classes were two and a half hours which was very painful (thankfully only once a week) and there was no dining hall (we paid for a meal plan but there was only a restaurant you could use points at that was in the opposite corner of the city from me). But Florence has amazing food, good shopping, lots of things to do, and its location made it super easy to get to other countries for weekend trips.

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

Spring Semester in Florence

My experience abroad was amazing and will forever be a memory close to my heart. Having Peggy and Alessandro from CISabroad was a great opportunity to be able to participate in activities that I wouldn't have necessarily done on my own. For example, we took a cooking class through the program and it was so much fun. They were also very useful when it came to suggestions for places to eat and shop. Because of them, I found my favorite hidden gelato place that's off the beaten path. I came into this program really nervous to be away from home for so long - my advice is if it scares you, just go for it! You only live once.

How can this program be improved?
Maybe planning more activities on a weekly basis such as apertivo on Wednesdays or museum visits!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Laura
7/10

Allora

As the semester came to an end I was overcome by both the joy of being able to go home and see family and friends and being able to use my debit card freely with no extra charges, but also with sadness realizing years will probably pass before I will be able to return. Throughout all the experiences I had in Florence, good and bad, altogether I had an amazing time. There are definitely things that I wish I had known and think other participants should consider before choosing to study in Florence. For example, I was not aware of how Americanized my day to day was going to be. You go to school with Americans, travel with Americans, and mostly everyone speaks English. This being said many people come to Florence with a group of friends so this could be a challenge socially since CIS and FUA provide no student hub where people can go to either study, relax, or mingle. Even if you don't find a group this shouldn't stop you from exploring and expanding your knowledge of culture and travel. Some of my favorite trips were ones I took alone and I was able to finally meet different people from around the world. There are definitely improvements that could be made, but your experience truly depends on whether you are able to escape your comfort zone and enjoy every little moment that you can.

How can this program be improved?
1.) During the Travel Week I was placed in a group that stayed in a hostel where members of my group had to sleep in a damp pool shed and others had accommodations with no heat on a cold January night while the other groups stayed in 5-star hotels; in Perugia my group stayed at a hotel at the bottom of the city while the other groups stayed on the main strip (a 20 minute walk up/downhill causing a safety issue if one were to walk back alone). These are just two examples but I could go on.
**** The people in this group should be refunded for differences in the prices of accommodations. We all paid a flat rate and it is unjust to have to such a difference in experiences and comfort provided to us. ****
2.) The apartment my three roommates and I received was actually an Airbnb that CIS had rented for the semester. It was livable but only had two windows (one window per bedroom) which gave it a nice prison cell feeling. It was located on the 5th floor with no elevator access so if any of us were to be injured there would be no way to get to our apartment. I also can't imagine it was nearly the same price as others apartments that were two stories and had a rooftop view next to the Duomo. I understand that there are only so many accommodations per semester in Florence, but like I said before students should be reimbursed for the differences in price if we all pay the same fixed cost.
3.) If I didn't sign up for the travel week I imagine it would be very difficult to meet new people in my program. Classes are not always interactive and our apartments are all spread out throughout the city. There should be a common area provided by FUA whether it be a cafe or simply just putting more tables and chairs in the courtyard of Corso Tintori.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jaclyn
10/10

Finding Florence

I had the most amazing experience studying abroad in Florence! From living 2 minutes away from the Ponte Vecchio, to beautiful walks along the Arno River to school, to making friends with local cafe workers, I wouldn’t change anything about my experience. I had the time and opportunity to visit 10 different countries, all of which were so different and unreal to explore! I was able to visit Budapest, Nuremberg, Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam, Prague, Dublin, Montreux, Athens, and many cities all over Italy. My travel buddies and I decided to take the path less traveled by and plan every bit of our own travel experiences. This was done by avoiding the many student-enticing travel companies that make cross country traveling “easier.” I found that planning my own trips has taught me so much about myself as a traveler and a person. I realize how resourceful and independent I can be! This experience has also made me a more confident individual and has inspired me to explore more of my home country, that I have so much more to see!

How can this program be improved?
The housing arrangements set by the school ISI need some improvement. My CIS aspect of the program was great, I would possibly suggest having an airport pick up arrangement because ISI had a very confusing and messy process of airport to apartment transfers...which was super overwhelming.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Samantha
10/10

Experience of a life-time

Studying abroad was a wonderful experience. I was fully immersed into the Italian culture. I also had the opportunity to travel all over Europe. The CIS staff were welcoming and resourceful. Traveling around Europe was easy and affordable. Taking classes at Florence University of the Arts was a great experience. The professors understood that we all came from various educational backgrounds. I was able to meet many new people in my classes and form new friendships. The apartment I lived in had a wonderful of the Duomo and Tuscan hills. Wandering around Florence and finding hidden places was my favorite thing to do. The Italian cuisine was absolutely amazing.

How can this program be improved?
I wish CIS would have more pre-planned traveling experience on the weekends to various countries.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kristin
10/10

LOVED FLORENCE!

Studying abroad in Florence, Italy through CISabroad was the best experience of my life. I recommend studying abroad to anyone! CIS was very organized and made the whole process a lot smoother. I loved the food, wine, friends, atmosphere, and so much more about Florence. :)

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Patrick
10/10

Experience of a lifetime

I studied abroad in Florence Fall 2014 through CIS Abroad. I was very anxious going into the process because there was so much to be done. I had two advisors, Rachel and Ashley, who were the representatives for my school in Connecticut, and they were so unbelievably helpful with everything; I couldn't even believe how easy they made the process. They walked us through the application process, course selection, visa applications, and they even booked our round trip flights, all costs included. When we got to Florence, we had transportation from the airport that brought us right to our apartments. The costs of our textbooks, programs/events through the study abroad school, and day trips in Italy were ALL covered by CIS which was such a pleasant surprise. Our advisors and representatives were always checking in with us to make sure that we were having the best possible study abroad experience. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I am so glad I did it through CIS Abroad!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Alison
10/10

Best Semester of my Life

CISabroad made this the best semester of my life. I would highly recommend it to anyone considering study abroad. Florence was small enough to make you feel safe but big enough to have all of the opportunities you could want.

How can this program be improved?
This program really is perfect!
Yes, I recommend this program

Interviews

About CISabroad

CISabroad is committed to providing the best overall value in study and internship abroad opportunities. CISabroad programs are affordable and specialize in providing quality education and support throughout your study or internship abroad experience...