CISabroad - Summer in Florence

Video and Photos

About

In summer, the streets of Florence come alive with locals and tourists dining outside amidst jaw-dropping architecture, churches, statues, and fountains. On Summer in Florence, you can have your own mini renaissance in the city that gave birth to the Renaissance. Soak in the creative vibes as you study at Florence University of the Arts and live near all the action. To make the most of your time abroad, we’ll quickly immerse you in local Italian and Florentine culture. You’ll tour galleries and famous sites, and you’ll practice Italian as your order your next Tuscan meal—with gelato, of course.

Highlights
  • Option to study abroad for 3, 6, 9 or 12 weeks and earn up to 15 credits
  • Courses taught in English or in Italian for more advanced speakers
  • Apartments near local markets and restaurants
  • Optional homestay with a local family
  • Numerous options for experiencing the city’s music, art, dance, food, and more

Questions & Answers

Reviews

97%
based on 6 reviews
  • Academics 9.8
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 7.5
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
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Steph
10/10

Best Experience Ever!

This trip was easily the best experience I've ever had. Right before writing this review I was going through my old pictures from the trip reminiscing, as I have done every single day since I got back. Not only did CIS go above and beyond while abroad, but they made sure we were all prepared before even stepping foot on the airplane. While applying, I was wary of whether or not my summer work schedule would allow me to go on the six week program, or the three week program. My program advisor reassured me that once I have my application in they can always switch it over–which took a complete weight off of my shoulders. Once accepted into our programs, CIS had an orientation meeting via video chat. This orientation meeting provided me with all of the information I could've asked for pre-departure, and I felt as if I knew everything about the city of Florence before even getting there. This definitely helped ease me into the culture, and mitigated any potential culture shock. I wound up doing the three week program, but I wish I could've stayed for an entire semester. Additionally, we had an orientation once we were settled in to our places as well. The orientation was long, but I don't know what I would have done without it. They described at length what to do, what not to do, which places to avoid, cultural norms we should respect, and even where to get the best mosquito repellant (which was VERY life changing). Once we arrived in Florence, I knew I was in the right place. The city itself is so utterly beautiful and rich in culture and history. Aside from the true magnificence of the city and the country, CIS provided us with numerous opportunities to truly dive into the culture and experience local life outside of the tourist realm. One of my favorite experiences was the gelato tour–where we toured around the city and tried two of the best gelato places in Florence, the kind you only find if you wander far off the beaten path and have a local to help you find it! My other favorite experience was the pasta making night. We all contributed to make a traditional Italian meal from scratch–including making home made pasta. These are only two of so many experiences I enjoyed and that truly made my time abroad feel like I was at home. Our site leaders, Peggy and Alessandro also had a huge impact on our trip. Not only were they there for us if we had any issues or concerns, but they helped to guide us whether we were looking for local spots to explore or needed to figure out how to use public transportation. This totally changed our experience, because we basically had locals we could text and ask any questions! We were able to explore so many cool places that we wouldn't have had the opportunity to had we not been able to reach out to Peggy and Alessandro. In addition, the institution where we studied could not have been more perfect. Florence University of the Arts offered numerous academic subjects to explore, and went above and beyond in ensuring that students got the most out of their experience. What is unique about FUA, is that they offer mandatory excursion trips as part of each course, where you get to travel outside of Florence and take part in activities pertaining to your class. For example, for my Italian class we visited Orvieto, a small town with a bit of a large secret–an entire community of caves under the city that were once occupied years before. We got to tour the caves and learned about the cities' history and why the caves were created. This was definitely one of my most memorable experiences, it was so unique and I would have never visited or even known about that town on my own. Overall, I could write an entire book about how great my experience was. CIS does it best, and they offer everything you could ask for! As a last point, I would like to mention that CIS has included health care while you are abroad. If we ever got sick or had any emergency, we had a doctor available to us that was free to visit, which really made a huge difference for me. Although I never needed to visit the doctor, I had a friend who broke her tail bone cliff jumping and was able to visit a doctor immediately because of this. It eased the students' minds knowing we had somewhere to go if anything happened to us, which really matters especially in a foreign country.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would say about this program is that the housing in our specific program could have been better. We did not have the best housing, although everyone else on our trip had good apartments. We must have gotten a bad luck of the draw–but listening to the students and their housing complaints is necessary and not to be taken lightly. I would suggest if possible a back up apartment kept open should any of the students have any serious problems with their housing–that would have really helped my roommates and I.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Rachel
10/10

Florence the Great

CIS Abroad was the best thing I could have ever done throughout my time in college. It was life changing, impactful, fun, and I would't change it for the world. I not only got to be immersed in the culture, I made life long friends and fell in love with the city. Some of the highlights were the cooking class, the day trip to Cinque Terre, and the welcome dinner when I got to know everyone. My art class was very crucial to my understanding of the italian culture. Future participants should know that that is a trip of a lifetime and they should partake in the thrill of it all.

How can this program be improved?
There are only two major things that stuck out to me when it comes to things that need to be improved. One there was no transportation from the train station to the housing on arrival day, which caused a lot of problems for our group and a couple others. I know that there is complimentary transportation from the airport, which is great and very helpful. I believe there needs to be an option from the train station. Another is the meal plan situation needs to be communicated clearer before hand. Yes there is a "meal plan" but the dinner and lunches that go along with that are fancy and there is no good grab and go options. People should be prepared for this and budget more ahead of time. I thought the food was amazing and great. But i thought the meal plan was more grab and go for breakfasts.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Megan
10/10

Summer in Florence

Florence, Italy is full of hidden gems and new adventures around every turn. Returning home after my summer in Florence, I was left feeling as though I had forgotten something there. I realize now that it was my heart. I left it wandering through those magical streets, probably by my favorite gelato shops. Florence was a place flourishing with culture. As a student with CISabroad, I was so lucky to have had the chance to dive into a new way of life and many new experiences every single day. The food, art, and places were all apart of the culture that I was able to learn about and explore. This program with CISabroad has given me the most memorable moments in my life. It had the perfect balance of activities to participate in, as well as free time to just enjoy living in another country, while meeting like-minded people. As a student I really felt included in the culture, which was something I had never experienced. Everything about my time studying in Florence was life changing. It me a new perspective on the world, others, and myself. It sparked my passion to travel and has given me the confidence and freedom to be adventures and to explore life out of my comfort zone, which has been nothing but rewarding.

How can this program be improved?
One thing would be to do more before hand as a way to be able to communicate with the other students. I know we had others contact information, but it would've been nice to have started something like a group chat, or even a video chat to get to know them. I came alone and that would've been nice to know some people to look for. But, once I got there, it was very easy to meet other people! I truly loved everything else about this program and I would recommend it to everyone.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jacqueline
9/10

My 3 weeks in Florence

I was only able to spend 3 weeks in Florence for I had to get home for my brother’s graduation. It was a amazing 3 weeks though thanks to my program CIS having many different events for us. For example in addition to the field trip taken with your class we were allotted 2 other trips and as well as extra classes. I was able to fit a lot in, I visited 7 different cities in Italy, got to take a class that was all about how food plays a role in society I also got to do an extra cooking class with my program, it was a great time. It was a great time for future participants I would say, don’t be afraid to travel alone, take the time to wonder around and get a little lost and go to restaurants that have no English in the title. Also the best resturants are the ones with out restaurant in the title. This trip helped me branch out more and be more open to new experiences.

How can this program be improved?
A better housing system.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Francesca
9/10

Summer in Florence

I truly loved my experience abroad. For years I had talked about going abroad to Italy, and I am incredibly happy that I chose CIS Abroad as my program of choice. Going into this experience, I knew nobody except for one of my best friends from home. I had never been overseas alone before, so it's safe to say that I was incredibly nervous before coming abroad. Only a few days in to being abroad, my fears and anxiety about being abroad came to a rest. I instantly made amazing friends, and felt incredibly comfortable in the environment that I was living in. I was having fun, and most importantly, I felt safe.
My advice to future participants would be to go into this experience with an open mind and a positive attitude. Go in with the attitude that you would like to meet new people, experience another culture, and try new things. This is truly a once in a lifetime experience, and these participants are blessed that they are able to go abroad with an amazing group of people! Another major piece of advice that I would offer would be to not overpack! I was abroad for 3 weeks and overpacked immensely. Only pack what you truly NEED. This will make your travels lighter, and much easier, especially since you will more than likely be buying quite a bit while you are overseas.
Since being back in America, I have gained a much greater appreciation for my upbringing and how blessed I am to live where I do. Being abroad in 80 degree weather with no air conditioning was truly an experience. Living in a foreign country without the day to day accommodations that I have here in America was truly a learning experience. It is a different way of life in Italy. They do not have all of the utilities as we do here in America to live life as we do. While it was a challenge to adapt to my new living environment, it was a great experience and I have gained a greater appreciation for where I live and what I have here at home.
I'd like to end this with saying to future participants to simply have fun! Go abroad, take photos and videos, try new foods, partake in cultural activities, meet new people, and make the most of your experience abroad. Chances are, you will never have an experience such as this one. It's an opportunity of a lifetime, and one that they are lucky to be on!

How can this program be improved?
There truly isn't anything that I would say that CIS needs to improve on. I felt that the staff was very knowledgeable, and were great about relaying important information to us. They always made sure that we were safe while we were abroad, and they provided us with all of the necessary information we needed before going abroad. Not only for ourselves, but for our parents.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Alicia
10/10

Best Trip of my Life!

This was my first time going overseas alone and it was hands-down the best experience I have ever had traveling! I love to travel and fly and CIS Abroad made it less stressful and amazing while being in a foreign place for me. They listened to my needs and catered to them! I had amazing roommates as well as a nice apartment central to everything. Good things to know when studying/traveling abroad is to be respectful and be a local, not a tourist. Of course checking out the tourists attractions is a must when you are abroad, but being a traveler rather than a tourist is the way to go so you gain respect from the locals! My favorite memory of this trip was the amazing views and architecture all around me. Florence is my new favorite city and I was lucky enough to enjoy it with my roommates. Amazing people and amazing food! Best time of my life.

Yes, I recommend this program

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...