SAI Programs: Study Abroad at FUA in Florence

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About

Florence University of the Arts (FUA) offers an extensive catalog of courses, including classes in the liberal and fine arts. Students are encouraged to engage with the local community and to immerse themselves in Italian culture through a variety of activities and excursions.

The city of Florence has amazed visitors since Roman times, providing students of arts, literature, and culture with a rich and varied environment to explore. It remains one of Europe's most accessible cities, showcasing cultural treasures from the Renaissance period and beyond. Florence is also home to the flagship stores of Italy's greatest fashion houses.

Where else can you find works by Dante, Michaelangelo, and Gucci all standing side by side!

Questions & Answers

It will depend where your apartment is! The different class buildings are kind of scattered throughout Florence. So, I had one class that was only about a 10 minute walk, but another that was a solid 30 -45 minute walk. In general though, they're never too far, and you really love to learn the walk and get to know the city. I recommend walking around and finding the buildings with some of your...

Reviews

98%
based on 59 reviews
  • Academics 7.5
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 9.2
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 1 - 15 of 59
Angelika
10/10

SAI Florence, Italy

I highly recommend studying abroad through SAI. They do everything they can to make sure you are prepared to travel abroad. While you are there they are always available to help you/answer any questions you have and they constantly held events to help you acclimate to your host city. The process of applying, paying, and getting credits through SAI is seamless. I highly recommend studying abroad through SAI. There were so many classes offered at the university that SAI had made sure were approved for credit at so many universities in the U.S. We were put up in real apartments, spread out around the city. It really helped you feel as though you really lived there because it was not a dorm. Also, everyone you meet from your classes is also spread out around the city. You have the opportunity to see so many apartments and different areas of the city you are in. If I could study abroad again, I, without a doubt, would work with SAI again. You won't regret it!

Yes, I recommend this program
Lillie
10/10

The Best Summer Study Abroad Program

I loved almost every part of my experience abroad through SAI. The staff was always very helpful and accessible, FUA was a perfect summer school to study through with teachers that were experienced in their field and provided a new insight that is not common in America. I had plenty of time to travel on the weekends and explore both my host city and others in Europe. I took full advantage of every opportunity Florence provided me and was able to experience school, night life, and every day practices just as a local would have.

How can this program be improved?
Have the apartment have more than one bathroom.
Yes, I recommend this program
Madeline
10/10

Best Decision I Ever Made

SAI provides amazing cultural and educational experiences for study abroad students across the globe. I was nervous about traveling to a foreign country alone and being out of my element. Fortunately, the SAI program was always there for me and was a safety net for my abroad experience. Prior to my travels, SAI was always there to answer any of my questions and helped properly prepare me to successfully travel to Italy. When I was abroad, SAI offered so many opportunities that I took advantage of such as day trips and cooking classes. My time abroad would not have been the same without SAI and I am so happy and pleased with my choice to study abroad through SAI.

How can this program be improved?
The only thing I would improve is the drop off from the airport. I felt that we were put in a taxi and dropped off in front of our apartment and was not shown around as much at first.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Gwen
10/10

The Best Semester!

I spent the fall of 2017 studying abroad in Florence, Italy with SAI. I can't thank their staff enough for helping me before I arrived, during my semester and even now that I am back at home. SAI provided me with the best housing, classes and trips I could have asked for. I always felt that I had people to turn to if I had questions or concerns during my time in Florence. I felt that SAI truly cared about each of their students and wanted us to have the time of our lives. I would recommend SAI and Florence to anyone looking into studying abroad.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Sophia
10/10

My SAI Experience

I loved SAI because of the programs they offered while abroad, it really made me feel like part of the community and I was able to get closer to other students participating in the program. The programs were always free which was an added bonus. While abroad, like many other students I spent a lot of money mostly on food and travel. But I do not regret any of it. I am happy with the trips that I went on and wish I could go back to Italy to eat all the delicious flavors that I discovered. Being back from abroad I realized that I want to continue my schooling in the global communications field and I hope to do it abroad. I had such an amazing experience in one semester that I wish to extend it in years to come.

How can this program be improved?
The program can always bee improved by adding more events, maybe some that are different. I would have liked to meet more people from the Italian culture.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Katie
10/10

Best Decision

SAI provided me with an incredible experience to encounter culture in a unique way. My accommodations were better than I could have dreamed of: a location on a popular street near the city center with beautiful views and a great amount of space. The classes I took at Florence University of the Arts were captivating and challenging. I was learning about things that fueled my passions and counted towards my degree. My landscape photography course was taught by an accomplished Italian photographer who was eager to share his vast knowledge. The SAI staff gave us optimal opportunities to travel locally and experience underrepresented beauties of Tuscany. This decision to study abroad with SAI in Florence helped me better understand what it means to live fully and simply. I now want to slow down and experience life around me and the cultures surrounding. I can say that I truly appreciate long dinners with good company and have increased my patience and flexibility from my travels.

How can this program be improved?
The program offered so many opportunities; however, I think it would be beneficial to offer some pre-program budgeting tips including an overestimation for travel strikes, etc.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lauren
10/10

You'll regret it if you dont

Studying abroad has helped me realize that I want to be able to send myself back to Italy. To be able to go back and revisit my favorite places from when I lived there and explore all the places I haven't yet been. I was blessed to be able to go once, but I cannot wait until I go back. I completely fell in love with the city of Florence. One of my all-time favorite memories from studying abroad was one of the smaller moments there. As it was getting closer to Christmas, Piazza Santa Croce set up the best Christmas markets I have ever seen. Even though I was getting homesick for California, walking through the little market and buying gifts for my family back home will stick with me forever. SAI really helped me in achieving this dream that I have had to go to Italy since I was so young, the experience was truly everything I could have imagined and more.

How can this program be improved?
The only complaint I or any of my friends had was the apartment heating and plumbing, both of which are difficult fixes due to the old buildings we were living in. They were solved fairly quickly through the program but continuously happened throughout the semester.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sarah
10/10

The Best Time of My Life

Studying abroad in Florence was the best host city I could have ever picked. I loved every moment living in such a lively and beautiful place. It was incredible to take classes in the heart of the city and learn about the culture by exploring and interacting with Italian people. SAI Programs was a wonderful program to study with. They were beyond helpful and kind in the class selection process and answering any questions I had while in Florence. They provided cooking classes, bookmaking workshops, day trips, weekend trips, soccer games, and more. They always had something fun to do and genuinely enjoyed working with the students. They were the perfect program for me and I could not have asked for a better study abroad experience.

Yes, I recommend this program
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cecelia
10/10

Favorite thing to do in Florence

My favorite thing to do in Florence was definitely visiting the markets. The San Lorenzo Market is very well known for the outdoor leather market as well as the indoor butchers, fishmongers, and fruit and vegetable vendors where you barter to get the best price on their goods. Upstairs, there is an amazing food court which has anything from pizza, to local Florentine foods like tripe and lampredotto, to fresh pasta. My apartment was very close to the Sant'Ambrogio Market and I would visit there frequently as well. This market was much smaller and many more locals visit this market over the more touristy San Lorenzo. This meant less of the vendors spoke English. I have found here that they’re much more apt to give you a better price if you make any effort to speak Italian. After bartering at either of these markets, the price of your groceries ends up to be much less expensive, as well as much more fresh than what you would pickup from your local Conad or Coop!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Courtney
8/10

Best Decision!!

SAI made going abroad really wonderful. So much was included in the program cost such as health insurance, housing, tuition, and airport transportation. This alleviated a lot of stress and additional costs. My favorite thing about SAI programs, which sets them aside from other programs, was all of the included activities such as a weekend trip, cooking classes, futbal games, and so much more. SAI was wonderful answering any questions I had during the study abroad process and I would highly recommend!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Holly
10/10

Adventure of a Lifetime

There are not enough words to sum up my study abroad experience but I will try! It was the most life-changing, eye- opening, amazing experience of my life. To have the opportunity to live within a different culture for three and a half months was truly magnificent. I learned so much from all the people I met and the places I visited. Studying abroad has made me realize what exactly I want from life. Since returning from Florence, I have continued to travel and explore new places and upon graduating I plan to move back to Europe!

How can this program be improved?
Nothing!
Yes, I recommend this program
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jackie
10/10

Best 4 months of my life

Studying abroad through SAI was a wonderful experience from pre departure procedures to returning to the U.S and everything in between. There were always activities throughout the week in Florence that were free with SAI such as cooking classes, pizza making, and walking tours. I traveled to 12 countries during the semester and made great friends from all over the country. I gained so many life skills from my experience abroad.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Jessica
10/10

Interested in studying art? Choose this program in Florence!

The classes were really awesome! They were entry level so most art classes took you back to the basics. The homework load was managable, and if a teacher realized it was becoming too much they would cut back. The school was open for great hours and were responsive to emails. My two favorite classes were Chemistry in the Arts and Intro to Art History. I love the chem class because it was so fascinating. It was all about the science behind art, mostly painting. The AH class was great because we went on a lot of field trips to the museums so I got to see all the art museums in florence with my teacher as a tour guide and didn't have to pay insane prices.

SAI was very helpful. They really wanted you to have a healthy, positive, and enriching experience. They were always on top of apartment issues and available to help with mental support. My favorite part about their offerings was their included trips and excursions. I got to take cooking classes, go on a bike tour in tuscany, and go on a weekend trip to islands off the coast of Italy.

I really loved my location and apartment. I was close to Santa Croce which was just a 3 minute walk to class and 2 minute walk to the SAI office. We have some issues with water while we were there. The water heater rarely worked, but you're lucky to get hot water at all in Italy.

My roommate and I were always on a search for new and great food places around town! We found some amazing places. There are a TON of tourist traps and bad places around, but SAI will give you some tips and tricks to determine the difference.

I did not have any health issues while in Italy, but one of my roommates did. She had to go to the hospital several times and SAI was always there to help.

I probably spent about $80 or less every week. GO TO THE GROCERY STORE. I would spend about 20 -30 euro on groceries a week. Coffee was a must every morning for 2.50 euro. I would go out a few nights to eat with my roommate, and of course, I would splurge on some souvenirs every so often. I also kept all of my receipts and documented my spending every month. Know your credit card charges and ATM fees before you go.

Get duo lingo. Talk to italians in italian. They are willing to be patient for you. Its my biggest regret, not learning the language.

The experience was worthwhile. I learned how to live on my own for the first time. I studied abroad as a sophomore and my freshman year I lived at home. I loved the culture of living. Hang drying clothes, hand washing dishes, walking everywhere!

I am an Art major, and Italy was the perfect place to study abroad for the arts. They are one of the only programs that offer these classes and they even offer scholarships. (one of which I received)

Yes, I recommend this program
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Anne
10/10

Can I go back yet?

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't say, at least once, Can I go back to Italy? Every day I was in Florence, I fell in love a little bit more. Between the culture I became very familiar with, and the amazing cuisine, I miss Italy so much. With all of my classes being food and wine based, I learned so much and enjoyed my time abroad.

SAI was also great in the aspect of availability, whether it was by email or stopping by the office, they were there to help.

How can this program be improved?
More community excursions to get to know more locals. Also the offered excursions at different times. I missed a few things because of class conflicts.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jamie
10/10

Study Abroad with SAI!

I spent Spring 2017 studying abroad in Florence, Italy- the land of pasta, gelato, rich with culture and my favorite city in the world! My decision to study abroad was one of the boldest and life changing experiences of my life. Florence gave me more than the experience of travel for a semester; it gave me perspective that I will carry forever. My study abroad experience in Florence and SAI gave me the opportunity to take the reins on my own journey and experience a once and a lifetime opportunity of travel and learning- something that I could never learn from a textbook or lecture!

Yes, I recommend this program

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About SAI Programs

With headquarters located just north of San Francisco, SAI Programs was founded in 1995 to serve as the US admissions office for an Italian art institute in Florence. Since that time, SAI has expanded into a full-service international education...