SAI Programs: Study Abroad at FUA in Florence, Italy
98% Rating
(47 Reviews)

SAI Programs: Study Abroad at FUA in Florence, Italy

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!

Locations
Europe » Italy » Florence
Europe » Italy
Subject Areas
Accounting
Advertising
Art History
Communications
Creative Writing
Cultural Studies
Design
European Studies
Global Studies
Graphic Design
Health Sciences
Hospitality
Interior Design
Liberal Arts
Philosophy
Sociology
Theater, Drama and Dance
Visual Arts
Web Design
Degree Level
High School Diploma
Associates
Bachelors
Timeframe
Academic Year
Fall
Spring
Summer
Accommodation
Apartment
Host Family
Language
English
Steps
Online Application
Statement of Purpose
GPA Requirement
Starting Price
$2,000.00
Currency
USD

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 fri...

Program Reviews

  • Academics
    74%
  • Support
    94%
  • Fun
    88%
  • Housing
    93%
  • Safety
    95%

Program Reviews (47)

Default avatar
jessica
Female
20 years old
Atlanta, GA
Georgia State University

Interested in studying art? Choose this program in Florence!

10/10

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)

Default avatar
Anne
Female
21 years old
United States
University of Mississippi

Can I go back yet?

10/10

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.

Default avatar
Jamie
Female
21 years old
Long Island, NY
Muhlenberg College

Study Abroad with SAI!

10/10

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!

Default avatar
Abbey
Female
22 years old
Massachusetts
Lasell College

SAI Review

9/10

I was overall very impressed with the SAI program when I studied abroad in Florence, Italy! I would definitely recommend SAI to anyone studying abroad due to their professional and prompt manner of handling every aspect of my studying abroad experience. Whenever I had a question or concern they were available to help in any way they could! The weekend trip that was offered free of charge was planned and executed immaculately even though the group was not small! The SAI team is both knowledgeable and experienced in guiding students through the studying abroad experience!

How can this program be improved?

If possible, I would have loved to do another weekend trip with SAI while abroad to get to know the staff even better and others in the program!

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Carly
Female
Seattle, WA
Washington State University

Amazing Experience!

10/10

I absolutely loved studying abroad in Italy with SAI Programs. They were so helpful when I was preparing to leave and also while I was in Florence. I couldn't be happier with my experience abroad and there's nothing that I would change. I got to travel every weekend around Italy because the train system is so amazing. Italy is the best place to go if you're studying fashion because you can learn so much about the industry in Italy.

How can this program be improved?

They should equip apartments a little better. I showed up and didn't even have any soap to wash my hands.

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Allie
Female
21 years old
United States
Washington State University

The Best 4 Months of my Life!!

10/10

SAI Florence was a perfect fit! Florence is a relatively small city and I was able to get my bearings rather quickly. The onsite support is incredible and the university was perfect. I took classes from wine tasting to sustainable tourism and more. The University fits almost any major needing a few classes and fun electives as well. They took us wine tasting in Tuscany, and a trip to Milan and Lake Como for the Weekend. I loved every minute!

How can this program be improved?

The only thing I can think of is more scholarship opportunities!

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Lauren
Female
21 years old
Washington, D.C
George Washington University

Lovely in Tuscany

10/10

I absolutely loved my experience with SAI! Living abroad was a life-changing experience and one I would do over a million times. Part of what made SAI so great, was there support and responsiveness throughout the entire experience. The staff really cared about the program attendees and I really felt like I could talk to them. I also really enjoyed the apartment provided by the program, which was extremely chic and had a great location! SAI also provided great excursions, which included, for me, trips to both Bologna and Maremma Islands (which was beautiful!) In terms of classes, I really loved FUA (Florence University of the Arts) and it was amazing to have the ability to go to world famous museums for free with my classes. Overall, I would 100% recommend this program and this city for a fantastic study abroad experience!

How can this program be improved?

The only thing I could recommend would be to have some more events with Italian families. Although the school has an Italian family club, it would have been cool to have been automatically paired up with a family before going, since we were not in a homestay. Otherwise, everything about the program was fantastic!

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Evan
Male
22 years old
Columbia, Missouri
University of Missouri- Columbia

You make it your own. SAI and FUA make that easy.

10/10

Picking my study abroad program was a stressful experience for me. Having never left the country, even entertaining the idea was cause for enough anxiety—seeing all of my options, then, made me dizzy. The moment I contacted SAI Programs, however, I was immediately put at ease by their staff, who somehow never got sick of my constant questions. Along with the staff at Mizzou's international office, the people at SAI assured me that the stress was normal, that the experience was exceedingly worth it. They encouraged me through the pre departure process. In mid-2016, I enrolled at Florence University of the Arts through SAI as excited and prepared as I could be. Shakily nervous, too, and I knew that was okay.

When I got to Italy, representatives from both SAI and FUA were there to greet me. SAI told me where to find them, gave me emergency contact info, a list of activities. FUA did much the same, giving me my class information, too. When I arrived at my apartment on Via Fiesolana, it was up to me to explore Firenze -- SAI would be there to support me, FUA there to educate me.

My experience abroad was consistently captivating. The sights I saw, the things I learned, and the atmosphere I lived in will forever coat my mind. The academic experience was like nothing I'd done before ("An Italian Journal" and the one-week "Cultural Introduction to Italy" course, you should take them.) When not in class, I encourage you to immerse yourself in your city -- SAI and FUA both have city walks, cooking classes, and other activities that give context to your Italian home.

Some tips:
- Even for the most eager, learned traveler, the language barrier and cultural differences can be jarring initially. I encourage you to be intrigued by these differences. Listen to the language, observe the habits, practice both. Nothing is quite as gratifying as conducting yourself like a local.
- Go to class and be a sponge. Many of the teachers are Italian, and they'll teach more about the culture than an article ever could.
- Find a trustworthy ATM (called a "bancomat") and take out lumps at a time to avoid constant fees. See the touristy places, definitely, but venture further for your wallet and experience's sake.
- As always, be safe in your explorations. Florence is a safe city, that much is sure, but you should still exercise the caution you would in America -- more, in fact, because you're farther from your home country.

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Miranda
Female
21 years old
Jackson, Missouri
University of Mississippi

Summer with SAI

10/10

I studied abroad with SAI at Florence University of the Arts this past summer and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I am a pharmacy student who was looking for a way to delve into my more artistic side and fulfill my lifelong dream of traveling to Italy. While abroad, I earned 6 credits in the classes of Beginner Italian and Street Photography. The professors at the University were always very friendly and helpful with challenging the students to step outside of our comfort zones and learn the culture of the area. One of my favorite aspects of the classes were the included field trips to smaller towns in Italy that I may not have ventured to on my own. In addition to the amazing professors, the SAI staff was also very welcoming and helpful with any problem I may have encountered. If you choose to study abroad with SAI, you will be making a decision that will positively impact the way you look at travel and life.

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Danielle
Female
23 years old
Pottstown, PA
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Semester Abroad at FUA

10/10

The program that SAI provided while abroad in Florence Italy, could not have been more amazing. They were with you through everything. From the beginning SAI made sure that you were gathering all the materials that you needed to begin your adventure abroad. They provided more than enough information on how to obtain it all as well as they were there to answer any questions. SAI was more than welcoming when I landed in Florence. They had shuttles there to pick us up from the airport and drop us off at our apartments throughout the city.

SAI planned all these excursions and different activities that we could participate in. We took trips to Tuscany and Maremma as well as participated in a book making class. We went on a bike hike through Tuscany too. SAI was there for everything that you would need and I would not have had the experience I did without SAI.

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Lauren
Female
22 years old
Staten Island, New York
Muhlenberg College

A Semester of Beauty

8/10

My favorite moment abroad in Florence, Italy with SAI Programs was when I had my first day of cooking class at FUA with Vittoria. She was the first part of my experience that made me realize i was truly at an international institution and was about to learn things that I would never be able to learn at home. She made me feel like I was actually in Italy.
The SAI staff was so amazing and helpful and made me feel so comfortable while being so far away from my home back in the US.

Default avatar
Adam
Male
22 years old
Barnegat, NJ
Muhlenberg College

SAI: A Unique & Once in a Lifetime Experience

10/10

I studied abroad in the fall of 2015 through SAI in Florence, Italy. It was absolutely a once in a lifetime experience. SAI helped me every step of the way from settling in, to taking us on trips across Italy. If I had any problems abroad the SAI Florence staff of Regan, Pietro, and Alessandra were there for anything I needed. Also, in Florence I participated in the SAI Global Leadership Program. In that program I was able to volunteer all over florence with organizations such as the Tuscan Cancer Society and UNICEF. SAI gave me the opportunity to gain a different and better experience than the average abroad student in Florence. I am extremely grateful I was able to study abroad with SAI, I would recommend them 10 times out of 10.

How can this program be improved?

I would have liked to have heard a few recommended places across Europe to go to from the SAI staff. They were extremely helpful on where to go when in Florence and even in places in Italy. However, They did not talk much about where to travel across Europe in other country. They were a great program to have in Florence.

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Halie
Female
22 years old
Alexandria
University of South Carolina

Fashion student goes abroad for the first time!

8/10

I studied abroad this past Spring Semester in Florence, Italy through SAI. I ultimately chose this program because they got their start in Italy--specifically Florence--so I knew they had experience and great connections with the city. I also chose this program because they offered a lot of Fashion-specific courses which fit in with my academic major. I loved how most of the FUA professors were not merely academics by trade, but rather experienced professionals in their respective fields. For example, my Fashion Marketing professor was the marketing director of her family's leather goods company and was able to provide a lot of insight, feedback, and suggestions with real world application and relevance. I also liked that our courses were supplemented with out of the classroom field trips, which helped to reinforce what we had learned about in class earlier in the semester. Prior to my study abroad experience, I had never traveled outside the United States so I was very nervous and unsure of myself, but after a few weeks I began to grow more independent and confident in myself. This was especially true, living and studying in a country where English was not the primary language. You have to learn to do your research (especially when traveling in or outside your home country) in advance because you can't rely on the Internet and smart phones the same way you can here! This experience made me appreciate a new culture as well as my own, and helped shed light on global issues and the different global perspectives regarding those issues. Lastly, it allowed me to travel to many different places in and outside of Italy giving me so many memories to last a life time!

How can this program be improved?

I wish they had offered classes multiple times during the week rather than once a week--not only would this have made classes much shorter and easier to sit through, but it would have also made the attendance policy less strict and more conducive to student travel plans. In my situation I had both Monday and Friday classes, but because the attendance policy was so strict (since we met not very often) I was unable to take lengthier trips out of the country.

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Heather
Female
22 years old
Kentucky
University of Kentucky

Living in Art

10/10

I cannot emphasize enough how much my semester abroad meant to me. Of course the Italian food and travel options were once in a lifetime, but so were the academics. Being taught by Italian professors in Italian buildings is something that I still cannot grasp that I did. Taking an art class in Florence, with such deep art history, is something that really stuck with me. I did not know much about art, but my professor showed us techniques in the Italian language that I could not have learned in the states. Not only did I learn how to do basic art, but I lived in it. Art was everywhere in this old city. While this art class only transferred back as a core class for me, I am amazed at how such a simple class really changed my perception on certain ideas. Not only did all my classes transfer back as credit to my home university, but the wonderful knowledge transferred back with me as well. SAI did a great job at helping me create a life within the artisan city by always being available and by showing me all the art around me. They were a great resource to use when I felt lost in the city or when I felt like I had seen all Florence had to offer. Their activities not only were created for fun, but indirectly also taught me about appreciation for the art around me.

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Sarah
Female
23 years old
Seattle, Washington
Washington State University

SAI and Study Abroad Is the best decision ever!

10/10

My semester in Florence Italy was the best four months of my life. Abroad experiences are unlike anything else you can possibly encounter at home. Choosing SAI as my program for the semester was everything and more I had hoped for. I was able to complete my fashion internship abroad, meet some of the coolest people, and live in Florence Italy! SAI was there for me anytime when I needed it, and I never felt alone. In a place that can feel foreign at times, I never really felt that way in Florence studying with SAI. One time in Florence my roommates and I managed you get ourselves locked out of our apartment. We were able to call SAI and within minutes someone was able to help us. When we moved in to our apartment in January it was so cold, and for some reason our apartment wasn't staying very warm. Come to find out that our heater was partly broken. SAI fixed this for us quickly, and while we were waiting, provided us with extra blankets for our apartment. My list goes on about all the great things that SAI did for us. Go abroad and choose SAI for your abroad program! :)

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Kaela
Female
23 years old
Moraga, California
Saint Mary's College of California

Fun in Florence, Italy

10/10

I studied abroad in Florence, Italy in Spring of 2015. I had an amazing time abroad, traveling to 11 different countries and 46 cities. While I did have an amazing time traveling throughout Europe, Florence was definitely my favorite. Living in another country, learning the language, the culture, and discovering the beauty of the city is something I will cherish forever and never forget. Some of my most memorable experiences include attending a Toga Party at the Pink Palace in Corfu, Greece; holding a falcon at a palace in Budapest, Hungary; partying at the Bermuda Triangle in Vienna, Austria; and walking through the streets of Prague. Studying abroad changed my life and I am homesick every day for my life in Florence.

How can this program be improved?

SAI Program has an orientation that they hold in the beginning of the semester for the study abroad students. I wish they could have given us more information on what to do in case of an emergency, as my roommates and I did have one and couldn't speak Italian well enough to receive the help we needed.

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Sarah
Female
24 years old
Allentown, PA
Muhlenberg College

Sometimes it's the little things

10/10

When you go abroad, more often than not you get caught up in how big an experience this is and you focus on all of these big things you have to do. For me, in Florence, Italy, I had to go to the Uffizi, see the David, climb to the top of the Duomo, go to the San Lorenzo Market, visit the Boboli Gardens, and so many other big events that I kept focusing on until one day, early in my semester abroad I decided to just sit for a little. I found a spot along the Arno river that splits Florence in half, jumped up on the cement wall that runs along the river and pulled out my little sketchbook. With my back propped up against one of Florence's elegant lampposts (yes, even the cities lampposts are beautiful), I gazed down the river at the Ponte Vecchio and began to sketch. People passed on the sidewalk next to me, tourists, residents of Florence, visitors from all over the world. Some tourists even paused behind me, watching the strange girl sitting on the wall sketching. I even had a few ask if they could take a picture of my drawing with the bridge in the background. They would stand over my shoulder for a few seconds before continuing on to their busy day. For once, I was the slow one. I was the one taking her time to really see every detail of what I was seeing, how almost every window on it was different, how little rooms jutted out over the river, held up by only a few supporting beams beneath it, how the sun created shadows on the river beneath the bridge. I watched little people walk over the historic sight, take selfies with it, take pictures of it but not really see it. This was the moment I realized that going abroad wasn't just about seeing the big sights, it was about these small moments. The small moments where you can take your time to appreciate something you might not have noticed if you were just a tourist because you're not a tourist. For four months, you're a resident, a Florentine.

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Nicole
Female
24 years old
Saint Peter, MN
Gustavus Adolphus College

A Trip of a Lifetime

10/10

Studying abroad in Florence, in one word, was amazing. For most of my life, I had heard stories from my father, telling me stories about my grandmother who made these delicious Italian meals and desserts. She used to tell me stories when I was younger about her vague memories of living in Italy, and I loved hearing her speak to my grandfather in Italian. I had always dreamed of traveling to Italy to explore my Italian roots and heritage, and studying abroad through SAI provided me the perfect opportunity to do so.

When I arrived in Italy, I contacted some family members who live there, whom I've never met before. They were more than willing to meet with me at some point, and we planned to meet during Easter time. Once the time came, I took a train from Florence to San Benedetto, a coastal town on the eastern side of Italy. My father and boyfriend had also came down to visit during that time, so they were able to meet my Italian family as well.

As I arrived at the train station in San Benedetto, my family was there to greet me. The night before Easter, we went to one of my family member's house, a beautiful home in the hills overlooking the town. All the food was prepared that day, fresh from the oven. Fresh breads, pizzas...things I have never heard or smelled before. All my family members (only a few could speak English) crowded over to my boyfriend, my father, and I, asking one family member to translate everything we said into Italian, and asked us so many questions. The room we were eating in felt warm and cozy, and we sipped on some homemade dessert wine, the strongest wine I've ever tasted. It was an amazing feeling, being surround by these people I have never met before, yet feeling so welcomed and comfortable.

For actual Easter day, we attended a church service. The service was beautiful, and it was the first service I had attended since being abroad. And being able to experience it with my Italian family members was such a special experience. For Easter brunch, we went to a family owned restaurant, and were served a five course meal. I had to force myself to eat everything on my plate, and it seemed like all my family members were able to get it down no problem. The stereotype that Italians eat a lot is in fact true. But the food was delicious...three different pastas, breads, veal, beef....holy cow!

After spending two nights there, we had to leave San Benedetto. It was harder to say goodbye to my Italian family than I thought. Their kindness and hospitality provided me with so much joy and feelings of togetherness. Today, I still keep in contact with some of them, and hope to make plans to visit them again someday!

How can this program be improved?

If I could change one thing about this program, it would be to implement more opportunities and activities for study abroad students to interact with the local community, and perhaps Italian college students. Although the school, FUA, offers a few programs/groups that allow students to be paired up with an Italian local to practice speaking Italian, or to be paired up with Italian families to meet with once a week, I think more could be done for the sake of "fun", and more in the local, Florence community. I thought it would have been very interesting to meet Italian students my age, and to hear about what life is like for them in Italy. It's difficult to meet locals the same age and who also speak English. I think if SAI implemented some type of group or program that pairs study abroad students with Italian college students, it would be a great way for study abroad students to learn even more about the Italian culture.

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Andrea
Female
24 years old
Manhattan, Kansas.
Kansas State University

Trip of a lifetime!

10/10

I ended up living off of tomatoes, mozzarella and baguettes with balsamic vinegar because I would eat it twice a day! My roommates were addicted, as well! Make sure you're aware of how delicious mozzarella cheese is in Italy and plan accordingly (save money just for mozzarella balls)!

How can this program be improved?

Overall, I loved the program so much that I wouldn't want to change anything, but I would have loved to have more excursions! Maybe add more in the future.

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Makenna
Female
23 years old
Moraga, CA

Study Abroad in Florence!

10/10

Florence is an amazing city and it is full of Italian culture and history. It was so cool to walk through the same streets as such influential people. I traveled a lot in my time and I think that was really important to my study abroad experience. With that said it was really important to me to find a balance between traveling, studying, and exploring Florence. Overall my experience was amazing and I would highly recommend studying abroad to anyone!

How can this program be improved?

More sponsored trips

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Tanyssa
Female
24 years old
Stockbridge, WI
Saint Norbert College

Abroad in Firenze

10/10

The first few days were difficult, but once a student gets involved in school and social events the experience becomes so much better! Those who did not enjoy all of their experience in Florence did not seek friends and involvement on campus. I personally enjoyed simply participating in the ABS class in the gym with the soccer coach and other school related activities which helped me meet other students and friends. The program was great, academics were a breeze compared to my liberal arts school back home but I still learned so much from my professors! They will be mentors for life and great to keep in touch with. Housing was good and nice and close to school (right next to Santa Croce).

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Anne
Female
24 years old
United States
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Florence, Italy

9/10

I traveled through SAI to Florence, Italy. I really enjoyed my time and my class schedule was not overwhelming at all. It turned out that I only had classes three days a week so I had a lot of time to explore around Florence, Italy, or other places. I thought I was going to have trouble with the length of the classes (2.5 hours once a week) but it worked out really well for me. The SAI staff was also very helpful to me. If I ever went to their office with questions I would always leave with more knowledge and satisfaction because they were so pleasing to work with. I think the best part of my experience was just walking passed all of the attractions and beauty of Florence, especially on a day like walking to class; it could really boost up your spirits. Florence being in the region of Tuscany is a major plus. The landscape is beautiful around Florence and is great to explore. The biggest struggle I found when I was in Florence is having the time to see everything! There was so much I wanted to see in Italy and also other countries. Time just flew by!

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Julia
Female
24 years old
Illinois
Bradley University

Wonderful Semester!

10/10

I had a wonderful semester, and absolutely loved studying in Florence.
My one regret was there were no Italian students and it was difficult to make Italian friends.
Otherwise, I highly recommend this program! The staff was friendly and helpful, and Florence is a wonderful city!

How can this program be improved?

Increased opportunity to interact with the Florentine community and get to know Italians.

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Tori
Female
24 years old
San Luis Obispo, CA
California Polytechnic State University- San Luis Obispo

A Summer of Adventure!

10/10

I absolutely loved my time studying abroad with SAI Programs at Florence University of the Arts. Prior to my departure, the staff aided me with whatever questions or concerns I had, and made sure I felt prepared for the journey that awaited me. As soon as I Arrived, I met my three roommates, who thanks to the housing survey, were the perfect fit for me! We became fast friends, and I immediately felt at home in this big city. The Orientation was also helpful, allowing us to meet other SAI students, and to get to know the SAI staff. The staff is amazingly kind, understanding, and willing to help out in whatever way they can. At no point did I feel confused, unsupported, or scared; the SAI staff made me feel right at home! On top of that they provided great recommendations for restaurants, gelato, and things to do around the city.
My time at FUA was unlike any other. I took beginning Italian and Introduction to Art History, two classes that couldn't be taught anywhere better than in Florence! My teachers were very nice, wanted to get to know us as students, and understood our desire to experience all the city had to offer! The course load was definitely manageable, and we were constantly being immersed into the subject area we were practicing. Whether it was interviewing local shop owners or ordering our food in Italian, or even visiting museums filled with works by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, the learning never ended in a city rich with culture.
The apartments were also really nice. Mine was in the neighborhood part of the city, which I loved. There was a little coffee and pastry shop right next to our apartment and every morning my roommates and I would order an espresso. The man at the register knew very little English, so we were forced to practice our Italian. Due to our daily routine of ordering coffee, we became fast friends with the man and his wife even though a language barrier existed. I enjoyed getting the opportunity to immerse myself in the culture in such an authentic way, free from tourists.
I also loved going on the FUA excursions and enjoyed times in Pisa, and Cinque Terre that were filled with activities led by our professors! There was also plenty of time to travel on the weekends which provided for a summer filled of adventuring!
I met so many amazing people through the SAI program, and loved every moment traveling together, taking in the view from Piazza Michelangelo, and enjoying huge dinners of pizza, pasta, and wine! I would recommend the SAI program to anyone; as they gave me an experience I will never forget and supported me unconditionally along the way!

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Kayla
Female
24 years old
United States
University of Arkansas- Fayetteville

My Summer Abroad

10/10

I chose this program because I knew I wanted to be in Florence, and they offered classes that sounded interesting to me. I went for 7 weeks during the summer of 2014. I took the cultural introduction week, which I highly recommend because it was a perfect transition into life abroad in a smaller-group setting, and it gives you a feel for the culture before settling down into one place. Once in Florence, I took the history of Italian renaissance and wine culture in Italy, both of which I really enjoyed. Both classes had engaging field trips, and in my wine class, we had a tasting in almost every class! As far as outside of school, I became really close with other people in my program and also my roommates. We traveled almost every weekend since I only had classes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I went not only places within Italy like Rome and the Amalfi Coast, but also to Prague and Croatia (definitely check out Bus2Alps for easy and cheap weekend trips). Overall I had the summer of my life, and I would 100% recommend going abroad with SAI.

How can this program be improved?

The only thing is that my apartment wasn't that great compared to other people's, but I wasn't home that much anyways and also the general living conditions in Europe and America are just really different.

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Devin
Female
24 years old
Allentown, Pennsylvania
Muhlenberg College

Best experience!

10/10

Studying abroad in Florence through SAI was the best decision I have made! The staff was incredibly helpful and the school building locations were in easy to find areas. SAI was there to make the study abroad experience even more incredible by taking us on excursions through other parts of Italy and aiding students in becoming immersed with the community. If I have the chance to study abroad again through SAI I would definitely do it all over again! Great city, great staff, and an overall amazing experience!

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Katharine
Female
24 years old
Texas
Baylor University

Great Program

9/10

SAI does a really fantastic job of helping you plug into the local community. They love Florence and love helping students discover it. Whether you need travel tips, local hangouts, or your lightbulbs changed on your impossibly high ceilings, they're there for you.

How can this program be improved?

A few extra organized programs or events at the beginning while you're figuring out the city would be helpful. It's a good growing experience to figure it out yourself, but it can be a little overwhelming.

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Stephanie
Female
24 years old
Bryn Mawr, PA
Muhlenberg College

The Best Four Months

10/10

Studying abroad with SAI Florence was the most amazing and memorable experience of my life. I traveled to many countries and also had the opportunity to explore Italy. I loved exploring Florence the most because there were always new places to go and sites and museums to visit. I am from the suburbs and also go to a small college so I am not used to city life, but I absolutely loved exploring on my own and through this I became more comfortable traveling and doing things independently. I did travel with SAI on one weekend trip which was very organized and informative. Through studying abroad, I did meet many other American students who became travel buddies and lifelong friends (some of which were my roommates). I did appreciate that SAI did set up gatherings for students to get to know each other. I only went to one or two, but it was still nice to know that it was an option. I could literally write pages about how incredible my experience was in Florence (and I did keep a journal and blog which is useful). I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to go and explore other cultures and I highly recommend SAI to anyone considering going abroad!

How can this program be improved?

I think that the communication could be improved with SAI and the students. A man would come to repair things in our apartment and we had no idea that he would be coming. We never got a warning so at first we were very nervous to let a man who did not speak english into our apartment. I also would have liked for more weekend trips to be offered, although the day trips were good too.

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Giovanna
Female
24 years old
Tampa, FL
University of Tampa

Amazing Experience

10/10

I knew I was going to love every second of study abroad going into it, but I never anticipated how attached I would become with Florence by the time I left. SAI had a lot to do with me feeling so comfortable in a foreign city. My apartment was in one of the best locations, a few streets over from Santa Croce, and happened to be an old Palace. The walls and arched ceilings were covered with orginal fresco paintings which made it seem like I really took a step back in time. When i look back on it, I can't believe I got to live in such a beautfiul historic building. In general, SAI was extremely accommodating and gave a great introduction to Florence with recommendations on travel information, where to buy groceries, shops and places to eat out.

Something that I strongly recommend if you study with SAI is take advantage of their free excursions offered. These include weekend trips but also day trips-for example, a spa day or a visit to the chocolate festival. There are limited spots so make sure you sign up early! I still reminisce about the Giglio Island trip that was absolutely stunning, truly one of Italy's hidden gems. I also loved the wine tasting trip that was located in the hills of Tuscany.

I really wish I could experience it all over again for the first time. It's insane how fast your time over there goes by. A year later and I still think about it every single day. Luckily, I documented my four months in Florence so I wouldn't forget a single moment. From pictures to videos but also by saving little everyday things for my scrapbook (From the San Lorenzo market, of course!). Everything from the culture, food, shopping and people made me fall in love with my new home. So much, I tried to extend my stay!

How can this program be improved?

To offer more spots for excursions so more people can experience these trips and travel to places they would normally not see own their own.

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Caleb
Male
24 years old
Springfield, Missouri
Missouri State University

FUA with SAI is the best!

10/10

From the moment I chose to study abroad with SAI, they offered nothing but the most excellent help and guidance. They helped me through every step of the study abroad preparation process. At Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy, I experience a type of education that had just enough familiarity to the way the subjects were taught in America, while also having a different international feel. SAI also put on many non-academic trips that offered a chance to see more of Europe and to build bonds with the other SAI students. Even if you don't choose to study at FUA, I would definitely choose to study abroad with SAI!

About The Provider

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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 organization, working with partner schools throughout

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