SAI Programs: Study Abroad at Florence University of the Arts

Video and Photos

Santa Croce is in view! My apartment, school, and the SAI office in is that area.
Santa Croce is in view! My apartment, school, and the SAI office in is that area.
SIA took us on a boat ride down the Arno, and I was captured in my element. Taking photos!
SIA took us on a boat ride down the Arno, and I was captured in my element. Taking photos!
Fall 2016 program class
Fall 2016 program class
Wine tour!
Wine tour!
Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy
Really enjoyed the welcome dinner at this beautiful location! Such a great introduction to other students abroad!
Really enjoyed the welcome dinner at this beautiful location! Such a great introduction to other students abroad!
Loved seeing all the beauty around Italy including these flowers hanging by the Florence University of the Arts!
Loved seeing all the beauty around Italy including these flowers hanging by the Florence University of the Arts!
Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy

About

SAI invites students to surround themselves with the refined beauty of Renaissance Italy by studying abroad at the Florence University of the Arts (FUA). FUA offers a wide range of courses in English which have been carefully planned and designed keeping with current interests and contemporary subjects including: Literature, Sciences, Business, Economics, History, Fine Arts, Graphic Design, and more.

SAI oversees and coordinates all aspects of student enrollment, including application processing, course selection and credit, visa advising, housing, student health insurance, and transcripts. SAI also provides comprehensive student services, from the moment of application, through the on-site experience, until students return home. In addition to supporting students throughout their stay in Florence, SAI also coordinates a range of activities and excursions throughout the term, including a walking tour of historic Florence, a “survival Italian” language class, and much more!

Highlights
  • Enroll in unique experiential learning courses for hands-on learning
  • Live among Italians in a bustling but manageable city
  • Enjoy SAI's 360° Services

Questions & Answers

I'm not sure about their winter/ summer shorter programs, but their full semester fall classes had around 100-120 when I went and the spring semester is closer to 150+.
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 67 reviews
  • Academics 7.4
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 15 of 67
Default avatar
Kate
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Decision Of my Life

Choosing to Study Abroad was the best decision I have made, and I am so happy I chose to do it through SAI. Everyone that works for SAI programs goes above and beyond for their students and makes sure that we have all the resources we need to make our experience amazing. From day one, before we even leave the country, they are there to help with any kind of problem we may have. The SAI program is a great little community that I loved being a part of. The program works only to enhance your experience, and it did just that for me. Although they are always there to help, they encourage us to have a lot of independence which gives students the courage to travel and discover new things on our own. They hope for us to not only succeed academically, but to succeed in growing as person and gaining the best cultural experience.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Take advantage of the free trips the program offers
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Marissa
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Priceless Experience

My experience in Florence with SAI Programs was truly priceless. The program gave me the perfect blend of independence and support that I was looking for. I had plenty of opportunities to immerse in the local culture, and to travel often. The academic life was unique in that it was based on experiential learning and hands-on activities. My classes were academically enriching, but not necessarily rigorous, so I had plenty of time outside of my course work to do what I went abroad to do: explore and experience.

The SAI on-site staff were an invaluable asset to my time abroad, and my experience would not have been half as seamless without them helping handle logistics all along the way.

I would go back to Italy and this program in a heartbeat!

What was your funniest moment?
One day I learned firsthand about the importance of the Italian leather tradition. I was wearing these cheap rubber rain boots (like really cheap) and I walked into one of the many leather shoe stores in Florence, just to look around on my way home. The older gentleman running the storefront picks up a shoe from the display to show me. Then takes one glance at my feet and immediately swats me with the leather loafer that he’s been holding, while scolding me for what I'm wearing.
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Noah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The most fun four months of my life!

Studying abroad through SAI was worth every penny and second of my time. I learned so much about myself and others through meeting people from all around the world. The friendships with other Americans who attend other universities are what I value the most from studying abroad. I still stay in touch with many of them and they will always hold a special place in my heart. The experiences I had in Italy were completely life changing and I feel that I have grown in so many positive ways. I feel so comfortable being independent and going new places completely alone because of this experience. I has shown me that no matter where I end up living post graduation, I will be able to not only make do, but make the most of everywhere I go. SAI has changed my life for the better.

What would you improve about this program?
I would not change anything about this program. They took care of us so well and I can't imagine wanting to change anything I experienced.
Default avatar
Kate
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Florence Summer 2019

My study abroad experience in Florence, Italy was something I will never forget. From cancelled flights to lost bags my travels did not start off very easy but as soon as I landed in Florence and drove through the city to my apartment, I knew I was going to have an unforgettable summer. I am so glad I chose SAI because they allowed us to be independent and enjoy the city on our own. They offered many events and trips throughout the summer but you could also plan your own so you could make your experience what you wanted. They provided with many resources for when we got there from restaurant recommendations to taxi numbers. They were very knowledgeable about the local culture and helped us get accustomed to life in Florence.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would try to take more pictures and write down all the places and restaurants I visited
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Jessica
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Semester Ever

Choosing to study abroad in Florence, Italy with SAI was the best decisions I have ever made. The on-site support staff was unbelievable. They were the most prepared, organized, and genuinely caring individuals that I have ever met and my experience wouldn't have been the same without them. They seemed to know what I needed before I could even ask for it. They were always there for support but didn't hover so that you could make your experience your own. They always had free or paid activities going on that you had the option to participate it. They kept us updated on local and home information via email and the facebook page. Florence in the most beautiful city and FUA is a good school. I highly recommend this program to individuals who love travel, adventure, food, and a life time of memories.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would stay for an entire year instead of just a semester.
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Arianna
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best 4 Months of My Life

SAI Programs was the best!!! They were such a great help and amazing resource while I was there. They also planned incredible trips and activities for us that I would never have done otherwise. They were all super friendly and knowledgeable about Florence and utilized that all the time. I would go into their office just to say hello, work on a puzzle, or even ask them for recommendations for places to eat or where to buy certain things from I cannot sing enough praises for the Florence SAI staff.

Florence on it's own was my favorite city as well. It's full of such rich history, culture, art, and food, making it the perfect destination for anyone. There's always so much to do in Florence whether it's visiting world-renowned museums, going for a walk and grabbing gelato, eating amazing pizza on the steps of a historic church, listening to live music on Ponte Vecchio, or going to a bar with friends to grab an aperol spritz. Florence has a great social scene

I learned a lot about myself as a person, which I was not expecting because I thought I was pretty in touch with who I was. But, it was cool to learn new things about myself. I also feel like I gained a lot of cultural capital as well because I've visited, seen, and learned about all these amazing things, like art and culture, that I had only ever dreamed of. I would study abroad again in a heartbeat.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
I tried truffle while I was in Italy, which is basically a fancy mushroom that's really expensive, and I had never had it before because it's not common in the states like it is in Italy. I absolutely fell in love with it. Every time I would go out to eat I would scour the menu for anything with truffle and would usually get it too. I just think this proves that you shouldn't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and try new things because you never know what you might find out.
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Hanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Semester of My Life!

I had the best four months of my life, thanks to SAI! I was so nervous to leave the country and my family for that long, going so far away, but SAI was so helpful and welcoming every step of the way. I never once felt like I was on my own. By choosing SAI, the door was opened to so many different opportunities. They offered cooking classes, bookmaking classes, language classes, city tours, weekend trips, and so much more all included in your program cost. They did everything they could to help us dive into the culture and feel at home in our host country. I enjoyed my time with SAI so much that I decided to become a student ambassador for SAI on my home campus at Ole Miss in hopes to help students have the same experience that I did! They continue to provide me with opportunities to succeed even a year after my semester abroad. I highly recommend this program because they strive to make your experience the best it could possibly be for you. They want the best for you and it truly shows through every employee in the program!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
If I could do that semester all over again I would pack less and worry less. I definitely over packed when I went over, and I also feel like I stressed way to much about what could go wrong, rather than living in the moment every chance I got. I learned so much about traveling as well as about myself as a person through this experience. There really aren't many things I would change.
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Francesca
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Best Experience

I studied abroad in Florence for 6 weeks and it was the best experience of my life. I became very close friends with my roommates and we traveled, studied, and ate our way through Italy. SAI was always available to any questions we had and made my experience much better knowing I had a contact if something were to happen, or if I just had a question. I learned so much studying abroad and am glad that I decided to take the opportunity to go somewhere where I knew no one.
My favorite memory was hiking in Cinque Terre with my roommates. It was about a 2 hour hike, but the views and the bonding experience was indescribable and I would just wear something more comfortable next time.
i had class everyday Monday- Thursday, leaving me with plenty of time to travel on the weekends and get to explore everything that Italy had to offer. I went to 13 different cities in Italy, and I am happy I decided to stay in Italy rather than explore other countries because it allowed me to immerse myself in the Italian culture even more. Because I only had 6 weeks, I made the best of my time, and am happy I decided to explore all Florence had to offer, as well as the rest of Italy.

What would you improve about this program?
I thought everything about what SAI set up was perfect for me and all things went smoothly.
Angelika
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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!

Lillie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
Have the apartment have more than one bathroom.
Madeline
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Gwen
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

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Sophia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.
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Lauren
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

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.

What would you improve about this program?
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.

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About SAI Programs

Since 1995, SAI has provided students with exceptional cultural and educational experiences abroad, offering the opportunity to enroll in some of the finest schools available to English speaking students in Europe. SAI is dedicated to providing...