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

New refund & cancelation policies!

We’ve updated our refund & cancelation policy to allow for flexible booking due to COVID-19

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 69 reviews
  • Academics 7.4
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.4
Showing 1 - 8 of 69
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Bella
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved every minute!

I loved studying abroad with SAI! They always had staff available to help in whatever you needed and understood how overwhelming studying abroad can be. SAI planned awesome trips and immersion activities that made me feel like Florence was my home. The three day trip we took was to Commachio, Padova, and Ravena, three places I would never have normally gone but it ended up being a great trip that allowed me to see smaller cities in Europe, unlike some of the other programs which just take you to Rome or Venice (places you would easily go yourself).

What would you improve about this program?
I would love it if they included the meal plan like some of the other providers did
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Arianna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

An Experience I'll Never Forget

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. 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. Traveling while I was abroad was one of the biggest highlights and something that I would recommend for all study abroad students. It gives you he chance to see things that you had only ever hoped of seeing and doing. But don't forget to get to know your own host country, especially Italy where there so much to do and see just in the country. Because the professor and school were understanding that study abroad students were there to do more than just school, the workload was lighter, giving everyone the opportunity to be pursue and do things beyond school, like traveling. I can't advocate for study abroad enough, especially SAI who made the experience even better by being such a resource in a new place where I didn't know a lot of things.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I planned a trip with my friends to Prague for our last weekend before finals. However, once I got there, I realized I forgot my passport at my apartment and ended not being able to go to Prague. Long story short, always double check you have your passport when traveling!
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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.
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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.