SAI Programs: Study Abroad at FUA in Florence, Italy

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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 57 reviews
  • Academics 7.5
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9
  • Housing 9.3
  • Safety 9.5
Showing 46 - 57 of 57
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Kathryn
10/10

wow

This was the best decision. I loved every bit of Florence. Our apartment didn't have hot water for over half of the trip and our toilet would break every other day but it was the experience that we were there for and I wouldn't have changed a single thing. I can't wait to come back to Italy and see all the things and places that I didn't get to before.

How can this program be improved?
For a class we had to have a certain wardrobe for an event that we were required to take part in and it would've been nice to know beforehand so that I wouldn't have to spend money on clothes that I would only wear one day.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Alyssa
10/10

Semester Abroad

I greatly enjoyed my time at FUA with the SAI program. It was a semester I will never forget! Great time, great people, great city!! The staff is helpful and very nice. They plan excursions that are really fun . . .I wish I could have gone on all of them.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Brandon
10/10

Great experience

I am a 38 year old redirecting my life and found a new start at FUA. Thanks to FUA, I am on my way to starting a new career with a bright future. I would recommend any student looking to travel and study abroad or anyone looking for a fresh start to try FUA program.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Claire
9/10

SAI- GREAT at what they do

Study abroad is really what you make it, however, with the resources, activities, advice and various other services SAI provides, you are much more likely to make it the experience of a lifetime. There is no doubt that SAI made my time in Florence more comfortable. The staff will become your family and they really do go above and beyond to help ( they pretty much planned a week trip to Greece for me and a friend). They will help you with all your questions, problems, or concerns about being abroad that make you feel better about going off into the world. You will have bad experiences ( we lost heat/ hot water in the cold for 5 days and lost internet several times ) but really you cant avoid them, Study Abroad Italy in Florence was still the best experience of my life hands down.

How can this program be improved?
Our room situation was not the best. We where in a very loud area and I had to sleep with headphones in.
Also I feel like I got ripped off with Student Cells, there are better plans out there.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Brittany
10/10

1 Year Wine Student

Everything was great. Being a wine student in a extraordinary wine area was fantastic. If you are going to be bold and study abroad, you should study for at least 2 semesters. This will give you a chance to travel, explore, and actually learn something. Overall, my experience was great.

How can this program be improved?
Instead of the wine career students having to complete internship hours at Ganzo for the second semester, they should be able to complete internship hours at a winery. This would create real world exclusives and practice for us students.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Sanjana
10/10

Best Four Months of My Life

I had the most wonderful four months of my life in the heart of Renaissance. The art, history, food, wine, people and culture have opened my eyes to a whole new world. I can't wait to be back in Firenze! A big thank you to all the members of SAI for making our stay so comfortable and fun!

Yes, I recommend this program
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Emily
10/10

Best Decision Ever

I was the first person from my college to attend an SAI program. I did not have much background on the program going in, but all SAI staff members were very helpful and made me feel very safe and informed throughout the whole process. I chose SAI: Florence for the location (a dream city), course options (I was looking for fun cultural classes, like Italian cooking!), and the fact that FUA's academic calendar still allowed my to make it home in time to walk at my graduation.

During my time in Florence, I discovered many reasons why I would (and do) recommend this program to everyone. 1) The SAI Staff has thought of everything. Part of moving to a different country is the inherent fear of the unknown, but rest assured that the SAI staff is experienced, qualified, and have already addressed the concerns you don't even know you have yet. 2) The friends I made, especially my 3 roommates, are my friends for life. Together we shared our most life-changing experiences to date. I don't know how SAI chooses housing assignments, but they sure did a great job. 3) Our apartment was better than I could have dreamed. The 4 of us girls lived on the other side of the Arno river (arguably further from the city center than most students), but I absolutely loved the residential feel of the neighborhood. We got to experience both the big-city and small-town feels Florence has to offer. Also, being further away from the Duomo meant our apartment was huge! It was un-Americanized, for which I am very thankful; the true Italian nuances to our old apartment added to the entire experience. 4) Everything is within walking distance. One of the greatest disappointments I had when coming back home was realizing I had to drive to the grocery store. I miss the little Il Centro market around the corner. 5) The extra trips and activities offered by the program allowed me to make the most of my time there. I also utilized Florence4Fun and Eruo Adventures for weekend trips and spring break. There may never be another time in your life to travel as freely as you can while studying abroad, so take advantage of every opportunity to make lasting memories.

A few difficulties I encountered: 1) For the first month I was unintentionally using fabric softener instead of laundry detergent and coffee creme instead of regular milk for my cereal. Thank goodness for Google Translate, but learning experiences like these make for great stories. 2) You can spot an American from a mile away. While I wouldn't normally advise this, try your best to blend in. 3) Like many students, I got sick a lot while abroad. But SAI connected me with a great English-speaking doctor in the city who prescribed me the same medication I could get at home. 4) If you live in Italy for more than 2 months, you will gain weight and that's okay. Please don't be like some girls in my program and try to diet while in the food capital of the world. This is your free pass - eat all the pasta and gelato you possibly can.

Choosing to study in Florence through SAI was the best decision I could have made. I absolutely recommend this program to everyone - there is no way you could regret it.

How can this program be improved?
I would make the extra-curricular activities, such as the sports nights and workout classes, available to more people. I know space is limited but I made the closest friendships with people I was able to hang out with outside of class. Its easy to feel isolated when you are in a strange place, so creating as many opportunities to get involved is important.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lindsey
10/10

SAI Florence

I studied abroad in Florence, Italy Spring Semester 2014. I could not have asked for a better experience or program. SAI is truly amazing, there staff is the sweetest and extremely helpful, and they take you on some awesome trips as well. If you're looking to study abroad, definitely look at programs through SAI!! :)

Yes, I recommend this program
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Laura
10/10

SAI Florence Experience

SAI is a wonderful program with fantastic staff. They made the living abroad experience so easy, fun and exciting. They are super helpful throughout the entire process from the beginning application until you leave your semester abroad.

Once abroad, SAI helps plan awesome social events to meet people as well as wonderful travel excursions from Cinque Terre to Fiorentina soccer games! They are always willing to help students with individual travel and even dining suggestions.

If you are considering going abroad SAI is the one to choose! I promise you wont regret it! This experience will change your life!

How can this program be improved?
SAI works really well with non-affliated schools to help all students have the opportunity to study abroad. I wish there was a way to expand their bounds as well as provide extension programs or even post-graduate job opportunities. Many students leave their term abroad wanting to return or possibly even relocate. I would love it if SAI worked with students wanting to seriously study/relate their field-of-study to life in Italy after school!!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Bridget
10/10

Best Experience

Choosing to participate in SAI Florence for my fall semester 2012 was the best decision I have ever made. Florence is the perfect city to study abroad in, and the program allowed for a myriad of travel opportunities. The courses were extremely interesting and intellectual stimulating while not asking too much outside of the classroom in order to allow students to take full advantage of their amazing surroundings in Florence. I had some incredible teachers who inspired me to be interested in things I never knew I would like. I owe this program everything for giving me the best 4 months of my life.

How can this program be improved?
Make History of the Mafia earlier in the day/week! This was my favorite course that I took, but it was Thursday night which caused some travel weekends to be cut short.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Adrienne
10/10

Best Place to Study Abroad

SAI was a reciprocal program through my home university and I can not say enough great things about them! Our program had about 130 students in it and we were the closet out of all other programs based in Italy. We got to take a lot of fun trips together and the staff was extremely helpful in making our transition into Florence as easy as possible!

How can this program be improved?
I would change the apartments being located all over the city. Although it was beneficial in making us learn the city (and believe me, after 5 months we knew every single road!) but it would have been nice, as girls, to be closer to where the guys lived for safety purposes. Florence is very very safe but late at night, it was a far lonely walk for my apartment to go all the way from where the bars are near Borgo Pinti to my apartment near the Accademia Museum.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Amica
10/10

SAI FUA 2012 - Amica

I'm so glad I decided to go on SAI's FUA session in 2012. It was one of the greatest experience of my life and I will never forget my time there. I lived in a nice apartment this 6 other girls two streets away from the Duomo. We were also two streets away from central market which was amazing and we made frequent trips there to get produce to cook. MY apartment didn't go out to eat all the time since the market was right around the corner and it had some of the most delicious and fresh produce, plus I love cooking and cooking this this food was amazing and saved a lot of money for trips. I was nervous i would get lost the first day but after day two you start to understand how the city was built and it is very easy to navigate.

SAI offered many amazing excursions to go on and I went on many; wine tastings, lakes and marble quarries all were amazing. The advisors at SAI are amazing they are so helpful and knowledgeable. They are great at recommending places to visit and eat. My favorite trips i took with my roommate were when we went to the train station and just took the first train coming in to a different town. We went to some amazing places we would have never even thought of going to...just don't forget to plan you trip back when picking where your going to.

My classes were amazing at FUA my favorite classes were the Art History classes because you literally walk down the street and will pass many things you are learning about. The classrooms are extremely beautiful and different from American class rooms and all the buildings are easy to get to.

While studying abroad I had an emergency that sent me to the ER in florence and one of the SAI advisors was by my side the entire time. Words can't event explain what a great advisor Camilla was. When the emergency happened it was the middle of the night into early morning and she was there within 20 minutes, she came to every doctors appointment and helped explain to me what was going on. She made me feel comfortable and safe in an extremely difficult time. Never have I met someone so kindhearted, helpful and thoughtful. Camilla truly did everything she could to make sure I was okay and I am truly grateful for her.

Every advisor at SAI was very friendly every time I saw one walking around they would stop and chit chat to see how things are going. It's amazing to me how they know every student, you're not just another kid studying abroad to them they know you name and interest. SAI does a great job selecting their advisors, they pick ones that care about all students.

Truly an amazing experience.

How can this program be improved?
If I had to pick one thing that was bad it would be that the internet connection in our apartment was not working all the time as well as the hot water. But I do understand that it is expect since it is an older apartment with 7 girls living in it. I did not mind but I can see how other girls might.
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...