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Guide to Studying Abroad in Florence for American Students

Updated: Mar 27

College Kids in Florence Italy

Florence, a gem in Italy's Tuscany region, attracts U.S. students eager to study abroad. As the heart of the Renaissance, this city blends rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant culture. It's a real-life museum with its cobblestone streets and historic landmarks. This guide will help you navigate the process of studying in Florence, offering tips for a fulfilling experience.

FSU Florence

Selecting a Program

Florence's diverse study abroad programs include CEA CAPA, SAI Florence University of the Arts, and CIS Abroad. They cover subjects like art history, Italian language, and political science. Research is key to finding the right fit, considering factors like curriculum, costs, housing, credit transfer, program location, support services, and past participant reviews.

Language Skills

Gaining Italian proficiency enriches your stay. Italians appreciate foreigners learning their language, aiding in everyday navigation and cultural immersion. Taking Italian classes before and during your stay helps in understanding local culture and history.

Kent State Florence

Housing in Florence

Study abroad programs offer housing choices, including home-stays, dorms, and apartments. Home-stays immerse you in Italian culture, while apartments offer independence. Be prepared for cultural differences in living standards and limited modern amenities.

Trip Preparation

Once accepted, start your paperwork, including student visa applications, passport checks, and tuition payments. Health insurance is also vital, and plan your travel to and around Italy.

Experiencing Florence

Florence is rich in history, with landmarks like the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo. Explore local cuisine, shopping, and unique cultural experiences as you wander the city.

Cultural Immersion

Engage in Florence's vibrant culture through local festivals, opera, and daily interactions. Respecting Italian customs and etiquette adds depth to your experience and helps build local connections.

Academic and Internship Opportunities

Cooking together in Florence

Utilize the unique academic offerings in Florence, attending special lectures and courses. Check for internship opportunities with local businesses or organizations, adding professional and language skills.

Exploring Italy and Europe

Florence's location makes traveling to other Italian cities and European countries easy. Balance travel with academic responsibilities and adhere to travel advisories.

Safety and Health

Florence is generally safe, but stay alert to pickpockets and keep document copies secure. Ensure you have comprehensive health insurance and follow medical guidelines, including vaccinations and managing existing conditions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Study abroad can be costly, but financial aid and scholarships are available. Consult your university's financial aid office and research scholarships like the Gilman International Scholarship and the Boren Awards.

The Red Garter in Florence Frontage

Free Time in Florence

Enjoy Florence's nightlife, parks, and markets. Experience local wines and gelato, and explore the Arno River for activities like rowing. Balance relaxation with your study and travel plans.


Studying in Florence offers a chance for academic growth, cultural exposure, and personal development. Embrace this adventure with planning, respect for local customs, and attention to health and safety for a memorable experience.

Eating lunch at Panini and Vini

Staying Connected and Managing Finances

While in Florence, staying connected with family and friends back home is important for your well-being. Consider international phone plans or local SIM cards for easy communication. Also, familiarize yourself with digital communication platforms that work well in Italy. Managing finances abroad is another crucial aspect. Open a local bank account if you're staying for an extended period or use international debit/credit cards with low foreign transaction fees. Budgeting is key to manage expenses like dining, travel, and entertainment while avoiding overspending. Be aware of currency exchange rates and find cost-effective ways to transfer money internationally if needed.

Career Development and Personal Growth

Studying in Florence isn't just about academics and sightseeing; it's a pathway to significant personal and professional development. Engage in networking opportunities and workshops offered by your study abroad program or local organizations. These interactions can lead to lasting professional relationships and career opportunities. Also, take time for personal reflection and growth. Living in a new culture challenges your perspectives and encourages adaptability, problem-solving, and independence. Document your experiences through journals or blogs, which can be valuable for personal reflection and professional portfolios. Embrace this transformative journey, as it shapes not just your academic path, but also your personal character and career trajectory.

American Universities with Florence Programs

This section lists American universities offering Florence study abroad programs, such as New York University and Stanford University.


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