Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

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Living Abroad

AIFS in Florence Resident Director, Summer Program

AIFS Resident Director

Simona Michelotti

Laurea cum laude in Pedagogy at the University of Florence

Phone: (39) 055 098 1800

Simona was born in Malta, but very soon moved to Italy. She is used to say that her heart is divided between her love for Florence and the one for South Tyrol. She loves to every day walk through the Ponte Vecchio admiring the beauty of Florence, but she cannot stay too much far away from the breathtaking Dolomites mountains, where she hikes or snowshoes according to the season. She is also a wine lover and loves to cook for her friends and family, as a typical Italian!

Very soon she understood the importance of Study Abroad, when during high school, she spent a summer at a college in Florida: a meaningful experience that somehow directed all her future choices.

Simona has been working full time for AIFS since 1998, covering different roles, such as Director of the Internship and Service Learning Program, Director of the Summer School, and she also ran a J-Term program on the Dolomites. She is now the Dean of the Florence Program, although she refers to herself as an Educator who has the honor to prepare the ground field for unforgettable learning experiences and change the students' lives forever, exactly like it happened to her.

The Resident Director provides academic advice, introduces you to the community and handles communication with the University.

AIFS Campus Staff with First Aid Training

Because health and safety are top priorities at AIFS, at least one member of the staff at this campus has taken a first aid course in order to be available to help any student until a doctor or nurse can provide help. This is just one of many services that we provide to our students.

Housing and Meals

Student Apartments

Housing is in the center of the city, not more than 30 minutes on foot or by public transportation from the  Global Education Center. Students using public transportation should budget approximately 45 euros for a monthly bus pass to travel from their housing to classes.

  • Between 2 and 10 AIFS students share one apartment
  • Double room
  • Fully-equipped kitchen and bathroom
  • Two sets of linens and blankets
  • Washing machine


Students spend their irst days in the Barolo area of Pollenzo.

  • Double or single rooms
  • Breakfast at the hotel and dinners in selected restaurants
  • Once in Florence students will stay in apartments as described above

Internet access is included in all AIFS housing in Florence.


The included meal plan is one of the highlights of the Florence program, with almost 100% of students rating it “excellent” every summer. It gives you a unique opportunity to become part of the Florentine culinary culture, dining alongside locals in selected restaurants and trattorias or shopping in neighborhood grocery stores.

  • Session 1 students receive a total of 20 vouchers ($400)
  • Session 2 students receive a total of 40 vouchers ($700)
  • Sessions 1 + 2 combined students receive both meal plans outlined above ($1,100)
  • Welcome and farewell dinner
  • Wine Marketing students receive breakfast and dinner at the hotel in Week 1 and 14 vouchers for their time in Florence
  • Students may opt out of the meal plan and pay a reduced program fee

Cultural Activities

Learning does not begin or end in the classroom. To help you get a true taste of Italian culture, the Resident Director arranges activities and excursions.

Many activities promote a way of learning through “hands-on” experience as well as integration with the local community to allow students to get the most from life in Florence. Most events are included in the program fee and only a few require a small supplementary fee. Examples of activities are:

Taste of Italy:

  • Pizza school
  • Italian cooking classes
  • Food and wine pairing
  • Gelato tasting tour discovering the best “gelaterie” in town

Visits and activities in town:

  • Main museums (such as Opera del Duomo, Uffizi and Galleria dell’Accademia)
  • Guided tour of the African portraits at the Uffizi Gallery
  • Concerts, operas and ballets at the theater
  • Backstage at the famous Pitti Immagine Uomo fashion show
  • Oxfam Migrantour
  • Art and craft workshops

Boost your Italian language:

  • Dinners and events with Italians
  • “Spaghetti Connection” program (to give students the opportunity to gather round the table with Italian families)
  • Language exchange with local students


  • Yoga gatherings
  • AIFS soccer team
  • Basketball matches with local students

Day trips discovering treasures of Italy (including some mandatory class-related field trips):

  • Pisa
  • Lucca
  • Cinque Terre
  • Siena
  • Tuscan Coast
  • Tuscan farm
  • Fashion firm
  • Ferrari museum in Maranello
  • Parmesan and balsamic vinegar producer

Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS Italy programs! Offerings!

Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS Italy programs!

Download PDF with full program details on all AIFS Italy, Florence programs!