Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

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Living Abroad

AIFS in Florence Resident Director, Summer Program

AIFS Resident Director

Dr. Simona Michelotti

Phone: (39) 055 213 851

Ciao! I have been working with AIFS since 1998. I was born in Malta and received my Laurea from the University of Florence. I also studied abroad, spending a summer in the U.S. I love traveling and continue to enjoy comparing different cultures.

It is important to me to share my spare time with you during this hectic month to get to know you better. Our goal at the Richmond Florence Study Center is to try to transmit our culture through the courses and activities we offer. The program is a nutshell of the most important themes of our Italian history and I enjoy the fact that we experience this by day!

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 Study 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
  • Internet connection


Students on the Wine Marketing Program spend the first week in the Barolo area of Pollenzo.

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

Optional Italian Homestay

Students staying for both Sessions 1 and 2 may also choose to stay in a double room in an Italian homestay at no extra fee.


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)
  • Students staying for Sessions 1 + 2 combined 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:

  • Cheese tasting
  • 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 to 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
  • Richmond soccer team

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

  • Pisa
  • Lucca
  • Cinque Terre
  • Siena
  • Tuscan Coast
  • Verona and Lake Garda
  • Tuscan farm
  • Fashion firm