Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

Study Abroad in Florence: Living Abroad

Housing and Meals

Choose between a homestay or an apartment:


  • With an Italian family
  • Shared room
  • Residential neighborhood of Florence

Self-catering Student Apartment

  • Fully furnished
  • Share with between 2 and 9 other AIFS students
  • Centrally-located


  • Both options include Meal Plan valued at $1,700

Internet access is included in all AIFS housing in Florence


Typical accommodations might be with an Italian host family (a single person or retired couple) in a residential section of Florence or in a carefully selected apartment shared with up to 9 other students. If in an apartment, approximately 325 euros for the semester is paid directly to the landlord in cash upon arrival as a deposit for utilities. Housing is located within a 30-minute walk from the Study Center.


The meal plan is one of the highlights of the Florence program, with almost 100% of students rating it “excellent” or “good.” Valued at approximately $1,700, as well as being incredible value for money, 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. You will receive 10 vouchers per week (five breakfasts plus five lunches or dinners excluding during excursions) that can be used in restaurants, coffee shops, delis and supermarkets, giving you the flexibility to eat out or pool resources and cook in your apartment with your fellow students.

Students may opt out of the meal allowance and pay a reduced fee of $14,295.


Florence has an extensive public bus system to get to and from classes and housing. Many sites throughout the center of town are accessible by foot.

Students on the Internship Program use public transportation to get to work if necessary. Interns should budget approximately 50 euros per month for a bus pass.

Cultural Activities

To help you get a true taste of Italian culture, AIFS-Richmond staff organize an excellent program of cultural and social activities and advise students on how to get the most from life in Florence. Most events are included in the program fee and only some require a small supplementary fee. Past activities have included:

  • Italian cooking classes
  • Wine tastings
  • Pizza making class
  • Italian chocolate tastings
  • Italian cheese tastings
  • Gelato tour (discover the best “gelaterie” in town)
  • Concerts/theater (operas and ballets)
  • Dinners with Italians
  • Lectures and workshops
  • Museum visits
  • Art galleries
  • Costume jewelry making

Class related field trips and extracurricular trips have included visits to:

  • Milan
  • Vinci
  • Pisa
  • Lucca
  • Cinque Terre
  • Tuscan farm
  • Fashion factory
  • Ferrari Museum
  • Vespa factory (Piaggio Museum)
  • Backstage visit to the famous Pitti Immagine Uomo fashion show

Information on other attractive locations in Italy is made available to students.

Volunteering Program

Over the last 25 years over 1,500 AIFS students have participated in the AIFS volunteer program, engaging in community service and leaving a mark in both students' personal and professional lives.

Volunteer work is offered to those who wish to take an active role in their local community. Placements are offered in a variety of different environments – schools, hospitals, museums and day care and recreational centers. This is a great opportunity for students to improve their Italian language ability, to gain the confidence of the locals and to experience the heart and soul of Italian culture.

Service Learning and Active Citizenship

Students wishing to earn academic credit for their volunteer work can take the Service Learning and Active Citizenship course, a 3-credit course combining a community placement with written work, designed to provide students of all majors with the intellectual, professional and personal skills that will enable them to function well in the community and gain valuable life experience. The Service Learning course is based on the principles of civic engagement, ethical social responsibility and social justice. The assessment is based on reflective learning, social analysis and public problem solving.

Due to the amount of hours students must commit to work, it is strongly recommended that they enroll in a maximum of 3 other courses.

AIFS in Florence Dean, Academic Year and Semester Programs

AIFS Resident Director

Dr. Monica Giovannini
Dean of Richmond, Florence

Phone: (+39) 055 213851

Ciao! I have been a Resident Director here in Florence since 1984. I received my Laurea cum laude from the University of Florence, so I am extremely familiar with where you will be studying and living! I studied abroad myself; spending a year as an exchange graduate student in the U.S. I have also lived in Germany and the U.K. and traveled in Europe, Canada, India, Egypt and Morocco. As you can see, my love of travel never went away!

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.