Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

Study Abroad in Florence: Living Abroad

Housing and Meals

Choose between a homestay or an apartment:

Homestay

  • With an Italian family
  • Single or double room depending on availability
  • Residential neighborhood of Florence

Self-catering Student Apartment

  • Fully furnished
  • Share with up to 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

Housing Options

Housing options include living 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.

Meals

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 who do not wish to receive the meal plan will pay a reduced fee of $14,295.

Transportation

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 to complement the academic program and to enhance the educational experience. Many activities promote a way of learning through “hands-on” experience as well as integration with 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:

  • Italian cooking classes
  • Wine tastings
  • Pizza making class
  • Chocolate tastings
  • Cheese tastings
  • Food and wine pairing
  • Gelato tasting tour discover the best “gelaterie” in town

Visits and activities in town:

  • Main museums (such as Uffizi and Galleria dell’Accademia)
  • On-going exhibitions
  • Concerts, operas and ballets at the theater
  • Backstage visit to the famous Pitti Immagine Uomo fashion show
  • Art and craft workshops

Boost your Italian language:

  • Dinners and events with Italians
  • Spaghetti connection program (to give students the opportunity to gather at the table with Italian families)
  • Italian language “help desk” and language exchange with local students

Sports:

  • Richmond soccer team
  • National elite series soccer matches (ACF Fiorentina)
  • Yoga gatherings

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

  • Milan
  • Pisa
  • Lucca
  • Cinque Terre
  • Verona and Lake Garda
  • Tuscan farm
  • Fashion firm
  • Ferrari museum in Maranello
  • Parmisan and balsamic vinegar producer
  • Vespa factory (Piaggio museum)
  • The Carnival in Viareggio

Service Learning And Volunteering

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

Richmond Study Center
Via Maggio 11
Florence 50125 Italy

Phone: (+39) 055 213851
Email: m.giovannini@richmond.it

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.