The City

The beauty and wealth of Florence has attracted every society, from Roman times to the present. Though Florence is an ancient city, the focal point today is the art and architecture, and the Renaissance that blossomed from 1400 – 1600. No other place in Europe reflects the birth and development of modern society more than Florence, through its exquisite examples of art and architecture. The Renaissance or “rebirth”, the revolutionary time that followed the Dark Ages of Europe, changed the world forever by placing importance on the individual and on creativity.

The streets of Florence still ring with the vibrant culture that began over 600 years ago; the center has changed little, combining the elegance and quality of Renaissance style with a stunning blend of modern design. It is an immensely fun city, filled with people from all parts of the world. The lush hills and mountains of Tuscany surround the city, offering themselves for exploration on afternoons or weekends. Though Florence has a rich history, today it is an important center for contemporary art, fashion design, graphics and business.

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Florence host schools

The School

SAI offers students the opportunity to study a wide array of disciplines in Florence at the Florence University of the Arts (FUA).

Florence University of the Arts (FUA)

FUA is a young institution offering liberal arts coursework that takes a contemporary approach to international education. With small classes taught by highly qualified international faculty, FUA courses aim to enhance the social, intercultural and professional experience of each student. In the classroom, students have the opportunity to learn with working professionals, as many instructors are critically acclaimed in their fields. Outside of the classroom, students apply what they learn to their surroundings, with ample opportunities for community engagement and hands-on learning.

In addition to coursework in arts and sciences, communications, and business, FUA offers unique opportunities for students to enroll in cutting-edge fashion, design, architecture, and fine arts courses, and well as culinary and wine studies courses.

As an urban school, FUA is comprised of several buildings in Florence’s city center that have been refurbished to create spaces for studios, classrooms, and meeting points. The school hosts regular events, including afternoon lectures, film series, book launches, and conferences, all available to students and the community.

Courses Offered:

Summer (including High School option)
Career Programs

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FUA Departments

  • Arts and Sciences
  • Culinary, Wine and Baking/Pastry at Apicius
  • Digital Imaging And Visual Arts
  • Fashion and Accessory Studies and Technology
  • Interior Design, Environmental Architecture and Sustainability
  • International Business
  • Journalism, Communication and Publishing

Student Life

Students in Florence have the opportunity to live in the heart of the Renaissance while experiencing the modern, thriving city of today. Every corner of the city breathes a history that cannot be taken for granted, even after months of living in it. Studying among global treasures such as Michelangelo’s David, the iconic Ponte Vecchio, and the Uffizi Gallery, one of the oldest and most famous art museums in the world, is both creatively inspiring and humbling.   

Florence is a very manageable city for students, with a small-town feel juxtaposed with a thriving economy and bustling tourism. Students can easily go between small piazzas away from it all, to the lively pedestrian-only center of the city where live music and street side vendors abound. Florence’s streets are lined with the enticing scents of Tuscan food, and students have easy access to the surrounding regions to enjoy world renowned wines, cheeses and cuisine.