What you need to know about studying in Florence

What you need to know about studying in Florence

Learn their culture.

Florentines are not your typical Italians. They are proud people with a deep appreciation for the arts. They know how amazing their city is and are not afraid to express that.  They are reserved people who dress rather conservatively. Walking around in a tank top and shorts will most likely target you as a tourist.

Learn their language.

The best way to show that you are not just another typical tourist is to try and learn the language! While you sound awful and try to ask for a cup of water and instead ask for a blanket, they appreciate your effort to learn their language. Being patient is also another huge rule of studying abroad. You are an American trying to speak Italian and they are Italian trying to speak English. They don’t understand you just as much you don’t understand them. So getting angry and yelling at them is only going to make the situations worse. Be patient, and download google translate.

Prepare for the heat.

Water. Fans. Handheld fans. All things you will need when studying in Firenze, or FIREnze as it should be put.  Europeans in general are not big on air conditioning, so never expect it. Some stores will have it, but most restaurants and apartments do not. Fans and water will become your two best friends. The coast is  a nice way to cool off on the weekends and the seafood is spectacular.


Travel every weekend that you can. You will never hate yourself for going to see the Eiffel tower, or the Swiss Alps; but you will hate yourself if you don’t. How many times are you going to have this sort of opportunity?  The Italian coast is absolutely mesmerizing and you cannot go wrong. We spent a weekend at the Amalfi coast and the Cinque Terre. Both are an absolute must if you make your way to Italy. The trains are quick and the experiences are life changing.



Studying with a Friend

Before studying abroad I had a really hard time deciding where to go.   My roommate and I were both looking into it and decided why not go together? So we narrowed down our choices and Florence, Italy became our new home for the summer.  Not everyone chooses to study with someone they know, but I am glad I did. It made the transition from American life to Italian life a little easier and a little more comfortable than some of my new friends.  You always have a travel buddy and someone to grab a quick meal with (and to lend you a phone if yours gets stolen, like mine did).


However, if you are doing this I recommend that you schedule separate classes. We did half and half. One class together, and the other separate. It was a nice time to get away from one another and stop breathing the same air at all times.  Studying with someone that you know does not prevent you from meeting new people and making new friends, you just have to be sure to put yourself out there. Overall, I would definitely come back with my friend and do it all the same.