Study Abroad in Italy with SACI
99% Rating
(10 Reviews)

Study Abroad in Italy with SACI

The extensive range of studio arts, design, conservation, art history, and Italian culture and language courses provides our students with the means to meet their individual educational needs while connecting them with the rich cultural heritage of Italy.

In both Fall and Spring, a student can enroll in five classes for a total of 15 credits. In summer a student can enroll in 2 classes for a total of 6 credits.

In addition to visiting many famous Italian cities over the course of the year, students use a museum pass provided by SACI to visit Florentine museums and historic sites. Students visit artists’ and designers’ studios, private collections, galleries, art fairs, and theaters. They have access to modern and historic art collections, research libraries, and contemporary art museums.
Each semester culminates in an end-of-term student exhibition which serves as an opportunity for students to display their work to the Florentine public.

Program Type
Subject Areas
Art History
Creative Writing
European Studies
Visual Arts
Academic Year
Online Application
Official Transcripts
Age Requirement
GPA Requirement
Visa Requirement
Price Details
Scholarships are available, be sure to check out our website!

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 10 reviews
  • Academics 9
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.5
  • Housing 9.6
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 10 of 10
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only four months, but a lifetime of memories

After the first day of class me and a couple of friends decided to go out and explore for the first time all together. I was both extremely shy and excited. Towards the end of the night we all sat down at a table at a nearby Irish Pub. We all had our backpacks since we went straight from class, and everyone had their bags either beside them or near them. An hour later I realized that mine was gone, and that it had been stolen by either a gypsy or someone that steals things and sells them. Now let me tell you what was in there; my laptop, my wallet, and my keys. I'm not going to lie, I cried. A lot. I called my parents asking for help and assistance, my friends were extremely comforting and helped me the most. I had no way in getting into my apartment, and had to immediately cancel all my cards. My roommate came to my rescue and I slept on the couch since my bedroom door was locked. The next morning I filed a report with the police, and waited. Not even an hour later I got a call saying somebody found my bag! I rushed to the school to find two nice French girls who said they found it behind a car and thought it looked sketchy. They found me because my SACI ID was in there. Not to anybodies surprise, the laptop and all the cash has gone. I was in school and needed a laptop direly. So decided to put it upon myself to go buy a new one. The nearest Apple store was 30 minutes away in an area called Calanzano. I hopped on a train (after missing it 3 times because I wasn't sure it was the right one) and thought I was on my way there. Oh boy was I wrong. I got off on the wrong stop, and got back on, then got back off on the right stop. Finally! I was in the middle of nowhere, and when I called a taxi to take my to the mall which was a 20 minute walk, they hung up on me when I asked them in Italian if they spoke English. I called back and simply said where I was and where I wanted to go. As soon as the person said a word, a loud train came by and I didn't hear a thing. Great. What now? Well, a woman gets off her train and asks me where the mall is. I told her I was going there as well, but was in a situation. She called a taxi in Italian for me, and told me to wait 15-30 minutes for it. I was SO thankful for this beautiful woman! So I waited for the taxi. 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour. No taxi. It was getting dark and my phone was dying soon so I decided to call it a day and head back home. Only problem was that I only had cash on me, and the ticket machines just took card. I was stuck. I then built up the courage to ask a man nearby if he could use his card to buy my ticket home, and I would give him the cash for it. He agreed, but he wouldn't take the money. I've never been so thankful for a stranger. I hopped on a train (the right one) and headed straight home. It never felt so good to be in a familiar place. As I was walking home I decided to sit down and take a breather in San Lorenzo. While sitting I was approached by a waiter that works in the restaurant next to where I was. He asked me questions about what I was doing in Italy, and some other things. He then offered me something to eat or drink at his restaurant, only to find out it was actually a bet he made with his friend! Nonetheless, I felt so grateful the for people around me and the people of Italy. I learned so much about myself that day that I wouldn't be able to learn any other way. I will never forget the people I encountered in the week and the impact they have on me, even if it's in the slightest. Don't be afraid to take risks. Breathe, always. And in the worst situations, there is always something to be thankful for.

How can this program be improved?

Better accommodations to students producing art. (Studios, darkrooms, spaces)

Yes, I recommend
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Be inspired

I have always loved being creative but wasn't allowed to go to art school for college. So I went abroad to an art school. The professors tell you everything that you should have been told as a young artist but people just assume you know. You're right Romeo, I should be inspired by my own work.

How can this program be improved?

Have a sister university in Italy that has italian students and we have a class that forces us to spend time with italian students who are our age.

Yes, I recommend
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My home away from home

Florence is a magnificent city with history and art around every corner in every building. Although some of the better known artworks or buildings are easy to find, others are hidden among side streets or in churches you would never think to step foot in. As an art history minor, SACI made it easy for me to see the art I have been learning about for years. The six-credit art history courses include a traveling component where the instructor takes you around Florence and other Italian cities to admire the work first-hand. It was truly a unique experience that I am so grateful to have had.

The studio courses at the school were amazing as well! They offer general art classes such as painting and drawing, but also give students the chance to learn not so common art practices, such as fresco painting and batik. Each of my instructors were approachable and had great knowledge of their subject matter. The majority of them are Italian natives, making the experience even more unique.

Along with other course exhibitions, the school held a juried student exhibition where any student could submit work for a potential spot in a gallery show. For me, this was brilliant. It lets students show their work among their peers, faculty, and other locals who were eager to see our talents.

SACI was helpful in many aspects throughout my semester abroad.

How can this program be improved?

Some of the studio spaces were crammed, like the ceramic studio. But since the school is located in the city, I can see how expanding it would be difficult in such a crowded area.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Best Semester I Ever Had

I constantly heard about culture-shock before going abroad, but can't say I ever truly felt it. Florence is such an easy city to adjust to, especially with the wonderful staff and facilities at SACI. Even when I went through a bad bout of being sick, the staff helped me find a doctor and get my health sorted out.

The two main buildings and the satellite studio are great environments to learn in. I was taught so much in my classes, not only about how to approach certain art styles, but also about myself. In addition, outside of the classroom I was constantly learning about the Italian culture, the art all around me, the food, etc.

SACI is a perfect fit if you're looking for an amazing semester/year abroad in a place that helps you grow through experience. Over four months, I changed and matured as an artist, as well as a person.

Yes, I recommend
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A Notable Experience

SACI is a program most valuable to those who are willing to take the initiative to further their academic and artistic development, as is any situation in life. Surely, the faculty at SACI are the heart and soul of the school-- they are truly supportive and inspirational. To this day, I feel a closer bond to certain professors there than at my homeschool.

Administration made it almost too easy to continue my studies in Florence for an extra semester!

SACI's main building is located is not a step too far from everything on your Florence-must-list, as it is in walking distance from practically everything, from Piazza Duomo to the Uffizi to the train station, Santa Maria Novella. The location of the Jules Maidoff building opens up other areas of the city that you might not have travelled to otherwise.

The language barrier was not an issue, as the intermediate class almost doubled my basic, beginner's understanding of the Italian language!

I truly found personal growth and self-discovery through my experience abroad.

How can this program be improved?

Facilities were lacking, especially for the steep price of the school.

Yes, I recommend
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Excellent Experience

My experience at SACI was excellent-I would encourage all serious art students to come to Florence and go to SACI. The faculty and staff are invested in the students. They are there to help, but also there to challenge and help students grow as artists. All classes (not just the art history courses) push intelligent discourse about art history and contemporary art, and the artist's place in society today, and these sorts of discussions are critical to the development of any serious artist. The school also puts an emphasis on opening up Florence and Italy for students.

The student housing is quite lovely-in great locations and with fast internet, good showers, and spacious rooms (with views!)...students at SACI are really quite spoiled in terms of apartments. And all apartments are close to the school-there is no need to take buses.

Yes, I recommend
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A one in a lifetime experience!!!

I didn't know until last minute that I was going for a summer term, but everyone was so nice and worked went out of their way to work with me. When I went there, everything was already set up for me and all I had to do was go pick up my apartment keys. I LOVED my classes and teachers! I was having some health problems at the time and everyone was very understanding and flexible. I also decided lasting the that I wanted to stay for the second summer session! So I had to sign up for classes last minute and change living arrangements, but, again, everyone was very helpful and flexible!
An OUTSTANDING summer that I will never forget. I especially like how, since it is a small school, I got to meet nearly all of the staff and students. It was like one big family! I would and have highly recommended this program to fellow and prospective students.

How can this program be improved?

Expenses were steep, but that comes with living in a major city and flying half way around the world.

Yes, I recommend
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Fantastic experience that will change you

I know that I am not the only one who has been changed (for the better!) by my time at SACI. The classes are amazing and the level of talent surrounding you is inspiring. Almost every weekend there is a field trip lead by the incredible Helen Watterson (art history). She not only brings students to incredible places, but imparts on them a level of knowledge that is more than most students would have ever imagined they could learn. SACI is a study abroad program that will change you far more than just living in a new country would. The whole experience sets the right balance between freedom and support.

How can this program be improved?

I noticed some other programs offered meal vouchers for different places throughout Florence. That would be a fun way to get together and find new places to eat.

Yes, I recommend
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SACI- 4 Months of Exploration, Knowledge & Fun

The school was fantastic. There was definitely an emphasis on hands on learning. Which in my opinion, is the best way to learn. SACI helped make it easy for students to explore the country while they are studying there.
I loved living in apartments around Florence, rather than dorms. It required us to learn to move around a foreign city on our own and explore the culture.
Due to having food allergies, I did have some issues finding food with the language barrier, but it was quickly enough that I found it.
Attending SACI was one of the best experience of my college years and I would recommend it to anyone.

How can this program be improved?

I found mixing the Beginning and Intermediate Drawing class detrimental to the Intermediate Drawing students.

Yes, I recommend
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best college decision I made

It was studio time 24/7. Amazing teachers. Phenomenal field trips. Talk about art immersion. There was the perfect balance between work and free time, which allowed you to pour yourself in to your studio classes, but also be absorbed by the culture. The art history class taught by Helen was amazing. My friends would agree that this class took us to places we had never been and taught us things we never knew. It was an in class and on-site experience which truly brought everything full circle. To learn about a specific monument and go visit that same monument on the weekend was the most exciting part.
One of my favorite parts was the living experience. I lived in an apartment with 3 other room mates. We became close, and spent evenings together cooking, or out on the town. We went shopping together at the Mercato Centrale and got to know the best local spots.
I loved the freedom that this program offered in our "off" time. I got to know so many people who study different things than I do, which made for a truly rich experience.
This program completely solidified my desire to be an artist and I am still benefitting from my time there.

How can this program be improved?

to have our apartment a bit closer to the school campus

Yes, I recommend

About SACI: Studio Arts College International

SACI’s mission is to provide undergraduate and graduate students with a challenging, life-enhancing experience in the center of Florence in traditional and contemporary studio arts, design, conservation, and art history. Students directly access...