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Studio Arts College International - Late Spring/Summer

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    7

  • Program Administration

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Art School in Florence is Great!

The SACI Summer program is a fantastic way to take an intensive art course in an amazing city. I was here specifically for the Painting Conservation class, which I highly recommend. My professors were experts and accessible and taught their classes well with a fair amount of work. My peers over the summer were pretty unmotivated which was frustrating. If you are looking for an Italian immersion, this is not the right program. You barely need to speak Italian at all in Florence and summer is high season for tourists. Great places to go for drinks are Red Garter and FUK, and the best gelato in town is at Eduardo's!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Incredible Experience

Doing the Summer SACI program in Florence has been huge for me. It's my first time outside of the US, and as a rising senior I really take my photography education seriously. The professors are amazing, the culture here is beautiful, and I honestly couldn't ask for a better experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    8

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

I'm coming back!

I love Florence. The city is amazing its very easy to get around. After the first week I felt very comfortable walking around on my own. I've learned a lot about my field. The only complaint I have, is how short the program is. I have a lot of work in four weeks. Its overwhelming but worth it.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing Summer Experience at SACI

This is my second summer session at SACI! Last was summer was amazing - I got so much artistic direction and work completed, I had to return to SACI and take advantage of what SACI has to offer. The professors here have such amazing experiences to share with their students. SACI really challenges you to be competitive and work long study hours to make you better.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Studying in Florence is Fun!

Studying in Florence made me learn a lot and was a great way of experiencing Italian culture.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

It's great!

Good combination of doing your study abroad and experiencing the culture. The program is very organized and offers a lot of tips while still allowing you the free time to explore on your own.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    N/A

  • Social Life

    N/A

Everyone Should Do It

I spent part of summer 2010 in Florence, Italy. I took two classes, which is the maximum for the late spring semester. Both in Italy and here in the US SACI's staff was more than accommodating and helpful. Months before my trip I was in contact with the program directors who answered my every question and concern. Arriving in Florence we students were promptly given information packets with our address, apartment keys, emergency contact information (ex: English speaking doctors), maps, local info, and weekend trip schedules. Transportation was provided to our apartments and our adventure started.

The group of students from my university was placed in housing with students from all over the world. We stayed in apartments located in Florence's Cultural City Center. It was a great experience allowing us to live immersed in a foreign city.

SACI offers a variety of courses with knowledgable professors who are accessible for help and answering questions not only about class but local culture (ex: Where can I buy dish towels?). Painting conservation is one such class I took that is hard to find in the US on an undergraduate level. Additionally, because of cultural differences the methods of conservation are completely different in Europe, therefore providing me with an experience very specific and unlike any elsewhere in the world. This is just one example of the interesting, specialized courses SACI provides.

I would recommend traveling abroad to any student of any age as it can be a life changing experience. It certainly was for me. To artists, I most definitely recommend the SACI as all the people involved are friendly and helpful to provide an amazing experience.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Health and Safety

    7

  • Social Life

    9

A Great Experience

Although my time at SACI, Florence was brief, I was very impressed by what I experienced. The staff and instructors were friendly and helpful, if not brilliant. The living situation was amazing-- right in the heart of the city, a beautiful apartment and close to school. While academics were serious, there was plenty of time to explore the city and find favorite locations to pass time and enjoy some gelato.

I heartily recommend this program.

Health and Safety:
Be careful, just as you would in any major city.

Social Life:
Lots of clubs and cafes.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Academics

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    5

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    9

  • Social Life

    10

SACI REVIEW

I had a great experience at SACI. I did got with one of my friends, so that probably eased some of the discomfort that can come from housing situations, etc. The apartment we had was lovely though and most of the other apartments I visited were also really really nice. The academics were great! I took an art history, two photography courses, and batik, and I felt that the professors for each class were extremely qualified. I learned so much while I was at SACI, and it was an incredibly formative experience for me artistically.

Overall Rating

8/ 10

  • Academics

    6

  • Living Situation

    6

  • Cultural Immersion

    9

  • Program Administration

    6

  • Health and Safety

    4

  • Social Life

    8

Painting and art history in 2003.

I attended in the summer of 2003 and took an advanced painting class and an art history class. I was a student on a shoe string budget. I sold my car to be able to pay to go! It was worth it.

Info on classes: Take anything that will allow you to travel. The art history class allowed me to do this. I kick myself for taking the painting class. Although it was a quality class, 8 hours in one room daily took away from me getting exposed to the culture.

Info on the food situation: My food first experience was at a coffee shop. I was surprised there were no seats. Order water as “no gas” if you don’t like sparkling water. I don’t remember if there was a meal plan available at SACI, but I didn’t have one. I invested most of my money on bottled water, paints and canvas. A box of noodles cost about 75 cents. Meat, cheese and of course fruit were more expensive than in the states. For the love of God, bring cloth shopping bags!! The first day you arrive, you will hopefully make two shopping trips. Take the first trip to the market after a good lunch. The first trip just buying water bottles. Pop one or two in the freezer, they double as air-conditioning. I’ll discuss that later. Make the second trip after. I did not take two trips, I was an idiot. I had 8 shopping bags, two of which were 24 bottles of water. I was just so hungry hot and thirsty to realize before I got to the register. Then after I bought the items, I remembered I had to walk about a mile a half home in 90 degree weather. I remember an old Italian lady shaking her head at me in the streets “eeedioto.” Yup. :P

Info on the living situation: Pay for a single room as I did, this will save you roommate drama later. Trust me. It was the smartest thing I did. I am a very social person too, but when it gets hot, and people are hungry or tired from the day, people get cranky really fast. It’s hot there in the summer people!! Turn down your shades in the morning. I don’t know if keeping the windows cracked open helped or not. There was never any breeze. That drove me crazy. I didn’t know a single person that had air-conditioning in their place. Go to a library or art museum if you need air-conditioning. The frozen water bottle helps keep you cool at night. Pack an ice tray if you can’t live without ice in your drink. Pack a freezable ice mask and ice pack to keep with you in bed.

The actual place we lived in was beautiful! Tall doors, tall ceilings, marble floors. I spent a lot of time trying to cool off sitting on my window sill filled with flowers looking down at the train station. We lived near the train station, close to the McDonalds. Other places I visited were different. Some looked like small homes. Our kitchen was gas, we had to light it ourselves. The shower only had cold water, no hot water. We actually did not mind as it was a pretty hot July. At the time, there was no such thing as wireless internet. I had to walk about 15-20minutes to an internet café. I think it was about $1/ min. You bought prepaid cards. Some got prepaid phones while they were there, as our cell phones did not work abroad.