Personal Renaissance: Florence Gap Year

Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence
Florence, Italy

Program Overview

Program Overview

  • Popular Subject Areas

    Personal Renaissance: Florence Gap Year

  • Location


  • Host University

    Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence

    Located between the historic Palazzo Doni and Palazzo Guicciardini-Strozzi, the Florence University of the Arts (FUA) is housed in a combination of historic palaces converted to modern academic buildings. With free access to internet, research labs, recording and art studio spaces, demo kitchens, fashion media labs, and numerous other facilities, you will enjoy a fusion of Florentine tradition and modernity. With the ISA Office located a few minutes' walk along the Arno River and right around the corner from the famed Ponte Vecchio, you can easily go from campus to the ISA Office for support with academics, housing, travel, or any other aspect of the program. You can come here to receive tutoring, meet with other ISA students, check the ISA bulletin board for upcoming cultural events, use the internet, or mingle with the resident staff.

    FUA is accredited by the Region of Tuscany, as delegated by the Ministry of Education.

  • Term

    Fall 5 2021

  • Program Dates

    Sep 28, 2021 - Dec 16, 2021

  • Program Length


  • Application Deadline

    Jun 10, 2021

  • Forms and Payment Deadline

    Jun 15, 2021

  • Credit

    9 Credits

  • Eligibility

    2.75 Minimum GPA*

  • Cost


  • This session is in progress and is no longer accepting applications.

Study Abroad Program Description

Remember an adventure you won't ever forget. Explore your options, gain real-life experience, and begin uncovering what you want to do and who you want to be.

Get ready for a journey of self-discovery with ISA’s immersive gap program that packs a world of life experience into 12 weeks. See new places, try new things, meet new people and have some fun too! Based in Florence, Italy, Personal Renaissance: Florence Gap Year blends the freedom and adventure of a gap year with just the right amount of structure, support, and learning, setting you up to reach your full future potential while discovering all that Italy has to offer. As the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence continues to entice visitors with its history, romance, architecture, and indulgent Tuscan cuisine. The city’s lively university scene also adds to its allure—you’ll love living here. Throughout it all, you’ll improve your Italian, try out a course at the Florence University of the Arts alongside university students, volunteer with a local organization, travel to some of the region’s most fascinating sites, and more.

Program Highlights:
● A home away from home—Live in the heart of Florence with a local family in a homestay.
● Intensive language instruction—Level-up your Italian skills right from the start with an intensive course that will help you get the most out of your time and experience in Italy.
● Community projects—Connect with the community, culture, and location while giving back through organized volunteer projects.
● Unique course options—Get a feel for university-level classes by taking a culture-focused course of your choice.
● College credit—Earn credit that you can apply toward your future transcript.
● Independence (with support when you want it)—Experience the perfect mix of structure and solo exploration. This is your journey...but we’re here to help whenever you need it.
● Included cultural activities and excursions—Explore more of Italy’s unique culture and destinations as our in-country team guides you on a weekend excursion to Rome and day trips to Siena and one other Tuscan hilltown.

Curriculum Highlights:
● Bridging Cultures Orientation in Florence
● 3-week intensive beginner Italian language course at Florence University of the Arts
● Two separate 1-week community volunteer projects with your choice of the following opportunities:
○ Angeli del Bello, an association protecting Florence’s cultural highlights and promoting civic engagement
○ Mancanti, an intercultural center connecting Italians and immigrants
○ Are et Fides, an association promoting the Florentine Churches of Florence’ history and preservation ○ As an English language teaching assistant in local schools
● 3-week content course: The Florence Food and Culture Experience
● 3-week content course of your choice:*
○ Introduction to Web Design
○ Faces, Facts and Places in Italian Fashion
○ Creative Writing
○ Sport Event and Facility Management

*available courses and projects are subject to change

Enjoy Flexibility with ISA Flex

We’ve partnered with Arizona State University (ASU) to help you overcome common study abroad challenges by adding an ASU Online course to your ISA program. With more than 2,100 courses to choose from, ISA Flex minimizes academic challenges, like major requirements and limited course options, so you can make the most of your experience abroad. Once you’ve applied, access the Flex form in your ISA Student Portal for more information on how to add this to your program and enroll in the course you need.



Students must have a minimum grade point average of 2.75.


There is no language prerequisite for this program.

To participate, you must be 18 years of age or older by the program start date..

What's Included

Comprehensive Advising and Support

24-Hour Emergency

Comprehensive Health, Safety, and Security Support

Airport Reception

Visa Support

Tuition at the Host University


Meals and Laundry Service

Bridging Cultures Orientation

Full-Time Resident Staff

On-Site ISA Offices

Internet Access

ISA Discovery Model


Cultural Activities


Official Transcript from the Host University

Professional Development Toolbox

Scholarship Opportunities





Contact Hours


Recommended U.S. Semester Credits


Recommended U.S. Quarter Units


Academic Information

    • This program is comprised of three 3-week mdoules. You will take one 3-credit course during each module (9 total semester credits).
    • You will participate in community volunteer projects during the 1-week break between each module.
    • Module 1: Intensive Italian for Three Credits (Beginner)
    • Module 2: The Florence Food and Culture Experience
    • Module 3: Choose one of the following
      • - Introduction to Web Design
      • - Faces, Facts, and Places in Italian Fashion
      • - Creative Writing
      • - Introduction to Nutrition
    • Requests for sample syllabi can be made to the Italy Program Manager.
    • Some elective courses may require additional fees for materials and field trips which are to be paid directly to the host university. Fees typically range from €20 to €150.
    • Upon program completion, you will receive a transcript issued directly from the Florence University of the Arts (FUA). If you require a U.S. transcript, you have the option to request a School of Record transcript from the University of South Florida (USF) at no additional cost. The University of South Florida serves as the U.S. School of Record for the FUA and this benefit is also extended to ISA students.  Please speak with your program manager for information regarding this transcript option. Additional information regarding the School of Record partnership between the FUA and USF may be found on the USF Education Abroad and FUA Accreditation sites.

    • All students should be prepared to switch to an alternate course in the event of last-minute class cancelations.
    • The courses below reflect the most current list of courses released by the host university. Please refer to this list when completing your pre-registration form. Also note that courses are always subject to change.


Filter by Deparment

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Florence University of the Arts - The American University of Florence
International Students
Creative Writing
Creative Writing
3 Credits
45 Contact Hours
Dietetics and Nutrition
3 Credits
45 Contact Hours
Fashion Communication and Publishing
3 Credits
45 Contact Hours
Food & Culture
3 Credits
45 Contact Hours
Italian Language
3 Credits
45 Contact Hours
Visual Communication
3 Credits
45 Contact Hours
Course Disclaimer
  • Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Support & Funding

U.S. Team

Lillian Nguyen

Program Manager, Italy


Alessia Foianesi

Resident Director, Italy

Ola (Aleksandra) Smolen

Senior Academic Coordinator, Italy

Lorenzo Pozzolini

Housing Services, Italy

Perla Signori

Italy Custom Program Director, Italy

Stefano Casati

Cultural Activities & Custom Program Coordinator, Italy

Sabrina Landini

Senior Cultural Activities Coordinator & Custom Programs, Italy

Funding Your ISA Program

Wondering how you’ll fund your program? ISA’s got you covered! If you receive financial aid for your home university, you will likely be able to use those funds for study abroad too.  The first step is usually speaking with your home university. Check out the steps for using financial aid here.

Need to know how much to budget for a term abroad? Take a look at the additional expenses you might expect, depending on your program.

As an ISA participant, you have the opportunity to apply for scholarships and grants that can be applied directly to assist with your study abroad programs. We offer over $1,000,000 in scholarships and grants each year. To see what opportunities are available, visit the scholarships and grants page.

View all Funding Options


Living in ISA housing will allow you the opportunity to experience aspects of the Italian lifestyle that are inaccessible to the average visitor. With an open and adaptable mind, the experience of living in another culture can be highly rewarding.

We strive to match your housing preferences with our available accommodations. However, housing preference requests cannot be guaranteed.


For a fully-immersive experience during your time abroad, we recommend you choose to live with an Italian family. Each host family has been carefully selected by ISA's resident staff in order to best accommodate your needs and to ensure a comfortable living situation. Homestays provide breakfast seven days a week, dinner five days a week and laundry service once a week. You will typically share a room with another ISA student (roommates are of the same gender).

Securing housing independently is not possible through this program.



ISA excursions allow you to explore the diverse, distinct, and gorgeous landscape of Italy that you may not be able to visit on your own. The destinations shown below are a sample of some possibilities, which are finalized in the time leading up to the start of your program. 


Get an introduction to Italy via the Eternal City, a vibrant metropolis that seamlessly blends historical landmarks with modern Italian style. During this trip, you’ll visit iconic sites like the Coliseum, the ruins of the Roman Forum, the Spanish Steps, and finish the excursion by tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain to ensure your return to this truly enchanting city. Rome can be overwhelming because of its size, but with ISA as a guide, you’ll be set!

Siena & Tuscan Towns

Another incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site, Siena has a laid-back lifestyle that allows you to leisurely stroll the winding cobblestone streets, explore the Renaissance cathedral, and relax in the beautiful town square, Piazza del Campo. Each neighborhood (contrada) is represented by an animal or mascot. Ward rivalries are most rampant during the traditional medieval horse race (Palio) held on July 2 and August 16 in Piazza del Campo each year. Then, you’ll tour neighboring Tuscan towns that produce some of the world’s greatest wines, cheeses, and other iconic Italian products. Possible locations include San Gimignano or Monteriggioni.

Hilltowns of Central Italy

Spend the day soaking up the classic rolling hills of Lazio, Umbria, and Tuscany. While exploring the well-preserved medieval towns and surrounding vineyards that dot the hillsides, you’ll experience the essence of Italy and gain a glimpse into local life and culture. Here the landscape is defined by giant sunflowers and hay bales, and the towns produce some of the world’s best wine. Possible destinations include Vinci, Val'Dorcia, Ninfa, Sermoneta, Arezzo, Lucca, and Montepulciano.


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