According to the Institute of International Education (IIE), Italy is the second most popular destination for US students studying abroad. Florence is a popular city among students because of its lifestyle, culture and history.

  • University of Florence: Founded in 1321, the University has 12 schools and almost 60,000 students. It has amazing programs in agriculture, arts, economics, political science, engineering and natural sciences.
  • Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze: The academy of fine arts of Florence is a renowned art academy in Florence, which was founded as a guild in 1563.
  • Lorenzo de' Medici School: Known as LdM, the Lorenzo de' Medici School is an institute of higher education in Florence. It has been a famous study abroad destination for prospective international students. It offers a variety of degrees and has campuses in Tuscania, Rome and Venice.

Places to See in Florence

Florence is without doubt one of the most beautiful cities to get an education in. So at times when you are not busy with your study schedule, you might want to check out the following places:

  • Florence Cathedral: A historic cathedral with a red dome
  • Uffizi Gallery: The renowned art gallery with Renaissance masterpieces
  • Palazzo Vecchio: A 13th-century palace, with striking architecture
  • Ponte Vecchio: A historic stone bridge with numerous art galleries
  • Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence: Iconic French place of workshop
  • Pizaaa della Signoria: A square in front of the Palazzo Vecchio
  • Piazzale Michelangelo: A 19th-century piazza with views of the city

Cost of Living in Florence

Even though Florence in slightly on the expensive side, if you manage your finances well, you can stay on top of matters. For instance, soon after moving here, you will realize that the life in Florence is simpler. The entire city is walk-able, so you don’t need a car. The food you can get from the grocery store is delicious enough that you don’t have to worry much about eating out.

  • Housing: As a student, you would have the option of living in hostels as well, private or university affiliated. That would be perhaps your cheapest solution. Other than that, you could go for shared rooms, shared apartments, studio apartments and one bedroom apartments. The ideal way to live would be to look for a small apartment to share with a group of friends. This could cost you around €420, which is far less than what living alone would cost.
  • Bills: If you are living in a shared space, do work out the costs you might have to chip in for the monthly bills, in addition to the monthly rent. For instance, you will be spending on utilities, internet, satellite TV and cell phone service. Utilities including gas, electricity, water and trash could cost your around €50, internet could be €30 (divided by the number of roommates), satellite TV could go up to €40 (can be cut in half if you sign a year contract) and cell phone service might be somewhere around €25.
  • Transport: This is another important factor that you will need to look into when you plan on studying abroad in Florence. The city has a well developed network for this purpose, but you will need to do some research into this to find the cheapest options.
  • City bus tickets: The ticket for this could cost you €1.20 per 90-minute if you buy the ticket from a newsstand, Tabacchi or another store, and it can cost you €2 per 90-minute, if you purchase it from the driver on the bus. These tickets are multiple trip tickets.
  • City bus passes: The costs for these vary according to the number of passes you are purchasing. They are available in 90-minute packs. Here are the potential costs you might have to pay for this service: €4.70 (for four, 90-minute, multiple-trip tickets) €10 (for a ten, 90-minute, multiple-trip tickets) €20 (for twenty-one, 90-minute, multiple-trip tickets) €30 (for thirty five, 90-minute, multiple-trip tickets) €5 (daily) €12 (3-day) €18 (weekly) €35 (monthly) €310 (yearly).
  • City bus student passes: Students are facilitated through the provision of passes that are charged at €23 per month and €185 per year. To get this pass, you have to bring your passport and an official enrollment letter from the relevant educational institute to the ATAF bus office at Piazza Stazione.
  • Taxi: Taxi rides are certainly going to be a bit more expensive than other forms of public transportation mentioned above. Cab services in Florence break down their charges according to minutes. Other than that, there are specific packages for travelling to and from the airport, separate charges for luggage, additional charges for calling the taxi and for having more than 3 persons on board. Here is the rough cost-structure you might encounter in the city: €12 (for a 10-minute ride); €20 (from and to airport); €1.96 (to call a taxi, added to your final bill); €1 (per piece of luggage); €1 (for more than 3 persons).

Note: Girls travelling alone from 9pm to 2am get a 10% discount! So don’t forget to ask!

  • Train: Trains are slightly less expensive than taxis but more costly than buses. You can use these if you are travelling longer distances, such as inter-city travel. You can get the following rates for trains in Florence: €7.10 (Florence to Pisa) €29.5 (Florence to Milan, intercity – middle speed train) €30 (Florence to Rome, intercity – middle speed train) €24 (Florence to Venice, intercity – middle speed train).

Other than these transport options, you can also purchase a vehicle. A used compact car could cost you around €6,500, whereas a used bike would be around €40 along with a used scooter for €600.

Studying abroad in Florence can be a life changing experience for international students. Plan your trip well and it just might be one of the best things that ever happened to you!


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