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Budgeting for Florence

by AIFS Study Abroad

A recent article by Marjorie Cohen on Investopedia discussed the historic and continued interest in study abroad in Florence, Italy:

In the late 16th century it was fashionable for young aristocrats to travel to Florence as part of their Grand Tour of Europe, marking the end of their classical education. Travel was both arduous and expensive then and limited to the privileged classes. What a difference a few hundred years make! Now, travel to Florence is a possibility for any student who is willing to plan carefully and budget wisely.

The Costs:

To give you an idea of the cost of a semester of study in Florence, we’ve chosen as an example a program coordinated by AIFS: The per-semester price tag of $14,295, without meal allowance, includes tuition for up to 18 credits at the Richmond Study Center (courses taught in both English and Italian); trips to Rome, Venice and Siena; a week of culture and language orientation in Rome (spring semester) and Marina di Pietrasanta (fall semester) and the 24/7 services of a resident director. All this with a meal plan costs $15,995.

The Benefits:

As William Gertz, president and CEO of the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), notes: “A period of study abroad is just what employers are looking for these days. It will help the student to stand out from the pack and will be a resume builder. As the world becomes more interdependent, global citizens are needed.”

And How to Budget:

Spend your money on experiences, not things, is the advice of students who have been there. As Catherine Harger, an AIFS in Florence alum, put it: “I would tell anyone going abroad that their money is better spent on food, activities, museums or trips rather than souvenirs to bring back to the States. I can’t imagine trading the time and money I spent exploring Tuscany by bus and train for a few extra clothes or knicknacks.” Megan Harris, who was on the same program as Harger, suggests: “Determine your musts and set aside money at the beginning of the semester for those activities. My time studying abroad in Florence changed my life in immeasurable ways, and you really can’t put a price tag on that.”

Read the rest of the article here to find out more about studying abroad in Florence, and typical prices for things like cell phones, a gym membership and more.

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