Here's what you get when you study abroad with CEA in Florence:
Living with a local family allows you to learn so much about the Florentine lifestyle —and Italian family life in general —that you wouldn’t otherwise experience. A homestay will likely mean built-in friends, and will definitely mean that you won’t have to worry about what to make for dinner, how much you’re spending on food, or how you’re going to make your next meal both balanced and delicious! A homestay experience enhances your study abroad experience. Homestays are located in apartments either inside or outside Florence’s historical city center. While public transportation may offer a quicker way to school, you will still be within walking distance of the CEA Florence Center and the partner university.
Don’t worry about needing to speak perfect Italian before moving in with an Italian family: our host families are chosen for their interest in learning about you and your culture, and many have a working knowledge of English, too. While some families are empty-nesters, we do privilege younger families: both offer you an important connection with the Florentine community.
The homestay option will not hinder your freedom with a curfew, and you can even choose to live with a friend of your choice!
The additional fee covers the cost of your meals with your host family, and is nearly the equivalent of what students in standard CEA housing will pay separately for groceries and eating out (minus the fuss!).
While CEA highly recommends that you choose one of our Florence housing options provided, you also have the option to arrange independent housing. If your ideal housing scenario includes living in a particular neighborhood, having specific amenities or living with a specific person as your roommate, then independent housing could be just the ticket for you.
Use the online housing application form to request permission for this option no later than the application closure date. If your request is approved, you will receive a rebate for your housing payment, however CEA will not provide you with any assistance setting up independent housing. Keep in mind, rebates are not granted to students who move out of their CEA housing or choose to pursue independent living arrangements after the application closure date.
Get out and explore! Excursions are offered for most semester, year, and summer programs*. Semester students are typically offered three excursions and summer study students are typically offered two excursions. You’ll receive a calendar of excursions during orientation; here are a few day and overnight excursions we’ve offered in the past.
*In an effort to offer lower-cost internship options and support you in maximizing your professional development in a condensed timeframe, summer internship programs do not include excursions.
A fusion of ancient, baroque, and modern architecture, tradition and the cutting-edge, Rome has been a center of power, culture, and religion for millennia. CEA guides bring you to must-see sites, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, St. Peter's Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel. Rome truly has something to offer everyone and more-than lives up to its nickname: “The Eternal City.”
In magical Venice, sun reflects off the canals that serve as city streets. A visit to the ethereal Church of San Marco and a working gondolier shop will help you understand that Venice is a crossroads where East meets West and beauty flourishes. Here, it's impossible not to get lost… but simply embrace it, as Venice offers something new and unique at every turn.
On this overnight excursion to Turin, you’ll explore royal palaces and the Cinema Museum, wander through Europe’s second largest collection of Egyptian artifacts, and indulge in decadent gianduia chocolate. Located in the Piedmont region, Turin was the first capital of unified Italy in the 1860s. Today, the city is a center of industry and engineering; FIAT (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino), Italy’s proud every-man car manufacturer, was founded here.
On this three-day tour, you’ll discover two famous coastal towns: Amalfi and Sorrento. Spend a day exploring the ruins of Pompeii, a city preserved under lava since 79 CE, and climbing Mt. Vesuvius, the volcano that buried Pompeii. This region of Italy is known for its cuisine, and CEA will take you off the beaten path to a farm to taste the best cheese in the world: fresh buffalo mozzarella.
The Cinque Terre National Park spans 4,300 acres across five picturesque villages (the cinque terre), connected by hiking paths and a train line. The area boasts delicious basil, lemons, and grapes. Spend a day hiking or at the beach, soaking up the sun, and enjoying the breathtaking stretches of beautiful coastline. Your Instagram followers will be green with envy!
Bologna is best known for its medieval towers, porticoed streets, and hearty cuisine. It’s also home to Europe’s oldest university, founded in 1088. We will tour the university’s main historical building and its Anatomical Theater, where autopsies were once performed to train early doctors. We will treat you to a group lunch before you have time to explore Bologna on your own.
One of Italy’s most picturesque and international medieval cities, Siena is home to well-preserved Gothic architecture and is the birthplace of one of Italy’s patron saints. Siena may be best known for its annual summer horse races, whose origins go back to the 1300s (Think the horseracing scene in James Bond’s Quantum of Solace.)
Italian Cooking Class
Prepare a multi-course meal with your friends with instruction from a professional chef. Your hard work will pay off as you enjoy your culinary creations for dinner! This lesson keeps on giving: you will be able to recreate this meal for years to come, savoring the flavors of Italy no matter where you are in the world. Tutti a tavola!
Italy is known for its opera: the music, the lyrics, the dramatic stories… We’ll attend an opera by a celebrated Italian composer. This is your chance to dress up!
Spend a summer afternoon in the rural outskirts of Florence. Surrounded by farm animals and the green hills of Chianti, a master basket weaver and his family will teach you how to craft your own traditional basket, a.k.a. the perfect souvenir of your Italian adventure.
Artisanal Paper Workshop
Florence is world-renowned for its luxury paper products; lucky for you, local artisans are happy to share their techniques and know-how. A master craftswoman will help you create a handmade paper box or journal to remind you of your time in Florence.
It can be easy to skim the surface of Florence… but we want you to dig deeper to discover more of our city’s spaces, stories, and best-kept secrets. Authorized guides take you to places off the beaten path to see and experience the real Florence.
Your academic performance in Florence is of great importance to us. To ensure that you have as many resources available as possible, this tour is designed to familiarize you with Florence’s libraries. Pull out your books and join your local peers at the library!
Living Like a Local
My host family allowed me to experience culture on a new level. It helped my language speaking ability, and I got to experience life as it's lived by the locals. Another perk: my host mom is an amazing cook.