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The following questions refer to useful information to prepare for Florence for students currently admitted to Studio Art Centers International.
If the question you would like to ask is not amongst these, please visit our exhaustive FAQ page, where a large number of topics are listed and many more questions are answered.
You can fill out the Passport Information form, the Student Health form, and the Housing Information form in the Required Forms section of the website. All other required materials should be sent by mail to the New York office.
All non-European students attending Fall and/or Spring Terms must obtain a Student Visa. Note: Late Spring and Summer students are not required to obtain a Student Visa. It is the student's responsibility to apply to the Italian consulate. Applications and materials can be submitted to the consulate under whose jurisdiction your permanent address or school address falls. If you apply to the consulate that serves your school address, please send or take a copy of your school ID, and preferably a letter from your home school stating that you are a full-time student. PLEASE BE AWARE THAT THE REQUIREMENTS FOR A STUDENT VISA VARY FROM CONSULATE TO CONSULATE. SACI will provide some of the documents that you will need for your visa application in your second packet, however you will need to obtain additional papers as required by the consulate.
The processing time for a visa varies from consulate to consulate. It is advised that you apply for your visa at least six weeks prior to your departure. You will need to leave your passport with the consulate because the visa will be stamped directly into your passport. If you do not allow enough time before your departure for the visa to be processed, you will not be allowed to leave in time.
The Italian government requires that all students with a student visa (Fall and Spring Semester, Academic Year, MFA, and Post-Bac students) be covered by health insurance during their entire length of stay in Italy. You will be asked to provide proof of your insurance coverage when you apply for a study visa through the Italian Consulate and for your Permit of Stay during Orientation in Florence. It is not sufficient to show an insurance card. You must provide a letter which indicates your name, type of coverage, and expiration date. For more information, see Health Insurance Regulations. Students can decide if they want additional coverage from their own insurance companies for the length of time they will be here. If you should decide on additional insurance, you will need to submit all paperwork (doctor bills, etc.) to your insurance provider for reimbursement once back home.
Unfortunately, due to the complex logistics of the SACI housing organization, we are unable to give you housing information before your departure. Once you arrive in Florence, you will receive a housing packet with this information included.
Florence is a perfectly modern city, and most items which you will need for school are readily available. Some items may be more expensive than what you are used to; some will be cheaper. (For example, you can buy canvases for less than you would pay to make them yourself!) However, you may have difficulty finding your favorite brand, or you may not find exactly what you want. If you use a specific brand or item, you may want to bring it from home (for example, duct tape or index cards). Florence is overflowing with art resources. The SACI office can supply a detailed list of art supply stores, and your instructor will know which ones give SACI discounts.
For more information about supplies for specific courses, see the Registration section of this website, in the Admitted Students area.
Yes, it is highly recommended that you bring a laptop computer - preferably with wireless capability. Wireless access is available in both the Palazzo dei Cartelloni and the Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts. Ethernet cable connections to the SACI network are also available. Please note that you are required to have an updated version of an anti-virus software installed in your computer. SACI will help you set up wireless access, but does not provide technical assistance for laptop computers.
SACI housing apartments are fully furnished with the exception of towels. You will need to bring them with you or buy them in Florence.
Spending varies from student to student. Overall we estimate that students should prepare to spend about $1,000 a month for food, supplies, and personal expenses. The cost of living in Florence is relatively the same as it is in the United States, but you should always take the exchange rate into consideration. If you plan to travel it is best to arrange plans ahead of time so that you can get the idea of what your budget should be.
Yes, as long as you have an ATM card with corresponding symbols (e.g. Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, Star, Plus) you can take out money from your account at home. However most ATMs will not be able to provide detailed statements so it is recommended that you set up an online account with your bank so that you can track your spending online.
Relatives at home can either deposit directly into your bank account or they can wire transfer money via Western Union.
It is not recommended to open an Italian bank account because it can be quite complicated. Banks can have large closing fees and you might end up paying for taxes that are withdrawn directly from your account.
SACI organizes group flights for each term, departing from New York. SACI secures a block of seats and space on group flights is limited. Once you have been accepted into the program and have made a General Program Deposit, you can make your group flight reservation online with Advantage Travel of CNY, Inc.
Plan to arrive in Florence during business hours on the same day the group flight arrives (usually the day before orientation starts). Take a taxi from the airport to the school (Via Sant' Antonino 11) to pick up your housing/orientation packet. You should forward your travel itinerary to the SACI New York office. Be sure to bring the SACI Florence phone number with you in case you are delayed.