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SACI - Studio Arts College International; Florence, Italy
Florence, Italy (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Homepage: Click to visit
Budget Sheets Academic Year,
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2018 09/21/2017 10/27/2017 TBA TBA
Program Description:

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This program is open to Studio Art majors ONLY with a 3.0 minimum GPA in art and studio art courses.

Highly qualified Studio Art minors may be considered based on the following criteria: 1) minimum 3.0 GPA in studio art and art history courses; 2) completion of at least two courses in studio art and art history, one of which must be ARTH 101 or 102 3) approval of the Studio Art minor advisor. 

Art History majors should apply to the Art History Program in Florence (Syracuse University);  Art History minors may be considered for the Art History Program (see program for more information).

This program has been approved by the Dickinson faculty as a Dickinson Partner Program. It is operated by Studio Arts College International (SACI). Students apply to Dickinson for approval; Dickinson forwards application materials to SACI if the student is approved. Students pay Dickinson comprehensive fees to participate on this program and all financial aid transfers. Students may be eligible for additional scholarships from SACI.

For more information, please visit the SACI website.

Note: You must apply and be accepted through Dickinson before finishing and submitting a partner program application. Partner program providers make all final admissions decisions. 

Studio Arts College International - Florence, Italy

The SACI program offers Studio Art students a wide range of art and design studios and complementary academic courses; an opportunity to be part of an institution engaged in art research and exploration; and an unparalleled opportunity to interact with the Florentine community through a variety of social and humanitarian programs. Students have the opportunity to study for the fall, spring, or academic year. SACI, founded in 1975, is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

Florence, Italy

Florence, an ancient Roman city, is the capital of Tuscany, the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’ and an indisputable world-hub of art and art history. At the same time, it is a vibrant urban area, teaming with current exhibits, musical events and numerous other festivals, lectures and sporting events. Florence is a relatively small city with a strong local transportation network. Most of the activities that constitute the Florentine lifestyle take place in the city's historical center. SACI's two Renaissance buildings are located in this area, and the student housing options offered by SACI are also either within the center itself or on its immediate outskirts.


The SACI student body is comprised of students enrolled at US universities and at institutions in other countries. Students enroll in five classes for a total of 15 credits. Successful completion of those courses will earn the student five (5) Dickinson credits. Students additionally have the possibility to work as apprentices with artisans, and advanced students may be eligible to take a directed independent study or traineeship in a design firm, museum, or gallery. As part of their classes, SACI students often create artwork for local hospitals and human rights organizations, and restore major art treasures that are a part of Italy’s cultural heritage. Outside of class, student volunteers can teach English at elementary schools, serve as English-language museum guides, and assist at human rights agencies.

In addition to visiting many famous Italian cities over the course of the year, students use a museum pass provided by SACI to visit Florentine museums and historic sites. Students visit artists’ and designers’ studios, private collections, galleries, art fairs, and theaters. They have access to modern and historic art collections, research libraries, and contemporary art museums.

Students enjoy many opportunities to exhibit their artwork in SACI’s two galleries.


This Partner program is open to Studio Art majors ONLY. It requires students to have:

  • A declared Studio Arts major
  • 3.0 minimum GPA in art and studio art courses
  • Studio Art minors may be considered based on the following criteria: 1) minimum 3.0 GPA in studio art and art history courses; 2) completion of at least two courses in studio art and art history, one of which must be ARTH 101 or 102; 3) approval of the Studio Art minor advisor

Note: Art History majors should apply to the Syracuse in Florence program.

As a part of the review process students' conduct records and account status are also reviewed. Students and their parents should note that the review process takes all elements of the student's academic record into consideration and that even if a student has the required minimum GPA and language prerequisites, he or she may not be admitted.

Students who have questions about the review process or their particular candidacy for a program should come into the Center for Global Study and Engagement for advising.

Center staff will not discuss students' applications with parents, friends or any other party without the student's consent and presence in the conversation.

What classes are available?

Students on the SACI program are able to devote time to a wide variety of subject matters in the arts. Sample courses include Book Arts, Ceramics, Conservation of Archaeological Objects, Design Workshop, Digital Animation 3D, Digital Multimedia, Drawing, Eco Design Studio, Etching, Fresco Painting, Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Interior Design, Italian Fashion Design, Jewelry Design, Lithography, Mural Conservation, Painting, Painting Conservation, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, Serigraphy, and Video. Most of these courses are offered at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.

What is the language of instruction?

Classes are taught in English.

How many credits will I earn?

Students enroll in 5 classes, which is the equivalent of 5 credits at Dickinson.

Will the courses count towards my major?

Many courses taken on the SACI program can count towards your Studio Art major or minor. You should check with your academic advisor on campus prior to course selection.

Generally speaking, courses must have an equivalent at Dickinson. Exceptions include classes that focus on the culture and/or history of the country in which the student is studying. Transfer credit will not be awarded for coursework that duplicates what a student has already completed at Dickinson.

Will they count in my GPA?

Courses are recorded on the transcript with course titles and letter grades earned. Course grades equivalent to a Dickinson "C" or better will receive credit, but will not count toward the Dickinson GPA. No credit is earned for a grade of C- or below.

What excursions are available?

Excursions are an integral and rewarding part of the SACI study abroad experience. During both the fall and spring semesters, students participate in a wide variety of field trips. Some trips are a component of classes in which you enroll; others will be facultative trips that are open to all enrolled students. Some of the sites typically visited by SACI students include Venice, Rome, Milan, Bologna, Pisa, Lucca, Ravenna, Siena, Fiesole, San Gimignano, Arezzo, San Sepolcro, Monterchi, Assisi, Urbino, Tivoli, Hadrian's Villa, the Certosa di Galluzzo, Poggio a Caiano, Vinci, Faenza, Pietrasanta, and Carrara.

Aside from excursions, students benefit from the SACI-provided museum pass that allows them to visit museums and historic sites in Florence, as well as a number of galleries, studios, theaters, art fairs, and private collections.

What expenses are covered during excursions?

Students' lodging and group transportation costs are covered during overnight excursions.

When will I find out where and when we're travelling?

Specific dates for longer excursions and for local site visits in and around Florence will be organized and announced during the semester.

Can a friend or family member who is not on the program also travel with us?

No, unfortunately, for logistical and academic reasons non program participants are not able to join the program for excursions.

Are excursions optional?

Not necessarily. These excursions are linked to your academic program and, in some cases, content delivered through the excursion will be relevant to a student's studies and assessment. All students should plan to participate in all excursions. If a student misses an excursion or a planned departure for a trip, these arrangements and costs will not be made up for the student. It is each student's responsibility to be where they need to be in order to participate fully in each academic excursion.

When is orientation?

In addition to the full day mandatory pre-departure orientation you'll have on campus, there is an orientation when students arrive in Florence. The orientation includes lectures, a welcome party, tours of SACI's facilities, nearby stores and markets, and major art sites.

What are the program dates?

Tentative dates for the fall, spring, and academic year sessions can be found here.

Is there a group flight?

No, students are responsible for arranging their own travel to Florence. Arrival and departure instructions are provided by SACI.

What if my family wants to visit me?

If you have family or friends who are planning to visit you, please do not make travel plans until you arrive at the program and become familiar with your class schedule and program excursions. It is not acceptable to skip class for personal travel.

When will I have time to travel?

Aside from SACI-sponsored excursions, students may travel on their own during breaks when classes are not in session--for example, during fall or spring break. It is not acceptable to skip class for personal travel.

Can I arrive early or stay after the program ends?

Students may arrive early or stay late if they wish to travel on their own when classes are not in session. Please note that if you choose to arrive early or stay late, you will not be able to stay in your program housing. You should also consider your visa validity when you make the decision of whether or not you may arrive early or stay late. No student may arrive late for the start of the program.

How much does the program cost?

Students pay Dickinson comprehensive fees to attend this program. The cost includes tuition, room, excursions, and pre-departure and on-site orientation. A board plan is not available on this program and, therefore, the board fee is reversed off the student account when bills are issued. Students must be prepared to have access to money to cover the cost of food (students live in shared apartments and have access to a full kitchen for cooking). However, airfare is not included in this cost. Please see the budget sheet for more information.

What is included in the program fee?

The fee covers tuition and student activity fee, room and scheduled academic excursions, museum pass, required primary health and accident insurance, pre-departure and on-site orientation, and the orientation handbook.  The Dickinson board fee and the allowance for mandatory Italian health insurance will be deducted from the Dickinson comprehensive fee when Student Accounts posts the student's bill. It will not be paid as a stipend. The student is expected to take this money with him or her to the program site to be used toward these expenses. Material fees are included in tuition; however, a small number of SACI classes have additional material fees. Students will be responsible for these additional fees if they register for these classes.

Are additional scholarships available?

As a Partner Program, students may use their Dickinson financial aid to cover the Dickinson comprehensive fees to attend this program. Additional scholarships are available from SACI and students are encouraged to apply.

Will I receive a stipend?

You will not receive a stipend while in Florence. The Dickinson board fee and the allowance for mandatory Italian health insurance will be deducted from the Dickinson comprehensive fee when Student Accounts posts semester charges. This may leave you with a credit on your student account for which you can request a refund; otherwise it will just reduce the overall cost of the program. You need to be prepared to have access to this money to purchase groceries while in Italy.

How much extra money do I need to bring?

This depends on you. We encourage students to not travel every weekend, but to really engage their host city in meaningful ways during their semester abroad. An estimate of personal expenses is included on the budget sheet, but it really depends on you and your spending habits. Remember that you will need to have access to money to purchase groceries and food.

How will I access my money while in Italy?

The easiest way to get money while in Italy is to use your ATM or credit card to take out money from your home bank account. ATM machines (Bancomat) that have corresponding symbols (e.g., VISA, MasterCard, Cirrus, STAR, etc.) are everywhere in Europe. IMPORTANT: be sure to activate your credit cards and ATM cards for international use before you leave and check to make sure your PIN number will work in Italy since Italian ATMs use 5-digit PINs. Ask your bank what the service fee is to withdraw money, and budget accordingly.

SACI's Student Life section on the website provides a great deal of information on money questions: SACI Money Information

Should I open an Italian bank account?

If you're thinking about opening a bank account, you might want to think again, since it is often more hassle than it is worth. There is a large closing fee, and you might end up paying taxes that get automatically withdrawn from your account. You may have a "correspondent" bank in Florence which deals with your U.S. bank on a regular basis. Ask your home bank for details.

How do I access health care in Italy?

When you arrive in Florence you are required to purchase mandatory Italian health insurance.  Students receive a credit on their Dickinson study account for the cost; be prepared to take this with you to purchase insurance in Italy.  SACI staff will assist you with this process when you arrive in Italy.  SACI keeps a list of English-speaking doctors in a wide range of specializations and provides contact information for doctors that students may call directly on their website.

If you have a medical condition that SACI program staff should be aware of (including allergies to medicines), please inform the Dean at SACI prior to your departure for Florence. You can always speak to the Dean about any personal problems you may be experiencing. Professional counselors who speak English can also be recommended.

What if I become seriously ill?

Italian doctors are well qualified and will be able to provide aid, even if a translator is not available. In emergency cases, you will always be treated in public Italian hospitals, regardless of health coverage. Do not hesitate to go to a hospital if needed! If necessary, one of the SACI administrative staff will accompany you to the hospital to help you with the entire procedure and to translate.

Dickinson also provides students with medical and travel security assistance through International SOS. For more information about health and insurance abroad, please click here. To access SACI's medical information section, click here.

Where will I live?

Students live in fully furnished apartments in Florence. All apartments have bathrooms and kitchens, and are fully equipped with stoves, refrigerators, heat, and hot water; reasonable utilities usage is included. SACI apartments differ in style, furnishings and amenities. Although most have been recently renovated, there is no way to standardize student apartments - some are in buildings which date back to the Renaissance and others are only a few decades old. Wifi is provided in all SACI apartments. Please note that no overnight guests are allowed in SACI housing.

Will I have a meal plan?

No board plan is available on this program. Students have access to a full kitchen in their apartment for preparing meals. Students often enjoy taking turns cooking group meals. Students need to be prepared to pay for their food costs on this program.

When do I receive my housing assignment?

Students will not receive housing assignments until arrival in Florence.

Where are apartments located?

Distance varies from right next to SACI academic buildings to a 20-30 minute walk.

Are internships available?

SACI sponsors a number of internships; many require advanced Italian language skills or artisan experience.  Information about internships and requirements can be found on SACI's website.

Can I conduct research while abroad?

Students may be able to conduct research abroad under the guidance of a Dickinson advisor. The Student International Research Fund (SIRF) was established to help students with extra travel costs associated with independent research projects. Students are encouraged to present their research at the International Research Symposium when they return to campus.

What is a visa?

A visa is a document, normally affixed within your passport, which allows you to enter the country and stay for the duration of your program. The requirements for the visa and visa process are controlled by the government of the country you are entering, are non-negotiable, and can change regularly. If you arrive without the proper visa, you will be sent home by immigration officers at your own expense.

Do I need a visa?

A student visa is required to participate in the SACI program. If you do not hold a US passport, you should consult with the Italian embassy in your country of citizenship for the student visa requirements. Obtaining a student visa is the student's responsibility. We will review the guidelines for obtaining a student visa at the Pre-departure Orientation.

SACI provides visa guidelines and supporting documentation for students; students may also consult Dickinson's visa guidelines for the Dickinson in Italy program. Both provide you with an overview of what you will need to do to obtain a student visa. Please note: this is only a tool to help you get started! It is not a substitute for consulting with the Italian consulate that has jurisdiction over your state of home residence. Make sure you are familiar with the most up-to-date regulations by visiting their website frequently. Also, you need to ensure that your passport is valid for 6 months after the program end date.

How do I get a visa?

You will need to make an appointment at the Italian consulate in order to submit previously-gathered documents that are required for the visa.

Do I have to go to the consulate/embassy?

Yes, you will need to make a visa appointment at the Italian consulate in Philadelphia or the Italian consulate that presides over your home state jurisdiction in order to submit your student visa application. How much does a visa cost? Currently, there is no visa fee for an Italian study visa; however this is subject to change. Be sure to check the consulate's website for any fee change before you submit your visa paperwork.

How long does it take to receive my visa?

At the Philadelphia consulate, it can take over 4 weeks to obtain a student visa. You will need to relinquish your passport to the consulate in order to obtain your visa; do not make plans to travel internationally during this time.

If I'm not a U.S. passport holder, are there any additional requirements?

Yes, you will need to do your own research on visa requirements for citizens of your home country to study in the UK. The CGSE may be able to help you with the required documents. Also, you will need to inform International Student Services that you will be studying outside of the United States and discuss how you will remain in valid F-1 status during your studies abroad.

May I use a visa service to get a visa?

Yes, there may be visa services that can assist you in obtaining the student visa. You will need to research these providers and their fees and timetables.

Global Ambassadors

Global Ambassadors are returning off-campus studies students who serve as peer advisors for their program. Please feel free to contact them for a student perspective. Currently, there are no Global Ambassadors for this program. Contact the CGSE for more information.

For more information, contact:

Advisors (Please call for an appointment):

Center for Global Study and Engagement
Dickinson College

Prof. Ward Davenny, On-Campus Faculty Coordinator
Departments of Art & Art History
Dickinson College
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013-2896
Phone: (717) 245-1053