“I liked spending time and hanging out with the other students and just getting to know each other and the city.” Winter 2020 Program participant
What will your time in Florence be like? Learn about your meals and accommodations, the local culture, and daily life in the city.
- You must arrive in Florence on the arrival date indicated here.
- Orientation begins the day after your arrival and consists of a series of meetings, talks, and outings, including a walking tour in Florence and a day in the Chianti.
- Orientation is a truly exciting part of your Florence experience and a crucial time to learn more about the Program, to bond with your Stanford peers, get to know the staff and your Friends a Firenze, and begin to understand the city, its people and culture.
NOTE: If you arrive early or stay after the end of the program, you are responsible for arranging your own temporary housing. You may also need a visa and should check with BOSP before booking your flight.
Accommodations and Meals
Housing is provided from the arrival date through the last day of residence, as per the program calendar.
All students will be housed at The Student Hotel. Opened in Florence in the summer of 2018, The Student Hotel is located on viale Spartaco Lavagnini, is housed in the former “sleep palace”, the 19th Century Palazzo del Sonno, designed by Giuseppe Poggi, the city’s most illustrious XIX century architect who devised Florence’s current urban layout. The structure is ample with almost 400 rooms, the majority of which are occupied by students from the world over, and the remaining rooms are rented out to visitors for short term stays. Program participants will have single rooms with private bathrooms as well as a meal plan. The 19 Meal Plan includes breakfast and dinner at The Student Hotel every day of the week and an allowance for weekday lunches. The Student Hotel also provides a number of other amenities such as common working spaces, a shared kitchen, a music room, laundry facilities, a gym, and a rooftop swimming pool. Twenty-four hour security is available. The Student Hotel is strategically located about 10 minutes’ away from Florence’s main train station and is well connected to Stanford and other key locations in the city either by foot, bus, or light rail (all less than 30 minutes travel time).
Technology and Library
- Palazzo Capponi has wi-fi, access to computers, printers and scanners.
- Laptops and digital cameras are available for short-term checkout.
- The Florence center houses a small, highly specialized library of books and films.
Staying Safe and Healthy
We have an agreement with a private hospital in Florence and GP visits there are free of charge. We also have mental health specialists on retainer. Staff members are on call 24/7, reachable on the Program's emergency phone, and available to assist students in an emergency. While Florence is extremely safe compared to U.S. cities of the same size, students are encouraged to use discretion while in Florence. The City of Florence and the U.S. Consulate are committed to ensuring the safety and security of all its residents, and especially study abroad students, day and night.
“One of my favorite things was going out in Florence on my own and exploring, trying foods, shopping, looking at all the monuments, having the time to be with the culture on my own.” Spring 2019 Program Participant
Florence’s entire downtown is a Unesco World Heritage Site, yet don’t be fooled by its enchanting Renaissance past, it is much more than just a pretty face. While the city and its most famous sites draw thousands of visitors, scholars, and students from all over the globe, it is an innovative and ever-evolving modern Italian city with international flair and appeal.
Since the downtown area draws so many tourists, students are encouraged to explore nearby neighborhoods, such as the one where The Student Hotel is located, to escape the multitudes that come to enjoy the beauty of the city. Living in an authentic Florentine neighborhood greatly increases students' contact with locals, fosters a sense of community and belonging, and facilitates language and culture acquisition.