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Studio Art Centers International (SACI)

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Florence, Italy




2.75 GPA and in good academic and disciplinary standing

Application Due:

Fall 3/4, Spring 9/24, Summer 3/4

Program Cost:

Click the Application tab.

sky line

SACI is the oldest and most prestigious American art school in Florence. The institution was founded in 1975 by painter Jules Maidoff, whose goal was to offer the finest and most challenging training to the next generation of artists, art historians, and art conservators, as well as the opportunity to live out a full, first-hand immersion within Florentine culture and customs.

• Direct access to centuries of Florentine and Italian culture;
• A wide range of art and design studio and complementary academic courses of outstanding quality;
• The opportunity to be part of an institution engaged in leading areas of research and exploration;
• The unparalleled opportunity to interact with the Florentine community through a variety of social and humanitarian programs.

For more information about Studio Art Centers International Florence, please visit their website.

For More Information About Study Abroad

Amy Bowes, Advisor
The University of Iowa
Office for Study Abroad
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802

Phone: 319-335-0353

SACI's main facilities are two beautiful historical palazzi in the center of Florence: the Palazzo dei Cartelloni, acquired in 1999, and the Palazzo Jules Maidoff for the Visual Arts, acquired in 2010.

ponte vechhio

The Palazzo dei Cartelloni, SACI's main building, is a 29,000 square foot air-conditioned palazzo, located at Via Sant' Antonino 11. It has a beautiful gallery/exhibition space, classrooms, a library, offices, an art conservation laboratory, media facilities and studios surrounding a large, traditional Italian garden. The spacious and light-filled interiors, have been restored to their original Baroque magnificence, with painted ceilings, frescoed walls and marble floors. This location places SACI students in the vicinity of the Duomo, the churches of San Lorenzo and Santa Maria Novella, and is just steps away from the central market and the new Alinari photography museum. The Palazzo was remodeled as a residence in the 17th century for the mathematician Vincenzo Viviani, who had been a pupil of the astronomer and scientist Galileo Galilei. Viviani dedicated his home to his esteemed teacher and placed two large scrolls on the building's façade that describe the extraordinary work and achievements of his master. One notices the Palazzo immediately by the bust of Galileo that crowns the palatial entranceway. Viviani created this monument to Galileo in defiance of the papal ban that forbade honoring the work of Galileo partly because of Galileo's assertion that, "The truth of nature is more important than traditional dogma." SACI's home is, therefore, a unique monument to a man who is considered "one of the two greatest sons of Florence" (along with Michelangelo Buonarroti), an accolade inscribed on the buildings scrolls.

Furthermore, the Palazzo dei Cartelloni was built on the foundations of the houses where Francesco Del Giocondo, a wealthy Florentine silk merchant, once lived. Many scholars believe that Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is a portrait of Lisa Gherardini, Francesco’s wife. Recently discovered fragments of majolica plates and a pietraserena wash basin attributed to Benedetto da Maiano carry the Del Giocondo family crest and came from the Palazzo dei Cartelloni.


SACI’s newest facility is another major palace in the center of Florence: the Jules Maidoff Palazzo for the Visual Arts, which is named after SACI's founder and director emeritus. This palazzo includes a floor with large, well-lit painting studios; SACI’s new graduate center, with its own terrace and garden access; SACI’s new design center and design library; fully equipped animation and fresco studios; a student lounge, with additional computers for student internet access; gallery spaces; two major lecture halls; and a beautiful Renaissance courtyard. SACI’s acquisition of this palace—which has four floors and is over 2,000 square meters, has excellent light and beautiful historic rooms—offers students outstanding facilities for all SACI classes. The palazzo is opposite the Fondazione Circolo Rosselli Library, near the city archives which contain the Tarkovsky film and theater holdings, and a very short distance from Florence’s newly opened Library of the Oblate, a public library for students which has late evening hours that are ideal for SACI students. Also nearby is the Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, founded in 1288, with its remarkable artistic holdings; Florence’s Archaeological Museum; and the Conservatorio of Santa Maria degli Angiolini, where SACI students continue to restore the convent's artworks.

Living Arrangements

SACI apartments are fully furnished and allow students to live independently. All apartments have bathrooms and kitchens, and are fully equipped with stoves, refrigerators, heat, and hot water. The SACI accommodation fee includes reasonable utilities usage and an administrative fee. 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. Please note that none of the student apartments have telephones. Students can arrange for private portable cellular phone rentals if their budgets allow. Wifi is provided in all SACI apartments.

All UI students are required to use SACI housing.

For more information see SACI's housing site.

Travel Arrangements

Participants will make their own travel arrangements to Florence, taking advantage of any frequent-flyer options and/or internet specials available to them. The cost of travel is not included in the program fee.


Students must have a 2.75 GPA, and be in good academic and disciplinary standing. You must be in good academic and disciplinary standing with the university at the end of the semester, too.  If you are not in good standing at the end of the semester your acceptance will be revoked and you will be responsible for the associated withdrawal fees.

Applicants with a GPA lower than 2.75 are welcome to meet with the Study Abroad advisor for this program. You can schedule a meeting by calling 319.335.0353. SACI may have additional requirements for admission if you do not meet the requirement for admissions.

Program Cost Sheet

SACI Spring 2015 Cost Sheet
SACI Summer Cost SheetPDF

These documents outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. It includes fees charged on students’ U-Bill, as well as out-of-pocket expenses. Actual out-of-pocket expenses will vary from individual to individual. Quoted estimates are conservatively high, yet realistic.

The cost sheet includes the Study Abroad Administrative Fee and Mandatory Iowa Regents CISI Travel Insurance. Please see the respective websites for further details. If the fee is inclusive of UI tuition, it is calculated by Current Tuition. Please contact your study abroad advisor with questions regarding this cost sheet – call 319-335-0353 to schedule an appointment.

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Most financial aid (scholarships, grants, and loans) is applicable to study abroad programs. Please check the Study Abroad website for information on financial aid and how it may be applied to studying abroad. You are also encouraged to speak with someone at the Office of Student Financial Aid to explore financial aid options.

Scholarship Opportunities exist for study abroad participants. Please explore Study Abroad’s websites for UI Study Abroad Scholarship Opportunities, and Non-UI External Awards.

Scholarships are also available directly through SACI. More information can be found on their website.

Withdrawal policy

After applying for a Study Abroad Program, notice of withdrawal must be made in writing to University of Iowa Study Abroad. The date on which the letter or e-mail message is received is the date by which your costs will be calculated. If for any reason you withdraw after the confirmation deadline and before or during the course of the program, the amount/percentage shown in the following chart represents what you will be required to pay to the University of Iowa.

Date of Withdrawal Student Financial Responsibility
Within the first nine days after the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: $400
Portion of course fee: $100
10-19 days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: $400
Portion of course fee: 50%
20-44 days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: $400
Portion of course fee: 75%
45 or more days past the confirmation deadline Administrative fee: 100%
Portion of course fee: 100%

Consult with your Study Abroad advisor for any clarification about fees and billing. Note that when you withdraw from a program, any money already paid directly to a program provider and/or a host university will potentially be forfeited. Check with your specific provider/host university for details. Additional penalties for cancellation of airline tickets may also apply. Check with your airline for further details.

How to Apply

SACI Application

Steps to Completing Your Application

• Complete the SACI Advisor Form and bring it with you to your meeting with the Study Abroad advisor
• Schedule an appointment to meet with Study Abroad advisor by calling 319.335.0353
• Fill out Iowa Study Abroad Application
• Fill out SACI's Application.

NOTICE: For the Summer Term, this program has late spring, summer, and late spring & summer options. In the UI online application under “Offering” you will be asked to choose between “Codes” A, B, or AB.

Code A= Late Spring

Code B= Summer

Code AB= Late Spring & Summer Sessions

Please be careful to choose the correct session that corresponds to the dates you wish to be abroad. If you need help with this, please consult your study abroad advisor.

Once SACI notifies you of your acceptance into the program, you should work on completing the documentation they need from you to complete your admission.

Post Acceptance Documents

After you've been accepted by SACI, please schedule a meeting with the advisor in Study Abroad to go over the Credit Approval Form. If you are studying abroad during the Fall or Spring term you will also need to schedule an appointment with the participant services coordinator to discuss the student visa process. Please call 319-335-0353 to schedule. The following documents need to be turned in to UCC 1111 Study Abroad within 30 days of your acceptance:

SACI Confirmation of ParticipationPDF

Medical AssessmentPDF

•A clear copy of the identification page of your passport

Helpful Information

SACI's Website

Admitted Students
Checklist and Required Forms
SACI Facebook

Florence Information

The Florentine
Timetables and Train Ticket Information
Hotels, Restaurants, etc. in Florence