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Studio Arts College International (SACI)

Fast Facts

Sessions Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer, Academic Year


Florence, Italy




• Minimum 2.75 GPA

• Good academic and disciplinary standing

• Sophomore, junior, or senior standing at the time the program begins

• Approval by UI and USAC advisor

• 18 years of age

• Check the 'Eligibility' section under the Application tab for more details.

Application Due:

• September 24 for Spring

• February 24 for Fall and Academic Year

• March 4 for Summer

Program Cost:

Check the 'Costs' section under the Application tab.

sky line

Studio Arts College International (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.

SACI's mission is to provide a unique, life-enhancing study abroad experience in the center of Florence for students of both traditional and contemporary studio arts and design by offering:

  • 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.

This program is available during the Fall, Spring, Academic Year, and Summer sessions.

Academic Program

Duomo at night

Fall, Spring, and Academic Year

At SACI, you’ll work alongside some of the top art instructors in Europe. Our faculty members are passionate about what they do, and are dedicated to helping you discover your passion and realize your own goals as an artist. You’ll also work with students from all over the world. Not only will this help to open up new ideas in your work, but it is an invaluable learning experience in its own right, offering a diversity of perspectives and collaborative experience that will enrich your life and career.

SACI offers a wide range of unique courses in studio arts, design, conservation, art history, and Italian culture and language that allow you to explore different fields and ways of working.

You can learn more about the course options available during the semester and academic year sessions on the SACI semester/academic year program website.


SACI’s Summer I , Summer II , Full Summer sessions take place during the University of Iowa’s summer session. UI students can enroll in either or both sessions.

It may be a short term, but the summer programs are filled with once-in-a-lifetime experiences in a city that is one of the great artistic and cultural hubs of Europe.

SACI's facilities are located in the heart of Florence, just steps away from Michelangelo's Medici Chapel, Fra' Angelico's masterpieces in San Marco, the colorful central market, and Florence's Duomo. Field trips to Pisa, Arezzo, Lucca, Siena, San Gimignano, and Fiesole are a regular part of the program and are open to all summer students. Art History course field trips visit all the major museums of Florence (including the Uffizi, the Bargello, and the Pitti Palace) as well as masterpieces in the churches and monasteries in and around the city.

During the summer months, Florence also offers a remarkable range of cultural and popular events and activities. You can experience the famous Calcio in Costume, during which the different quarters of the city compete in what is considered to be the ancestor of modern soccer. There are also regular outdoor evening film and music festivals, as well as the Estate Fiesolana, which includes concerts, film, and theater within a Roman amphitheater.

You can learn more about the course options available during the summer sessions on the Summer programs at SACI in Florence website.

Note: the University of Iowa does not sponsor the Summer session program in Venice.

Cultural Activities and Excursions

Field trips throughout Tuscany and elsewhere in Italy are an integral and deeply rewarding part of the SACI overseas study experience. Students will be attending the field trips that are scheduled in classes in which they are enrolled, as well as field trips that are open to all enrolled students. Tuition includes all required class field trips and museum entrances.

Excursions vary by session. Some of the sites visited by SACI students in the past have included Venice, Rome, Milan, Naples, Bologna, Pisa, Lucca, Ravenna, Siena, Fiesole, San Gimignano, Arezzo, San Sepolcro, Monterchi, Assisi, Urbino, Tivoli, Hadrian’s Villa, the Certosa di Galluzzo, Vinci, Faenza, Pietrasanta, and Carrara.

You can find information about the excursions offered during upcoming sessions on the Field Trips at SACI page.

Program Dates

Note: This program is not available for the Summer 2021 session.

Program dates vary from year to year, but typically follow the University of Iowa’s academic calendar.

You can find the specific dates for the upcoming Semester/Academic Year programs on the Semester/Academic Year website.

You can find the specific dates for upcoming Summer programs on the Summer website.

Once on the website, you can find the dates by clicking on the Term Dates heading.

For More Information

Ana Jimenez, Advisor and Program Coordinator
Study Abroad | International Programs
1111 University Capitol Centre
Iowa City, IA 52242-1802

Phone: 319-335-0353
Fax: 319-335-0343


ponte vechhio

The birthplace of the Renaissance, Florence (Firenze) is possibly the most beautifully preserved and artistically rich city in the world. Here, artistic treasures and architectural masterpieces of the past blend with ancient streets lined with elegant boutiques, peaceful parks, streetside cafes offering steaming hot expresso and fresh biscotti, unforgettable dining establishments, and breathtaking views at every turn. Set in a valley on the banks of the Arno, surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, Florence is one of the best-known and best-loved cities of the world. Striking buildings, treasure-filled galleries, and ancient churches attest to the nature of the Florentines to proudly display their riches for all to enjoy. With the historical part of the city largely contained in a small area, many of the places to visit can be reached easily on foot where pedestrians often mingle between the popular mopeds dashing through the city streets.


Aside from the unending, tangible history in Italy, the nation has beyond remarkable landscapes which bring any visit to an entirely new level. You can go skiing in the Alps, visit Roman ruins and Greek temples, or explore the Grand Canal in Venice.

As one of the world's most-loved destinations, Italy is also the land of la dolce vita, meaning "the sweet life." After an adventure, tourists can unwind, relax, and be pampered by staying at one Italy’s high-end spas or simply enjoying Italy's sophisticated dining pleasures, such as family-owned restaurants where you can experience real Italian cooking.

People and Culture

Despite its rich and magnificent art and architecture, there's no reason to be intimidated. Italian people are very hospitable and are rarely indifferent. Hundreds of local festivals take place across the country on any given day to celebrate a saint or a local harvest, including the daily domestic ritual of passeggiata, a collective evening stroll celebrated by the young and old alike in towns and villages across the country. If there is one special national characteristic Italians are known for, it's that they know how to live life to the fullest.

Cultural Resources

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

Student Blogs

Karlyn Lienhard, Academic Year 2016-2017

An American in Florence

Hannah Grahek, Spring 2016

Ciao Firenze!
Wherever the Tracks May Take Us
Get to the airport early, they say. Listen, I did not.
The teachers becomes the student
It's time to adjust... again

US Department of State Country Information

The US Department of State provides safety and security information for every country of the world to help you assess for yourself the risks of travel. Each country information page contains a Travel Advisory, Alerts, and other important details specific to that country that could affect you.

Pay close attention to the entry and exit requirements, local laws and customs, health conditions, and other details to help decide whether traveling to any given country is right for you. Non-US citizen travelers may also wish to seek guidance from the embassy of their country of citizenship. The UI International Travel Policy for Students addresses restrictions on student travel to high-risk locations and engagement in high-risk activities abroad.

Living Arrangements

View of Florence

SACI apartments are fully furnished and allow you to live independently. The apartments differ in style, furnishings, and amenities. Although most have been recently renovated, each apartment is unique – some apartments are in buildings dating back to the Renaissance and others are only a few decades old. SACI apartments also meet health and safety standards and are covered by fire and third party liability insurance. In accordance with Italian law, all apartment contracts are duly registered with authorities and the names of occupants are filed each term with the local police.

Wifi is provided in all SACI apartments. Though the apartments do not have telephones, you can easily arrange for a private portable cellular phone rental if your budgets allows.

All University of Iowa students are required to live in student housing provided by SACI.

More information about SACI's housing can be found on the SACI Student Housing website.


US Citizens

If you do not have a passport, it is important that you apply for one as soon as possible to ensure you receive it before the program begins. US citizens can find more information about how to apply for a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Important notice for students without a valid passport or whose passport will expire within the next 12 months:

US citizens can find more information about how to renew a passport on the US Department of State’s website.

Students without a valid passport should apply for a new passport or a passport renewal as early as possible.

Students with a valid passport should check the expiration date. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the anticipated return to the US from studying abroad. If your passport is not valid for at least 6 months after your anticipated date of return to the US, you must renew your passport before applying for the visa you will need to enter your host country.

Expedited processing service is available for US passports (although this still takes several weeks and is at an additional cost). UI Study Abroad encourages students to ask the passport agency at the time of application whether expedited service is recommended.

Non-US Citizens

Students who are not US citizens should contact Ana Jimenez ( for information on how to ensure that their passport is valid for the duration of their time abroad.


Students will work with their program provider to make travel arrangements to their program site. The cost of travel is not included in the course fee. UI Study Abroad will not arrange a group flight to your study abroad destination.

Do not purchase plane tickets until you have received instructions on how to do so from your program provider.

Local Transportation

Within your host city and around Italy, students will utilize public transportation such as buses and trains. Italians are also very used to walking, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes!


This program is open to University of Iowa students who fulfill the following requirements:

  • Clear interest and commitment- Students must demonstrate a clear academic or personal interest in the program’s subject matter, and a commitment to engage responsibly in coursework abroad.
  • Demonstrated preparedness and maturity- Students must demonstrate preparedness to take on the heightened responsibilities associated with international study and travel. Students must demonstrate a commitment to behave responsibly abroad while respecting cultural differences. Students are expected to obey both local laws and program directives conveyed to participants before and during the program. The University of Iowa Code of Student Life applies to all program participants while abroad.
  • Minimum 2.75 GPA- Students must have a minimum 2.75 GPA to participate in this program. Applications from students who have a GPA below 2.75 will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Good academic and disciplinary standing- Students must be in good academic and disciplinary standing at the University of Iowa. Students placed on either academic or disciplinary probation for any period of time overlapping with the study abroad program dates are ineligible to study abroad on a University of Iowa program. Academic and disciplinary history will also be considered when determining whether a student is prepared to represent the University of Iowa as part of this program. Students who are not in good standing at any point overlapping with the program dates will have their acceptance revoked and will be responsible for the associated late withdrawal fees.
  • Sophomore, junior, or senior standing- Applicants must have sophomore, junior, or senior standing by the time the program begins to participate in this program.
  • Approval by UI Study Abroad and SACI- Applications will be reviewed by UI Study Abroad and by SACI. Students will be accepted based on their review of their application materials.
  • Attendance at mandatory orientation programming- Students must attend all in-person and online pre-departure orientation programming presented by UI Study Abroad and SACI.

Additional notes on eligibility


Students will be responsible for paying many of their program costs through their University of Iowa U-Bill, while other costs will be out-of-pocket costs paid by the student directly to vendors before and after going abroad. Refer to the cost sheets below for details on the costs associated with this program.

The cost sheets outline the total estimated costs associated with participating in this program and can be used for financial aid purposes. They include 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.

Costs for future sessions are usually similar to the current session, however students can expect a modest increase in overall costs each session. Final cost sheets for future sessions are typically available early in the semester before the session begins.

Summer 2020 Cost Sheet

The following DRAFT cost sheet applies to the Summer II, 2020 session.

  • PDF DRAFT Cost Sheet- SACI 2020: Summer II
  • Calculating Fees

    The cost sheets are based on the fees described below:

    Cost sheets do not include the following optional costs:

    Additional Optional Costs Paid to SACI

    These fees are all optional and are not included in the course fee for the program. The cost should be paid directly to SACI. Failure to pay for these costs will result in SACI withholding your transcript.

    • Single Apartment Surcharge
    • Optional course material fees

    Optional fees vary by session, and will be available shortly before the upcoming session.

    Personal Travel Costs

    Costs for personal travel are not included in the cost estimates provided on the cost sheet. If you plan to travel outside of your host city or country during or after your study abroad program, you will need to budget for additional funds to cover the cost of your personal travel.

    Costs charged to the U-Bill

    • Application fee (charged at the time of application, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Course Fee- Includes program Tuition, housing, other SACI fees (charged shortly before departure)
    • Study Abroad Fee (charged shortly before departure)
    • CISI Health Insurance (charged shortly before departure)

    Out-of-pocket costs (not charged to U-Bill)

    • Round trip airfare from Cedar Rapids (paid by student directly to travel agent or airline- approx. 6-8 weeks prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Visa and Residence Permit Fee (paid by student prior to departure. Contact Ana Jimenez for more information, before financial aid/scholarships disbursed.)
    • SACI General Program Deposit (paid by student to SACI prior to departure)
    • Textbooks and materials (paid by student to SACI per program contract- contact SACI for more information)
    • Food (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Cell phone- does not include usage fees (paid as needed while abroad)
    • Local transportation (paid at student’s discretion while abroad)
    • Personal expenses (paid by student at their discretion while abroad)
    • Passport (paid by student prior to departure)
    • Medical exam/immunizations (paid by student as needed prior to departure, before financial aid/scholarships disburse)
    • Additional housing fees (paid by student to SACI per program contract- contact SACI for more information)
    • Field Trip deposit (paid by student to SACI per program contract- contact SACI for more information)
    • Personal travel costs (paid by student as needed while abroad)

    How to Apply

    Note: This program is not available for the Summer 2021 session.

    • Meet with the appropriate study abroad advisor to discuss your study abroad plans well ahead of the application deadline. Your application will not be approved until you've completed this step. You can set up an appointment by calling UI Study Abroad at 319-335-0353. Complete the SACI Advisor Form and bring it with you to your meeting with your UI Study Abroad advisor.
    • Meet with your academic advisor to review your program and ensure that it is a good match for your academic and personal goals.
    • Complete and submit the UI Study Abroad program application form. Please note that for Winter 20-21, Spring 2021, Summer 2021, and Fall 2021 study abroad programs, students will not be charged the $50 application fee until travel takes place. If a student chooses to withdraw prior to departure due to COVID-19 concerns, the application fee will not be charged.
    • Complete the SACI program application ($70 non-refundable application processing fee).

    Refundable General Program Deposit

    Note:At the time of confirmation, students will be required to pay a refundable $500 general program deposit. This fee is paid directly to SACI. The General Program Deposit serves as a deposit to secure a place in the program of your choice. It is refundable only after program participation, if no housing fees, library charges, or other expenses are incurred

    A Note about Summer Applications

    For the Summer session, this program has Summer I , Summer II , Full Summer options. When completing your UI study abroad application, you will need to indicate which summer option you plan to participate in. Under the Offering heading of the application, enter one of the following codes indicating which session you are applying for:

    Code A=Summer I

    Code B=Summer II

    Code AB= Full Summer

    Be careful to choose the session that corresponds to the dates you plan to study abroad.


    Acceptance decisions are made by SACI. After your application has been reviewed, SACI will contact you by email with their acceptance decision. After you receive your official acceptance from SACI, your UI study abroad advisor and SACI will contact you with further information about documentation you will need to complete the admission process.

    Shortly after the application deadline you will be informed of an orientation session. At orientation we will review the credit approval process, visas, and other logistical information (airfare, travel, etc.).

    Application Deadline

    Applications for the Fall semester and Academic Year are due on February 24.

    Applications for the Summer are due on March 4.

    Applications for the Spring session are due on September 24.

    Acceptance and Confirmation Materials

    After you have received an email from UI Study Abroad indicating that you have been formally accepted to the program, have reviewed the estimated costs, and you are ready to commit to participating in this program, you will need to complete the following steps:

    Spring 2020 Students

    Coming Soon.

    Note that if the Confirmation of Participation document is not submitted by the confirmation deadline, your application will be automatically withdrawn and your acceptance rescinded.

    Health & Safety Planning

    In addition to submitting their Confirmation of Participation form, students should review the following:

    Study Abroad Resources

    Passports and Visas

    Iowa Regents CISI Health Insurance Information

    Students are also encouraged to complete the PDFHealth Preparation Guide for International Travel form with their medical practitioner. This document is intended to help you plan for your medical needs abroad. Please DO NOT turn this form in to UI Study Abroad.

    Scholarships & Financial Aid

    For more information about receiving financial aid while studying abroad, please review the following:UI Financial Aid Information

    You can find more information about options for funding your study abroad experience including scholarships on Undergraduate Scholarships for Study Abroad.

    In addition, take a look at SACI's Scholarship & Aid website for more information about scholarships offered directly through SACI.


    Students will receive information regarding the visa application process from SACI. Participants need to be checking their e-mail often, so they don’t miss important information or deadlines. SACI also provides students with some of the required application materials for the visa application process.

    U.S. Citizens will need a student visa if they are going abroad for a semester, or academic year. Typically, they will not need a visa for the summer sessions.

    Non-US Citizens - should refer to the Italian Consulate webpage for more information on Italian visa requirements.

    The closest Consulate available to UI students is the Chicago consulate.

    UI Study Abroad will hold advising appointments and/or information sessions to provide details on the visa application process. Your Study Abroad advisor will notify you of any scheduled visa information sessions. Students with questions about visas/visa application process should contact their Study Abroad Advisor.

    UI Study Abroad staff can provide some assistance on the Italian visa application process, but ultimately the individual traveler (the student) is the person who is responsible for providing correct information on the visa application and securing the visa and all other required documentation prior to travel.


    In order to prepare for your time abroad, you are required by the University of Iowa to complete two orientations. These may be in addition to orientations provided by your on-site provider. See below for more information.

    Online Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation

    You are required to complete the International Programs online ‘Education Abroad Pre-Departure Orientation’ course distributed through ICON prior to departure. This orientation is mandatory for all students going abroad under the auspices of the University of Iowa. It covers many practical matters about living overseas, such as health and safety, communication, money, goals and much more. You will be enrolled in this course by International Programs and an email will be sent to you once enrolled. If you have any questions you can email

    Program-Specific Orientation

    This orientation will be facilitated by your study abroad advisor and will cover content specific to your program and host country. It could be conducted in a group setting or one-on-one depending on your type of planned activity abroad. Your study abroad advisor will send you more information about this mandatory in-person session.