A Day in Florence

Angelina Colaianni, AIFS Florence Summer '22

I had class Monday through Thursday from 9:00am to 1:20pm. My roommates and I would wake up every morning and walk to school together. Our school was on the other side of the city, so we were able to walk over the Ponte Vecchio every day and experience that view. Something I loved about studying abroad through the AIFS program was that they offered breakfast and dinner vouchers that could be redeemed at various local cafes and restaurants. These vouchers lasted me the entirety of my stay, so I was able to save money on food. We would typically stop at one of these cafes on our way to class. They offered everything from croissants to little sandwiches. It was a perfect start to every morning. Once classes were over, we would all regroup back at our apartment and make plans for the remainder of the night. This is typically where we spent the majority of our money. We liked to do things around Florence, such as visiting the Boboli Gardens or the Uffizi Gallery. These things cost money, but with what we saved on food, we were able to spend on real life experiences and lasting memories. In our minds, this was worth the cost. My biggest piece of advice would be to find a program that includes things like excursions and museum visits in the overall cost. We were able to get into the Uffizi for free through AIFS, and it was one of my favorite parts of the entire study abroad experience. After our afternoon activity, my roommates and I would always go to dinner together. Our dinner vouchers allowed us to immerse ourselves in the local cuisine at so many fine restaurants without spending too much of our own money. The workers at these restaurants were always very kind and understanding of our positions as students, so they would even sometimes give us extra discounts on our meals. My biggest piece of advice for saving money is to come into the situation with a budget in mind. I found bringing euros from the United States to be the most effective way of not spending money. Having that physical money really limited me from spending beyond what I could afford, as it made me consciously aware of the budget that I had previously set for myself. This way I could reserve my credit card for emergency or “splurge” purchases.