Prior to their departure students will receive a lengthy and detailed pre-departure orientation handbook which serves as a primer for their study abroad experience in Italy. This handbook is designed to be used in conjunction with the Online Orientation in the Student Portal. Although the on-site orientation will cover the nitty-gritty of life in Florence, the handbook allows students to read up on pertinent information before their arrival in Italy. The handbook covers culture, housing, bugeting, cell phones, food, the university, and numerous other details. Of course, students are always welcome to contact the Italy Site Specialist
with any questions.
Upon arrival in Florence, ISA students will be met at the airport by the ISA resident director for transportation to each student's apartment or homestay. The first several days in Italy will be dedicated to orientation activities. The ISA staff will provide tours of Florence along with a historical background of the city and of Italy. Throughout the orientation week, the Florence University of the Arts and APICIUS International School of Hospitality will host several additional events to prepare students for their time abroad. Some specific activities include:
- A walking tour of the city to identify the location of banks, the post office, public offices, and the train station
- Orientation meetings held by both ISA staff and host university staff to address practical as well as academic issues
- A security briefing by a police officer to cover safety issues
- An orientation session regarding the "Permission to Stay" (Permesso di Soggiorno) documents that all students are required to complete once in Italy (for semester and year students)
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