Our students have embarked on this incredible journey that will, in many different ways, change their perspective and understanding of cultures, people, life, and probably their very own future. In our intention to guide them as they experience this semester abroad, we plan cultural activities in and around Florence to help students get involved in Italian and Florentine customs. Each activity is in a large way tied to culture and is intended to integrate students as much as possible into the Florentine and Italian way of life.

January kicked off with the ISI Florence sponsored day trip to Chianti – the Tuscan territory famous for wine and extra virgin olive oil production and beautiful landscapes. Students left Florence to breathe the Chianti countryside fresh air and visit a local winery. After touring the wine cellars and learning about wine and olive oil production methods, they enjoyed a traditional lunch together.

During weekdays, students were offered the chance to join a number of extracurricular activities.
We held a travel workshop, to give an insight into the ins and outs of traveling in Florence, Italy, and around Europe  (from information on buses, trains, low cost airlines, and city recommendations).
We invited the well-known blogger of ‘Girl in Florence’ who walked students through her tips on experiencing Florence as a local, not as a temporary tourist. They discussed various barriers to integration, sharing thoughts on how to break them, and came up with solutions as a group.
Students also joined the fresco workshop to discover this ancient painting technique while surrounded by the breathtaking art inside Palazzo Vecchio.
The following week, students experienced an ‘aperitivo’, the quintessential Italian activity focused on socializing, enjoying snacks and a drink before dinner.