Semester in Florence Housing

Here are some general rules, tips, and expectations to help you become accustomed to your new home!

To help maintain good relations with your neighbors, keep in mind that you are part of a community and your actions affect your neighbors. Although your residency is temporary, recognize that most of your neighbors are living in their primary residence which they own. Please be sensitive to the lifestyle of your neighbors. Most residents enjoy the arrival of American students and you should do your part to foster that relationship. Most residents work full time and many may have families with young children, so keep excessive noise to a minimum at all times.

Each apartment is equipped with basic furnishings and supplies, including single beds, bed linens and towels, a closet/clothing storage space, basic cookware and tableware, a table and chairs and a furnished sitting area. Desks, when available, are to be shared by all occupants. Each student is expected to provide his/her own paper and cleaning products as well as replace light bulbs. Most apartment units are provided with a washing machine. It is anticipated that all apartments will have access to wifi internet.

Not All Apartments Are the Same. In Florence, not all apartments are created equal. Although the apartments vary in location, style and size, all of them provide the essentials. Please try to understand this fact and accept it as part of your experience in Florence. Do not immediately compare your apartment with those of other students.

Housing Preferences and roommate requests should be submitted via the form sent by your program coordinator. Please note: Housing preferences will be considered, but not all requests can be met due to availability, which varies from term to term.

Housing placements will be emailed to you approximately one week prior to your departure. Out of respect for privacy for other students, you may not receive your roommate information if your roommates have not also elected to disclose their own contact information; however, you may connect with other program participants on the CISabroad Italy Facebook page, or by filling out the participation consent form emailed out to you.

Please note that although CISabroad makes every effort to provide your preferred form of housing, we cannot guarantee that all personal preferences are met. We have carefully selected safe and adequate housing for each student and each living arrangement is distinct and special in its own way.

Every housing placement is different with different pros and cons. Your accommodations will be different than what you may have come to expect back at home. In general, be prepared for a relatively small living space in an older building with very basic amenities. Now is the time to open your mind and get ready to experience something different; this attitude is in the spirit of your decision to study abroad. Please also remember, that when you are abroad, you will be representing your home institution and your home country; please behave appropriately.

There are generally no housing changes allowed during the program, unless there are extenuating circumstances.  There is a natural adjustment period to life abroad and living with new roommates in this type of environment.  Additionally, since the housing is coordinated through a housing agency, there is not usually a surplus of extra spaces available in any given apartment.

Please keep your room and the common areas clean; this is especially important when you are sharing a bedroom, apartment, residence, or dormitory. If your apartment is found to be kept excessively unclean, you may incur a damages fee for extra cleaning.

In order to avoid disturbing the neighbors or housemates, please use headphones when listening to music, or keep the volume low, and please keep your voices down. By law, quiet is imperative between 9:30 pm and 8:00 am, and again after 1:00 pm until 3:30 pm; please respect this law by keeping noise to minimum.

If your neighbors call the police to report a noise complaint, by law, there is an automatic €1000 fine.

Utilities and use:

  • Always turn off the lights when you leave the apartment and when you are not in the room.
  • The heat in the apartments generally operates from 6-9 am and then again in the evening from 6-10 pm. By Florentine ordinance, heating systems are turned on by November 15 and turned off on March 15 every year. Wearing warmer clothes (ex. wool, fleece, flannel) indoors during winter months is considered normal practice among Italians and experienced expats; it is strongly suggested that students adopt this practice for their own comfort.
  • Apartments are not provided with air conditioning; instead, keep cool the Italian way – during the day, Italians traditionally keep their shutters and serrande closed against the heat of the sun. In order to cool the apartment you might also consider buying a fan.
  • Mind your utility usage. Extra costs due to excessive consumption can be deducted from your housing deposit refund.


  • You should take your keys with you at all times, because upon closing your apartment door, you won’t be able to reenter without a key. It is still necessary to lock the door, and it is critical that you keep the apartment door locked at all times.
  • Also, when leaving the apartment, make sure the windows are closed and locked. Neither the study abroad company nor the housing company will not be responsible for any stolen items.
  • If the keys to the apartment are stolen, lost or misplaced, all locks to the apartment will have to be replaced at the student’s expense, including key copies for all apartment members.
  • Similarly, if the keys are left inside the apartment/bedroom and the locksmith has to open the door for the you, you will have to pay for this service.
    • Key replacement and locksmith services during business hours (Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM) cost a minimum of 100 euro. Outside of business hours (evenings and weekends), the cost is at least 200 euro.  Keep your keys with you at all times!
  • It is strictly forbidden to throw any object or substance from windows, balconies, terraces or roofs. This includes keys, cigarette butts or anything else big or small.

Guests and Alcohol Policies:

  • Disrespectful behavior related to alcohol consumption will end up in dismissal from the housing and you will have to find your own housing at your own expense.
  • Smoking is not allowed anywhere inside the apartment.
  • The consumption of drugs, as well as keeping or dealing with them, is absolutely prohibited.
  • Overnight guests are strictly prohibited.

Financial Liability:

  • You will have to pay for any damage done to the apartment (doors, walls, floors, furniture, kitchen supplies, washing machine, etc.), as well as any excessive utility consumption (see “Utilities and use”).
  • If extra time is needed to clean the apartment, or if items are damaged or missing, you will be charged and those charges will be deducted from your housing deposit.
  • Housing deposits will be returned 12-16 weeks after the program has ended.

Helpful tips for living with other people:

  • Respect other people that live in the building.
  • Remember that you are not on a college campus and not in your own home. Respect the property and get out of the “college campus” mentality.
  • Talk to your roommates if they do something that bothers you. Talking it through is the easiest way to solve a small problem before it gets bigger.
  • Talk to the staff if a problem arises and you cannot work it out with your roommates.

Warning process (CISabroad 3 Strikes Policy):

  • If any of the above rules are broken, you will receive a first verbal warning. This warning will also be written and sent to your sending study abroad program and your home school.
  • The second infraction of any of the above rules will result in an eviction from your apartment. You will need to find a new place to live at your own expense.
  • Please read through all of our behavior policies noted in the CISabroad Policy Handbook, located in your CISabroad portal.