What is the school policy for international students?
Accademia Riaci welcomes students from all over the world. The diverse background of Accademia Riaci’s students creates a rich multicultural community that promotes the exchange of ideas and viewpoints. The staff is multilingual and ready to assist international students wherever they attend our programs.
Are there courses taught in English?
As the majority of our students are English speakers (native or as a second language), all courses are taught with free English interpretation service (translator on-site).
When are the application deadlines?
LONG-TERM PROGRAMS (One-Year Courses・Semester Courses・Master Courses):
EU applicants: 30 days before the course start date.
Non-EU applicants: 60~90 days before the course start date (due to the visa application process).
SHORT-TERM PROGRAMS (Short Courses・Summer Intensive Courses・Christmas Courses):
All applicants: 30 days before the course start date. However, in order to secure a spot in the class, we suggest students apply at least 60 days before the course start date.
Are the enrollment fee and the deposit refundable?
The Enrollment Fee and the Deposit paid to ACCADEMIA RIACI are NON-REFUNDABLE unless ACCADEMIA RIACI decides not to grant the student a place on the relevant course.
Do I need to speak Italian to attend classes?
No, Italian language proficiency is NOT required to attend our courses. All classes are taught with the support of an Italian-to-English translator. However, the school offers Italian Language classes throughout the year.
Will I get a certificate upon completion of the course?
Yes. A Certificate of Attendance (short-term programs) or a Diploma (One-Year Course・Master Course) will be awarded upon completion of the course.
Do I need to submit a portfolio to be admitted?
A portfolio is mandatory only for those who apply for the Master Course. It must include 12 works that best reflect the student’s artistic style.
Is school class attendance mandatory?
Course attendance is a primary requirement for a responsible learning experience at Accademia Riaci. Students missing more than 20% of classes will not pass the course.
How do I go to school?
Accademia Riaci is located in downtown Florence. Students can either walk or take local transportation to reach the school.
What is the school teaching method?
In all our courses, we do not follow a fixed program, but we employ a teaching method that can accommodate any level of students with different experiences and objectives. Therefore, we try to develop customized programs through interaction between the student and the instructor. This teaching method has been proven to work as long as class sizes are kept small. A close and positive relationship with teachers boosts student motivation and cooperation.
How is the housing offered by the school?
We provide housing for our international students in fully furnished and equipped shared apartments located in the city of Florence, around 20~30 min by bus/bicycle to the school. Students share the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Linens are provided (guests just need to bring their personal towels). There is no air-conditioning in our shared apartments.
For those who prefer to stay more comfortable, closer to the school and downtown Florence (with private bathroom, air-conditioning, fast Wi-Fi, etc.), we strongly suggest they make their own direct accommodation plans.
Financial Support Information
Does Accademia Riaci provide any financial aid?
Accademia Riaci grants partial scholarships according to the student’s nationality and portfolio. Each scholarship covers a percentage of the tuition fee (usually around 20%). We do not grant full scholarships. Please note that the scholarship does not cover housing and living expenses.
Can I work in Italy as a student?
According to Italian law, international students enrolled in long-term courses and who applied for a residence permit are allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours per week.
Do I need a VISA to study in Italy?
The citizens of the following (non-EU) countries, do NOT require a visa to stay in Italy for a maximum of 90 days (12 weeks):
Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, Georgia, Japan, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong SAR, Solomon Islands, Israel, Kiribati, Malaysia, Macao SAR, North Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Christopher (Saint Kitts) and Nevis, United Kingdom, Samoa, Saint Lucia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, United States, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, East Timor, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.
A short-term “Schengen Visa – type C” is required for all other citizens.
If you plan on staying in Italy for longer than 90 days, you need to apply for a “National Visa – type D” at your local Italian embassy/consulate.
Should I open an Italian bank account?
If you have a bank account with an international cash card (compatible with the “PLUS”, and “CIRRUS” systems), you will have direct access to your account through most of the ATMs in the city, making a local bank account unnecessary. However, if you wish to open an Italian bank account, you will need to submit the following:
1. A valid identification document (passport or identity card)
2. Italian tax identification number (“codice fiscale”)
3. Proof of accommodation
4. School’s certificate of enrollment.
Should I bring my own laptop?
If you are going to take design classes (Interior Design, Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Product Design, Shoe Design, Bag Design, Fashion Design, and Jewelry Design), we recommend you bring your laptop to study during the lessons, as well as working on your assignments. Software like Illustrator, Photoshop, or InDesign are recommended, but they are not mandatory. However, the school’s MacBooks are available to students.
How do I spend my free time in Florence?
Florence is a city of endless possibilities. You can’t possibly see all of the hundreds of historical monuments and museums that are located throughout Florence. The morning might find you taking espresso with the locals at a sidewalk cafe, sitting on the walls along the Arno River, reading a book in the sun, or watching the day’s bread being made in a “pasticceria” (pastry shop). Spend the afternoon hiking in Fiesole and the hills around Florence, watching the tourists crowd around the Gates of Paradise, or shopping in Mercato of San Lorenzo. Eating an Italian meal, chatting at a wine bar, or dancing at one of the many clubs…all of these activities can take up your whole evening. On the weekends, you can travel to the Tuscan beaches, Rome, Milan and any other city. Do everything that you can, every day, because your time abroad flies by.
How much does it cost to live in Italy?
The cost of living in Italy is, on average, around 20% lower than in the United States. However, habits vary enormously from student to student. If you do not include travel or leisure expenditures but only the basic needs, you can budget a minimum of 150~200 euros per week.