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Living in Florence while studying in FDA

Published by Rommel Sofia — 3 years ago

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Florence, Florence, Italy



Never in my imagination that I would live and study in Europe. My only dream was only to travel around Europe with my parents. I even have told my self, if it is ever will happen, I am ready to die. I visited Europe the first time in 2009 and I was back to study in Italy in 2012. My dream to travel with my parents still remain a dream. I do not know, I am probably scared that I might leave this beautiful world when that dream happened. Haha

It was in 2012 when I enrolled myself for a one year Interior Design course in Florence. After an almost 10 years of working, I had decided to do something different to revitalize my boring life.

At first, I had thought, I would only take online classes. However, as I compare the cost with taking the classes on site, there is only a minimal difference. After all, there is no price for experience and the thought of studying in the birthplace of Renaissance, is simply appealing.

I had asked the help of Mr. Google to help me find a good design school in Florence that does not require any prior experience in Interior Design, offers a one year course and a reasonable tuition fee. And of my many months of online search, I found Florence Design Academy as the best choice. It is situated in the heart of the city, just a stone away from the Duomo and all my 3 requisites were satisfied.

Right away, I e-mailed the school of my intention to apply for a One Year Interior Design Academic and in no less than a week, I received a reply of the requirements for admission. With no second thought, I sent through e-mail all the requirements. I was glad that the school accepts electronic submissions of the requirements. It seemed that everything were in order, in less than 48 hours, I was advised that my application was accepted and to proceed with my enrollment, I need to pay the initial fee. And immediately, I wired the €850 enrollment fee the next day. The remaining fee will be settled by November, prior to the start of school.


It was in April 2011 when I submitted my documents and wired the enrolment fee. The next communication I received from the school was in July when they advised me on the date they will send the documents required for my student visa, the school calls it the Visa Package. That how excited I was to study abroad that I already applied a year earlier for the January 2012 intake. As according Italian Embassy, a student visa should be applied within 90 days prior from the intended date of arrival in Italy. So, the school advised me that my Visa Package will be mailed by October.

I received the Visa package in November and in no less than two weeks, I applied for my student Visa and the embassy happily stamped a one year multiple entry on my passport. Welcome to one year of wandering in 26 countries, more than half of Europe. :) This is a wonderful gift for a wanderlust like me.

I set foot the first time in Florence on December 8 to visit the school and look for an apartment to stay. When I arrived in the city, I was mesmerized of its beauty, the thought of living in this beautiful city for a year had not came to my senses as yet. I only spent 3 days in Florence and enjoyed the early Christmas spirit surrounding the city with its beautiful displays of the holiday adornment.


First day of school. The beginning of my greatest adventure. It was a happy and tiring day of completing the bureaucratic requirements of Italy to make my stay legal. All those tiring steps and many governmental offices visited will result to one plastic card, the permesso di soggiorno.

In my first day of class, I met my classmates and schoolmates whom I only chatted here in Erasmusu and Facebook. It was an awesome reunion, all from different countries in the world, as far as Mauritius, Indonesia and Mexico, all gathered to explore and experience the nooks of Florence and to study the craft of interior designing.

The class schedule was not that busy, you can have one or the most two courses in a day, but the projects would keep you busy. My classmates were amazing designers, their ideas were tremendously awesome and beautiful. During the class presentations, you will simply be in awe how they got those terrific design ideas and concepts. The instructors of the school are extremely capable and very accommodating. They all helped us in expressing our ideas artistically sound.


Have I not told you that parties would take most of your time too and not to forget, travel! Florence has a vibrant nightlife and a little pricey, an aperitivo would cost you €8 - 10, this include a drink and an unlimited aperitivo. Around Santa Croce and Santo Spirito has awesome bars for aperitivo. And don't forget to dress to impress. It is a must.

Well, since I was a student, and cash was limited, what I and my classmates were doing, we would hang out in one of our classmate's apartment and drink till we were beautifully wasted and came midnight, we would loiter around the center's nightlife scene to dance and be merry. I will never forget, twice. Haha

In some nights, we would hang out in a bar around Santa Croce for aperitivo and we would buy a glass of drink and stayed till midnight. But in our bag, we had bottles of wine and liquor to fill in our empty aperitivo glass, in secret. Haha Remembering those crazy nights of merriment was simply alluring.

I remembered, in one of the many awesome nights, I and my classmates would just passed our time sitting in the steps of the church or a beautiful Renaissance architecture and talked endlessly about our adventures. Or we would take a walk in the river Arno and enjoy the warm sun during spring or the cold breezy night.

Studying and living in Florence had indeed huge impact on my life. And I had come to understand and appreciate the iItalian mantra: il dolce far niente. I did have a year of enjoying the sweetness of doing nothing. Haha


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