FIF FAQs | Honors College | Kent State University

 

The following information is provided to address some questions you may have about the Freshmen in Florence Program.

For questions about academics, costs and admission, contact:

  • Ólöf Thórdardóttir, Coordinator of Admissions, Honors College, at othordar@kent.edu or (330) 672-2312

For questions about Kent State Florence, contact:

  • Amber Cruxton, Interim Director, Education Abroad, at acruxton@kent.edu or (330) 672-7980.

How can I participate in the program?

Many incoming students admitted to the Honors College are eligible for the program. Students are selected based on a number of criteria, including those whose academic goals might include international study, foreign language, or travel, and those whose majors are appropriate for study at the Florence campus. Students must submit a program application by April 15. Enrollment is limited and admission is on a rolling basis. Students must be 18 years of age or older at time of departure in order to be eligible.

You must indicate the Freshmen in Florence Program as your cohort (Fashion students should not indicate the Fashion cohort, CCI students should not indicate CCI cohort, and Business students should not indicate the business cohort. Selecting a different cohort will result in a delay in your application.

Will the semester in Florence follow the same dates as the Kent Campus fall semester?

Yes, however students will depart for Florence the week before the start of fall classes to participate in an on-site orientation program with the KSU Florence faculty and staff.

Should I plan on attending Destination Kent State?

Yes. You will attend a customized version of Destination Kent State where you will meet other program participants, complete your visa application, and receive a comprehensive pre-departure orientation. FIF students are required to attend a June DKS session for 2018. Dates to be announced.  Attendance is required to participate.

Will the program be offered in the spring semester as well?

No. The Honors Freshmen in Florence Program is currently only available to first-year students in the fall semester.

What happens when I return to Kent in the spring semester?

Your preparation to return to the Kent campus will begin in October. You will select your spring courses and register for them online the same as all other freshmen at KSU register for courses. On campus housing will be available upon your return to Kent in the spring. You will continue enrollment in HONR 10297 Freshman Honors Colloquium II with the same cohort of Florence students and a special section of US 10097 First Year Experience designed to ease your transition to Kent.

What courses are offered in Florence? Will my courses fulfill degree requirements?

All courses at KSU Florence are Kent State courses that will count toward fulfilling degree requirements. For a complete list of courses available in Florence, visit kent.edu/kent-state-florence-semester for more information on course options.

IS MY MAJOR A GOOD FIT FOR THE PROGRAM?

The FIF program is not compatible with all majors at Kent State University. For information on whether your major is a good fit, please see our list of compatible majors.

Who teaches the courses?

The courses taught in Florence are Kent State courses and taught by Kent State faculty. Courses are taught in English. Each professor brings a dynamic and passionate experience to the classroom.

How will I get there?

FIF participants will fly on an official group flight to Florence with an Honors College chaperon.  Flight costs average around $1,500 and are assessed to your fall billing statement.  

Will I be living with other KSU students? What is housing like?

Freshmen in Florence students will stay in apartments located in the heart of Florence. Apartments are shared with two to eight other students in the program, depending on the size of the apartment. Freshmen will reside with other freshmen students in the program. Students will also have a student mentor who is a junior or senior in the Honors College and has participated in the FIF program.

Apartments are fully furnished with bed linens, a kitchen, washing machine, TV, and wifi. Students will need their own towels and any special adapters for electronics. Students are required to have a local cell phone while in Florence.

Is there a meal plan like at KSU?

The Kent State Florence campus does not offer meal plans. Students are responsible for their own meals while studying in Florence. Students will prepare their own meals in their apartments. Students will learn the basics of shopping and food preparation during a three-day orientation in Florence. Like most European cities, Florence has a wealth of small markets – offering everything from cheeses to meats to pastries and vegetables. Students will find everything to meet their culinary needs in a culturally rich environment. Students should expect to budget the same amount of money for food as they would spend on a board plan at the Kent campus.

Does the Florence campus have KSU staff available?

The Florence campus is staffed by a number of full-time administrative personnel who are available to assist students with any issues that may occur. Freshmen in Florence students will have a dedicated staff member who will oversee the cohort of students.

Who else studies at the Florence campus?

Besides freshmen, more than 200 KSU students are studying at our Florence center each semester. Many Honors College students enroll in a semester in Florence as sophomores, juniors, or seniors. At any given time, there are always fellow undergraduates in Florence from a variety of backgrounds and programs.

How much does the program cost in addition to Kent State University tuition, fees, room and board?

Program costs are estimates and are subject to change. Official 2018-2019 tuition and fees will be approved by the Board of Trustees prior to the beginning of the fall 2018 semester. Airfare, housing, and field trip fees are subject to change based on the dollar-to-euro exchange rate. See kent.edu/florence and kent.edu/tuition for the most up-to-date figures.

Costs include tuition and fees, housing, round-trip airfare, field trips, international health insurance, and a program fee. Not included are meals, books and supplies, and other incidentals.

For more information, please see the Freshmen in Florence Costs page.

Will my scholarships apply to this program?

All Kent State University scholarship awards will apply to study abroad costs, and federal financial aid will apply (Federal Work Study is not available at KSU Florence). Students will also receive a $1,500 scholarship from the Honors College to support their study abroad experience.

Do I need a passport?

Yes. If you don't already have one, you should apply immediately at travel.state.gov.

Do I need a visa?

Yes. All students need a Visa, and KSU will help participants apply for a visa in their jurisdiction (home state). Students will receive complete instructions as part of their orientation to the program.

What about safety and security?

Florence is a small city and has a very low crime rate. Obviously, students should always exercise the utmost caution and awareness of their environment, but the Florence campus has enjoyed a very low incident report. Students are introduced to the Italian police as part of orientation in Florence.

I don't speak Italian. Is it difficult to live in Florence without Italian language skills?

No previous experience with the Italian language is necessary. Florence is an incredibly friendly city, especially for English-speaking students. Students find it easy to buy supplies, move about the city, arrange trips and travel, all with minimal language skills in Italian. Students will be enrolled in Italian language as part of the program and will find by the end of their experience they are comfortable navigating and exploring Italy with their new language skills.

What if I get sick?

There are medical and pharmaceutical facilities in the city of Florence. If one of our students becomes ill, a member from our Florence staff will assist our students with visiting English speaking doctors and pharmacists available to them.

Will I be able to study abroad other semesters?

Depending on your major it is possible to study abroad at different times during your academic career with KSU. Strategic planning with your academic advisor can allow you to study abroad during other semesters or participate in some of our short-term programs. However, for some majors, it can be very challenging to spend a semester abroad later on. Such majors include aeronautics majors, speech pathology and audiology, and others.