Gap Year: Exploring the arts in Florence, from a student’s viewpoint

SACI fine art students in Florence, Italy

SACI fine art students above the Arno River in Florence, Italy

Rafaela Schoffman (SACI Alum 2014-15), writes about exploring the arts with SACI in Florence…

My gap year at SACI turned out to be far greater than I had ever expected. As an Israeli, after high school I went straight into the army and focused on my military service for the next two years. By the time I completed my service, I was eager to see the world and spent the following year and a half travelling.

It was during my three month stay in New Zealand that I began to explore options for what I would do after my travels. I didn’t know what I wanted to study, where I wanted to live or what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I remembered that someone had mentioned an international art school in Florence, and decided to look into it. Having studied at a high school for the arts in Jerusalem, I knew I was interested in this field, but I didn’t know which medium or how to pursue it. Applying for a four year degree seemed like a huge commitment that I wasn’t ready for.

Gap-Year GuidebookThe gap year at SACI was the perfect solution. It gave me the opportunity to be exposed to different disciplines in fine arts, photography and design. There was an extremely rich array of classes to choose from, and outstanding and engaged teachers, my overall experience was both challenging and rewarding. This year prepared me in the best way possible, both personally and academically, to have the confidence to now pursue a higher degree in photography.

Thanks to this program, I had the time to explore the arts in a way I hadn’t done before and to take a deeper look at myself. This year was crucial in helping me to discover the direction I really wanted in my life, to understand what truly motivated me, and with the tremendous support of my teachers to make the best decision for my professional future. I cannot express how much value I place on my gap year experience.

Printed from The Gap-Year Guidebook 2016 where SACI students were also featured on the cover, over-looking the city of Florence (photos by John Taylor).

To find out more about SACI Florence click here.

SACI logo

About SACI

SACI is a US non-profit College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy, for undergraduate and graduate students seeking accredited instruction in studio art, design, conservation, art history, and Italian language and culture. Founded in 1975, SACI offers the following programs: Academic Semester/Year Abroad, Summer Studies, Venice Summer Program, Post-Bac in Conservation, MFA in Studio Art, MA in Art History.

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