Florence University of the Arts: Career Certificate
Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Media
Career Certificate

FUA Career Certificate programs are subject-intensive and offer pre-determined coursework for a full immersion and professional experience in a particular field. Career Certificate programs are open to traditional undergraduate students as well as nontraditional students interested in pursuing a new career path. The FUA Career Certificate program, Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Media is an introductory Year 1 program offering a foundational core of classes. Students can go on to complete Year 2, which provides specialization in one of four areas. The Year 1 Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Media program provides a complete introduction to fundamentals in the field of the Italian and global fashion industry and contemporary practices.


SAI Services
SAI 360° & Select Services available

Application Requirements
Complete online application
Personal statement (300-500 words)
Passport scan (photo page)
Italian privacy consent form

Application open until: May 15
Apps accepted on a rolling basis

Program Dates
2023/24: Aug 29, 2023 – May 10, 2024
2024/25: Aug 27, 2024 – May 10, 2025
Dates may vary as a result of add-ons


Eligibility Requirements

Age: 18+

Academic Year: High school graduate or above.

English Language: Non-native English language speakers must submit TOEFL: 500+ (paper-based), IELTS: 5+, OOPT: 50+, or equivalent.



Coming soon

Program Overview
The career certificate program in Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Media (Year 1) offers a general overview of Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Media fundamentals applicable to one of four specializations in Year 2:

The Year 1 program includes a block set of courses that provide a structured learning experience and introduction to the field, with a focus on experiential learning and hands-on projects.

Program Objectives
This program will provide the student with a solid foundation to build and grow a diverse skill set in the fashion field, from design to marketing, through a common core of introductory courses in fashion retail management, sewing and construction techniques, accessory design, fashion marketing, and fashion, media and culture.

Special emphasis will be placed on understanding and developing skills needed to successfully operate a fashion retail enterprise, while simultaneously growing the students’ knowledge of Italian fashion icons, culture, and the global fashion industry, through a combination of lectures, projects and site visits to well-known luxury brands in Florence.

The program focuses on community engagement and experiential learning within FLY (Fashion Loves You), the school’s non-profit retail store, one of FUA’s unique CEMI organizations (Community Engagement Member Institutions) which are run by the university and provide practical learning opportunities for students. FLY is open to the local community, and showcases a luxury vintage collection, local, emerging designers, and a student-produced brand. Students directly apply skills and knowledge to this professional setting, and are mentored throughout the program by accomplished faculty that directly represent the industry.

Duration and Certification
Students complete two consecutive terms for a full academic year. Students who complete the full academic year will earn a certificate in “Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Media.” All students receive undergraduate course credit and a US transcript issued by the University of South Florida upon successful completion

Prerequisites

Year 1: To enroll in this Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Media Year 1 program, students must hold a high school diploma or equivalent and demonstrate fluency in English.

Year 2: Students wishing to begin at the Specialization Year (Year 2) can qualify for Year 2 with one of the following:

  • Completion of Year 1 program
  • Demonstrating completion of courses equivalent to Year 1 program (transcript required)

Direct Access Track: completion of 2 required, predetermined courses in the sessions prior to the Year 2 start date. For more details about Year 2 programs, please refer to the Year 2 pages under Program Structure.

Optional Internships (fee applies)
Students who complete a full academic year can supplement their program with either a non-credit 3 week internship or a 3-credit 6 week internship in their field of study. This internship can be added in the summer sessions after the regular program has ended. Contact SAI for more details.

Optional Italian Language (fee applies)
Career Certificate program students can supplement their program with a 3-week 3 credit, intensive Italian Language course that takes place prior to the fall and spring sessions. Beginning, intermediate and advanced levels of intensive Italian language are offered. Contact SAI for more details.

Year 1: Certificate in Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Media
Starting in the Fall semester, the Year 1 Certificate in Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Media comprises two academic terms. Each term features a set of four 3-credit courses and one 6-credit course, with a 1-credit Health and Safety seminar at the start of the Fall semester. In addition, there is also a mandatory, non-credit, experiential learning project during the January intersession prior to the start of the Spring semester.

The Year 1 Fashion Design, Merchandising, and Media courses are:

Optional intensive Italian Language (August intersession)

Fall Semester
Sketching and Rendering Accessories and HACCP Seminar
Fashion Retail Management Experiential Learning
Fashion Design Studio I
Sewing and Construction Techniques I
Faces, Facts, and Places in Italian Fashion

January Intersession
Special Project Experiential Learning

Spring Semester
Introduction to Accessory Design: Shoes, Bags, and Belts Experiential Learning
Flat and Digital Pattern Making
Visual Merchandise and Display
Fashion, Media, and Culture
Introduction to Fashion Marketing

For the full detailed course descriptions please contact us.

Year 2: Specialization Certificate
Students can continue (or begin, see Prerequisites) their studies in one of four specializations:

Career Certificate program students are offered the choice between SAI’s two services models: 360° Services, which includes our full services and housing; and Select Services, designed for more independent students and no housing. The program fee differs for the two service models (see Fees & Budgeting).

SAI 360° Services includes our full services!

  • Program tuition and U.S. academic credit
  • Accommodation in carefully selected student housing
  • Airport pickup on arrival day
  • Welcome reception and events
  • Orientation to the host city and school
  • On-site staff who foster a welcoming community and provide assistance when needed
  • SAI Viva Experience: cultural engagement, excursions & wellness activities
  • FUA meal plan sample pack
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • 24-hour on-site emergency support
  • Farewell event

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • Knowledgeable Admissions Counselor dedicated to you, providing friendly assistance
  • Helpful pre-departure tools and resources
  • Parent & family resources
  • Online student groups to acquaint you with other SAI students
  • Student visa advising
  • Assistance with financial aid processing
  • Need-based SAI scholarships
  • Alumni Ambassador Program, with paid internship opportunities
  • SAI alumni network

SAI Select Services includes the important on-site services!

  • Program tuition, with U.S. academic credit
  • Student health insurance providing full coverage and medical emergency evacuation
  • Orientation to the host city and school
  • SAI staff on-site providing assistance as needed and 24-hour emergency support

Pre-departure and Re-entry services

  • Knowledgeable Admissions Counselor dedicated to you, providing friendly assistance
  • Helpful pre-departure tools and resources
  • Parent & family resources
  • Student visa advising
  • SAI alumni network

Please see the following links for up-to-date calendar information:

Academic Year 2023/24 pdf (154KB)
Academic Year 2024/25 pdf (154KB)
Direct Access 2024/25 pdf (154KB)

Financial Processing and Loans
To make a Career Program abroad more achievable, SAI is able to offer US students the ability to obtain a private loan through St. Martin’s University to pay for their program. As you reach the point of enrollment, the SAI Business Office can provide assistance with financial processing, as well as student loan applications. Please contact your SAI Admissions Counselor for details about the student loan process.

SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $120
Security Deposit
Refundable at the end of the term.
$600
Program Fee: Academic Year 2023/24 (360° Services)
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI 360° Services (see What’s Included).
$23,225
Program Fee: Academic Year 2023/24 (Select Services)
Includes tuition and SAI Select Services, no housing (see What’s Included).
$13,285
Optional / Additional Fees:  
Optional Private Room Housing Supplement (360° Services)
Private occupancy bedroom in a shared apartment, with a shared bathroom.
$3,350
Optional 3 week Italian Language Course
Before regular term.
contact SAI
Optional Non-Credit Internship (3 weeks)
After regular term.
contact SAI
Optional 3 Credit Internship (6 weeks)
After regular term.
contact SAI
Optional Homestay Housing Supplement
Price varies by private/shared occupancy and meals.
contact SAI
St. Martin's University Loan Processing Fee
Applicable to those wishing to utilize SAI’s US School of Record to obtain a loan for their program.
$1,000
International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.
$90

*prices are subject to change

Financial Processing and Loans
To make a Career Program abroad more achievable, SAI is able to offer US students the ability to obtain a private loan through St. Martin’s University to pay for their program. As you reach the point of enrollment, the SAI Business Office can provide assistance with financial processing, as well as student loan applications. Please contact your SAI Admissions Counselor for details about the student loan process.

SAI Program Fees* USD
Application Fee $120
Security Deposit
Refundable at the end of the term.
$600
Program Fee: Academic Year 2024/25 (360° Services)
Includes tuition, standard housing and SAI 360° Services (see What’s Included).
Coming soon
Program Fee: Academic Year 2024/25 (Select Services)
Includes tuition and SAI Select Services, no housing (see What’s Included).
Coming soon
Optional / Additional Fees:  
Optional Private Room Housing Supplement (360° Services)
Private occupancy bedroom in a shared apartment, with a shared bathroom.
Coming soon
Optional 3 week Italian Language Course
Before regular term.
contact SAI
Optional Non-Credit Internship (3 weeks)
After regular term.
contact SAI
Optional 3 Credit Internship (6 weeks)
After regular term.
contact SAI
Optional Homestay Housing Supplement
Price varies by private/shared occupancy and meals.
contact SAI
St. Martin's University Loan Processing Fee
Applicable to those wishing to utilize SAI's US School of Record to obtain a loan for their program.
$1,000
International Mailing Supplement
When applicable, students are charged an international mailing supplement to ensure visa paperwork arrives in a timely manner.
$90

*prices are subject to change

Housing is only included in SAI 360° Services programs. Students selecting SAI Select Services are responsible for securing their housing independently.

Standard Housing: Student apartment
SAI student apartments are convenient and well equipped, with shared occupancy bedrooms (option to upgrade to private bedroom, if available). Typical residences house 2 – 8 students and contain a combination of private and shared bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom and living areas. Furnishings, a washing machine, basic kitchen supplies, bed linens and towels are provided. All apartments are equipped with wireless Internet. Housing configurations are designated as female, male, and in some locations, gender-inclusive. SAI on-site staff is available to respond to any maintenance needs that may arise.

Optional Housing: Family homestay (additional fee applies)
SAI homestay families are thoroughly screened and are accustomed to welcoming visiting students into their homes. Homestays provide a student shared or private occupancy private bedroom, with a shared bathroom, in the family home with basic furnishings. BreakfastDaily breakfast and weekday dinner are included Monday – Thursday (no meals on weekends). Please note that some homestays may be outside of the city center and require a commute to reach school.

Passports
Passports should be valid for 3 months after planned departure from Italy.

Student Visas
In accordance with Italian law, students studying in Italy for 91 days or more are required to obtain a student visa. Those with Italian/EU citizenship are exempted. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for information on student visa requirements.

Depending on the consulate, students will either mail in their student visa application or appear in person to present their application to the consulate. Our Student Visa Office is available to assist students in preparing for the appointment; SAI Student Visa Consulting is part of the SAI 360° Services included in the program fee. SAI Student Visa Processing Service is available for select consulates only, for an additional fee.