ASA is the only way!!! Past Review

By (University of New Hampshire) - abroad from 01/23/2018 to 05/10/2018 with

Academic Studies Abroad: Study Abroad in Florence, Italy

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
I gained a certainty about myself, confidence, hunger to travel the world and curiosity for all life has to offer. It was worth every late night staying up to get my paperwork in line and every euro spent on a panini. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.

Review Photos

Academic Studies Abroad: Study Abroad in Florence, Italy Photo Academic Studies Abroad: Study Abroad in Florence, Italy Photo Academic Studies Abroad: Study Abroad in Florence, Italy Photo Academic Studies Abroad: Study Abroad in Florence, Italy Photo Academic Studies Abroad: Study Abroad in Florence, Italy Photo

Personal Information

How much international exposure did you have prior to this program? None

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

Being able to take courses in Italy was incredible. The hands-on approach of classes was very different than the American style of teaching college students. I definitely preferred walking around the city for my history class and actually cooking food for my culinary classes. I want to go back so badly to this style of teaching.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

I LOVED the Site Directors, Chiara and Federica, that helped all of us ASA Florence students. They became like family to us, and they helped with so many minor inconveniences, questions, concerns and major things as well. They truly cared about students and our experiences! They only wanted the best for us in the four months we were there.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

I loved my cute little apartment. My friends and I all had different style and sized apartments, but each had its own unique lovable qualities.

* Food:

There is no better quality food in the world than Italian food. You can't even argue with this. All of the love and effort they put into the making of the fresh food is evident from the second it gets set in front of you.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

I felt very integrated into the culture of Italy because of how helpful the Site Directors, Chiara and Federica, were.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

The doctor visited my apartment (a house call) when I was sick, and it was organized by Chiara, the Site Director, so I didn't even have to do anything or go anywhere to get checked out. It's so simple to receive help for your health!

* Safety:

It's super safe; the only thing is if you're a male do not get into any verbal or physical altercations with Italian males, because other providers' male students had a few problems while there, but no ASA boys did. I never felt unsafe as a female either.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes

If I hadn't stumbled upon the acronym ASA, I would not be the person typing this review. I would not be as curious, hungry and driven as I now am. I aspire to see as much of this beautiful world as I can, and with ASA I was able to travel to 11 countries, including my host country, Italy. After experiencing the semester of a lifetime and making the most amazing friends who have similar aspirations in life and the same eagerness to travel to new places and meet new people, I look forward to all of the adventures to come. ASA is an organization that provides each student with so much support from the time you fill out the application to as soon as you step off the plane in your host country and all throughout your semester abroad. The individuals who work for ASA are passionate about their job and care so much about students, their well-being and their experience. I don't know who I would be or where I would be if I had selected another provider to study abroad with, but I sure am grateful I chose ASA :)


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)

I saved up a decent amount of money with the intention of being able to do everything and using every last euro, and I did. I traveled every weekend, ate out a lot and was able to always say yes to whatever my friends asked me to do.

Not including program expenses, about how much money did you spend on food and other expenses each week? $500
Do you have any general money-saving tips for future study abroad participants? Start saving as soon as you think you may want to study abroad, because it's never too soon! The worst that can happen is you put all this money aside for something you aren't going to do, and now you just have money laying around without a purpose. How tragic....


* Did your program have a foreign language component? Yes
How much did the program encourage you to use the language?

0 = No encouragement, 5 = frequent encouragement to use the language

We were encouraged to speak Italian by our Site Directors and they helped us translate things. However, we were not forced to take a language course while there.

How would you rate your language skills at the beginning of the program? Beginner
How would you rate your language skills at the end of the program? Beginner
What was the highest level language course you had completed prior to departure? I took one semester of beginner's Italian at my university at home.
How many hours per day did you use the language?
Do you have any tips/advice on the best ways to practice the language for future study abroad participants? Just try to speak to Italians. The young adults may shoot you down because they know English well and can tell that you don't know Italian too well, but don't be discouraged. Try it at a cafe for ordering or try having a conversation with an Italian on the streets. Just try!

Other Program Information

* Where did you live?

Select all that apply

  • Apartment
* Who did you live with?

Select all that apply

  • International Students
* Who did you take classes with?

Select all that apply

  • Local Students
  • Americans
About how many local friends did you make that you will likely keep in touch with?

A Look Back

* What did you like most about the program?
  • Opportunities
  • Site Directors
  • Friends from other U.S. universities I made
* What could be improved?
  • More student interns on universities could be hired to spread the word about ASA to prospective study abroad students.
* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? I wish I knew how much this would change me so I could do even more and change and grow even more, though I traveled and explored every weekend and took advantage of my semester a lot. I could've always done more.

Reasons For Studying Abroad

To help future students find programs attended by like-minded individuals, please choose the profile that most closely represents you.
The Avid Adventurer
The wardrobe you packed was better suited for a semester of camping than club hopping. Outdoorsy, you might forgo a crazy night out for an early all-day adventure. You'd rather take in the rich culture of an old town than the metropolis of a modern city, but for you getting off the grid is ideal.